Introducing Patchwork: devices for original music creation and rhythmic gameplay in Fortnite

The Fortnite Team

Want to do more with music in your Fortnite Creative and UEFN islands?

Today we're excited to deliver a suite of interconnected devices to Fortnite Creative and UEFN that will enable you to produce musical gameplay, build dynamic soundtracks, and even give players the power to create their own original music. Initially comprising a set of 14 devices, Patchwork provides an effective sound design and music creation system for creators, facilitating a full musically creative experience. 

With Patchwork, you’ll be able to do three core things:
  • Produce musical gameplay: Embed music and player interaction or manipulation of music into game loops to create musical gameplay experiences.
  • Create an adaptive soundtrack: Use the devices to produce a soundtrack that’s both unique to your island and fully integrated into the game world, so it can respond and evolve as a result of a player’s interactions and the game’s state.
  • Let players make original music: Enable players to interact with the devices directly to create original music and even perform using the devices.
Many of the devices included will be conceptually familiar to those with some experience in electronic music production or audio design. Powered by Unreal Engine’s MetaSounds, we’ve built the device UIs to look and feel like real-world instruments and audio equipment. Please be reminded that use of a Patchwork audio device is limited to the creation of new and original musical works. Use of an audio device to re-create copyrighted musical compositions owned by third parties is a violation of Epic’s terms and may result in your island being unpublished.

If you have no experience in these areas, we highly recommend getting familiar with basic music concepts to evolve your understanding and sophistication of music creation with Patchwork. There are several resources available to get started:
  • Music Gallery: A Fortnite island with a hands-on walkthrough of the Patchwork basics.
    • Island code: 5806-7083-7937
  • Getting Started with Patchwork: A tutorial that explains how to use Patchwork and is a companion to the Music Gallery.
  • Club Patchwork: Hop into the club and jam with some friends in this Fortnite island!
    • Island code: 6730-0905-0185
  • Yacht Heist Template Island: A template island made with the Creative toolset that showcases how to create an adaptive soundtrack as resources change and the game progresses.
  • Patchwork x Yacht Heist Tutorial: A companion tutorial that shows you how to build the heist and set up the Patchwork devices in more detail.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) and DMCA Guidelines for Fortnite Island Creators: Our blog post explaining intellectual property and how you can create responsibility without infringing on copyright or trademark rights owned by third parties.
You can find the full list of devices and how to use them in our Using Patchwork Devices documentation. The devices available at launch are:

Distortion Effect

This uses waveshaping to add harmonic content to audio signals. It results in a harsher overdriven sound, adding character to clean input signals.

FabricDevices BlogInline 1920x1080 DIST

Drum Player

This is an audio generator that plays drum samples. It contains a variety of sample sets, enabling you to play different drum kits.

FabricDevices BlogInline 1920x1080 DPLAY

Drum Sequencer

This is a sequencer designed to specify and arrange drum beats, using a 4x4 grid to help parse rhythmic positions in a 16-step measure.

FabricDevices BlogInline 1920x1080 DSEQ

Echo Effect

This is a time-based audio effect that provides an easy way to add texture and rhythmic complexity to music. 

FabricDevices BlogInline 1920x1080 EKO

Instrument Player

This is a polyphonic synth that plays recordings of instruments. It enables Patchwork to make music with sounds like pianos, violins, vibraphones, and more.    

FabricDevices BlogInline 1920x1080 IPLAY

LFO Modulator

This is a “Low Frequency Oscillator” that automatically turns knobs over time in a cycle, enabling you to employ a variety of sound design techniques.

FabricDevices BlogInline 1920x1080 LFO

Music Manager

This specifies the tempo and key of Patchwork systems in an experience. All devices that abide by musical time and tempo (sequencers, LFOs, echo, and so on) obey the Music Manager.

FabricDevices BlogInline 1920x1080 MMGR

Note Progressor

This is a pitch adjuster to create musical phrasing. You can use it to create a cycling chord progression and transpose notes to follow that progression.

FabricDevices BlogInline 1920x1080 NPRG

Note Sequencer

This is a melodic pitch sequencer that drives synthesizers. It enables you to arrange looping patterns of notes at a specified rate and length.

FabricDevices BlogInline 1920x1080 NSEQ

Note Trigger

This triggers actions on other Fortnite Creative/UEFN devices when specified notes are received. It’s the glue that connects events happening within Patchwork to control gameplay systems (such as a platform that moves whenever a kick drum plays).

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Omega Synth

This is a flexible synthesizer that can be used for bass lines and melodies. The design is loosely based on the TB-303 — an iconic synth that was popularized by the acid house genre.

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Patchwork Speaker

This is an output device to make audio signals audible: it can operate in 2D (output goes directly to user’s headphones, like a soundtrack) or 3D (output is spatialized in the world, coming from a specific place, with a falloff curve).

FabricDevices BlogInline 1920x1080 SPKR

Step Modulator

This is a modulator similar to the LFO, but designed to enable values to be sequenced over time and changed with rhythmic precision. It can be used as a sound design or arrangement tool.

FabricDevices BlogInline 1920x1080 SMOD

Value Setter

This allows for Fortnite Creative/UEFN messages (triggers, sequencers, and so on) to set values on Patchwork controls, enabling gameplay actions to control the state of Patchwork systems, for example: initiating a new section of music when a new gameplay stage is reached.

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We can’t wait to see (and hear!) what you create with Patchwork devices.