Percussa micro super signal processor

Audulus Briefing from Taylor Holliday on Vimeo.

In a physical studio – heck, even with some guitar stompboxes – it’s customary to get the rig you want by connecting different modules. So, it makes absolute sense that software might work this way, too. But many popular modular options, while insanely powerful, can overwhelm simple tasks. Audulus, by contrast, may be an accessible tool for users. It doesn’t do everything – I’d like to see more sequencers and such, please – but it does have a nice collection of useful utilities.

The basic idea: hook up some modules graphically, and process instruments to create unique, personal performance rigs fast. (See the video at top for a good overview of the modular UI.) And with a price tag of US$15 and newly-added support for all your AU plug-ins (and the ability to run as a plug-in itself), it could be a modular tool for the rest of us.

“Nodes” are graphical and animated. Connect filters, envelopes, delays, and effects together, for instance, with some AU plug-ins in the mix, and you can make a setup for your favorite synth stack. Version 1.5 is updated with additional examples and the plug-in functionality, plus improvements ot the UI and animation.

There are also three additional processing nodes: reverb, 16-step sequencer, and sample-and-hold.

Coming soon: an iPad version, and 64-bit support.

You can buy the app on the App Store, complete with AU plug-in hosting support. (To get an AU plug-in itself, you just grab a separate download, free. And yes, Apple, I hope you fix this with the next version of Logic on the App Store.)

Nodes:

  • Utilities (including AudioUnit)
  • Synthesis
  • Math
  • MIDI (including live triggers
  • Effects
  • Level
  • Mixer
  • Metering

The Mac App Store version of Audulus is a plug-in *host* (you can run AU plugs inside of it), but a free download lets you use the app itself as a plug-in inside a host like Logic, seen here.

I’ve given it a bit of a try. It’s not as sophisticated as options like Plogue Bidule or AudioMulch, but it has a beautiful interface and some really nice modules. Even when you have some of those other tools, it could be a great source of inspiration, partly because of its relative simplicity. I’m eager to see where it goes.

At this price, if you’ve got a Mac, I can’t think of an argument not to add it to your arsenal.

audulus.com

Here’s a video of the new features:

Audulus 1.5: New Features from Taylor Holliday on Vimeo.

Updated: How to build a subtractive synth

If you were curious what it would look like actually producing an instrument in this environment, developer Taylor Holliday was inspired to produce an example tutorial. Have a watch:

Audulus Tutorial: Building a Synth from Scratch from Taylor Holliday on Vimeo.