Platform for sharing patch Ideas with block diagrams?

Is there a software or web platform to share patches similar to the diagrams in Allen Strange book?
(Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques, and Controls)

Simple building blocks to visualize ideas and concepts…?

How do you share your ideas/patches so others can adapt it to there systems?

example from the book:


Omnigraffle is perfect for this type of diagram.


Patch Storage, no?

Looks like a lot of VCV patches are on there already.

Is that’s the sort of thing you mean?

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It could be a really nice thing to have as a discourse plugin – here’s a similar one:

I would like to keep it independent. Basic components like VCO, VCA, AD, AR, LFO etc…so the concept of the patch can be adapted to different brands of modules.

make noise using some diagrams to explain a patch in this tutorial:

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Yes, i used that in the past, but it’s not “pre-defined”, does that make sense?
A framework specific for synthesis concepts.

Not really. We are talking about boxes and triangles and arrows with labels, all things that Omnigraffle handles quite easily.

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It sounds like maybe @pelang wants a standardized toolset of “this triangle means VCA”, etc.

Choosing a design language for these things would be interesting! also non-trivial.


thanks alanza, you saved me… that’s exactly what i meant
plus a simple editor to drag & drop and connect those symbols.

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Just use the same design language that Allen Strange & Make Noise use. You could even save the parts in an Omnigraffle stencil for re-use.

Patchbook looks nice too.


Thanks, patchbook looks nice but is module specific.

That’s what i use so far with pencil and paper… i was a longtime max/msp user…so i guess my brain is trained to understand complex signal flows with block diagrams. For example, Magneto has a nice block diagram…or in the past on outboard gear was always the block diagram printed on the top cover of the device.
I just was about to buy the new Chase Bliss Audio Dark World guitar padel…but after some reflection on GAS, i decided to build something similar with my modular. So the first step is to understand how this specific effect works and then adapt it to my set of modules. Isn’t this the power of modular synthesis?
I guess this would make a nice patch sheet.


You can use any text you want. They’re just strings. No limitations to any specific set of modules.

One nice thing about Omnigraffle for block diagrams is that you can move blocks around and the arrows will automatically adjust, thanks to the “magnets” that attach lines and boxes. Other vector drawing tools will require you to readjust arrows manually, which can be quite time consuming in a complex diagram.

Eh, a VCA is a VCA. Electricity is electricity. Don’t think there’s much mileage in overthinking this.

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nice! i had similar idea a while ago that was supposed to be offline-capable web application without any backend, but gave up after trying to come up with markup that would be very readable without parsing it (ideally just markdown file with determined structure) and expressive at the same time. i guess i could still do that with simple backend to get json from patchbook and take it from there, hmm…

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Right, but it’s possible others aren’t!

Diagram it the way you patched it.


Oh hey! If you feel like dropping by Watsonville to say hi on your way back north, feel free drop me a PM!

Modules having different functions depending on patching is also true for eurorack. I started thinking about my current patch and the Sampling Modulator is clock, s&h and a trigger sequencer. I would draw three different blocks (and outline them with a dashed line if I wanted to underline All of the functionality coming from a single module).

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I am not sure if i can follow…
If i would read your block diagram, do i need to know that clock, s&h, trigger sequencer are coming from the same module? Or do i need to know what is the nature of there connection (synced or free ?)

Let’s say MI Stages can be an s&h, trigger converter, LFO, AD, AR, Delay, Slew, etc…but for the block diagram it’s not relevant to know it came from Stages, right?

I agree. A block diagram is a simplified abstraction of the elements that are actually in use. You might mention the module’s name for memory’s sake, but there’s no need to make a laundry list of a module’s capabilities if you aren’t actually making use of them.

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