MATRIXSYNTH: Boredbrain Patchulator Pro: Experiments with Analog Drums, FM Synth, and Guitar Pedal Effects

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Boredbrain Patchulator Pro: Experiments with Analog Drums, FM Synth, and Guitar Pedal Effects

video upload by Boredbrain Music

"Three musical experiments are improvised using a static setup of instruments and effects connected to PATCHULATOR PRO, an evolution of Boredbrain’s iconic desktop and pedalboard patchbay. Thanks to our friend and electronic musician, Galen Bundy, for creating these unique demonstrations.

Patch #1 'Astroknot' features an upbeat pattern from the Arturia Drumbrute patched into the Meris Ottobit for glitch-style effects, while a dreamy bell-like vibe from the Volca FM is patched through three effects: Dr. Scientist Atmosphere Reverb, Demedash T-120 Echo, and Dr. Scientist Dusk Analog Filter. As the drums are using Patchulator Pro's dedicated instrument channel, it is then switched to an alternate effects chain consisting of the Alexander Marshmallow Pitched Octave and onto the Defender Overdrive for a tonal distorted rhythm.

Patch #2 'Mobius Strings' is a bit different. Starting with some string-like chords from the FM synth, the signal makes its way through the Mojo Swim Team Chorus, then the aforementioned Octave, Echo, and Reverb for a modulated and total washed effect. The rhythmically contrasting "spastic" drum pattern is patched out of the Drum machine and through the Defender Overdrive, the Rainger FX EchoX, the Ottobit and ultimately the Dusk filter. This creates a complimentary lo-fi tone to the somewhat ominous strings.

Patch #3 'Bored of Canada' is a down-tempo improvisation directed by a simple delayed synth melody from Volca FM. The far-out tone is created by sending the signal through the T-120 Echo, Marshmallow Octave, Atmosphere Reverb, then finally the Swim Team Chorus at the end of the chain. The Analog Drums continue with their routing from the previous patch, with some fun tweaking of the EchoX.

Thanks for watching, now get patching!


Patchulator Pro is an evolution of Boredbrain’s iconic desktop and pedalboard patchbay, purpose-built for experimental signal routing of guitar pedals, effects, synths and more. The patchbay has ten individual effects channels, plus a main instrument channel capable of switching between two parallel effects chains or bypassing them entirely.

Effects on Patch
Patchulator Pro’s ten numbered channels are primarily used for pedals or effects processors, and allow chains of effects to be created on-the-fly using a few mini patch cables. First, the inputs and outputs of pedals and effects are connected to the send (gray) and return (black) 1/4-inch jacks on the rear of the patchbay. Then using the top 3.5 mm jacks labeled SND and RCV, signals can be routed freely through the effects channels to make a chain.

Alternatively, instrument sources (and destinations) can also connect to any of these ten channels for direct patch access if the dedicated MAIN I/O instrument channel is not enough.

Selectable FX Chain
A new and useful feature of Patchulator Pro is its dedicated instrument channel, which allows for quick access to one of two effects chains.

The 1/4-inch jacks labeled MAIN I/O are the instrument channel’s external input (black) and output (gray). Once connected, the input signal is available on top at both RCV patch points (multiples) within the instrument channel section. These copies can be used to create separate effects chains. Using the included patch cables, each chain is routed through any combination of the ten effects channels, then returned to its respective SND patch point.

The OUTPUT SOURCE switch is used to select which chain is sent to the instrument channel’s main output. Simply slide it all the way to the left or right. With the 3-way switch in the center BYPASS position, the instrument input is sent directly to the output, effectively bypassing both effects chains. This selection is useful to A/B an affected signal against the “dry” signal, and is a foolproof way to avoid pops while patching.

NOTE: Pops can also be avoided while patching by selecting the other chain, as long as the internal jumpers remain in their default OFF state (see Circuit Configuration).

Expert Interconnection
Patchulator Pro is purposefully configured with TRS (Tip, Ring, Sleeve) connections throughout to maximize compatibility with a range of gear and setups. All of the connections, circuitry, and the included patch cables are capable of carrying unbalanced mono, stereo, and/or balanced audio signals.

A single patch cable can carry two signals, thus eliminating the need to use two channels for a stereo patch. A single patch cable can also carry balanced audio signals like those typical of rack compressors, equalizers, and studio effects processors.

Each Patchulator Pro comes ready-to-patch with twelve premium Boredbrain patch cables, enough to use every patch point. The 10-inch cables of two colors (green and black) are customized to reach the full width of the patchbay and to differentiate between the two effects chains.

Ten discrete send and return channels for effects and instruments
Additional main instrument channel switchable between two effects chains
TRS connections support stereo, mono, and balanced audio signals
Includes twelve custom 10-inch mini patch cables (TRS)
Passive design for routing all types of signals

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