Audulus Modular Audio Processing App Coming To iPad

Subatomic Software has announced that Audulus – a modular music processing app for Mac OS X – is coming to the iPad:

Woohoo! I’ve finally submitted Audulus for iPad to Apple for review! Their review process usually takes a week. The UI looks great, especially on the Retina iPad.

Here’s what Audulus looks like on OS X:

With Audulus, you can build synthesizers, design new sounds, or process audio – all with low latency real-time processing suitable for live performance.

Specs and pricing are TBA.


48 thoughts on “Audulus Modular Audio Processing App Coming To iPad

  1. This may be one of the best iOS apps to be released if they have kept all of the the functionality….

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      • Can you please then release it at a cheaper price. Some of us only have one iPad so without recording it is fun but not useful. Also audio copy & paste is a necessity for these portable devices, we don’t carry computers around with us as well. In fact the iTunes file transfer system is such a pain that I rarely use it. I don’t think people will buy it for $10 without it recording. ;-/

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  2. hi taylor,
    i was looking into your app thinking it would be great as a effects rack for hw synths. however it was not clear to me if audulus supports ALL third party plugins.
    is it at all possible controlling the desktop sw with the ipad version. i am asking too much i know?
    how many audio inputs does audulus support?

    i think it looks great and am interested in getting both mac and ios versions.

    good luck to you.

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    • Thanks! The Mac version supports all third party Audio Unit plugins. There are many plugins which violate the security restrictions of Mac App Store apps, so I have a version you can download outside the store that lets plugins do whatever they want :-).

      Controlling the desktop software is something I’ve thought about. It would be cool to harness the power of the desktop version using a touch interface. It will require some re-working of the code, which I’m planning to do, but I don’t yet know when.

      The Mac version supports 16 audio inputs and outputs. The iPad version is stereo in/out.

      best
      – Taylor

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      • excellent!16 is what i wanted to hear:), thank you for the info and i do think you have a winner.
        mind specifying which plugins seem to be troublesome? cant seem to find a trial version…

        cheers!

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  3. Will I be able to make modular effects and synths on the ipad and then bring them into my DAW like ableton as a plug in? That would be the best thing ever.

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    • I think it should be cheaper than $10 while it doesn’t have recording.
      The Sunvox price of $5 is more reasonable to start with.
      When it gets rec and ACP it can sell for more.
      You should check Sunvox out, it has everything!

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  4. I’ve been using the Mac version for months now, stand alone and in Logic, and I must say it has had many improvements. The Beauty of it is that you can create patches very quickly and you always get a good sense of patch operation based on physical structure. I think it may be the first truly usable modular synth for the iPad!

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  5. God, I have been waiting for something like this – similar to Pd for the iPad for forever. Would I be able to at least make multi-timbral synths and change MIDI bend width? Or, even better, entirely ditch MIDI for OSC input? Because of the touch screen, MIDI’s notion that controllers are a box of 128 discrete keys with 1 pitch wheel is completely wrong. MIDI cannot handle per-fingertip note bending and more general notions like fully polyphonic fretless instruments; a basic requirement to model string instruments correctly (guitar,violin,etc). Unless we can use the touch screen as a controller like this, there’s no reason to abandon the keyboard based synths that we already have.

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    • Hey Rob, yes you can make multi-timbral synths by building multiple synths in a single patch that are driven by the same MIDI channel. OSC support isn’t in there yet, but I’m planning on having it. I’m a guitar player so I definitely empathize with your points about MIDI. :-)

      cheers
      – Taylor

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      • Is virtual MIDI going to be part of this great synth? I’m really looking forward to trying Audulus, but without recording and audio copy I won’t have much use for it. If it is cheaper for the initial release then I will definitely get it, but otherwise I’ll probably wait until it gets more features.

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  6. Yeah this looks like a very useful app. It will be good when it gets recording, audio copy, and eventually AudioBus.
    By the way Rob, recording & audio copy are a good way around MIDI restrictions.
    It’s like having a real instrument that you can play and record on where ever you are.
    If you discover something good you can record it for later use or directly copy it to Auria :-)

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    • :-) actually, acp doesn’t solve this problem in the slightest. audiobus solves a lot of problems (ie: long jams), but audiobus doesn’t solve the controller problem. something like audulus does. the problem that MIDI was supposed to let you focus on writing a controller and get out of the business of writing synths and effects units. In theory, MIDI is exactly what is required. But MIDI can’t represent the most trivial pitch handling first-day situations that come up on a touch screen, because it assumes that notes are keys that go up and down and there is 1 pitch wheel for bending on the whole instrument, that bend widths are limited to some number of semitones known in advanced, etc. OSC trivially fixes this problem in theory, but almost nothing implements it, and the things that do are so generic that there aren’t enough out-of-the-box semantics that you can just plug a controller into a synth and know that pitches come out.

      People want all apps to be in the $5 range and support a huge number of scenarios. If that’s the way it is, then apps need to be more modular and focused. AudioBus can be used to let devs focus on effects units and mixers, and something like Audulus can let controllers focus on being controllers. (Controllers should not be generating audio.)

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      • I understand where you are coming from Rob, but I still think there is an important place for recording and ACP. I also think people are willing to pay more than $5 when there are more features. There is definitely a place for MIDI controllers, but also for synths that offer recording and ACP. Long jams are just part of the equation, just as recording smaller parts and tweaking parameters in real time as you are recording. Apps like Nlog Synth Pro work well as they offer recording of audio & MIDI, as well as ACP, and you can control it using Geo or Cantor. It also costs more than $5, but it’s well worth it. Geo costs $10 and it’s only a controller, but I also think it is well worth it’s price too. This market for apps has only just begun, soon the market will be much larger and devs will be rewarded big time. You have the opportunity to see a lot of apps for a low price, but the product has to have the goods :-)

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        • Correction. You have the opportunity to sell a lot of apps …..
          I think there is a place for apps that offer a lot of options and just one option.
          The apps that have more features will be more popular.
          Sometimes I think the app market would be far better with just big companies making more comprehensive products so we wouldn’t have to buy so many apps just to record some music.
          There are more poor quality apps out there than good ones!
          The computer market is dominated by big companies and it seems to have a high level of quality, but also a lot of quality plugins that are free.
          It would be cheaper in the long run to pay more for fewer quality apps.

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      • btw Kenny, I’m not saying that there isn’t a way to implement MIDI such that it solves almost all of the problem (95%) of MIDI. I have a way of doing it that works with ThumbJam, Arctic, and SampleWiz (because these guys put in special message support), but can make it mostly work for multi-timbral synths (Korg Karma, Nord, etc), especially if they can change bend width.

        as for never adding basic ACP support into either Mugician or Geo (it is in Cantor btw, and it doesn’t get used) had a lot to do with reliability and memory constraints. iOS simply crashes an app when you don’t have enough memory, multi-tasking makes it hard to know when you might go over the limit, and we use a lot of memory for echo buffers, etc. most people will try to record 5 minute noodles with Geo and we would get reports about stability issues, etc. i will surely try to add audiobus support when the API is public because it really does solve this problem, apparently without creating headaches to go with it. And even with AudioBus… if Geo is generating a 256 buffer of audio, passing through an effects chain (also 256 samples), and into a DAW…then you have to add the latency up. Then I am back to latency so high that I can barely play the instrument. This is what I mean when I say “Controllers should not (ever) generate audio”, beyond the reasons of keeping things simple.

        If Audulus’s MIDI support is sufficient to handle fretless polyphony cases (like the synths I mentioned above), then I could go back to what I really wanted to do all along… just strip out the sound engine entirely and be 100% controller. It will take almost no memory at all, and I just name the synths that it can control really well in my description. I tried to use libpd at one point, but performance wasn’t quite there at the time on iPad1. But that would have you *inject* the synth patch into the controller rather than have the controller talk to the synth. But even if I did that, I would still need a way to build patches and effects units on the iPad (with a Pd / Max type of interface).

        It’s kind of inescapable that things have to be organized this way. A lot of great ideas get sunk while half-built on iOS due to the current monolithic model of including an obscene amount of similar stuff in each app, and users don’t help this situation at all with the insistence that infinite sales volume be used to make up for infinitesimal prices. Geo would have shipped 9 months earlier (as “Pythagoras”) if I could have just said “Audulus is your sound engine”.

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        • Thanks for explaining things from your perspective, it does help. Hopefully these devices with get greater RAM in the future to make more things possible.
          But I still think there is a place for all these different apps.
          I like the idea of a responsive MIDI controller, but also a synth with recording & ACP.
          AudioBus will open up new avenues as well, but for me it won’t replace ACP.
          I love the idea of using Cantor to control Audulus but I also need Audulus to have recording and ACP for it to be useful for using it in recordings. Possibly AudioBus too, but we could be waiting a while for that one.
          There isn’t much to choose from in the way of modular synths for iPads, so I’m looking forward to the release of this one. But it needs to have ACP and recording, otherwise it’s just a toy if you only use one iPad!

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        • I agree that audio copy&paste and recording are necessities for iOS apps. There is room for controllers, synths, etc. but the synths need to be able to record and transfer the recording. These are portable devices that need to have different software that work together.
          Also with the pricing thing, we need to buy so many apps just to have one complete synth. I haven’t found one that offers enough control, and I’ve paid more for all my iOS synths than for one plugin synth for my mac, and plugins do offer a lot!
          There are too many crappy apps too and that doesn’t help things. It feels like a gamble each time I purchase a new one.
          Please offer a intro price for Audulus, for all of us that are waiting for it’s release. Then we will be more likely to tell others about how great it is!

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  7. Haven’t used the Mac version but looks conceptually and functionally similar to SunVox – but less complicated and less developed. Anyone used both and have the ability to compare and contrast?

    Derek

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    • Hey Derek,

      I’m actually a big fan of SunVox — really dig its UI aesthetic and the way its timeline works.

      I think SunVox and Audulus are fairly different beasts actually, with different use cases. SunVox has bigger-granularity modules. For example, the “Generator” module is roughly the equivalent of a couple Audulus nodes wired together.

      Audulus gives you smaller, simpler modules that offer fine-grained control of your sound. Its close to the granularity and operation of classic analog modular synthesizers. Like classic modulars, Audulus gives you routing of modulation signals. And with Audulus polyphonic connections, you also have control over when a node is applied to each separate synth voice or to all voices mixed together. This level of sophistication leads to more expressiveness in terms of sound design.

      Have a look at my tutorial video, “Building a Synth From Scratch” (https://vimeo.com/45484364) — I think it will give you a good sense of the differences between Audulus and SunVox.

      Personally, I would choose Audulus for building a synth or effects processor for live performance, but of course I’m highly biased :-)

      Hope that helps!
      – Taylor

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      • Taylor, thanks so much for taking the time to reply in such detail. Much appreciated. I am reconsidering Audulus at the moment, esp. now with Audiobus support and its usability as an FX module – waiting for a 3 to arrive to test on if I go ahead.

        It might also be a wonderful addition to our Analog Synthesis course in terms of demonstrating how to build modular synths / synthesis from the ground up – especially with the visual components. I’ll keep you posted if I include it there in the New Year. Only issue would be upgrading from iPad 1’s (which we use currently because most things run just fine on them for demonstration and learning and they can be picked up cheaply at the moment) :-/ But, hey – there’s a price for everything right ;-)

        Question – is Audulus an implementation of Pure Data?

        Kind regards

        Derek Jones, Owner: MusicInclusive LLC

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  8. I’m also interested in the Sunvox comparison, especially since Sunvox has a huge list of features and is only half the price of this one. Hopefully it will be released with a limited time discount to make up for the missing recording and ACP, otherwise I might just wait a while to see how it develops ;-)

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  9. I second the intro discount price idea for Audulus. Magellan did that and I’ve told more people about it than any synth yet. Whereas I paid a higher price for Wavegenerator and I’m still disappointed with it.
    Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and we do already have Sunvox as a modular synth, it really does it all. But I’d still like to try Audulus, it does look good, but we won’t really know until we buy it.
    I also might hold off getting this one until it gets recording and audio copy, but I’ll get it immediately if it has a discounted intro price!

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  10. A one day intro price would be good for creating excitement about this app. Modular isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but an intro special seems to get everyone buzzing. I’m more likely to leave this app alone because of Sunvox, but make it a similar price for a day and I’ll tell the world about it ;-)

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  11. Yeah recording etc is pretty important. It will need to start cheaper for me to get it. There are a lot of good synths already, and with recording. I’ll get it if it has an intro special price too!

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  12. Modular synths do often get left behind, which is a shame because they offer so much more. But I can also see the benefit of the word of mouth side of things. Intro discounts make a big difference to how people spread the word about an app. Recording is also very necessary for a synth !

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  13. I can tell you that if this synth is released for $10 without recording and ACP, it will just get a bad reputation which will be hard to lose. Intro pricing is important for creating the right buzz.

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  14. Yeah I agree. Too high a price and I won’t get it. If I paid $10 for a synth that didn’t record I would certainly tell my friends about my disappointment. The right price and I’ll get everyone I know to buy it !

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  15. Modular synths in iOS do often have a hard time selling. Most people just want to play the thing and record, not always build their own synth. But I’d get this for the right price. When it gets rec it will be worth a higher price, but I think $5 is a good start.

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  16. I bought it for the Mac well over a year ago at a great price. It was very primitive in the early days but Taylor has continued to refine it over time while working on the iPad version. From the first of our discussions about the iPad version it was clear that Taylor understood the importance of ACP. Now of course the bar has been raised with the development of Audiobus. The real key to the success of an app like Audulus, however, is marketing to those who want to able to create powerful instruments from the ground up with out the limitations of preconceived structures. Audulus is a very low level construction tool that lets you connect to anything. Most problems can be solved by simple math. If I were to spend my time bugging Taylor to add to the app I would put my efforts into asking for more modulation options on existing Nodes, and of course more Nodes. My excitement about Audulus for the iPad is simply that no other so called modular synth available on the ipad comes close to anything like an actual modular sound creation tool as we have seen on larger platforms. Having purchased almost all of the synth apps available for iPad I am continually surprised by the combination of inflexible structures and confusing user interfaces.

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