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How to create Unified Libraries (Patchlists) from plugins not "Unified" yet.


art2ro
(@art2ro)
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Hello, is it documented anywhere, how to integrate a patchlist from a not yet "Unified" plugin, into the Unify browser, like for example Absynth's factory patchlist? Or maybe a command that will batch convert the list of presets into Unify format? Thanks in advance!


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getdunne
(@getdunne)
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There isn't one simple, "official" way to do this. Unify users have been experimenting with various ways to automate the process (@thsve, @zinct, @craigr68 perhaps you can comment here?), and we're working on a few approaches ourselves.

Mostly, though, it's a simple manual process in Unify:

  1. Set up a basic patch with one INST layer containing the plug-in you want to unify.
  2. Open the plug-in's GUI window, and select the first factory preset.
  3. Hit "save" in Unify, fill in the patch name (preferably using standard prefixes like BPM, STR, KEY, etc.) and other details, then Save As.
  4. Select the next preset in the plug-in.
  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 till you're done.

There's a whole section of the Forum about this now: https://forums.pluginguru.com/unified-libs/


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craigr68
(@craigr68)
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In post https://forums.pluginguru.com/unify-live/autohotkey-unify-patch-browser/#post-7179, the three of us shared some example Autohotkey scripts that automate the process. Basically, Autohotkey has a command MouseClick that does the automated clicking. The trick is to tell it precisely when and where to click. These scripts are quite simple and basic programming, although Autohotkey familiarity helps. This is probably a good example to learn Autohotkey.

The basic steps are:
1. Open Unify and the particular plugin. The script will later position those windows for precise clicking.
2. Open the first patch in the plugin
3. Get the name of the first patch. There were 2 ways to do this: (Method A is best if possible)
    A. Method A - Get the file name from the plugin's presets folder (example C:\Program Files (x86)\AIR Music Technology\Xpand\Presets)
(Our scripts actually prompt for the preset folder.) Autohotkey has a command Loop, Files that does this (see attached script).
    B. Method B - some plugins store their patches in a database. For that, we click on Save As and use Send command for copy & paste.
4. Then we position on the layer name and paste that name in. Then we click on Unify's Save and paste the name and make sure the library name is set correctly, then MouseClick Save.
5. Then we move the mouse back to the plugin, advance to the next preset, and loop back to step 3.

I attached an example script UnifyXpand.ahk. You just need the free download Autohotkey installed. Scripts are just text files that can be edited in your favorite text editor. Double clicking on the script name should make it run because ahk files are associated with Autohotkey. There are comments thru out the script to see step by step what it's doing. So that was an overly brief description of the process. The devil is in the details - usually the bigger hassle is getting the mouse positions correct. When you run the script, you should have a tray icon. Right click on it, and choose Window Spy (click Follow Mouse is helpful). It will show you what the coordinates are for anything on the screen. Insert pause commands for troubleshooting to a certain point. Insert msgbox commands to display variable values.


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JeremyH
(@zinct)
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@art2ro 

@craigr68 has provided a great summary if you want to automate the process of Unification.

The link to the AutoHotKey discussion is also a useful resource and, although it is 3 pages long, things evolved a lot from page 1 to page 3 so worth reading all of it (maybe some bedtime reading 😀). 

For each of the libraries that I Unified e.g. the U-He ones, I created a unique AutoHotkey script but each one was 95% the same as the previous one with only things like the co-ordinates of the "next patch" button changing or the location of the patch folder.

Also, to expand a bit and partly re-iterate on the methods mentioned above...

A. Some store their patches neatly in disk folders so these can be read by the script to name the Unified patches. e.g. U-He. Despite this sometimes the patches sequence in the plugin in a different order than the folder listing e.g. Matrix One might come before Matrix in the plugin and the other way around in the folder listing. This causes incorrectly names Unified patches which have to be fixed manually. Something I watched for and corrected manually when Unifying the libraries I did.

B. Some don't store their patches on disk in an easy to read format (e.g. Oberhausen). For these you can often extract the patch names from the plugin screen as you sequence through them in the script (see the thread above). This will also avoid the incorrect sequencing issue mentioned above because you are extracting the patch name from the plugin screen so it will always be correct.

C. If 1 or 2 doesn't work it can sometimes help to contact support for the plugin to provide a textual list of patches which you can then read in the script. I did this for Chromaphone 3; actually the file that AAS provided needed further processing before I used it in the script but still it was better that than doing the whole thing manually. 

I would always do the automation in batches where each batch was for a particular category e.g. BPM BASS or PAD.

This post was modified 10 months ago 7 times by JeremyH

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craigr68
(@craigr68)
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Hey Jeremy, thanks for the extra info.  I'm glad this question came up because I don't think we ever discussed much about the overall process in that lengthy original thread.  And it would be nice to have others, who may have other synths to join in the fun.  I shiver to think about doing this process manually.  If anyone has questions or other ideas, please weigh in.  And credit to both Jeremy and @thsve since they created and improved the scripts.

This post was modified 10 months ago 3 times by craigr68

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getdunne
(@getdunne)
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@art2ro, @zinct, @craigr68

Please continue this discussion in the "Making Unified patch libraries" section of the Forum: https://forums.pluginguru.com/unified-libs/.


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art2ro
(@art2ro)
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Thank you, thank you, getdunne, craigr68, and JeremyH, for the wonderful and detailed response!! Some of this procedures need some sort of more direct explanation, I would say with shorter, and more dedicated, focused videos. Even though I've watched several of Skippy's videos, it can become overwhelming, trying to remember in which one he mentioned this or that procedure, and then go thru the timeline, trying to find that particular section. I mean, don't get me wrong, I truly appreciate the huge amount of information that's given, plus the amazing advancements on a weekly basis… never seen a company running at this light-speed!! But I wish, it would be a little easier to find bits and pieces of knowledge about this amazing piece of software. Fortunately, there are a bunch of guys like you, who are on board, along with others, willing to help users get the most out of Unify… a true blessing, Cheers!!


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getdunne
(@getdunne)
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Posted by: @art2ro

Some of this procedures need some sort of more direct explanation, I would say with shorter, and more dedicated, focused videos.

These are highly experimental techniques that few people will even attempt. Not really fit material for typical "how to" videos.


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art2ro
(@art2ro)
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getdunne, sorry if I didn't explained myself better, my bad. I wasn't referring to the experimental techniques described here, but to the more general programing tips for operating Unify functions, like opening presets, opening as layers, assigning modulation sources with specified ranges to knobs, multiple modulation on the same knob, saving your creations as a whole or as layers, creating a correct folder structure, etc. There's a lot of this stuff that has been shown and explained several times, but it is deep inside god knows which videos… And even though it is amazing to watch Skippy program at light-speed on the fly, and layer, split, modulate, and assign stuff, we're not all at that level, and some may even get scared to jump on the Unify wagon, just because of the speed and the amount of information, that we can get bombarded with at any given time.


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getdunne
(@getdunne)
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@art2ro

Yes, I hear you! It's a major challenge, because Unify has many features, good videos take a lot of time to create, and our resources are limited.

Have a look at this YouTube playlist, which continues to grow thanks to our distribution partners ILIO: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSvTIPUKxgzeJcdAEqd1IxOEBTwHcNxV7


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art2ro
(@art2ro)
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@getdunne

Thank you, I'll be checking these videos, plus the other ones on tips! And also, thank you for the amazing work you're doing, keeping up with mad man's ideas (Skippy!!) LOL!!


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