Ways of memorizing patches

Hi community,

I was wondering how everybody memorizes modular patches.
Do you use just your own memory? Do you use photos?
Or maybe your very own way of writing down all the cabling?

Some days ago, I stumbled upon patchbook, which can be downloaded from github.
It seems to be quite promising.

Is anybody using this? Any thoughts?

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In my experience of modulars, any attempt to recall a patch will nearly always be futile.
My rig doesn’t even sound the same when I turn it on the next day and left all the patch cables/knobs/buttons/sliders/switches untouched.

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It’s a rather commun question that pop up regurlalry when talking about modular synth but there is no ONE reply in fact. I personnaly tried a lot of different technics through the years (pictures, modulargrid patching function, listing in/out in a word file, record the patch into a DAW and add some notes etc.) and i think what was the best was to remember my patch idea. Not the patch itself, but the idea behind it. You certainly will never come back to exactly the same patch (but you won’t anyway, even with a 200e Buchla) but you’ll get in the same territory.

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when i first started i made notes as i went along, module-by-module, where outputs where connecting.

i realized that i generally build one patch and work with it for a while (months), making small patching changes as i go along, so notating all of these iterations wasn’t so necessary (to my practice). i could recreate the spirit of a particular builds patch without notes. for me the intent of that would be to get back to a way of thinking musically, rather than to recreate a particular recording.

I press save. On the nord modular editor :grin:

Even if you note down the patch points there’s still some modules with menus and then there’s knob positions to note down.

I prefer to see modular as a way of creating new sounds fast. Get to know your modules and how you create certain sounds in your head and you don’t need to write down patches.

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I take a video with my iphone, making sure that I get all of the knobs from as directly overhead as I can (perspective can make the positions way off), but then I don’t have anything with a menu, except the PRIMZA, which does presets.
I can reconstruct patches pretty reliably this way, but I only have just over 84HP (and growing!). For me, it’s more about documenting a particular technique I might’ve used (“oh, that ping-y thing I did the other day… how did I do that? Let me check the vids”) than trying to recreate the entire patch.

Thing is when i try to recreate something i end up with another awesome result i think of “shiiiiet i have to remember that one too”. This happens like all day long until i finally accept that my rack is not for recreating things.

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That’s exactly my own experience from modular patching!

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I take some notes on specific parts of the patch that might be useful later, but I don’t usually try to capture the whole patch.

My style of working is generally to start from empty, start patching and tweaking until I hear something I like (sometimes from a specific idea, sometimes just guided by whim), build a song around it, get it finished, and unpatch everything in one or two sessions – so nothing stays patched for more than a few hours.