Chromaphone 3 Unified
I have Unified the 421 Factory patches.
I need to check whether AAS are happy for the Unified library to be shared but obviously you would need to own Chromaphone 3 and Unify to use them.
You're on fire, Jeremy! Thank you.
John and I met the president of AAS last year at NAMM, and I'd be very surprised if he had any concerns about Unified libraries. I'll email him myself to seek his response.
I made a start on an "AAS combinations" patch library, using various combinations of the plug-ins in their Modeling Collection, in some cases adding Guru Sampler and/or other resources available in the Unify Standard Library. It would be terrific if other AAS users could help expand this into a more complete bonus library; I just don't have time.
Thanks Shane! It sounds like it should be Ok with your AAS company connections but I will await your response.
Incidentally, while trying to Unify Chromaphone 3 I found that it stores its patches in a format that wasn't so easy to read from AutoHotKey. So I emailed Eric at AAS Support who was kind enough to provide a text version of it. However, it was still too complicated for my AutoHotKey script to use so I brushed off some of my old Excel VBA and was able to convert it to something that my scripts could read (a list of patch names sorted by name/category). This could come in handy for converting some of their other libraries! I have Chromaphone 3, Ultra Analog VA-3, Strum GS-2 and the Session version of Lounge Lizard plus a whole bunch of their Sound Packs which are great.
It's interesting that you made a start on an "AAS Combinations" library. One of the first things I started Unifying was the free AAS Player as I thought that everyone could use that, but I didn't have time to complete it manually. I also started playing with patch combinations and they are certainly great for that! Maybe I could focus on Unifying these libraries next?
Also, I have asked Arturia support for a text list of their Analog Lab V factory bank (7455 patches) as I think a similar method could be used to Unify all of those.
I still don't understand how the Free AAS Player works. The patch format seems to be completely different from that of the plug-ins themselves. I will ask AAS about this.
Unifying Analog Lab would be fabulous; it's such an amazing collection of sounds, and Arturia practically gives it away. I made a start on an Arturia V Collection library, too.
Shane, just checking...
If I Unified AL V, would it be OK to map AL V: Name, Type and Instrument to Unify: Patch Name, Category and Tags?
Would that give you and John enough to work with to get the patches how you want them? Or would there be a better alternative?
See attached example.
I have a custom program here which I call "Library Renamer", because that's what it started out as, but lately it has morphed into a Swiss Army Knife tool for modifying .unify files. Not easy to use--I have to modify the code each time I run it--but a useful tool nonetheless.
What I've done with your recent Unified libraries is to create a lookup table which maps unique values of the "category" attribute to short strings I prepend to the patch-name (e.g. for U-He Diva, "Dreamy, Synth" maps to "PAD - "), and then each patch is re-saved with the new patch-name as the .unify file name. This approach works, but it eats up a lot of time, not only in modifying and running the program, but also for John and I to discuss in advance and define the lookup table.
What would be ideal is if you could incorporate a similar table into your system, so patches could get created with the right names in the first place.
I'm working with John to try to get him to write down a basic set of rules for how he chooses standard patch-name presets like PAD, KEY, etc.
That tool sounds perfect! Yes, a standardised set of categories would be useful.
I'm aware that I might sometimes categorise something as PAD and other times PADS for example. Sometimes it depends on the category names used by the 3rd party developer e.g. Zebra with Lupins and Perkers etc! I thought that folk might not want to lose the mapping to the developer's category which is why I was trying to save those in Tags. I don't know how useful that is on reflection though.
It's still tricky to come up with standard category names when every developer has their own ideas on how to categorise their patches. I started trying to put BPM in any patch that had some kind of rhythmic element such as ARP, Sequences etc but then it starts to become a manual process again as these type of patches are not always stored under categories where you might expect to find them.
I like your idea of copying original patch's text attributes into the category and/or tags fields for the Unified patch. Note Unify itself may modify the text slightly as it builds the patch database, due to it's "scrubbing rules"; see https://pluginguru.net/unify/manual/doku.php?id=scrub. These are mostly about standardizing spelling, capitalization, and singular/plural for common terms.
You're absolutely right that every developer has their own ideas about categorization (and many don't bother), so adapting these to a standard scheme is one area where we can add pragmatic value when making Unified libraries.
Thanks Shane. Yes I noticed the scrubbing rules coming into effect with a couple of the libraries I Unified.
Cool idea to standardise the categorization among different plugins. Should make finding the patches you are looking for much easier.
By the way, John mentioned not including the Company name in the library name but I had already started Unifying Hive 2 with the wrong name at this point. So my Unified version is called "Unified - U-He Hive 2". I assume this is OK as your Utility will be able to rename the library? Anything after Hive 2 I am naming correctly e.g. Unified - Chromaphone 3.
Yes, I can fix the library name easily. Over time, I hope to work with you to standardize the approach, and also get you versions of some of the software tools I use so you can do more and more on your own.
Many thanks for doing this. I know these patches are processor heavy. Does anyone else have the same experience as me? - I can just about get away with playing most of them, but just touching the pitch bend wheel destroys them!
Jeremy I think you mentioned on a live stream that you would make a YT video of doing the Unifying? Any news on that?
To prepare the unified Chromaphone 3 library for release, John asked me to look into renaming the patches with appropriate category prefixes. I was able to do this automatically in code, by extracting the appropriate AAS category-name from each patch and using a lookup table to convert their category-names to our prefixes.
This kind of thing is not always possible, because some plug-ins save their state in a format that is difficult or impossible to interpret, but the AAS plug-ins use a format which is easy to parse.
Even though it is possible to do this kind of thing as a post-process, it eats up quite a bit of time, so it's always best to capture as much valuable data as possible while actually creating the unified patches in the first place.
Thanks Robert. It was a while ago that I originally Unified Chromaphone 3 and John/Shane has improved on what I sent him quite a bit.
I find that one or two Unify layered Chromaphone patches play fine when using the pitch bend/mod wheel but any more than that and I start to get crackles but it depends on the patch. I currently have a 6 core/12 thread AMD processor (3600) although I have (at last) now managed to get hold of an 8 core/16 thread one to replace it (5800x) which should improve things.
I held back on making the video as my process has been changing quite a bit, now relying on automation just to get the patches into Unify and then other utilities (from Shane and Thomas) to complete the process in batches. I also recently purchased an Ultrawide monitor so it's easiest for me to record a video at it's native resolution (3440 x 1440) which means, for most people's consumption, I have to keep resizing to 1080p to screen record what I'm doing. I also changed a lot of the scripts to work on my new screen which means the coordinates don't work when I resize to 1080p.
The main forum thread where automation is discussed is here -->
If there's something specific there that I can help with let me know or just post a question in that thread.
I have been playing with Chromaphone 3 a bit more and the crackles only seem to happen on certain patches when pitch bending e.g. BELL - Tonal Grains (also happens with Chromaphone 3 standalone). I checked my CPU and it was running at 10% utilisation at this point with no spikes on any thread when the crackles occurred, so the crackling appears to not be related to CPU overload.
I'm running Chromaphone v3.1 which seems to be the latest version.
I emailed AAS about the crackling and they have just put out a new update for a lot of their plugins, including Chromaphone 3.
Chromaphone 3 is now at v3.1.1 and the crackling on pitch bend seems to have been solved. I haven't tried every patch but the ones that crackled for me before no longer crackle.
So try updating and see how it is for you.
Thanks - yes got the notification of this today so will give it a go.
Where can I find this 471 patch set for Chromaphone?