Audulus for all because everyone wants it!
  • These are some brain storming ideas I have for Audulus moving forward. Building upon its existing capabilities so that it can be integrated in a synergistic way to have broader appeal and thereby attract more resources from more people who want to enable further development. What are the strengths of the app? Since fundamentally it is based upon the concept of representing musical ideas in the form of mathematics using a relatively friendly GUI, it's the way to bring both abstract and concrete musical ideas into reality. These capabilities are very powerful because normally in the past people relied upon programmers to produce musical applications for them. This parallels the digital music revolution where traditional music hardware and instruments could be replaced or supplemented with software. As the cost of computing hardware and software came down as their capabilities increased, more people have access to music creation. The introduction of the iPad on the App Store resulted in people having access to even more software less expensively and the touch interface allowed for a flexibility and playability different than that found in traditional mouse and keyboard setups.

    What are the downsides of the App Store development model for both developers and musicians? There is a culture of free or very inexpensive apps. If an app has broad mass-market appeal, the number of people buying the app still results in a viable product. If on the other hand you are developing software for a more niche market with more complex real time processing, then this requires more development resources yet there are fewer resources available because fewer people use the app. This is a situation that many iOS music developers face.

    Audulus can fill some of this need if there are enough of it's users creating music apps with it on a sharing basis. Everyone in the Audulus community can benefit from this Audulus app sharing in the following ways:

    Modules can be reused and other applications and can build upon one another and the recombined. Since they are modular people can use them without having to know what goes on inside a module. They are customizable and adaptable. Once the cost of developing the application has been paid, everything else is gravy.

    How can the benefits of all of the free programming done by Audulus users be optimized?
    Attract more Audulus users to create more patches/modules.
    Work with other iOS developers to integrate Audulous apps with complementary programs, for example MIDI template (e.g. Lemur, TB MIDI Stuff, MIDI Designer Pro) apps so that the patches produced by Audulus users can be enhanced by the functionality of other apps in terms of creating more playable musical experiences. If Audulus is perceived as a resource for multiple music apps rather than just one app you can program, it will appeal to people who want to buy it simply to be able to select from the vast Audulus patch resource libraries as well as to customize it to suit their specific needs. This will broaden the appeal of the app beyond just those who are willing and able to create patches to people who want to use the creations of Audulus patch makers. What is better than a free app? An endless supply of free apps with functionalities and appeal that may not be duplicated elsewhere. Instead of having relatively few music app developers, you'll have thousands of them.

    How can we attract more patch makers to make better patches?
    Provide more powerful functions in Audulus with more frequent updates to keep Audulus on the cutting edge of new capabilities on the platforms it runs on.
    Better patch creating tools. More customization of the patch creating environment, more extensive, detailed, and accessible documentation. Improved collaboration tools between developers. More recognition for their work. More patch maker support.

    How can the resources needed to attract patch makers be secured?
    Social Media/funding sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter where the Audulus vision for catalyzing music develop for more people to enjoy more creative apps can be shared.
    The benefits of a successful Audulus can lead to Audulus having more input into the development of software and hardware platforms that it runs on because it will become such an important reason why their users use these platforms and upgrade their software and hardware so they can get the latest and greatest from and give to the Audulus community.
    Draw upon the values of creative freedom, individual expression, mutual support, and a high value to investment, and community which will be inherent in the Audulus way.

    This can eliminate the barriers between developers and the people who use their creations versus the current situation for example where Apple gets a 30% cut, all apps are approved by Apple, users see developers as mysterious, distant, and out to get their money versus peers who share a common interest and support each other.

    What could be some more immediate steps to move things forward?
    Develop documentation, videos, and approaches so that people who are not from a programming and/or music tech background can get going and have a sustained interest in patching rather than finding it too difficult of a transition to make from app user to app maker. Move beyond traditional approaches with more ready to go modules so that using Audulus is similar to other apps they use but with more functionality (e.g. a group of people are really into guitar fx and pedal creation who have user created modules which facilitate these interests). Develop an approach so that the Audulus experience can range from a hardcore programmer type experience with FFTs at every turn to users who tweak Audulus synths just because they're so cool.

    Part of this something for everybody approach will rely upon social media which allows people with shared interests to find each other and to create an experience that will allow them to use the app that meets those needs and interests versus one that still in many ways is dominated by programmer culture (which of couse will still exist in Audulus only at a more hardcore awesome level due to all the tools available due to mass market money from the apps mass market appeal).

    What sorts of technology can be used to support a more customized, broader, richer, and more diverse Audulus experience?
    The open source movement has tools

    Tags people can create their own or choose from ones provided by the Audulus community(s). This allows people to organize their work/play flow in a way that make sense to them. Once again this is practical and draws on the values of freedom, individuality, creativity, independence, respect, and community.

    YouTube combined with linkage to forums, patches, and modules. People will do little videos they can link to their patches explaining how to use it and can further enhance the market penetration, knowledge of, and relevance of Audulus for musicians. These sorts of social media approaches are self regulating in the sense that the community becomes very good at sorting the wheat from the chaff in terms of how useful and relevant without the need of a centralized structure to regulate everything. In fact these groups can operate outside of official Audulus sites, Audulus just has the social media tools embedded in the app to facilitate these social media functions for the users who choose to engage this way which of course many will as it's a way to learn about patches that fulfill them and to interact with their creators.

    At this point I will stop, but it does seem to me that we are at a point in time where the technologies, social media, economic constraints, and the capabilities of Audulus are ripe for a dramatic leap forward in who wants to use it with some very doable approaches to marketing the app to the public along with increased user friendliness and playability of the app's patches and enhancements to module implementation.
  • Good discussion.

    I have quite strong views on this as I use most of Audulus' direct competitors.

    As I've mentioned before, Audulus has really impressed me. I found it much easier to get started (I was making cool stuff within hours, not days or weeks), and I find the interface far more intuitive.

    Any shortcomings of Audulus I put down to it's relatively young age. Environments like Max MSP have existed since the mid 80s, which is both a blessing (in scope) and a curse (in complexity). Others (like Reaktor) are backed by huge companies with lots of resources and man power to throw at it.

    In saying that, there are many good ideas in other patching environments that Audulus can borrow, bend or steal.

    I'm sure the majority of the people here on the forums have been impressed with the hard work and dedication of both Taylor and Mark, and I have faith we will get all the goodies we need in good time.

    I think the best thing we can do for now is build a strong community, help out were we can and spread the word to help put a few more dollars in Taylor's pocket.


    I have some more specific ideas that probably fall outside of the 'feature request' thread, but I feel I need to formulate them a little further before sharing. A package manager for example...
  • @ToyDivision I've used other music modular/programming apps and I've found that Audulus 3 is easier to get going in and has more powerful features than some of the very easy to use modular apps. I think over time as Audulus continues to mature and collects more fans it can still maintain it's power, be friendlier, and tap into the player/preset user who is happy to use patch creations even if they're not up for programming initially. Plus the people on here are very helpful and have some excellent patches. If Taylor and Mark can get the critical mass needed to expand their development team, I think their efforts along with the work of patchers will attract significantly more interest. Plus the same patch code on Windows, OSX, and iOS? What other app does that at such a high level? The use of visual representations of the signal flowing through your patches is brilliant. There are so many cool things about the app and their team is so small, that I think it's a challenge for them to get the message out and develop the app but I must say they're very efficient with what they do have.
  • @eddybenson are you a human or a robot?