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Blue Cat's PatchWork 2.5: multicore processing, Apple M1, promo and more
Old 6th April 2021
  #1
Lives for gear
 
bluecataudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Software Blue Cat's PatchWork 2.5: multicore processing, Apple M1, promo and more

Dear Gear Addicts from space,

We are happy to announce the release of Blue Cat's PatchWork 2.5, a new version of our multi-effects processor also capable of hosting third party plug-ins.

Including a brand new multicore processing engine, this new version focuses on performanceand compatibility: optimized to the best out of the available CPU resources, it is able to load more effects and instruments on multicore processors, even at lower latencies. It also includes many new features and fixes (full list below).

An optimized build for the new Apple M1 Macs is also available to customers as a preview, with great performance improvements, as shown in our benchmark comparing Apple M1 and Intel Macs for audio.



The free update can be downloaded from the same location as the original full version (link received by email upon purchase). And for new customers, PatchWork is exceptionally on sale (10% off) until May 6th, while existing customers will receive an even better deal by email. Demo versions are available on www.bluecataudio.com in most plug-in formats (and as a standalone application) for Mac and Windows PC.

New Features & Improvements:
- Up to 8 times more processing power with the new multicore engine that processes each parallel chain on a separate core.
- New DSP workload meter that displays the DSP activity and CPU load.
- Added MIDI control support (MIDI CC messages) for Next and Previous Preset commands, with MIDI learn.
- Reduced time to load PatchWork or any built-in plug-in.
- Multiple DSP performance improvements.
- Improved buffer management in standalone application on Mac, reducing both latency and CPU usage.
- Level meters are not updated anymore when the user interface is closed, reducing CPU usage.
- Reduced the number of threads used by the plug-in.
- Improved global and preset settings window loading time on Windows.
- Added ability to select the plug-in to load when a shell plug-in file is dragged and dropped onto a slot.
- Full unicode support.
- Preset files can now be dropped onto the preset LCD area to be loaded.
- Improved "Tone Maps" user interface (available for 9 built-in effects).

Fixes:
- Fixed standalone app not always asking for Microphone access on most recent MacOS systems.
- Fixed host loop end value not properly passed to hosted plug-ins, for the VST2 version.
- Fixed several crashes upon load for multiple third party plug-ins (mostly VST3).
- Fixed display issues with Waves plug-ins V12 in Mac standalone application.
- Fixed MIDI control for hosted plug-ins not always working when fed with silence.
- Fixed VST3 (and sometimes VST) version freezing Ableton Live upon save on Windows.
- Fixed harmonizer and Pitch Shifter built-in plug-ins that did not always flush their buffer upon bypass (short sounds could be heard when getting out of bypass)

System requirements:
- Intel (or M1) Mac running Mac OS 10.7 or newer.
- Windows PC running Windows Vista or newer.

Pricing:
Blue Cat's PatchWork: 89 EUR or $89 (instead of 99) until May 6th
Old 7th April 2021
  #2
Lives for gear
 
djrustycans's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecataudio ➡️
Dear Gear Addicts from space,

We are happy to announce the release of Blue Cat's PatchWork 2.5, a new version of our multi-effects processor also capable of hosting third party plug-ins.

Including a brand new multicore processing engine, this new version focuses on performanceand compatibility: optimized to the best out of the available CPU resources, it is able to load more effects and instruments on multicore processors, even at lower latencies. It also includes many new features and fixes (full list below).

An optimized build for the new Apple M1 Macs is also available to customers as a preview, with great performance improvements, as shown in our benchmark comparing Apple M1 and Intel Macs for audio.



The free update can be downloaded from the same location as the original full version (link received by email upon purchase). And for new customers, PatchWork is exceptionally on sale (10% off) until May 6th, while existing customers will receive an even better deal by email. Demo versions are available on www.bluecataudio.com in most plug-in formats (and as a standalone application) for Mac and Windows PC.

New Features & Improvements:
- Up to 8 times more processing power with the new multicore engine that processes each parallel chain on a separate core.
- New DSP workload meter that displays the DSP activity and CPU load.
- Added MIDI control support (MIDI CC messages) for Next and Previous Preset commands, with MIDI learn.
- Reduced time to load PatchWork or any built-in plug-in.
- Multiple DSP performance improvements.
- Improved buffer management in standalone application on Mac, reducing both latency and CPU usage.
- Level meters are not updated anymore when the user interface is closed, reducing CPU usage.
- Reduced the number of threads used by the plug-in.
- Improved global and preset settings window loading time on Windows.
- Added ability to select the plug-in to load when a shell plug-in file is dragged and dropped onto a slot.
- Full unicode support.
- Preset files can now be dropped onto the preset LCD area to be loaded.
- Improved "Tone Maps" user interface (available for 9 built-in effects).

Fixes:
- Fixed standalone app not always asking for Microphone access on most recent MacOS systems.
- Fixed host loop end value not properly passed to hosted plug-ins, for the VST2 version.
- Fixed several crashes upon load for multiple third party plug-ins (mostly VST3).
- Fixed display issues with Waves plug-ins V12 in Mac standalone application.
- Fixed MIDI control for hosted plug-ins not always working when fed with silence.
- Fixed VST3 (and sometimes VST) version freezing Ableton Live upon save on Windows.
- Fixed harmonizer and Pitch Shifter built-in plug-ins that did not always flush their buffer upon bypass (short sounds could be heard when getting out of bypass)

System requirements:
- Intel (or M1) Mac running Mac OS 10.7 or newer.
- Windows PC running Windows Vista or newer.

Pricing:
Blue Cat's PatchWork: 89 EUR or $89 (instead of 99) until May 6th
Nice one guys, thanks!
Old 7th April 2021
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Loopy C's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
'Patchwork' has turned out to be one of the most used and useful plug-ins I own.

Problem solver, workflow enhancer, sound design creative playground...to use an 'old school' term, Bravo Blue Cat!
Old 7th April 2021
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Software

Great work, guys!

I hope all plugin developers out there will follow the same concept of supporting multicore and DSP power of M1 as you do.

Simply amazing!

Old 7th April 2021
  #5
Lives for gear
 
bluecataudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks!

I was initially skeptical about the M1 and all the marketing hype around its launch, but it is indeed a beast for audio DSP! More plug-ins, more plug-ins, more plug-ins!!
Old 7th April 2021
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
slipper's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I´m just wondering, is it also optimised for intel i9 on osx?
Old 7th April 2021 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecataudio ➡️
Thanks!

I was initially skeptical about the M1 and all the marketing hype around its launch, but it is indeed a beast for audio DSP! More plug-ins, more plug-ins, more plug-ins!!
Awesome! Keep up the good work :-)
Old 7th April 2021 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
bluecataudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipper ➡️
I´m just wondering, is it also optimised for intel i9 on osx?
Sure!
Old 7th April 2021
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Does it do oversampling?
Old 7th April 2021
  #10
Gear Head
 
Quick question about M1 compatibility: are you able to load non-native plugins in an instance of Patchwork running natively in a DAW, and if so, is there improved stability versus loading them directly in a native DAW through Rosetta?
Old 7th April 2021 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
slipper's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluecataudio ➡️
Sure!
nice!
Old 7th April 2021 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
slipper's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbone1313 ➡️
Does it do oversampling?
I don't think so.

Please @ bluecataudio implement an oversample system with optional offline bounce.
Lot´s of developers out there with terrible aliasing due to non existing oversampling. Big players like Waves, Soundtoys etc....



Have a look at Meldaproduction plugins oversample system, it´s one of the most advance one on the market.

Please do something similar, thank you.
Old 7th April 2021
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
This is the first time I recall installing the 'Stand alone' version [with this update].

Curious ... how [or why] to go about using it ?

Could this be used in a form of 'System Wide' ? where all audio can be routed in/out of ?

If not ... what uses have been done ?

Thanks
Old 7th April 2021
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Bob Yordan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Smile

Multicore, now this plugin starts to get really interesting.

I have demoed the previous version, so I better try this one out too.

Bought some plugins lately, where the AU does not get accepted by, my older Logic X version. This seems to be the best alternative, using VST instead.
Old 7th April 2021 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
bluecataudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbone1313 ➡️
Does it do oversampling?
No it does not have built-in oversampling.
Old 7th April 2021 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
bluecataudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJHollins ➡️
This is the first time I recall installing the 'Stand alone' version [with this update].

Curious ... how [or why] to go about using it ?

Could this be used in a form of 'System Wide' ? where all audio can be routed in/out of ?

If not ... what uses have been done ?

Thanks
You can use it as a lightweight host for your effects or instruments to play them "live", without having to load a complete (and sometimes unstable) DAW.
Old 7th April 2021
  #17
nkf
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Always these downloads of single plug in versions, instead of a ZIP file for Mac and Win in one go. This is unnecessary complicated and time consuming.
Old 7th April 2021 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Loopy C's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJHollins ➡️
This is the first time I recall installing the 'Stand alone' version [with this update].

Curious ... how [or why] to go about using it ?
Another experimental use is open multiple instances of 'Patchwork' Standalone, setting each to a different BPM. This allows for effects that derive their tempo from their host to be combined in polyrhythmic combinations such as 55 BPM + 89 BPM + 144 BPM (Fibonacci series) or using Prime Numbers in 'sexy prime duos' like (73,79), (83,89), (97,103), (101,107), (103,109), (107,113), etc.

Your bussing in and out will depend on your system and available utilities...for instance I use often use 'Soundflower' or Rogue Amoeba's 'Audio Hijack' and 'Loopback' to route and record the final sum output of the discreet instances of 'Patchwork' ;-)
Old 7th April 2021
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Macaroni's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
In Logic Pro, it appears the processing for one track/channel is done on one core, so if you have a lot of plugins on one channel, running at higher oversampling, it can easily choke a core and cause an overload spike.

To avoid this, I often use one or two Aux channels to spread out the plugins and processing load.

Does Patchwork address this issue or work around it in some way?

It would be nice to have everything on one track/channel.
Old 7th April 2021 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJHollins ➡️
This is the first time I recall installing the 'Stand alone' version [with this update].

Curious ... how [or why] to go about using it ?

Could this be used in a form of 'System Wide' ? where all audio can be routed in/out of ?

If not ... what uses have been done ?

Thanks
Yes I've been using it for years in stand-alone mode in to host system-wide plug-ins like Sonarworks or now VSX. It's really convenient to have analysers for Spotify or compressors, "de-reverbers" and EQs for badly-recorded podcasts.

I use Soundflower on the Mac but I'm not sure whether you can do the same on PC.

The only problem is that the audio connection gets lost every time you put the computer to sleep, so you have to close and re-open PatchWork to get the sound back. My DAW doesn't suffer from the same problem so I doubt it's my interface.

If you're reading this @ bluecataudio I hope there's a possible fix for this!
Old 7th April 2021 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
no genre's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopy C ➡️
Another experimental use is open multiple instances of 'Patchwork' Standalone, setting each to a different BPM. This allows for effects that derive their tempo from their host to be combined in polyrhythmic combinations such as 55 BPM + 89 BPM + 144 BPM (Fibonacci series)...
What a fascinating idea! Thanks for sharing.
Old 7th April 2021 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJHollins ➡️
This is the first time I recall installing the 'Stand alone' version [with this update].

Curious ... how [or why] to go about using it ?

Could this be used in a form of 'System Wide' ? where all audio can be routed in/out of ?

If not ... what uses have been done ?

Thanks
I’ve been using the stand-alone to host realphones, very stable and useful.
Old 7th April 2021
  #23
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Can standalone run in the background as an always on vst host? Would have to be autostarting with the system, retaining settings and starting and running minimized in tray.

Currently using open source LightHost for this functionality, but I'd happily switch to something actively maintained and more feature rich like patchwork if it had the aforementioned features.
Old 7th April 2021
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
wow .... I'm glad I ask the question for Stand alone usage.

Good to know .... and some interesting, creative ideas.

Thank-you
Old 8th April 2021
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
How many knobs can be mapped and added to the patchwork front panel? Can they be labelled and do they display the correct values from the plugins they are mapped to? Excited to try this out but it may be a few days, hence the questions. I love the idea of creating channel strip presets and having the important stuff to control right on the face of the plugin without having to open each.

I use Metaplugin but I don’t like the way it maps to parameters. I’d likely load instances of Metaplugin in Patchwork to manage oversampling.
Old 8th April 2021 | Show parent
  #26
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocolateHawkins ➡️
How many knobs can be mapped and added to the patchwork front panel? Can they be labelled and do they display the correct values from the plugins they are mapped to? Excited to try this out but it may be a few days, hence the questions. I love the idea of creating channel strip presets and having the important stuff to control right on the face of the plugin without having to open each.
Unfortunately not, not at least not in the way this is working in other DAWs. Example, I can choose to map plugin parameters automatically, but in Patchwork interface they appear as numbers. Not as plugin actual parameter names. Or something labeled as user wish.

Also there's no way to (for example) map a value from one plugin and assign it to a Patchwork knob, then map some other value from different plugin in a chain - to a same knob. Like macro knob. Patchwork can't do that yet.

Also it can't scale knob range.

But don't let that put you off, Patchwork can do some seriously impressive stuff and chains. I highly recommend it. Somehow (it is a guess) I am sure they will add such "macro" features in the future.

I couldn't care less for oversampling part. I hope they focus on Macro and parameters instead of oversampling feature. I understand some want oversampling, just saying, workflow features are more important - for me.
Old 8th April 2021
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
jackURbody's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Could this potentially run plugin chains with better CPU optimisation than DAWs? Eg S1? Or am I misunderstanding this?
Old 8th April 2021 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by barada ➡️
Unfortunately not, not at least not in the way this is working in other DAWs. Example, I can choose to map plugin parameters automatically, but in Patchwork interface they appear as numbers. Not as plugin actual parameter names. Or something labeled as user wish.

Also there's no way to (for example) map a value from one plugin and assign it to a Patchwork knob, then map some other value from different plugin in a chain - to a same knob. Like macro knob. Patchwork can't do that yet.

Also it can't scale knob range.

But don't let that put you off, Patchwork can do some seriously impressive stuff and chains. I highly recommend it. Somehow (it is a guess) I am sure they will add such "macro" features in the future.

I couldn't care less for oversampling part. I hope they focus on Macro and parameters instead of oversampling feature. I understand some want oversampling, just saying, workflow features are more important - for me.
Thank you for the detailed answer! I'm going to buy it.
Old 8th April 2021 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
bluecataudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncovered Pitch ➡️
The only problem is that the audio connection gets lost every time you put the computer to sleep, so you have to close and re-open PatchWork to get the sound back. My DAW doesn't suffer from the same problem so I doubt it's my interface.

If you're reading this @ bluecataudio I hope there's a possible fix for this!
That's odd, indeed. Maybe it is related to the soundflower virtual driver?
Old 8th April 2021 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
bluecataudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macaroni ➡️
In Logic Pro, it appears the processing for one track/channel is done on one core, so if you have a lot of plugins on one channel, running at higher oversampling, it can easily choke a core and cause an overload spike.

To avoid this, I often use one or two Aux channels to spread out the plugins and processing load.

Does Patchwork address this issue or work around it in some way?

It would be nice to have everything on one track/channel.
If you can process things in parallel (like aux bus sends for example), you can indeed use multiple cores. If the effects are in series though, you have to wait for the previous plug-in's output before processing the next one, so it cannot be parallelized.

You can read more details about this topic in this blog post:

Multicore Audio Processing - What is it, and why do you care?

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