OS X El Capitan Up and Running

OS-X-El-CapitanThe latest version of Mac OS X, “El Capitan” is up and running at Blue Cat Audio.

So far, so good, all plug-ins and standalone application are running smoothly, without a glitch (including Audio Units in Logic Pro X).

While the update is probably not recommended for all (check that you host applications and audio interface drivers are compatible for example), your Blue Cat Audio plug-ins should not be a problem!

What about you? Have you migrated yet? What’s the story so far?

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Using Blue Cat’s PatchWork Host Application in 32-bit Mode on Mac


On Mac, Blue Cat’s PatchWork standalone host application will run by default in 64-bit mode. This lets the application access as much memory as possible and load 64-bit plug-ins. However, some legacy plug-ins are available only as 32-bit binaries.

In order to use these plug-ins, you can either use a third party bridging application such as SoundRadix’s 32Lives, or simply run the application in 32-bit mode. You will however not be able to load 64-bit plug-ins anymore.

How can I switch to 32-bit mode?

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Blue Cat’s PatchWork Standalone: What Can It Do for You?

Blue Cat's PatchWork Host ApplicationSince the release of Blue Cat’s PatchWork 1.6 yesterday, we have been asked a couple of times what it is possible to do with the standalone version of the software.

So here is a brief overview and a few ideas about how Blue Cat’s PatchWork standalone host can be used! This is of course not exhaustive, so feel free to comment this post and tell us how YOU use it! Continue reading

Blue Cat’s PatchWork Standalone Host Application

Blue Cat's PatchWork Host ApplicationWith version 1.6, Blue Cat’s PatchWork is now available both as a plug-in and a standalone application: it can be used on its own, without the need for a third party host application.

This is probably the fastest and lightest way to quickly load and use your audio plug-ins: no need to launch a full-featured and heavy sequencer application to load and control multiple virtual instruments, or to play your guitar thru your favorite audio effects.

The application supports real time low latency audio processing (up to 8 channels) and listens to all available MIDI ports. You can load up to 64 VST or Audio Unit plug-ins (effects or virtual instruments), in series or parallel.

Audio / MIDI Prefs

It is also possible to mix the audio inputs with virtual instruments, so that you can work both inside and outside the box at the same time. And you can choose the tempo and time signature to synchronize instruments and effects loaded into the application.

Blue cat's PatchWork 1.6


Using MIDI FX in Pro Tools

Did you know that you can use AAX plug-ins as MIDI Effects in Pro Tools? AAX plug-ins can receive MIDI events, modify them, and send them to another plug-in. Yes, it’s possible!

MIDI Routing

As an example, let’s see how to apply a simple MIDI effect on incoming MIDI events to control a virtual instrument. We are using here Blue Cat’s Plug’n Script, a plug-in that lets you write your own audio and MIDI scripts, for both the MIDI effects and the virtual instrument:

Pro Tools MFX - Routing

  1. Create an Instrument track with the virtual instrument that will receive MIDI events
  2. Add the MIDI effect on the same instrument track (in a slot before the virtual instrument)
  3. Create a MIDI track to route events from the MIDI input to the MIDI effect.
  4. Create a MIDI track to route events from the MIDI effect to the virtual instrument
  5. Arm both tracks for recording
  6. Play!

Playback Setup

Using the setup above, you can play “live” the instrument and record the performance on the MIDI track. Once this has all been recorded, an extra step is required before playback, because events will have been recorded twice (the original MIDI events on the first track, and the MIDI events after the MIDI FX on the other track):

  1. Remove MIDI events that have been recorded on the second MIDI track (events transformed by the MIDI effect).
  2. The first MIDI track does not need to be armed for recording (it will just play recorded MIDI events), but the second track that route events from the effect to the virtual synth has to, so that Pro Tools actually routes the events.
  3. Hit play: the MIDI effect is applied to recorded MIDI events and control the synth!

Pro Tools MFX - Playback



As you may have understood, if you want to use many MIDI effects at a time, making connections and enabling/disabling monitoring with all these additional MIDI tracks can become frustrating. So if you want to make things simpler, you may want to do all MIDI routing inside Blue Cat’s PatchWork. This does not limit you to VST or Audio Unit virtual instruments, since the PatchWork plug-in lets you route MIDI events to its own AAX MIDI output, but you should be able to use just a single MIDI track instead of many, if you want to chain MIDI effects.

Blue Cat's PatchWork 1.4

Easy MIDI Routing and Filtering with Blue Cat’s PatchWork

Multiband VST Instruments Hosting? Not a Bad Idea After All!

Even though it was not designed for such purposes, Blue Cat’s MB-7 Mixer v2 has been heavily used to host VST virtual instruments (VSTi) in applications that do not support them (Pro Tools, Logic, …), in broadband mode (no band splitting active).

But what about using the multiband capabilities of the plug-in? Our first thought was “multiband instrument hosting has not been defined yet, and… It’s not likely to be defined in the near future!” But after thinking more about it and experimenting a bit, we have found a good opportunity here for sound replacement and enhancement scenarios:

Blue Cat's MB-7 Mixer 2 Hosting Session Drummer 3 inside Sonar, to replace the lower frequencies of the kick

Blue Cat’s MB-7 Mixer 2 Hosting Session Drummer inside Cakewalk Sonar, to replace the lower frequencies of the kick

When hosting a VSTi on a frequency band, this band gets muted automatically (instruments replace the content of the band with their own sound). So it is very easy to mute part of the spectrum and replace it with the instrument of your choice!

For example, we have been using this to replace part of the the kick drum on a pre-mixed drums track in Cakewalk’s Sonar: in a two bands setup, Session Drummer 3 has been inserted in the first band, playing a kick sequence (close to the original track). The low end of the original kick disappears, and the new kick sequence is now blended with the drums track. This opens up lots of possibilities!

You can also precisely choose how this new instrument replaces the existing sound by adjusting the slopes of the crossovers. With smaller slopes, the original sound will be blended with the new one, whereas with larger slopes, it will be fully replaced.

Oh, by the way… In this example, we have been using the new tempo syncing feature we are working on, so that the Session Drummer sequences are perfectly in sync with the project. And it works perfectly, if your drummer was in sync too… :-).

Stay tuned and check our website for updates! Coming soon on www.bluecataudio.com…!

Logic Pro X is Out, Fully Compatible with Blue Cat Audio’s 64-bit Audio Units

Blue Cat Audio Plug-ins in Logic Pro X

Blue Cat Audio Plug-ins in Logic Pro X

In case you haven’t noticed yet, Apple has finally released the long-awaited v10 of Logic Pro this week!

As you could expect, all Blue Cat Audio plug-ins are compatible with the new Logic Pro X, in 64-bit Audio Unit format.

Enjoy, and give us your opinion about this new version of Logic on facebook or our forum!


All Plug-Ins Now Available for Pro Tools 11, and On Sale!

Additional Blue Cat Audio Plug-ins in PT11As promised in this post, all our plug-ins and bundles are now available in 64-bit AAX versions for Pro Tools 11, on both Windows and Mac!

To celebrate the event, we are launching a special summer sale on the entire catalog15% off all plug-ins and 10% off all bundles until the end of July! Pro Tools 11 user or not, don’t miss it!

As usual, this update is entirely free for registered customers, and 64-bit AAX, 32-bit AAX and RTAS versions of the 21 plug-ins are all fully compatible, so that you can switch between Pro Tools versions without having to worry about your Blue Cat Audio plug-ins.

We have also updated our AAX format page to reflect these changes. Enjoy!

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