How do I use this site?

It all boils down to two things:

How do I contribute patches?

Note: contributing patches requires registration so that you can come back and make changes later if needed. So make sure you register.
  1. Create a sound on your favorite synthesizer. (Or at least one that has been added to SynthLib.) For this step you'll need to own the synth in question or at least a good software emulation of it.
  2. Once you're satisfied with the sound, record a sample of it. Save the sample as an MP3 file. (See resources on this page.)
  3. If your synth has MIDI, capture the MIDI system exclusive (sysex) data for the patch you created. Each synth is different, but generally you'll use a sysex utility (see resources on this page) or some kind of patch editor for your synth. Save the file as a *.syx file or whatever the native format is for your patch editor.
  4. Navigate to the synth's page on the site. Click on the brand name from the home page, then the instrument's name.
  5. On that page, click on the button: + add patch
  6. Complete the form.
    • Sometimes naming is the hardest part. Come up with something insightful, but don't get worked up over it.
    • Add a description--possibly with performance tips when using the patch.
    • Add categories. Choose existing ones or type in new ones.
    • Each parameter for the patch you created should be there. If not, please let me know. You'll need to fill in the field for each parameter. This step can be time consuming for synths with a lot of parameters. Hopefully soon I'll have a quicker option.
    • Attach your sysex file to the form (if your synth has MIDI).
    • Attach your MP3 sample to the form.
  7. Click 'Create'.

Congrats. Now anyone with that synth can use your sound. And, they'll be grateful you took the time to share.

How do I use patches I find here?

Just read the contributing process backwards. Just kidding...

  1. Find your synth on the site and audition patches by clicking the little play buttons.
  2. Once you find one you like, there are two options:
    • If your synth has MIDI, download the sysex file for the patch and use the resources on this page to transfer the file to your synth. Each synth has different ways of doing this, so you may need to refer to the manual.
    • Alternatively, enter the patch manually. Click on the patch name to see all the parameter values for that patch. Go through each one and set up your synth the same way.
  3. Dive in and make adjustments to customize the sound and learn more about how your synth works.

Now you're ready to design your own sounds and begin to contribute your own sounds!

And here's a tip: try clicking on the contributor's name to see if they've contributed anything else you like.

Useful Resources

  • Synthesizer Books : Our hand-picked book selection of learning synthesis
  • Audacity : Record samples of your patch (Win & Mac).
  • Sysex Librarian : Capture MIDI sysex data for uploading to the site. (Mac)
  • MIDI Ox : Capture MIDI sysex data for uploading to the site. (Win)

NOTE: I haven't used Windows in a long time. If you know of better tools, please let me know.