SPOTLIGHT SERIES | THE PATCHBAY®
Creators and fans of Synth alike would have probably either perused this site looking for cutting edge Sample & Drum Packs to assist in making the perfect track or fans who would have probably found an emerging Artist, who through this site helped them on their way to earning that next spot on your coveted playlists.
What started as a nugget of an idea in 2012 has grown exponentially into what can only be regarded as the premium go to site in Europe for pre-sets, samples, VST plugins and the like.
With a Creator list that reads like the who's who of the Synth world from Timecop1983 to The Midnight, Beckett to Droid Bishop and of course the newest Creator to the site a one Mr Mitch Murder, he's on a constant quest to ensure that the platform is the best it can be with premium functionality and developed with automation in mind, controlled by the creator themselves.
The owner and Creator of The Patchbay® Gary Falcon Lang has had his fair share of detractors who say that he and others like him are fostering a scene of copycat artists that are saturating the market, he answers this question I put to him and more, take a look!
Thank you for taking the time to talk with Forged today. We’re a couple of months now give or take into 2021, how did 2020 work out for you in a business sense?
Thanks for having me! I love what you are doing!
The Patchbay has had a successful past year. A lot of creators were added to the platform
including Brother Tiger, Brandon, Magic Sword, Droid Bishop & Mitch Murder.
I recruited a developer! We further automated the platform & introduced some big features like automated bundles, a notification system & video showcases for the pages. We added a further 100 fixes & improvements like seamless creator dashboard uploading, 1-click
mass payment & a brand new download system. We also improved upon the speed & security! 2020 was all about platform improvement, 2021 is all about growth. I think its great that creators have been able to continue creating an income for themselves through 2020. It's made me double down on the idea that the internet is the future.
Tell us a little about The Patchbay and what your mission statement is?
In short, I want to create a really cool platform for content creators who are talented that can
provide niche, out of the box & forward thinking high quality content & ideas.
As a content creator you are only as good as the tools you have & I want to provide tools that hit the mark every time for any situation a content creator finds themselves in.
From the beginning it has always been about quality not quantity. Which is why I actively seek the smaller creators who may not be well known, but create outstanding art. They are the creators I really focus on & want to see succeed.
I want The Patchbay to become an audio visual platform that celebrates creativity & is a one-stop- shop for every content creators needs.
Whether that is presets & samples, VST plugins, 3D models for your music video project,
Mastering services for your Vinyl or 1-2-1 tuition on a personal level from some of the most elite producers in the scene.
How did you arrive at such a project? What made you decide to set it up?
I used to be a creator on another platform which was a terrible experience for me, a shitty lengthy contract that only worked in their best interests.
They took more than half and there was no transparency. I later found out I was selling through a label on that platform, and that the label was taking a cut, and that the platform was taking a cut from the label... only the label and the platform were the same person. Terrible.
Then I realized most of this industry was beholden to private crappy contracts with lots of hidden bullshit.
In 2012 I had the idea, In 2013 I created a model and in 2014 I registered the domain.
It wasn't until 2016 that I launched the very first crude version of the shop. Fast forward to now and the result is that I've developed a bespoke custom system with a dashboard as a service.
The Patchbay distributes the things that people sell, makes it easy to do, easy to manage, easy to track & it's easy to be paid. In return The Patchbay takes a modest cut for using the platform. All of this is laid out in a single page of easy to understand terms that is publicly available. Nothing to hide. Very straight forward.
I also noticed a lot of similar websites & businesses were marketing their products based around artists and I wondered to myself if the artists it was based on were being compensated. With that in mind I saw a window of opportunity to achieve that, so I launched the artist series! It is basically a series of packs in which I approach a verified artist, ask them to create a pack & they get paid royalties.
The Patchbay seemed to have arrived on the scene at a critical moment in time with the growth of the scene itself which is great but, what do you say to the detractors that suggest that the service you’re providing hands the keys to a lot of copy-cat artists that flood the market making it somewhat saturated?
This has been going on since the dawn of music production, when producing music everyone
has their favourite influences & wants to sound like them. Its the process of finding ones footing, flavour, style & direction.
To be quite blunt though, its impossible to truly sound like a specific artist, there are many
compositional nuances, mixing choices, mastering etc & even if you had their presets, thats all you have. It's a great way to educate yourself on the sound design but that's what I want the end user to do, find value in the pack, learn from it, grow into their own style, build into something new with that knowledge gained.
Those who push the scene further with gems are the true pioneers, the next generation.
With all due respect, if your goal is to copycat an artist then that is all you will ever be, a copycat.
Its also interesting & pleasing to note that the platform has had no negative side effects on the artists who join, they are still as iconic today as they were yesterday.
You have a very keen eye for aesthetics in terms of marketing, how much of what you do especially in blender adds to the over-all experience in marketing The Patchbay?
You may be surprised to know The Patchbay has had very little paid advertising. The growth is mostly composed of organic reach either by word of mouth, google searches or the creators bringing their audiences to the platform. This in turn has created a mish-mash of people (10,000!) who then discover other creators they might not have known about. Very interesting! It also shows the model is working & that is what I hoped to achieve.
Regarding the vision I have with the visual marketing I use in video & mail outs... I hope its
effective & I hope it works :) I spent the last 2 years learning a program called Blender to create a sort of on-rails experience in 3D. I really love making the sci-fi hallways & smoky 80's environments. I hope people are into that.
It's been a lot of fun tying the lore of The Patchbay into the animations so that I can inject some creativity into the project.
For those who are interested in the back story of The Patchbay it essentially goes like this:
There was an ancient race of intergalactic traders thousands of years ago that got decimated in a huge galactic war. In the last few moments they sent a ship into deep space with relics of their culture & an AI program called Patch.ai. The ship arrived right next to earth with its invisibility shield on & transponders off.
It's sole purpose is to 1. Recreate the ancient race at all costs through the use of cloning &
cybernetics. Sometimes by using friends from earth such as Dr Peterman who is creating
hundreds of Brad Ritz clones who at the moment are not behaving as expected.
2. To ultimately share their cultural beliefs & trading knowledge to enrich the galaxy with quality products & services & create a richer more quality driven process.
The show is called Junkflex so look out for it! The pilot episode is coming soon. It's a show which aims to basically fuck your head up & question everything that constrains you foundationally in your current existential reality.
The point will be that there is no point, that creativity is subjective & the series will be one giant acid trip into the uncomfortable truth, touching on a million concepts in the blink of an eye. Its a work of art.
You honestly have an already impressive Creator base from Michael Oakley to The Midnight, Mitch Murder to Magic Sword, how do you bring them on board?
I speak to them from a position of understanding the passion for the creativity in a project.
To do something cool that might not end in mansions & fast cars, but will make something to be proud of for years to come. To create art. The key is also consistency, never give up!
As time has gone on I have been able to guarantee that financial success as well due to the
growth of the platform. As another side effect of the growth & acquiring cool creators, its become much easier to sell that idea to others too.
The beginning really was make or break. If it wasn't for Arcade Summer, Timecop1983 or Michael Oakley, we would not be having this conversation at all.
Is there anyone left you would love to work with?
If you want me to be brutally honest, The Patchbay is not entirely focused on big artists. Of
course it is cool as hell & its such a great achievement to be able to say who is onboard, but the most consistent metric of the content is basically quality.
I do not want to discourage someone is who relatively unknown from joining the platform who is absolutely fabulous at creating art. The Patchbay is their home. It is the home of the niche. So if you think you got what it takes, you know who to call!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Mitch Murder, Pengus, Nosaj Thing, Lorn, Plaid, Tame Impala, Arcade Summer, The Midnight, Com Truise, Windows 96, Lapalux, Oneohtrix Point Never. I listen to the creators on the platform too which gives me a lot of drive! I like music that you could describe as either unique in delivery or surgical in composition. A good example of the latter is Mitch Murder, my god does this dudes mixes sound amazing. Same with Arcade Summer & Pengus, incredibly crisp & impeccable composition.
What has been the best moment for you in terms of running the business?
In 2018 I quit my job as a tech advisor in my local electronics shop. That was the defining
moment for me. To live my life on my own terms, wake when I want, do what I want & express
myself as creatively as possible without the pull down of society & its stringent templates of
Every day that I do not wake up with existential dread, it is instead filled with appreciation &
gratitude for the lucky situation I find myself in. I understand I am in a good position and I want to use that to spread positivity & hope and create that environment for others who either sell on the platform, buy from it or enjoy the creativity it oozes.
What is the future for The Patchbay for the rest of 2021 into 2022? Where do you see the brand in 5 years’ time?
I just inked a deal for a government backed innovation & growth specialist to come onboard & help me strategize & restructure so that's an exciting time! I never expected to grow TPB into a huge company, it was & still is a passion hobby project for me.
I want to be in a comfortable place where I do not have to worry about life's problems and I want to bring as many people as I can with me. I want to foster growth & incentivise creativity as an outlet for positive direction. I want those people to be in a position to do the same & influence it to their own audience.
Rightly, The Patchbay is now part of the Music Industry, from a service point of view is there anything you would like to change or do differently?
It's something I have already done & that is to create a sustainable model of transparency & as TPB grows, hopefully it becomes the norm everywhere else.
Id like to see public electronic agreements that are around 1 page long that are upfront about the process & simple to understand. I'd like to see companies in a position of power giving credence & a chance to the talented individuals that have a small following instead of chasing the money & figures.
What do you like to do in your downtime? If that’s even a thing...
I like to spend time with my son who is a gem! :-)
I like to have a good chat with close friends who are in similar fields to me, where we can bounce ideas & grow our understanding.
I've got an obsession with understanding code, systems, database structures, currently trying to learn python! Love making 3D stuff in Blender! Been playing a couple of games recently. No mans sky, Rust, Risk of rain 2 and most recently, Planet Coaster!
No Mans sky
A message to your Creators, Affiliates and Users?
Thank you for all of your support, thank you for your time & most importantly, thank you for
believing in me & the platform. It is my life mission to scale this platform, whether that is scaling the offerings, scaling the income you receive from sales, or scaling the value you find in the content.
I just want to live a happy positive life & grow a forward thinking openly transparent platform that is all about success & sheer creativity :)
Please consider supporting Gary and The Patchbay® via the links below. If you are a Synth Musician and are looking for another form of income that works for you contact Gary via his Website, conversely if you would like to create the next great Synth Track and would like to see your favourite Creator listed let him know. The site is created with both the Creator and User in mind.