User Manual | JazzMan Ltd

User Manual

Important Special Notice for the Prophet 12


Supported Synthesisers

Version 2 of Patch Morpher supports the following synthesizers:

Because the software needs to know the intimate working details of your synthesiser it will not work with any other hardware or software synth.

Please ensure you have updated your synth to the latest OS version otherwise Patch Morpher may not operate correctly (and you’ll be missing features & bug-fixes to your synth).


Connecting your Synth

Depending on your synth you can either use:

Ensure that System Exclusive (SysEx) messages are enabled on your synthesizer's MIDI configuration settings and that parameter changes are sent using NRPN on the Prophet 12.

If using USB, simply plug the USB cable into the synthesizer and the Apple camera connection kit, and plug that into your iPad.

If using a MIDI interface, ensure that both the MIDI In & Out cables are connected to your interface before plugging that into your iPad. The MIDI Out of the synthesiser goes to the MIDI In of the Interface, and the MIDI Out of the interface goes to the MIDI In of the synthesiser.

Synth Patch Morpher will attempt to automatically detect your synthesiser and the appropriate MIDI channel within a few seconds of plugging it in. Press 'Connect!' if this doesn't work the first time round.

Once connected the synthesiser's name will appear in the top-left button:

A message will appear on the screen confirming the connection & indicating which MIDI channel is in use.

You can now play the synthesizer from the iPad, using the mini-keyboard provided. This is particularly useful if you are working with a synthesiser module that has no keyboard!


Importing Patches

Select a patch on your synthesiser.

Press the top left button to send the currently selected patch from your synthesiser to the iPad:

A "Patch Box" will appear on the iPad screen displaying the patch name as well as key information about the patch set-up:

Repeat a few times so you have a good selection of patches to work with.

Tip: It is worthwhile loading patches similar to the type of sound you want to create. For example: to create new bass sounds, load several bass sounds into your iPad, and maybe add in a couple of synth sounds for added spice. Similarly load string & pad sounds if you want to create a new pads etc.

To remove a patch from the scene, simply drag it into the dustbin in the bottom right of the screen. This operation cannot be undone (but you can still reload the patch from your synthesiser).

Tip: Double-tap the dustbin to remove all patches and start from a blank screen.

Important! Patch Morpher does not overwrite the patches on your synthesiser, nor does it make any other permanent changes to it. Only on your synth itself can you choose to save a patch to your synthesiser's memory and overwrite whatever was there before. You can therefore experiment freely with Patch Morpher - don't worry about losing data on your synth!!


Scenes

This collection of patches you now have on the screen is called a "Scene". You can move the patches around to your convenience.

If you tap on a patch, the iPad will send that sound to your synthesizer. You could create a scene with all the patches you need for a live performance, and simply use Synth Patch Morpher to quickly switch between patches for example.

Press the "Scenes" button to save the scene you have just created. You can rename the scene to something descriptive.

Similarly once your synthesizer is connected, you can load existing scenes and recall previous configurations.

To delete a scene, select it in the list and swipe to the left: a red "delete" button will appear. Beware: this operation cannot be undone!

Laying out your patches

Version 2 of Patch Morpher introduces a few extra icons to make your life easier - and your scenes look prettier.

There are now 3 automatic layout options to arrange your patches in a grid, an oval, or around the edges of the screen (useful so you can see what you’re doing!).

There’s also a padlock to lock the patches in place, so nothing moves whilst you’re playing or creating new sounds.


Generating New Sounds

Move the silver wheel around the screen to create new sounds.

You'll see lines going from the puck to the various patches, this shows which patches are being used to create the new sound. The closer you are to a given patch, the more the sound produced will influenced by that patch.

Tip: You can also set the wheel to bounce around the screen all by itself: simply "kick" it, starting a little behind the puck (not on it!), drag and let go. Tap anywhere in the screen background to stop the animation.

Layer AB

By default Patch Morpher modifies the two layers of a stacked or split patch simultaneously, but you can get finer control by tapping the layers icon. You will then have two independent wheels, one for layer A and one for layer B. This is a very useful feature for the KingKorg, Prophet 12 & Prophet 08 allowing you to quickly make interesting combined patches: Synth + Pad type sounds for example.

Patch Morpher with two cogs to indendently control layers A & B.

Detailed Editing

A major new feature in Patch Morpher 2.0 is the ability to independently morph groups of parameters.

Press the “Detail” icon to enter this mode, you will now have a mini-wheel of each group of parameters you’ve selected for editing.

This gives you a lot more control over the sound produced: you can modify just the pitch, or envelopes, or filter settings, to obtain the type of sound you’re looking for.

Press the “All” button to return to the normal bulk-edit mode.

If you have enabled random mutations, the dice icon will appear, and it too can randomise only the selected parameter group. In the example above, the “Filter” parameters have been selected, pressing the dice will only randomise those parameters.

Press the screen background if you want to select all parameters - the dice will then display “All” and tapping the dice icond will generate new random parameters for all groups.


Generator Settings

Press the "Patch Generator" button to configure how patches are combined to create new sounds:

"Morph" allows you to smoothly transition from one patch to another. This is the simplest way of generating new sounds and the most predictable - a good place to start if you are using this application for the first time.

"Splice" randomly combines elements of the different patches to create a new sound, a little like in genetics, your sound will inherit parameters from the patches the wheel is currently connected to.

“Nearest” copies the parameters from the nearest patch on the screen - this is very useful when combined with the “Detail” editing mode previously mentionned as it allows you to pick & mix groups of parameters from each patch.


When Morphing & Splicing are not enough, you can add further randomness to the parameters being tweaked:

- Conservative: a small amount of randomness will be injected, hopefully well within the range of "normal" sounds, based on the patches you've loaded.

- Sensible: this will introduce a larger amount of randomness, but still within the boundaries of what might be considered "sensible".

- Totally Wild: pure random numbers are used and anything might happen.

- Polariser: this generates extreme variations, randomly setting the parameters to their minimum or maximum values, and allows you to explore the full realm of sounds your synth can produce. However, similarly to Wild, it is highly possible that you will get unsuable configurations that might not even produce any sound! (this typically happens if the pitch & filter settings are not matched).

In all cases, the intensity of the random effect is controlled by the distance between the puck and the patches. The closer you are to a patch, the smaller the random effect, but if you are far away you will have a nearly totally random sound (within the limits above).

Tip: Tap the dice icon to generate a new set of random numbers, and a new patch will be sent to your synth.

Parameter Groups

Synth Patch Morpher is intimately aware of all your synth's parameters (so you don't need to read the 100-page manual!). The parameters have been organised into meaningful groups and appear in the left menu bar. Tapping one of these groups will either enable or disable changes to this set of parameters. For example: if you switch off "Pitch", the patch generator will not touch any of the parameters relating to pitch (generally a good thing unless you want really stochastic music).

The "Reference Patch": you'll notice that one of the patches has a star on it, this is your "base" or "reference patch" from which all mutations start. Tap a given patch to set it as the reference patch, any groups that are disabled will use the settings from this base patch instead. This is very useful feature allowing you to control what changes and what remains constant. For example, if you start from a Piano patch, and disable the Envelopes, all the sounds you generate should be usable "Keys" type sounds with short attacks & releases and a slow decay.

The parameter groups are as follows:

Voicing: these parameters control high-level aspects of the sound, whether it users one or two layers, whether unison is enabled. Typically disable this if you want to preserve the settings from your starting "reference" patch.

Pitch: covers all the parameters relating to the frequency of the sound produced. This includes parameters such as Fine Tuning, but also AM & FM. Typically you would disable this group as otherwise you will get mostly unusable results (or really special effects!). See the "Advanced Settings" however for more options.

Tone: these parameters control the tone of the sound produced, the raw harmonic content of the oscillators. Typically you will want to enable this group as that is where the most interesting tonal changes will come from.

Filter: these are all the parameters related to your synthesiser's filter, including cut-off and resonance. Typically enable this group.

Envelopes: these are all the parameters linked to the Amplitued & Filter envelopes as well as any additional auxilliary envelopes. Enable or disable as you see fit depending on what you want to do.

Character: this section is unique to the Prophet 12 and further modifies the timbre of the sound.

LFOs: this section controls the low-frequency oscillators used to make the sound evolve over time.

Delays & Effects: these group the parameters that control the reverb, flanging, chorus, phases, digital delays & other effects on your synthesiser.

Mod. Matrix: the modulation matrix is at the heart of your synthesisers' expressivity, it allows signals to be routed from arbitrary sources to destinations. Read the Advanced Settings section to learn how to make good use of this. 

Vocoder, Arpeggiator & Sequencer: these groups control all the parameters linked to these functions on your synthesiser (as applicable), they are interesting to turn on or off depending on what you want to achieve.


Saving & Loading Patches

Once you've created a sound you really like and want to keep you have two options for saving it:

Press "Send Patch" to generate a random name for the sound, and send it to the synthesiser. You can then save the patch in your synthesiser's memory to a free slot, or overwrite a patch you don't need. Patch Morpher allows you to create lots of good usable patches so you'll quickly run out of free slots on your synth! When that happens...

Press "Patches" to generate a random name and save the patch to your iPad.

If you don't like the randomly generated name, type in your own patch name, or press "Random" to generate another. Press "Save" to save the patch to your iPad.

Simply click on a patch in the list to audition it - the patch will be sent to your synthesiser. Use the "Previous" & "Next" buttons to try the preceding & next patches. Once you've found the patch you need, press "Add" to add it to the current scene. You can then use it as a new source for patch generation!

Swipe from right to left on a patch to bring up the "Delete" button and delete a patch from your iPad. Warning: this operation cannot be undone.


The Full Editor

Press "Editor" to bring up the full patch editor. This allows you make fine tweaks to the generated sounds, or manually create your own patches by tweaking the knobs & sliders. It's also a useful tool to find out what's going on.

The buttons on the left hand side allow you to quickly scroll between the different parameter panels.

Tip: Double tap on a knob or slider to set it to its minimum, mid or maximum value.

Tip: Sliding up & down quickly changes the parameter's value, whilst sliding left & right allows you to make fine adjumstents. (Don't try to twist or rotate the knobs!!).


Press "Return to Scene" to go back to the Scene mode, alternatively save your patch using the "Send Patch" or "Patches" buttons.


Step Recording Sequencer Tracks

A new user-requested feature in version 2: the ability to step-record sequencers by playing the keyboard.

Simply press the “Step Record” button and then play your keyboard (or use the on-screen keyboard) to enter notes or values into the sequencer track. Typically you would have routed the sequencer track to “Osc. Frequency” - but even if you haven’t, this can be  a useful way of quickly entering values to modulate other parameters, such as the Filter Cut-Off for example.

Tip: A fun trick on the Mopho is to route one sequencer track to Osc. 1 Frequency, and another track to Osc. 2 Frequency, allowing you to create polyphonic phrases.


Settings

This pop-up menu allows you to configure the application.

- Which synthesiser you are connected to: it may be useful to set this explicitly if you’re working in “Midi Thru” mode for example (more info below).

- MIDI Settings: enable “Midi Thru”, change the MIDI channel - which may be required for some synths where this isn’t automatically detected, and enable/disable MIDI destinations - this is useful to avoid spamming your MIDI-over-WiFi network for example.

- The "Synth Licenses" button allows you to purchase licenses for each of the synthesizers you want to work with and unlock the Patch Morpher's full functionality.

- The “Help & Support” section takes you to this page, and you also have an option to disable help tips.

- How many octaves the keyboard should display: press this repetedly to cycle from 2 to 8 octaves. 2 or 3 octaves are generally playable on your iPad which is useful when using a sound module that has no keyboard. Higher ranges are usful for monitoring MIDI traffic.

- Look & Feel: a number of “skins” are provided to match each synthesiser, and some more, but there’s nothing stopping you from picking a different skin if it suits your needs better.

The application settings are automatically saved when you close the menu.









MIDI Thru - if using a MIDI Interface

If you are using a synth module with no keyboard, such as the Shruthi-1, the DSI Mophp or the Prophet 08 module, you will need to use both the input & output ports of the MIDI interface in order to successfully connect Synth Patch Morpher. This means you cannot connect a keyboard controller at the same time. A small on-screen keyboard it provided for this case.

However, once you have loaded the patches you want to use as source material to your iPad, you can then connect a MIDI controller keyboard to the iPad, enable the "MIDI Thru" setting, and use the controller keyboard to play the synthesiser module and simultaneously use Patch Morpher to generate new sounds.

1- Initial Set-up: use this to upload sounds from the synth module ot Patch Morpher, using the mini-keyboard on-screen to play the synth.

2- Performance set-up: connect the MIDI Out of the controller keyboard to the MIDI In of the iPad and enable MIDI Thru. This allows you to play the synth module using the keyboard controller - however you cannot upload any more patches from the synth module to the iPad (just switch back if you need to do so).

Important: Make sure the MIDI channel of your keyboard matches that of the target synthesiser!

Important: Make sure MIDI Thru is disabled if you are connecting a synth that has its own keyboard, or you will halve the polyphony of your synth as every key pressed is sent back to it!

This is a very useful set-up and highly recommended for working with synthesiser modules.


Advanced Sound Generator Settings

There are further advanced settings to some of the parameter groups: simply press & hold one of the buttons on the left hand menu and an additional pop-up menu will appear:

- Pitch: this section allows you to control what happens if you enable mutations of the Pitch parameters. This is quite critical otherwise you will generate wild pitch variations which may not be your intention. Most important is to limit the oscillators to only using Octaves. If you're feeling adventurous you can enable Fifths & Thirds. The "Detune" parameter enables morphing of Fine-Tuning, "Analog Slop" and Unison Detune parameters. The AM & FM buttons enable these modulations. These settings should allow you to still obtain usable results as opposed to random noise.

- Timbre: this allows you to restrict which wave types can be used. Analog wave forms, Digital single-cycle waves, Noise and Samples may all be individually turned on or off. This can be useful to limit the KingKorg or the Prophet 12 to only using "Analog" oscillators or alternatively to find out what sounds you can make from purely Digital wave shapes.

- Mod. Matrix: the pop-up menu here gives you fine control over which modulation sources & destinations you want to use. For example you might want to disable any pitch modulations as these can produce crazy results if you're using the "Wild" random setting.


Converting sounds from the Prophet 08 to the Prophet 12

Patch Morpher is able to assist in automatically converting patches from the Prophet 08 to the Prophet 12. The results will not be 100% identical (see below) but it should save you a lot of time if you do need to convert patches and provide you with fresh starting points for creating new sounds.

To import sounds, first connect to the Prophet 08 and create a scene containing the patches you want to convert.

Then connect your iPad to a Prophet 12 - a screen will pop-up offering to convert the patches. Alternatively press the "Prophet 08" button in the "Scene Manager" and import the scene there.

The patches will then be automatically converted to the Prophet 12.

The results are not 100% identical as although similar, the synths architectures are somewhat different:

  • The Prophet 12 does not have the 4-track Sequencer found on the Prophet 08 - so clearly patches that are highly dependent on the sequencer will not be converted successfully.
  • Envelope times may differ slightly.
  • Not all Mod Matrix destinations can be converted.
  • The Prophet 08's Audio Mod parameter is emulated using the Mod. Matrix on the P12, sending the output of each oscillator to the filter cut-off.


Important Compatibility Notes:

Synth Patch Morpher uses Apple's Core MIDI technology and should therefore be compatible with all supported third party connectors. However: Synth Patch Morpher uses System Exclusive Messages so unfortunately the Alesis IO Dock is not compatible.

If you are using a USB connector for the Prophet 12, do update the Operating System beforehand. Alternatively if you are experiencing trouble connecting, simply toggle the connection type to MIDI and then back to USB in the Global Settings on the Prophet 12. It should then work flawlessly.

P12MidiSettings

Prophet 08: I had a very first edition of the Prophet 08 synth module (no keyboard) and experienced problems editing Layer B which all went away once I updated the operating sytem to the latest version.

© JazzMan Ltd 2015