Patch we’ve seen already to be an unparalleled tool for building interactive musical instruments and complete immersive worlds in VR. Now it’s nearing beta release, with a sign-up for closed access immediately.
Disclosure: I contract with PatchXR as a writer and consultant and have facilitated the Patchathon events they host for artists.
Patch is something unique: it’s a tool that allows you to create natively in VR. It’s a patching environment, but you patch with the headset on. It’s playful enough to approach like a game or playground, but the objects available let you get sophisticated with custom sequencers and instruments if you so choose. That also means Patch is a chance to play around in spatial sound and immersive AV media without requiring custom tools. And since you’re in the headset, there isn’t a separate authoring – test workflow. You just head into the VR world and start creating. It’s the kind of creativity the metaverse hype has been promising, but – again, realizing I’m not an objective source as I work with them – I haven’t found anything else remotely like this.
Beta access is free, though you’ll need some VR hardware to support it – Oculus Quest is the easiest, since it’ll run standalone so you don’t have to start worrying about OS and GPU requirements.
Want to dive in and make your own music video, natively in VR? Check. (There are import workflows from other tools, too, in case you want to create assets in Blender, for instance.)
Sign up for the beta; we’ll gradually be opening access in smaller groups, just to make sure we provide lots of high-quality, hands-on interaction with our team. Register now and you’ll be first in line.
We’re focused on Oculus Quest as we prepare for a planned summer release on that platform, but PC VR will also be available as part of the beta, via Quest + link, Rift S and Vive headsets.
And full feature set:
- Build and share musical worlds in the metaverse, without any coding, for free
- Deep modular framework – start with pre-built worlds or create custom instruments, visuals, and gestural interactions
- 200+ blocks for endless creative options
- 3D environment and sound assets to get you started
- 3D spatial audio and stereo mixing
- Access Patch from Quest standalone headsets – lowering the bar to entry
- Explore awesome musical creations made in Patch and interact with the growing community of Patchers worldwide.
- Tutorials to learn about sound and how to build your own music worlds and electronic music instruments
- Record loops of your avatar performing in 3D space to become a full band
- Connect your virtual world with your usual setup using MIDI and OSC.
Here’s a look at some of what’s possible.
You can also use this as a full production environment in VR. While we’ve seen other VR-based music-making tools, a lot of those recreate virtual studios. The twist here is, you can build your own instruments if you so choose, the way you would in a tool like Reaktor or Pd. But yes, you can absolutely finish a techno track this way if you want.
Here’s the work of Patch virtuoso power-user Riccardo Ferri, who you’ll see around the Patch Discord going by tigermaster (appropriate for this new lunar year!):
They’ve been building a deep set of tools, a complete library of electronic music building blocks:
– TB 303 (with sequencer)
– TB 303 with standard oscillators
– TB 303 variant with 3 Oscillators
– Drum machine (synthesized)
– Drum machine (samples)
– FM Synth
Effects and live and more:
– Tape delay with auto gain + EQ on feedback channel
– Live Lead Solo tool
– Auto scale
– 10 channel stereo mixer with 2 sends, master vu meters and sidechain
– master preset manager with 16th gen for sequencer with swing feature
Maciek Sypniewski has been building complete instruments, too:
- Polyphonic synthesizer with chord sequencer
- Wavetable synthesizer
- 4 operator FM synthesizer
- Motion controlled synthesizer
- Marble sequencer
- Disintegration looper
- Modular synthesizer system
Here’s that motion-controlled synth: