Some Discussion About AUv3 For iOS



In order to keep the AUv3 Effect topic clean, I have started this thread in case some discussion wants to spill over here. In any event I just want to make some comments about this topic.

Whenever something gets a big update a door of opportunity to widen the user base opens. Inevitably you will get some customers, but sometimes if you have all of your ducks in order you will get more customers; a couple of points come to mind.

For one, in the iOS community AUv3 has been a paradigm shift. When I heard this was possible, I bought an iPad and have not worked on music in Ableton for months. Audio Damage, Bram Bos, and Fred Anton Corvest have done very well here. Also the Zeeon Synth by Beepstreet is pretty amazing. I suppose that my point is, basic effects might get a bit of an overhaul. It’s great that Audulus has reverb, but the reverb in other apps (and there are many) seems to be fairly CPU efficient and has an awesome user interface (see EOS 2 the multitap delay Kosmonaut). So finding a way to set Audulus apart in terms of delay, reverb, gating, compression, frequency shifting, bit crushing, etc., seems like an important aspect.

Another avenue is to think about guitar pedal effects, where you have various basic features arranged to modulate each other in an interface that is intuitive. The closest thing I have found on here is the ES-8 tape delay. Someone made some ad-hoc modifications to this module so I could run it in a DAW on iOS.
Warped Delay 3.audulus (109.4 KB)

If this gets cleaned up and another few heavy hitter guitar effects are presented, this will definitely attract a particular demographic.

One make or break feature I look for as a potential customer is whether I can sync and divide time with knobs, but also work in milliseconds- seconds if I want to. So adding the time divisions, but also preserving the free time option strikes me as a key feature.

You can also see presets in this GUI. Presets are standard for AUv3’s. I am not sure if this is easy to implement or how far along things are here, but it matters. I am not going to say too much more for now but I felt like I needed to mention some of this. I like to build things and experiment, but I also like to setup my iPad, drum interface, keyboard, guitar and bass and land somewhere in the middle between Electro and surf rock. So I am always interested in building things that translate well to jamming out live (even when I am maybe running a patch I have spent hours programming).

Very excited for the AUv3 step.:star_struck:


Audio Damage is a heavy hitter in the small AUv3 iOS target market. I really like their aesthetic approach and I find that part of what draws me into a synths/effects are the pretty lights. When this app hits in the next few weeks it will obviously do quite well.

It got me thinking about another discussion that was had a while ago regarding the graphics in Audulus. I was worried that the current theme would be abandoned and replaced with some copy of other synths. As I got to thinking about it lately, a few thoughts came to mind.

In my opinion art is done well when an artist has a variety of elaborations in a style. So, taken across a body of work, each piece furthers a kind of perspectival vision – as though everything appears relatively the same compared to everything else, but in a new world that, where taken together, everything is entirely different.

This got me thinking about how I like the distinctive style of the Audulus graphics, but also that this style could evolve without loosing its developmental identity – it could get better (how will a Star Trek bridge look in a movie in 20 years)? This artistic expansion can also go wrong – see Star Wars IV, V, and VI versus Star Wars Episode 1, 2 and 3. The latter I would consider – given the opportunity to build on an already developed conceptual world – an artistic failure. So, while evolving a style can be exciting, it is also open to mistakes.

Thinking about Audulus as an AUv3 on iOS – one detail stands out for me. This is the idea that not only could you make your own sounds (synths, effects), but what if you had access to a palette that allowed you to customize how your designs looked. The big question here is: Can you create templates that allow for the most freedom of visual creativity, without risking the outcome where a bunch of ugly, discontinuous unthematic visual creations appear?

I leave you with a short video from Audio Damage’s Superbooth `18 table. Here we see AD moving forward, but also referencing their own cannon.


Presets are also a feature of earlier versions of the AU standard. An AU can present various parameters to the host and the state of these parameters can be saved as a preset. This is also one mechanism used for plug-in automation. Unfortunately there’s no easy way for Audulus to have a defined set of parameters. The AU has to describe the parameters to the host when it is loaded, which for Audulus is before a patch is opened. Parameters would vary with each patch and could even change once the patch was open, if the patch were edited. The AU (and VST) preset mechanism only really works for AUs with a fixed set of adjustments


I suspected that the way to deal with something like this would be to have an export function in the software so you would build your patch in Audulus, then convert it to an AU, as a kind of locked, face-plated object. This would limit the points in which the variable data would need to be recorded. But, you could also allow it so be re-circuited – it is just that the changes wouldn’t save in the preset, as only the variable points indicated would be saved.


The 90% iOS price reduction is pretty nice!

@stschoen was Rosetta the midi app that you were telling me about in Palo Alto?


yeah the whole idea of getting out of the free vst world and into paying for plugins that are new and made by companies like Audio Damage is what drew me into iOS. The idea that I could not buy lunch, but buy myself a new synthesizer or multi tap delay made everything fun. Sometimes I drop $100 on a plugin for my mac and don’t use it much and feel bad about it.


I like the general concept of exporting Audulus patches as discrete plug-ins. I’m not sure if making a system that would support that would be unreasonable to develop, but the thought of using Audulus to make something that interacts with the DAW without running Audulus in the background has a different feel to it than just kind of interconnecting Audulus through the IAA or AudioBus.


Honestly don’t remember but I don’t think so.


Good thing I took notes, it’s either Touch OSC or Morph Wiz!


I suppose you would think of it in terms of node->module->rack, such that you could always bring the racks back into Audulus for use, but they would be locked in a way – although maybe still front patchable.:thinking:


TouchOSC allows you to build custom control surfaces for both OSC and MIDI on iOS. This is a layout I did for Audulus

MorphWiz is an older iOS Synth app that’s recently been updated for iOS 11. Kind of a different UI, I think you’d like it


Ah perfect, I just bought TouchOSC :money_mouth_face::money_with_wings::metal:


It works nicely with Audulus using MIDI and is a way to get multi-touch support for Audulus. There’s a thread on the old forum if it’s still there. Very stable using the TouchOSC bridge app to send MIDI to Audulus on the Mac. Also works running Audulus in background on iOS, but I found you had to launch Audulus, load the patch, switch to TouchOSC, move all the controls then switch back to Audulus to get the link established. Apparently Audulus has some problems with MIDI while it’s backgrounded. I let Taylor know and hopefully that will resolve itself with the MIDI update. If knobs and toggles send as well as receive Midi, TouchOSC would sync with the knobs in Audulus. I’ll dig out the template and patch tomorrow and post them


I posted the files in a separate thread: Using TouchOSC as a MIDI control surface for Audulus iOS


I think to be effective, as an AU the Audulus patches will have to be more GUI oriented rather than focused on flexibility and programability in the AU environment itself.

Many synth apps have taken the approach of having a more limited set of features in the AU with the idea that users can create their presets in standalone mode or IAA mode.

At the very least I would think there’d be an option to make efficient GUI oriented with minimal controls versus a mode where the patch is similar to standalone or IAA mode currently.

Fancy DIY SVG graphics can be a real drain on patches if you’re not careful. It’s the details preserved in the SVG files that will drag you down which can be seen in terms of how large the files are and even if they seem small compared to jpg or png files in terms of size, the workload for Audulus can grow very quickly.

Here’s a very frivolous patch with just one knob that illustrates what can happen when you don’t address these issues.
GlobeKnob.audulus (1.2 MB)


One idea would be to pixelate the graphics a bit image


I thought vectors were more efficient than rasters.


This is where I might learn something, but one of the issues right now is how the latest iPad Pro runs its GPU. So it may be efficient for realtime scaling, but if you have a locked face plate…

I am tempted to have some hair-brained theory but I probably should avoid that. Maybe you could have low res vector?


It depends on how many vector points are in the SVG file. I’ve been experimenting.


The resolution of vectors is the same, the difference is the complexity so it doesn’t matter how big a given icon is in terms of screen space.