So You Just Got Audulus... What Now?

@robertsyrett - just finished the first video… have Audulus on the iPad/iPhone only for now, and your video got me up to a point where I can actually make a sound! :slight_smile:

Looking forward to the rest of the videos in this series. Also… if you don’t make iOS specific ones, it would be helpful if you could slow down a bit and clearly state which module you’re applying, and which specific ports are connected where. As they stand these are VERY helpful for me! Thank you so much - I know these take a ton o f time to create.


Hey @robertsyrett

Thanks for making your videos! This video is the first thing I watched to try to make sense of Audulus… then tried Audulus… then I watched the Modular Synthesis 101 by @biminiroad then back to all of your Know Your Nodes videos… then back to this one. I also messed around a bit in Audulus some more in between.

Now this one makes a lot more sense… but I have one question:

What does the second ADSR that you added to the Moog LPF bottom input do? I downloaded the patch, opened the MgLPF and did not understand the function of the bottom input… Then I unplugged the 2nd ADSR from the bottom input and I could not hear the difference (even after modifying the ADSR values).

Could you explain why you added it and why the Moog filter has it as an input to begin with?



Thanks for taking the time to watch my videos and explore my patch! The second envelope is there to animate the cutoff frequency of the filter. The effect is a little overpowered by the LFO modulating the waveform, so I would encourage you to just use a sawtooth wave to fully hear what the envelope is contributing to the timber of the tone.

Just Got Audulus Simplified for filter demo.audulus (77.8 KB)

Set up like this, it should be a little easier to hear what the envelope to the filter is doing. Specifically change the amount of modulation with the resonance turned up while you play something.


Ah… So basically the bottom ADSR is the envelope for the sound. While the top one is the envelope applied to the filter (frequency)? That makes sense.

One thing that makes Audulus confusing for me (and I assume other people who are relatively new to synthesis + patching) is that sometimes the audio signal comes with a gate/envelope in it… and other times the gate/envelope is a separate path/node/signal. See example below.

It would be very helpful if there was some notation (even if its fully optional) at the output (in this case the osc) which indicates if the signal has gate/envelope as part of it (or that should be added).

The problem at hand is that in some cases we have 1 input/output for audio + gate/envelope. While in others there are 2. And one has to analyze the signal path (or use an oscilloscope) to determine which situation they are in.

I think of this as still being audio only. The envelopes have made a sonic contribution to the audio in terms of tone and volume but those are still aspects of sound.

Being able to check out the signal with various meters is actually one of my favorite things about Audulus :). Especially when compared with hardware modular, where if the patch gets too complex you have to unpatch to troubleshoot or just roll with it and not fully know what is going on.

I think @biminiroad is in the process of doing just that! He recently redid all the basic modules with full English names and no image labels so it’s a little clearer. Personally I don’t mind the module being a little cryptic, because solving the puzzle is part of the fun, but I think it will be a big improvement to those starting off.

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hah. to be precise it’s a number… :wink: often between -1 and 1… yeah, i was thinking the same [they are both audio] when i was typing it… but the thing is that in audulus every value/signal is a number… which is amazing… but at the same time if there are no conventions (like green for gate, blue for output, o for 1/octave, etc) things get like in hardware modular [where some patches you cannot convince me the person who setup could even tell you exactly what they do].

i actually like that you can plug anything into anything else in audulus… that’s where creativity comes in… but i think that having labeling conventions [like the ones mentioned above] greatly improves the experience. because if i know that the expected signal is different i will plug the wrong thing in there on purpose… to discover the possibilities… instead of by accident [and be puzzled by the result]

Yes, I made an entire “debugging” patch as part of onboarding myself into Audulus (here)… just to be able to have all the meters [and logic for metering] in one place to pull from.

That would be amazing. :slight_smile: I would be delighted to test this workflow. I’m not advocating for more strict environment. I’m advocating for more conventions with the exact same environment. :slight_smile:

Yes, I can tell there is a huge difference between someone who already understands synthesis on an intimate level and someone who is just starting in terms of unpacking what they are looking at. I think that if Audulus had a bit more onboarding type patches/setups it would help beginners get up to speed more quickly [and enjoy higher complexity sooner].


and check out the epic documentation as well.


I downloaded and installed it. And started looking at the Docs.

Now I am confused though I have a Mixer subfolder in 3 different places now. Are the 2 bottom options (Library and Library v3) both versions of the modules library and everything above are nodes (no modules in there)?


This is correct. You can open up the module folder and make a personal library too, that’s what I have done and it was worth the time. I really got to speed up my workflow when it came to music making when I could get all my favorite modules with a right click and 2 levels of folders. I like the library but sometimes stuff gets buried in subfolders.


Awesome. I probably will, very soon. Thanks!

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Everything above the line are nodes and everything below it is the module library plus whatever else you put in the modules folder.


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Thanks! That makes sense.

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I think some people grab the programming horn of Audulus and figure that it should reveal the conventions of synthesis. The idea is that if you build each component of a synth out of nodes and expressions, you will understand how to perform synthesis techniques. This is partly true, but I think it is an approach taken more often than it should and probably leads to a disinterest in the software – a flash in the pan. For example, people will be wanting to build a synth but they don’t know what a digital audio workstation is. Sure, you can totally do this without that knowledge but it seems to me that there are numerous subbranches and sister-subjects which, if you have some handle on, become hills to climb to see the landscape from.

I keep my motivation by always trying to incorporate creativity and inquiry. So, moving around the related aspects – which might include buying a festival pass and and tent and roughing it with everyone this summer in order to get a sense of how things are working on a transformative spiritual level for conscious people who can’t just be at home in themselves in public, but take refuge in the ‘dance community’. Sure, that scene may have absolutely nothing to do with someone’s particular interest in synthesis. I find it is probably the most appropriate venue for presenting innovative projects to a large receptive audience who will not only agree that it is innovative, but will be directly innovated by it while you are presenting it.

As far as “enjoying higher complexity sooner,” one school of Tantric Buddhism treats the aim of achieving the correct outlook as being content with the small gains, in the knowledge that it is the incremental appreciation of subtleties which is at the heart of infinite redescription.

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I am personally too OCD for DAWs and not nerdy enough for MaxMSP or writing music with code.

So Audulus strikes the magic balance between flexibility/creativity and utility for me. I also like to start with a blank slate. And I’m really excited to dive deeper in it (as soon as I get past the initial barriers for people like me who don’t have a synthesis or music prod background).

I’ve tried all sorts of stuff too: DAWs, trackers, hardware (a quite large range), analog modular (surface level but DIY), turntables/DVS, finger drumming, writing code to make sound… basically everything except for classic training or going to school for production hah. :slight_smile:

The vector based UI really helps as well…

P.S. I work on digital products (apps and stuff), which is why I brought the onboarding aspect… It’s a “professional deformation” to judge onboarding when you look at a product. :slight_smile:

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Yes the office culture creeps in often…The explosion of modular synthesis is inseparable from people who think the golden age of the electronic imagination was at its best when Nintendo changed modern culture – the same people who backed away around the death of the Dreamcast and have limited their exposure to video games because of the lack of room for individual expression at fundamental levels ever since. Now we get to marvel at the fonts and layouts of modules, collect them and trade with friends. Then we tell everyone we are “working on music.” Somehow this goes over, whereas “working on my video games,” doesn’t slip past suspicion so easily.

There is, however, something very god-like about both practices. One could imagine a synthesis class as a required credit in a cosmo-architectural certificate, as much as it would be hard to find a better way to teach world building than insert favourite game title.


well put!

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…and in some ways they are two ends of the same elephant. To a phase detector in a phase locked loop, a small difference in frequency looks to it just like a phase change!

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My post seems a bit out of place. Who was I answering?! Did I fat finger a context jump on my tiny phone screen?


I wondered about that myself lol.


@dcLargo I have done this myself. When you type a reply, but then get distracted by the ‘ooooh shiny object…’ the comment you were about to make follows you to whatever forum discussion page you end up on. You may then go, “oops, I forgot to post this”, but if you don’t go back to the original page, it will post where you are now. Don’t sweat it :slightly_smiling_face: