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Parfitt Keeps Creativity Flowing with Patch

Flock Audio’s Patch System aids composer Neil Parfitt in accessing custom signal chains during production.

Neil Parfitt
Neil Parfitt

Toronto, Canada (December 22, 2020) — Neil Parfitt, who composes music for children’s animation, spanning preschool, teen comedy and even Japanese Anime, is using Flock Audio’s Patch System to audition his custom signal chains within his workflow.

“In 2015, I had DAW fatigue, and got tired of just staring at a screen all the time, so started buying some of my key outboard gear,” he recalls. “So I began using analog outboard on the front end, and also during mixing on the back end, and things began to get really complicated.”

Once he began using Patch, that changed, he says: “Patch has changed my set up from set and forget to a sonic playground because I can easily reconfigure everything at any point, and has actually made me appreciate outboard gear even more.”

Innovations: Flock Audio PATCH System

Parfitt has his Patch connected to the master insert on his Neve 8816 summing mixer. “From there, all my analog gear kind of acts like sweetening. I can do mid-side, parallel compression, and other kinds of processing. But if a client calls, I can instantly load a different preset which automatically takes that same outboard gear, I can run my synth through it and record it. Patch has allowed me to reconfigure my entire workflow instantly and that’s what hooked me into it.”

He continues, “I love the sound of having things hardwired, but in the past, you couldn’t experiment in the same way as you can in a DAW with software. Now, Patch has allowed me to play with my gear like Lego. I feel like I can experiment freely without crossing this threshold of going in-the-box. It has made my system a giant sandbox playground. I can load different presets and changes are seamless for any of my projects.”

Now, Parfitt is able to treat his analog hardware much like DSP plug-ins, with dedicated paths for each show he works on. “When I am on a show, once I figure out the signal path for a particular show, I will give it a preset. For instance, maybe one preset will involve tracking modular synth that will contain the outboard I need. In these cases, using different gear, I can audition any order of any outboard gear instantly, which is unreal. I can instantly add or remove compressors, reverbs or other processors without having to rewire or ever leave the mix position. Patch has opened up a whole new world for me.”

Flock Audio •