PatchWork vs FaderHub: Plug-Ins Hosts Showdown

With a quick look at product pages and tech specs, you may wonder first if PatchWork and Fader Hub are related in any way… And yet, they have lots of features in common..! So what?!?

Let’s see in details what makes them different or similar, and which piece of software was designed for your needs!

Main Purpose

PatchWork was initially released 10 years ago to serve as a channel strip for plug-ins and build your own plug-ins chains and share them between hosts applications and projects easily. It has evolved quite a bit over the years, but its main intent has not changed much. And while it can do much more than what it was initially designed for, some use cases (such as using it as a multi-inputs mixer) are a bit cumbersome as they require some extra steps to set things up. Initially available only as a plug-in, it is now also an standalone application that can be used to quickly load instruments and effects and play live with them, without the need for a full-featured DAW application. Thanks to built-in network audio driver support, it can also be used as an audio processing server.

The new Fader Hub software on the other hand is designed a multi-track mixer that can also load plug-ins, and has built-in peer-to-peer network audio capabilities to play with other musicians, or do collaborative mixing over a network. It was first designed as an application, although it is also available as a plug-in too. It has also built-in multitrack recording, making it an ideal tool for live recording, streaming or remote collaboration. You can also launch the app to load multiple plug-ins on multiple strips and mix multiple audio sources “live” without having to launch a resources-heavy application. It is a life-saver for podcasters and live streamers who can mix and stream multiple audio sources simultaneously while recording them in full quality.

So in a nutshell, PatchWork is designed to work with a single audio source, or multiple virtual instruments to be mixed together on a track (“channel strip” concept), whereas Fader Hub is ideal to work with multiple audio sources, either locally or remotely thru the network.

Main Features Compared

PatchWork Fader Hub
Standalone Application YES YES
Side Chain Input YES YES
Multichannel Surround Support YES NO (Stereo)
Load Third-Party Plug-ins YES YES
Available as a Virtual Instrument YES NO
Parallel Processing Chains YES YES
Select Inputs for Parallel Chains NO
(plug-ins audio I/O can do it)
Peer-to Peer Network Collaboration NO YES
Multitrack recording NO YES
Built-in Effects YES YES
(less plug-ins)
Load itself as a Plug-In (“Pluginception”) YES YES
Network Audio Server (App) YES YES
Multicore Processing YES YES
Macro Parameters with MIDI Control YES YES
Individual Plug-in Oversampling YES YES

Working Together

As you can see both tools are pretty useful when working with various audio sources and plug-ins, be it effects or virtual instruments, each one with its own purposes.

And in fact, you may actually want to use both of them together! For example. loading PatchWork as a channel strip within the Fader Hub mixer, to extend its capabilities with more built-in effects and reuse PatchWork strip presets already made for other applications:

On the other hand, instead of hacking PatchWork’s parallel chains to apply effects to individual inputs separately, you can also load Fader Hub in there too. Process up to 4 input channels separately per instance with different plug-ins and mix them back together as a stereo output! You can also bring external audio sources from the network and mix them together as a new source for PatchWork’s parallel chains.

If you want to go even further, you can add Connector to the picture and do even more advanced routings between the two… But it looks like we are opening a Pandora’s box here…!

And you, how do you use Fader Hub and PatchWork? Have you tried them together yet? Feel free to comment below or on the forum!

>discuss this topic in the forum

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