Using Blue Cat’s PatchWork to Enhance Third Party Plug-Ins

[Edit: check out the latest update of this tutorial using PatchWork V2]

You have now probably realized how you could use Blue Cat’s PatchWork to create your own effect chains and reuse them instantly in all your Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). But have you thought about simply wrapping your plug-ins to make them better?

Blue Cat’s PatchWork indeed provides many standard Blue Cat Audio features that your other third party plug-ins can benefit from!

“Wrapper” Mode

When used with a single plug-in slot, Blue Cat’s PatchWork is reduced to its minimum and lets you host a single plug-in easily. The “Wrapper” factory preset shows you how to set this up:

wrapper patchwork

DAW Compatibility

The first benefit of using Blue Cat’s PatchWork as a wrapper for your favorite plug-in is that it will become instantly compatible with most if not all Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) on the market: available in VST, Audio Unit, RTAS, AAX or DirectX formats, Blue Cat’s PatchWork can host third party plug-ins in AVID Pro Tools, Cubase, Cakewalk Sonar, Reaper, Logic Pro, Garage Band, Nuendo, Wavelab, Ableton Live,  Audacity, Bitwig Studio, Digital Performer, Final Cut, Media Composer, MainStage, Ohm Studio, Studio One, Tracktion and more…

Dry/Wet Control

The “Mix knob” available at the top right of the user interface of our plug-in lets you control how much dry (unprocessed) versus wet (processed) signal are mixed together at the output of the plug-in:

Blue Cat's PatchWork Mix Knob

So if your favorite plug-in or DAW does not provide such a capability, simply use Blue Cat’s PatchWork to add it!


With most third party plug-ins, Blue Cat’s PatchWork is able to detect settings changes and provides for these plug-ins seamless undo/redo. This feature can be enabled or disabled using the “Track Undo” menu item shown below:

track undo menu

MIDI Control

Many third party plug-ins do not have the ability to be controlled using the MIDI protocol. It is however convenient to use MIDI compatible control surfaces or other MIDI plug-ins such as Blue Cat’s Remote Control to control them. With Blue Cat’s Patchwork, you can quickly assign wrapped plug-ins parameters and control them using our standard MIDI control features:

MIDI Control - Blue Cat's PatchWork

It is even possible to customize the range and response curves for a perfect match between the controller and the plug-in.

Presets Management

Like all our plug-ins, Blue Cat’s PatchWork is bundled with a simple yet efficient presets manager. The main advantage of using this preset manager compared to the one probably provided by your host software is that it lets you use the same presets in all your DAWs, independently from the plug-in format. Also, you can store settings for each plug-in in different folders, so this can become your main repository for your favorite effects settings:

Blue Cat's PatchWork Presets Manager

It’s all shared by all DAWs, and available in a single place. Presets can even be exchanged between Mac and Windows machines (provided that you are using VST plug-ins inside PatchWork, and that your VST path is properly set in the preferences).


Input and output meters can be displayed at your convenience in Blue Cat’s PatchWork and provide useful visual feedback for plug-ins that do not have audio level meters:

Blue Cat's PatchWork Metering


Since the meters adjust automatically to the size of the plug-ins matrix, if you want more precision, you can increase their height by adding more rows (with empty slots).


Even if you are not an audio processing addict using hundreds of plug-ins on every track, Blue Cat’s PatchWork can be very helpful to expand the capabilities of a single plug-in. So if you do not already own it, go download the demo and give it a try!

3 thoughts on “Using Blue Cat’s PatchWork to Enhance Third Party Plug-Ins

  1. I love patchwork so much. The only thing I would say about this plugin is. I wish It could somehow have the plugin come in pro tools 11 in the insert without the patchwork host. that would be cool. And also have patchwork take advantage of the pro tools 11 new audio engine. Cause everytime I use this plugin the cpu meter never change in the track. It keeps its on full power of whatever plugins you use it don’t take advantage of the audio engine of pro tools 11 dynamic processing.

    1. Direct VST hosting inside Pro Tools is not allowed, so that’s not possible! About dynamic processing this is odd, as our plug-in even has its own internal dynamic processing algorithm that has been reported to work fine. If you are using synths though, there is no way for the plug-in nor Pro Tools to stop processing.

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