Hey Audulus community!
Mostly I just wanted to drop by and say hello and express my respect for this community. What an impressive bunch of work over the past couple years, wow! If anything I hope I am not behind too much on the crest of enthusiasm. I’ve been lurking around a while, finally diving in a bit with the Audulus 4 beta. It’s shaping up to be pretty awesome, excited about it. At first I was all iOS, but since jumping in I have been 99% macOS.
I usually try to keep things short in a medium like this. Here’s an exception, so TL/DR, TMS, etc.
In general the “visual programming” type noodly modular media software world fits me. Not a programmer, not an engineer. Musician and free thinker from an era of sound making not requiring virtuosity, just a creative bend and authenticity. I just like building my own noodly computer music stuff. I have been hacking away at digital audio for some time, at this point I have a pretty good grip on the concepts. Regarding digital, I’d rather build a simple crappy thing and feel closer to it than get the latest greatest plugin.
Long time Plogue Bidule user. Kindred spirits, Audulus and Bidule – important to me how both are styled to keep the focus on sound and not get too lost in the forest. Bidule has been around since the early 2000’s and seb@plogue is a gem. I might label both pieces of software “boutique” audio software – a parallel to mod synth world, for one.
So Bidule is more mature, with some important features Audulus does not have. For example, Bidule has plugin versions (including a MIDI FX version and multi-channel versions that work great in Logic, my DAW of choice. I have also loved Ableton Live, and never got on board the ProTools train). Bidule also supports audio plugins (AU/VST), as part of their early mission was to support the gnarly ecosystem of experimental audio plugins rolling out back then. Bidule also has awesome “Swiss army knife” MIDI tools, and a suite of super cool fft/spectral modules.
Whereas Bidule’s audio engine is solid and stable and “transparent”, Audulus’ audio engine is super stable for me, too, but there’s some other little magic thing going on for me how it somehow feels new and fresh with its own unique sound – transparency of Bidule is traded for a signature sound. Also worth mentioning are the impressive specs so far running Audulus 4 beta on my M1 Mac Mini.
Audulus also outshines Bidule with visuals – fresh air for me to know it is part of the mission to make a visually beautiful piece of software. Visually, I’ve always loved Bidule’s patchbay and always been frustrated by its “system” GUI (wxwidgets) for user created groups.
I’m a bit of an outside admirer of all things modular, not enough hands on experience, but one silly frivolous dream I have when $ is no object (as in, probably never happen) is to have one eurorack kit for a series of compositions, closing up the kit when finished with all settings/instructions in place. I have had a few interesting moments related to mod synth world, having lived in the SF Bay Area for many years. One that stands out was helping my friend shoot some footage for a documentary about Don Buchla (and I met him, very cool experience, though I was the cameraman so I was immediately under suspicion). In fact I just noticed one of my photos on the website header of the Buchla 100 that’s at Mills College in Oakland, CA. (The photo with the red labels). I have a connection to Mills College, long story.
Random thoughts on music as it relates to software like Audulus~
I’ve been a musician for 7/8 of my life, rock-and-roll kid, post-punk guitarist/songwriter turned visual/media artist along the way. These thoughts are threaded by things that point to why I am here using Audulus, i.e., kooky keyboards and all that. When I was sixteen I had Eno’s Another Green World on my turntable for about 6 months straight, fascinated by it, discovered it on my own, a private pleasure. Kraftwerk too – I had one friend who was totally into them, his enthusiasm was contagious. They were like beings from another planet, a gentle, humorous, ominous, well-mannered future place, and I always felt like they created a new genre. I like them now more than ever. Recently listening to Cybotron (early Detroit techno), realizing what a direct rip off they were of Kraftwerk, and kinda awesome for it. The whole “krautrock” thing sunk in a little later for me – Can, Faust and the rest, when I worked in a used record store while in college. Kind of a latecomer to electronic stuff like house and techno, though long time appreciator of Aphex Twin. Also just thinking of Alan Vega/Suicide, etched in there somewhere. Experimental/avant: Robert Ashley’s “Automatic Writing”. Into the band Wolf Eyes right now, they speak a language I understand. Black Dice, too. Random memories for sure. I actually like all kinds of music, loyal to no genre. Dylan, Leonard Cohen, old country music (Hank Williams/early Willie Nelson), Anthology of American Folk Music, Motown, Notorious B.I.G., Lil Wayne, Wu Tang. If anything I’d say right now I tend towards shorter songs and folk forms (and imho one could argue mod synth popularity = a folk form).
Might be the longest most personal forum post I ever made. Cheers