The Patchblocks software is the gateway to creating, editing, and loading patches onto a Patchblock.
In addition to the main patch area, there are six interfaces that can be enabled, re-sized, or detached from the main window.
The Patch Area, located in the center of the software window, is where blocks and connections are combined to create a patch. In addition to blocks and connections, it is possible to add comments to the patch which can add helpful text. The Patch Area has a tabbed interface which allows for more than one patch to be open at a time.
By default, the Toolbar Area is located at the top of the software window and includes two separate toolbars representing functions found in the main menu. The toolbars can be moved around individually and relocated to any of the outer boundaries of the software window, or detached from the window completely. The functions available in the toolbar are as follows.
- File Toolbar
- New Patch - Create a new patch
- Open - Open a new patch
- Save - Save the current patch
- Edit Toolbar
- Undo - Undo the last editing action
- Redo - Redo the last editing action
- Compile - Compile patch and update firmware
- Open Firmware - Open the firmware on the device
- Toggle Emulator - Start/stop the emulator
The Browser window contains a list of all available blocks that can be used in a patch. The list is compiled each time the Patchblocks software is started and separates the blocks according to the Category in each blocks *.xml file. New Categories can be created by defining a new one in a user-created block.
To use a block from the Browser window, simply select and drag one from the Browser list and drop it in a patch in the Patch Area.
By hovering the mouse cursor over a block in the Browser, it is possible to see additional information about the particular block. Additionally, hovering over each input or output of a block provides detailed information on the block's input and output functions.
The Inspector panel makes it possible to set fixed values for the input parameters of a block that is selected in the Patch Area.
If a block is already connected to an input via a patch cord, that input value cannot be manually set and is designated by "(used)" in the Inspector window.
The Emulator window contains two sliders and two check boxes that represent the two knobs and two buttons on a PatchBlock.
If a patch in the Patch Area uses the Controls block, these can be tested using the Emulator window. After starting the Emulator using the Start button on the toolbar, moving the sliders and button will affect how the patch sounds according to how the Controls block is connected.
The Help window provides detailed information about the block selected in the Patch Area. Often this includes usage examples and information on the range of data that a block receives or sends out.
The Console window acts as an error log for the Patchblocks software. It can display small errors in the compiling of patches that do not affect the patches ability to funciton ("warning") or larger errors that will cause a patch to not run properly, or at all.
It is a best practice to always have the Console window open while editing and uploading patches to a PatchBlock.