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DX9 Patch Manager or "The Paradox of Choice"


"The Paradox of Choice" is a phrase coined by researcher Barry Schwartz and also the title of his 2004 book. The idea is basically this: although choice is one of the defining factors of our autonomy and personal freedom, the abundance of choice has an oddly detrimental effect on our psychological and emotional wellbeing.

The reason for mentioning the above is this - one of the defining features of the DX range of synths is the abundance of patches / choice. There are literally 1000s of patches available for them and these are invariably provided online "as is" with no filtering for quality or uniqueness. So, as you download and wade through the various patch sets - you will find yourself listening to some great sounds, some dated sounds, some terrible sounds and 100s of patches that all pretty much sound the same - whether they be good, bad or indifferent.

Convert, Audition, Manage

After sifting through the originally available DX9 patches and then the later converted 4OP patches, I was suffering "patch fatigue" and wanted to create something that would allow me to:

1

Organise

Choose the patches for a DX9 "20 patch set" that can be organised, renamed and reordered

2

Convert

Automatically load any supported patchset, whether native DX9 or other   4OP synth 

3

Audition

Audition individual or multiple patches prior to creating the DX9 "20 patch set"

4

MIDI

Directly send individual and bulk patches as well as note on/off information to the DX9

DX9 Patch Manager

The DX9 Patch Manager is a Windows Application that allows you to convert and manage patches for your DX9. It has MIDI support and allows sending individual or multiple patches directly to your DX9, the binary and sources can be found on the Downloads page and in addition the source is available on GitHub. It allows you to load patches (from the DX9 or other 4OP synths) into the "Available Patches" list and then select the patches you want and move them into the "DX9 Patch Set" list. Patches can be moved up/down, renamed and sent either individual or in sets to your DX9.

Settings

The DX9 Patch Manager has a handfiul of settings accessed from the 'Settings' item in the 'File' Menu. 
"Confirm List Clears" - All list clears need to be confirmed
"Comfirm Patch Sends" - Patch sends need to be confirmed
"Confirm Removes" - Remove Patch need s to be confirmed
"Auto Select Loaded Patches" - Select patches as they are loaded
"Send MIDI Channel" - MIDI Channel patches and notes are sent on

Loading Patches

The First thing is to load some patches, these can by DX9 patches or any of the supported 4OP patch sets (DX11,21,27,100 and TX81Z).
You can eiher manually load patches (File->Load) or drag and drop files onto the "Available Patches" list on the left hand side of the applucation

Auditioning Patches

You can audition patches from either list, select the patch (or patches) you want to audition and press the "Send" button below the appropriate list. This will send the patch data over MIDI to your DX9 (you will need a USB to MIDI interface for this). If you have selected a single patch it will appear in the DX9's edit buffer, if you select 2 or more patches a bulk message will be sent and all 20 patches on your DX9 will be replaced.

Creating a Patch Set

To move patches into your DX9 patchset, either double-click them or select and click the "-->" button. Once patches are copied to the DX9 Patch List, they can be moved by selecting them and clicking the "Move Up" or "Move Down" buttons

Renaming Pathes

Each patch in the DX9 Patch Set can be renamed, either double-click the patch in the "DX9 Patch List" or highlight and click the "Rename" button. 

Saving the Patch Set

Once you've created, auditioned and named your set of patches, you can save the patches and the application will create a SYSEX file and patch name file of your creation.

Curated Patches

So, the point of all of the above is to give you an application that can be used to load up (pretty much) any 4Op DX patch, which you can send / listen to on your DX9 and then decide if it's something worth adding to a patch library, To this end, I've used the app to curate two DX9 patch sets, the first is the "Best of Converted 4OP Patches"  and the second is the "Best of DX9 Presets" and added them to the patch library available from the downloads page in the 'curated' directory. So, this is purely my own opinion, it is two sets of twenty patches that I think showcase the strengths of the DX9, from both the original patches created for it and also the patches converted back from the later 4OP synths

Origins

The Story of the DX9

Where it came from and why it failed

Worst FM Synth Ever

Is it really that bad?

How it got that label and why we believe it

Patch Conversion

From the new to the old

Applications for generating DX9 patches

The Library

The fun stuff

Collection of original and converted DX9 patches

The 4Op Algorithms

There can be only 8

The how and the why of those algorithms

Data Tape 2

The Missing Patches

Why the initial DX9 data tape patches didn't match their descriptions

Patch Manager

Creating your own DX9 library

Application for managing and converting DX9 patches

Servicing 101

Getting your DX9 up and running

Fixing the most common issues with a DX9