25.4.2016 by MC Turner

Calling all button pushers, knob twiddlers, synth junkies, midi maniacs, and sequencer surfers- there’s a new bite-sized king of patch in town.

Patchblocks was back at Musikmesse this year and showed that they have certainly evolved a lot since their colorful little blocks caught our eye at Musikmesse 2015, in both product and presentation.

Patchblocks are a fairly open source modular synthesizer and signal processing system designed to put the software in your hands and at your fingertips. Their portable, sleek design makes them extremely versatile in their uses, while the in-depth software provides for virtually endless patch combinations. They have an active community of “patchers” that are constantly expanding the sound repertoire, and pushing the envelop for musical tech-heads everywhere. It’s more than a synth, more than a sequencer. As Sebastian at Patchblocks put it: “We provide you with an empty canvas, your imagination fills it.”

Explaining patchblocks to a friend who asked me to compare them to something else because he is a complete layman when it comes to music technology, I told him that they are basically the ninja star of the digital music world. Small, portable, concealable, but equally as deadly as anything on the market.

Since 2015, they have upgraded and simplified their software, making it easy for anyone to learn and connect with other patchers. Also, at Musikmesse this year they had a new product that is yet unreleased, which we had the pleasure of testing out early- the Patchblock keyboard. It uses the same concise design and knobby little buttons, making it as quirky as it is useful. I’m confident that this keyboard will make Patchblocks the new thing in synth for sure, eliminating a lame looking midi keyboard that previously sat on stage with us.

Take a peak at the keyboard first hand in this Bbop exclusive from Musikmesse 2016 Frankfurt: