I've been a registered owner of Sonic Charge's µTonic (pronounced MicroTonic) drum/percussion synthesizer for years - but a new online tool from Sonic Charge called Patternarium is likely to make it one of my most used plugins when I'm looking for some inspiration in the studio. They're calling it a "giant collaborative patch randomizer," and my explanation of that won't fit in this summary.

First, a bunch of drum sounds and drum patterns were algorithmically generated. Now the system continuously spawns new generations of one thousand patterns, each being the descendent of two other patterns, which are chosen based on the number of thumbs up or thumbs down votes received by users of Patternarium.

You don't need to own µTonic to use Patternarium. Just head over to www.soniccharge.com/patternarium and start browsing through the patterns.

If you find something you like, you can:

  • listen to the pattern's ascendants and descendants
  • vote on whether you think this pattern should bear offspring or not
  • bookmark the direct link to the pattern or share it with a friend
  • save the patch (which includes all the drum sounds and the pattern) and load it into µTonic

Discovering this has certainly brightened my Monday morning, though it's unfortunately not compatible with the iPad due to being built in Flash. Now I'm hoping that Sonic Charge releases a full-featured iPad app that includes the MicroTonic and Patternarium interfaces, and WAV/MIDI export. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.