So You Just Got Audulus... What Now?

Here’s a video I made about taking your first steps in the world of Audulus. Just a quick build tutorial to make a basic synth patch and accompanying it with a sequencer bassline.

Just Got Audulus.audulus (216.6 KB)


Yes, more of this !

i think a series of 10 videos just to cover the very basics
would have saved me so much time !


@Nomak What topics do you think should be covered?

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I find that this series reminds me of teaching surfing. Basically most of it doesn’t make much sense standing in the sand talking about it, there are a few gems you can take away, but when it comes down to it, everyone is on their own in the ocean.

Having watched the videos so far once through, the math is still unclear. I got the sense that these are beginner videos for experts – some way of presenting information, in which people who already understand the concepts can agree that they are true – like a proof. But a proof is not an explanation; that would require subproofs. No one proves all subproofs because they are a redundant waste of time, but in the case of understanding, the subproofs have to play a role in the explanation some how. However, there is a bit of necessary circle, where one must accept that when you start out you won’t understand most of a subject, but as you complete the circles of learning, each time you pass the start again, you learn a little more. I bet in a couple of months, I will understand most of what you are talking about – that is, if I keep up with it enough to comprehend the math expressions.

Now, to be fair, you can’t really teach someone to surf purely by explaining it. It takes a lot of time in the water.

I think that the difficulties I have here are part of what makes Audulus wonderful and confusing, and the two are inseparable. Perhaps it is just me, but one thing that could help would be to assume that your audience only knows how to perform calculator math, and that logic has so many flavours that if you are not a programmer it is hard to understand the why of expressions.

But, again, as I get older I have learned to cherish the little bits of learning I get out of things, and it is the most complex ones that are rewarding after years of slow progress.

I didn’t quite understand the difference between frequency and phase modulation – but I would almost prefer that you didn’t try any more than you have to explain it. A lot of the concepts you are working with are “basic” in the sense that they are foundations for building, but they are not basic in the sense of being easy to understand. I think you could have a parallel series called “know your modules,” for when some of us get cross-eyed and want to learn more about routing than component substructures.

Maybe you could also provide some links to videos or key words to use in order find out about these concepts. It is hard to say how a software engineer who knows little about subtractive synthesis would view this material compared to, say, an electrical engineer who knows a lot about music theory, but nothing about programming. Somehow, each of us contain these various traits at so many levels of competency. :smirk:


Frequency modulation - speed up or slow down the wave.

Phase modulation - move to a different part of the wave.

If you look at the gifs there, that might help illustrate what’s going on.

I agree that it would be nice if top level tutorial posts had maybe some glossary terms linked in there. What do you think @robertsyrett?

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@biminiroad I don’t think any of this can truly be addressed with dropping some definitions in like that. Doing that gives the illusion to people who already understand something, that by pointing to it, naming it, using it in a sentence, somehow impart the same mastery that is gained through years of practice.

Sort of the whole point of what I wrote is about not taking for granted the nature of possessing a concept. If you want to see some head scratching, try even defining what a concept is. You can get some definitions going, but you can also write a “History of the Very Idea of a Concept.”

I already see your two definitions as quite problematic, but I don’t want to go into it…

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I’m not saying that knowing what the mechanism is behind either techniques will make you a master of them, but there really isn’t much to what the concepts are other than those simple phrases.

Did you check out the gifs? They make it even clearer what’s going on.

Yeah I can fish around in the articles and glean some insights here and there. I have been trying to undestand FM synthesis for a few months because I want to get better at making patches on KQ Dixie, the iOS version of the DX7. However, it sure is a lot of learning and you really can’t come to a clear point in which you can say, “oh, now I understand FM synthesis.”

I get the feeling you won’t understand what I am talking about, that you are a particular kind of person that learns in a particular kind of way. I am a very odd learner, and have come to terms with it. I don’t get fast jokes, cynicism is lost on me, I hate puzzles, chess, polker, and I often socially isolate myself. But I work hard to figure things out, and when I do understand something I often understanding on a level that quite a few people probably never will. I appreciate your effort though. :relieved:


I have been reading this today, for example:

I don’t understand most of it but for some reason I get drawn in.

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@futureaztec Thanks! That’s some great feedback and a lot to take on board. I myself am not the master of pedagogy and am learning things as I go. But I should point out, this video is not a part of the ‘know your node’ series. It could be the start of a ‘know your modules’ series, but I’m looking for what people would like to see covered.

For ‘know your nodes,’ my target audience is someone who has already explored the library modules and would like to start building their own. So, the plan is that everything in the ‘know your nodes’ videos is something made in that or a previous video so the tutorials hold up even if the library modules evolve.

You are also correct that there are two types of learning we all use, synthesized learning that comes from education and deduction and experiential learning that comes from, wait for it, experience. Obviously the only experiential learning I can offer is the experience of watching my youtube videos. On that front, I hope to provide shorter videos that can be used for reference when you want to come back to an idea, also I hope to improve presentation but as I said, I’m learning on the go how to improve audio quality and graphical overlays.

Likewise I am aware that there is a circular problem to working with nodes, that you need to understand them individually to use them together, but they aren’t useful until you start to use them together. I hope that if the short and palettable you can watch just the video on the node you want to learn about or watch them all and get an overview.

Thanks again for the in depth comment, I really do appreciate you taking the time to provide some pretty nuanced feedback.


you should totally post that in the reverb thread

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I was doing the dishes and thought about how useful those videos would be as reference videos. So the idea that they would be short and one could watch them several times is in line with my intuition.


Instead of, or maybe in lieu of, videos someone could make a tutorial that actually has you building synth. Adding one module at a time, giving instructions on how to patch it in text, until you get a usable result.


How do you mean? Like making a synth voice module?

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A complete instrument that outputs to your device speakers.

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I’m not trying to be obtuse, but isn’t that about 5:30 into the video?

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I’m talking about in the actual app. No switching between screens or devices to learn how to do it.

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You mean record a similar tutorial in the iOS app? Maybe @biminiroad can take that on, I’m still at the low end of the learning curve when it comes to recording the tutorials. I will say that I honestly prefer to build on PC because you can patch while zoomed out. I typically prepare an Audulus patch on the PC and then open it on the iPad and focus on the eurorack half of the equation when I am in that space.

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Audulus should pay you to do these, you are really good at explaining at the right level of complexity and pace.


Just to add what Eagan said, I’ve been looking at this for a couple of weeks and while I’m convinced it’s worth the effort… it’s a lot of effort.

Maybe I’m missing the right information, and I’m happy for someone to point me in the right direction, but I feel I’m lacking some simple quickstarts for getting going with Audulus on iOS. Particularly for someone like me who doesn’t know the ecosystem of electronic music on iOS, like AUv3 and so on. (I know that now because I looked it up, but there’s a lot of jargon that’s unfamiliar to me).

On the whole I find the tutorials seem to move too fast over some probably simple things, with the result I still feel slightly mystified at the end of them.

I’m wanting something like what Esgal was asking for but when I try to do it myself (on iOS) I seem to end up blocked at some point by a lack of knowledge.

What I needed in the first instance is an iOS tutorial that covers the real basics of constructing an instrument that can be played from a midi keyboard.

  1. How to connect an external midi keyboard in the settings for the module in Audulus

  2. Add a simple sine wave oscillator to make a note

  3. Add an output/speaker so that I can hear the effect in iOS.

I know this seems very simple, but when you are starting its really non-trivial and there is no tutorial I have found that does anything as simple as this. Yet for many people this is a basic use case.

I can see a few different basic use cases that would ideally have super simple starter tutorials. They might be very similar in terms of the bit that makes a sound in the middle, but would be super useful as quick starts.

I’ve also found it a bit hard to work out how to download patches from the forum onto an iPad and open them up in Audulus.

Here’s my initial idea for a set of quick starts or iOS.

  1. Instrument driven from external midi keyboard

  2. Instrument driven from an iOS DAW via midi keyboard (such as GarageBand)

  3. Instrument driven by an iOS sequencer

  4. Loading up a patch from the forum into Audulus on iOS

Eventually all the richness will become useful, but when just wanting to make sounds quickly to get started its a bit of a scary prospect and a sizable barrier to entry.

What keeps me going is a specific desire I have to create a particular musical instrument, something like a Sitar. If I didn’t have that goal I’d probably have given up by now.

Once I know how to do these things I could maybe have a stab at making tutorials myself, though I’m so hideously busy over the next few months I may not have the time.