Patrick speaks: the Density mkII UI (making of)

making of

making of

Dear VoS community!

Someday ago, Bootsy asked me to raise my voice here and to talk a little bit about my design works and he suggested that the Density mkII artwork might be a good idea to do so.


Typically, our common projects basically starts like this:

Bootsy: «Hey Patrick, how about another super cool Plug-In, do you have the time and are ready for some fun?»

Me: «Surething. Count me in!»

Bootsy: «Excellent, here’s the briefing…»

And again we’re already right in the middle of another new adventure. He gives some briefing about the technical spec and details or explains if some design criteria should be fulfilled.


To get into the right mood, I usually start research over the internet and have a look at existing hardware devices, checking some supplier sites and have a closer look at pots, LED’s and other tech stuff like that – everything which is needed in such an audio device.

The net - an important inspiration source for preparation

The net - an important inspiration source for preparation

Modelling and texturing

Afterwards I do a sketch of the Plug-In in my mind and then start to model the parts in a 3d program. In most cases two or three attempts are necessary until the desired part does actually look like I do had imaginated. The textures I do create in a graphic software.

In 3d software created poygon model with texture

In 3d program created polygon model with texture

Layout and design

Now that all 3d parts were modelled I create the design of the background graphic which consists of multiple editable layers. This way potential change requests coming from the later beta test or so can easily be edited and without large efforts.

Thanks to individual layers, the graphics remains editable until the end

Thanks to individual layers, the graphics remains editable until the end

Bootsy receives then the assembled layout and gives feedback right afterwards and then the design typically passes one or two iterations until we both agree to 100%.

The Plug-In gets assembled from its parts

The Plug-In gets assembled from its parts


Now, that the layout is defined, I do all the animations for the moving parts and render them into graphic stripes so they can be integrated into the programming code.

The individual animation steps rendered into stripes

The individual animation steps rendered into stripes

Bootsy now integrates this into code and compiles a VST-DLL which is send then to the beta crew. They do not only judge the audio quality but also give feedback concerning the UI.  In most cases some helpful information comes  back and gets implemented into the interface until both, layout and algorithms, are onto the same quality level.

Artwork teasers

While the beta testers were already enjoying the newly created VST (sonic and visual wise) we usually do tend to put you guys out there on the rack until the release day 😉

Cruel as we are, we do like teasers ...

Cruel as we are, we do like teasers ...

Closing comments

I’ve not yet seen Bootsy in real live and we just had contact via internet – regardless, our teamwork is so smooth as if we would have already worked together for ages. It’s a great fun to me to be part of this project. The community here is simply terrific. And I guess there will be some other eminent Plug-Ins see the light here in the future.

So long, cheers!


The chief design dude

The chief design dude


  1. hi patrick,
    you are a really importat part of this project.
    your gui it is pro and it s a pleasure working with a tool that sounds good and looks also so good.
    please continue in this way 😉


    • I’ve been a graphic designer for more than 8 years now, and this puts my skills to shame. Thanks for sharing this, and thanks for making me jealeous to the point where i’m inspired and motivated to the point where i also feel like finally learning some 3D software like Blender!!!!!!

      Pure genious! Keep it up!

    • Partrick, thanks for this. This is fantastic work. It really is a terrific marriage of interface to code. Outstanding. – Scotty

  2. Major Edition says:

    Patrick, you are amazing. Very professional with your work and I get excited every time I see the work of your hands. Thanks for all your hard work, I know it takes a lot of time. Keep doing such wonderful things with your talent.

  3. Patrick,

    Hats off for allyour work.

    And damn it, this is a freaking sexy blue..

    BTW, where is the automake-up switch? 😉

  4. kingocounty says:

    I think it’s important that people realize all the hard work you guys put into making these plugs; it makes me appreciate it all the more. Thanks for donating all your time and talent!

  5. Your designs look so good that the plugins could sound like shit we’d still believe they’re top end 😉

    • heck, i bet if we just took that screen capture of the gui and stuck it in our master-out rack it’d make our music better!

  6. I’ve feared that somehow …

    • Major Edition says:

      Don’t worry Bootsy. I can see and hear it already.

      Using Density MKII will be like using the Fairchild 670. It looks awesome and sounds fantastic. Now, I’m yearning to do a mix with it.

      Ugh ! ! !

      Damn ! ! ! !

  7. Patrick ! bootsy is great, but now with your combined effort, you r guys are making the some of if not the best audio plugins that excist, i love the new look plug-ins, they help with the work flow and having something nice to look at also inspires me, thanks so much.

  8. No words can express our gratitude to both Patrick and Bootsy for their devotion, dedication and sheer excellence in their work. The plugins are simply in a class of their own, the look, feel and sound are a formulation of incredible talent passion and experience. You guys will go down in history as the “DreamTeam” of Super quality, Super looking and Super sounding plugins and best of all…..they are FREE!!!!

    I for one, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  9. Looks awesome, Patrick ! How about working for Aleksey Vaneev too ? 😉

    • Voxengo has a different approach on gfx-design … more technical and «timeless»

      by the way: Thank you guys!

      • Yes you are right ! But i dont like his new design, its more toylike than technical. I got 4 of the old ones, with the scientific look, that he became famous for. No Reason for me to upgrade. He`s on the wrong way now.
        But you are defenitely not !
        Awaiting Density2!
        best regards

  10. what a great blog post!
    The look of Bootsy plugins is what interested me in the first place. By the way, both sonic & visual aspects of Bootsy plugins are really cool.

  11. Thanks for a great plugin. Been having a blast trying this out.

    Patrick, the values of the normal (non-notched) knobs is not completely apparent at times. They are beautiful and I love using them, but those highlights do tend to hide the indicator from time to time.

    Soundtoys takes a darker approach with less lightplay on the knobs and achieves a clearer picture that way. Have you tried something like that and it didn’t turn out well for this plugin ?

    I do think it makes little difference to how I use the plugin, but it’ll make a difference when I reopen the plugin and try to take in the settings. If the knobs happen to be turned towards the light highlights, it’ll just take a little longer.

    Keep up the great work. I love it.

  12. Hey Bootsy! nice plug you guys made.

    Just a question, what language do you use for code development? C++? Java?

    • @0p0:

      From the KVR download page for Density 2:

      “Performance crucial parts are written in assembler.”
      There is also a “Made With Synth|Maker” logo there, so I imagine all the rest is done with Synth|Maker.

  13. These plugs not only sound great, but they look amazing!!

    Patrick- keep up the great work. You too, Bootsy.



  14. Can I ask?

    Which apps do you use to model & render your GUIs with?

    I imagine the post work is done with Photoshop or similar…

  15. Patrick your work is fantastic as is Bootsy’s…..what a team and thanks

  16. Scalawag says:

    Nice info!!
    It will be cool and a premiere (i think…) if the final plugin GUI is in 3D just like your teasers!!
    Is it possible?

  17. Daniël says:

    When I’m looking for a freeware plugin, I don’t just download them all and compare them until I found the best-sounding one, I just check the pictures and choose the best-looking one, as they usually sound the best. Guess what, the only thing I donwload nowadays is Varietyofsound. Great job guys, keep rockin’!

  18. Dean Aka Nekro says:

    Well my humble opinion Patrick is that its clear that is a real team act the way in which Herbert and your goodself work together. There has not been a VoS plug-in which has been really intuative to use. I think you get the fine balance of superb quality but nothing OTT/eye straining in the long run interface wise. That is a really important factor for me and thank you for elaborating on how you go about doing it mate. Another intresting read here

    All the best to your way and to all as always


    • Dean Aka Nekro says:

      Edit: I mean *Which has NOT been really intuative to use*, Even without reading any prior documentation (I am not saying i do not RTFM though haha, As i actually enjoy a good manual as it happens). Anyway i have insomnia/am an insomniac and its been a good three days now without more than a few half hour “power naps” except without any napping involved (Power Resting!?!) I am used to it but it does cause me to malfunction abit at times 🙂 Peace


  1. […] plugin est gratuit, d’une grande qualité sonore et d’un design graphique irréprochable. Voici quelques exemples audio de la bête en action. Les réglages choisis étant délibérément […]

  2. […] Patrick speaks: the Density mkII UI (making of) […]

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