DAW sync via multi-timbral midi AU?

Hi everyone,

I’ve been away from the scene for a while. I want to use Audulus in the AU as a MIDI instrument. I want to do some tempo-sync’d stuff but I also want to be able to send notes in on MIDI.

Is there currently any way to do this in the AU?

I see that I can like … just send quarter notes into the AU and use that to drive tempo, but it steps all over notes I want to play. I tried setting up an multi-timbral instance and sending the gate pulse on one MIDI channel and the notes on another channel, but it seems like the AU only sees channel 1 no matter what?

How is everyone else doing this? or is everyone else just using the Audulus standalone and piping MIDI through the IAC or something?

thanks y’all!

DAWClock.audulus (437.7 KB)

well, I couldn’t get the multi-timbral thing to work, but poking around I managed to hack together a DAW sync module that spits out a gate sync’d to the DAW clock (as long as the DAW clock is running).

Works in Logic Pro X, no idea about the rest.
seems to stay in sync. Good enough


I built something similar using the Time node a while back and found that it wasn’t stable enough to be useful in Ableton Live. Hopefully the situation will improve with the release of AUv3 in Audulus 4.

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Yeah, I noticed it tends to lose sync the longer you let it run, depending on how heavy the patch is. More heavy = loses sync earlier.

Tried ending around that by using a tap tempo after the daw clock … it still loses sync.

I’m thinking this is a limitation in the AU, not my patch :confused:

Also I noticed the AU can’t receive audio on the mic module when loaded as an effect. Man, Audulus is amazing but even with new hardware I can’t actually use it for much in terms of producing. Which is a bummer

I’m not sure why you might be having trouble with the mic node. As I recall it worked for me the last time I used it.
The macOS AU is running ancient code. It hasn’t been updated in a very long time. To be honest, I rarely use the AU since it won’t run many of the current patches. @Taylor decided that working on version 4 of Audulus would be more productive in the long run which I believe is the right approach. The iPadOS version is currently in open beta if you’re interested. Along with many other significant upgrades, the AU will be migrating to the AUv3 standard and will offer an AU on both the iPad and the Mac. I expect multi-channel I/O in the AU as well as MIDI out.

I’m really looking forward to version 4 so I can more easily integrate Audulus into the rest of my workflow. I’m hoping some version of MIDI sync and/or DAW sync will make it into the product at some point. I don’t know if it will be there at launch since the final feature set is still in flux.

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Oh wow, I can’t wait for version 4!

That sounds amazing. Far be it from me to criticize Taylor’s dev priorities, LOL. As a developer myself, I totally get that. Effort toward the new version does sound like a better plan to me too.

I will say this … I don’t own any modular gear. Probably never will. Well … maybe I dunno. My point being, I get that Audulus has found a community in the modular world as like a “bridge” technology, especially on iPads. But it is SO MUCH MORE than that.

Here’s the reality.
Synthesizers = techno (or whatever electronic subgenera it is)
Techno = tempo sync to a DAW

no tempo sync, no DAW no Audulus on actual released tracks.
Or very very rarely.

that’s gotta be a priority.


I definitely agree with you, that daw sync would be absolutely awesome, but you could also create songs by using Audulus as an instrument and playing stuff into your daw or by using standalone Audulus (syncing everything in a patch).
@futureaztec did that a lot and his stuff is pretty cool :slight_smile:

There was a node in earlier versions of the beta, for syncing.
(At least that was the description of it I think it wasn’t implemented)
It was described to output a number that represents the position of the play head in a daw, when Audulus runs as AU (so basically a daw synced timer)
Imo that would be the best way of syncing, because you will always know the exact position you are at in the daw (this also enables us to use splines for all kinds of daw synced automations)
I don’t know if this node will be included in the first release … still, one more reason to be hyped about A4 :smiley:


I have at least five workarounds to various syncing challenges. What is your concrete barrier?

Like, for one, I tend to set the bpm on a certain clock modules, then feed it a reset every so often – rather than sending a pulse on the downbeat to establish the bpm.

There are a myriad of challenges. Inverting master/slave roles, reordering tasks, abandoning certain DAWs for other DAWs, going without a DAW and just recording an audio file, but then dropping that file back into a DAW while matching the bpm and riffing over it.

Personally, I tend to treat it all as though I am going to make music no matter what. This ‘direct action’ approach recognizes that there is always a feature on the horizon, a piece of equipment tempting me to stop creating and troubleshoot. Sometimes the equipment wins. But this process often leads to further depths of appreciation.

At the same time, I applaud your view. Direct action yes, but also imagining–envisioning better futures.


I mean there are lots of ways around this. One Is just to setup the IAC bus, and pipe midi out of logic, into the Audulus standalone, and just pipe Audulus out one interface and into another and record the audio.

On my old rig that was the only way though for various reasons that also tends to break, though it is more flexible in some ways.

Hey I’m not bitchin’ … there are ways around it. But I’ve gotta say from my perspective that is like the weakest link … It’s a hassle to put drums on it when you make a keeper.


That sounds like a pain. Couldn’t you use Soundflower to keep the audio in house, which would allow you to run standalone Audulus, thereby avoiding the antiquated code?

Running in standalone should also resolve the single channel midi node issue: Daw Sync - #6 by stschoen

The only downside to using Soundflower (other than the general pain of getting it installed on current versions of macOS) is the additional latency that it necessarily introduces. You can adjust the buffer size using Soundflowerbed but the minimum size is 64 samples (assuming you have a fast enough CPU). If you have the luxury of multiple interfaces, looping may be preferable from a latency perspective. Hopefully the introduction of the AUv3 in version 4 will make the work-arounds unnecessary.
In any case the IAC bus would still be the preferred way to get MIDI out of the DAW and into a standalone Audulus.

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yeah, latency was my issue with the sound flower method … though granted that was on an old unsupported operating system, an ancient version of logic and an ancient version of sound flower that I had to pull off GitHub and compile myself. Haven’t tried it on the new rig yet … it’s possible the issue is fixed.

what I’d do was just set up a midi track on channel 10 and send that as a click to the standalone, Then a second track on channel 1 for the notes. That really worked well but with soundflower, the audio would get out of sync with the click at some point … then there’d be pops and crap in the audio. Using two interfaces was the only stable config on my old rig anyhow …

I’ve gone both routes in the past and the multiple interface approach was the one I ended up using. Soundflower is a great tool and has come in handy many times but I found the multi-interface method to be more reliable.

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The one thing I would reemphasize is that I often don’t send a regular pulse. Instead, using a clock with a reset input, then just setting the bpm to match seems like a way better, stable approach.

I have also used vcv rack (or miRack) to transfer midi to Audulus. I don’t often use my MacBook but prefer iOS because I can get so many high quality AU’s for cheap. On iOS, Audulus seems to often just pickup the midi signal ‘in the air’ without doing any routing — it’s just internally available. But, again, I avoid sync’s and stick to resets.