Audulus 3 launched – modular synthesis app gets new version and host of new features

Download from iTunes App StoreAudulus 3 logo 1If you are the kind of person who likes to program their own synth patches then an iOS music app such as Audulus is pretty much the ultimate playground. Not only do you get to program your own patches but – because of the modular nature of the virtual instrument – you also get to build the synth engine in the first place.

I first reviewed Audulus back in December 2013 and, while the app has had a number of significant updates since then (here and here for example), the basic principles remain the same (so feel free to skip over to that review to find out more). In essence, however, what Audulus provides you with a stock of virtual synth components (termed ‘modules’). Once placed in the interface, these components become ‘nodes’ and have various types of inputs and outputs that you can link to other nodes using virtual patch cables.

Audulus 3 - new graphics and plenty of new components to explore.

Audulus 3 – new graphics and plenty of new components to explore.

Taylor Holliday – the main man behind Audulus – also has versions of Audulus for OSX and Windows. However, v.2 of the iOS app disappeared from the App Store a few weeks ago because…  yep, v.3 was on the way. New new shiny version of Audulus is now available for purchase and with a launch price of UK£10.99.

Audulus 3 provides a modular environment for building all sorts of virtual sound devices.

Audulus 3 provides a modular environment for building all sorts of virtual sound devices. The app looks great on the new iPad Pro.

I can’t make any claim to have been a ‘master of Audulus’ in v.2 but I’d used the app enough to know that this is a powerful, modular, environment in which to build synths or sound design tools. It is most certainly not for everyone – if you are happy to tweak a few presets then Audulus might not be for you – but dedicated synth-heads and wannabe (virtual) synth builders would get a real kick out of the software.

Anyway, having had just a brief scoot through v.3, this really is a very substantive upgrade to the software. The UI has been given a further polish and there are a huge number of new modules to explore. What’s more, there are no longer any IAPs for some of the additional modules/components; everything is included in the base price of the app. As before, the app is universal under iOS and this version requires iOS8.3 or later. A 4th gen. iPad or i{hone 5 or better are recommended. The OSX version is also available and the Windows release of v.3 is to follow shortly.

If you like to build your own synths - and other sound sources - Audulus has plenty to offer.

If you like to build your own (virtual) synths – and other sound sources – Audulus has plenty to offer.

This is a ‘new’ app in the sense that existing users will have to pay for the new version (all the v.2 updates were, of course, supplied for free over the course of that app’s lifespan). However, considering what would appear to be a huge amount of work that has gone into the development of the new app, whether you see the asking price as an ‘upgrade IAP’ or a new purchase, if Audulus is an environment you enjoy, this still strikes me as a pretty good deal.

I not going to claim that I’ll ever quite understand Audulus myself….   but I’ll do my best to review the app and at least provide a flavour of what it is about as soon as I’ve had a chance to spend a suitable amount of time with it. Check out the videos below for some further details….

Audulus



Audulus 3 from Audulus LLC on Vimeo.

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    Comments

    1. Wordsofwisdom says:

      I had bought Audulus, but the developer removed it from the App Store. Understand some apps need to be removed because of change in the iOS architecture, yet there has not been a significant change since iOS 7 was released. I don’t mean mind paying for updates or even another app by the same developer. That’s not what happened here.

      Fat chance I’d buy any other apps from this developer. If you expect your readers to respected your blog, you should also state facts about the developers questionable business practices. Supporting developers there rip us off is not ethically correct.

      • Hi Chad… the v.3 of Audulus brings a significant set of new features to the app and a redesign both cosmetically and under the hood. It has undoubtedly involved a lot of development work from Taylor and his development team. Having had plenty of interaction with him over the last couple of years, I have to say that he has always struck me as an incredibly talented individual who absolutely cares about his customers. He has also struck me as a genuinely nice guy….

        As I’ve commented before on the blog, the App Store does not provide a very clear model for the concept of the ‘paid upgrade’. Such upgrades are common place on the desktop and, in the music tech world, users often get .X updates for free (for example 2.1 to 2.2) but, when a N+1. update arrives (for example v.2 to v.3) then a paid update is required. Under iOS, different developers have handled this in different ways but it is unfair (and unrealistic) to expect developers to provide lifetime updates to users for free especially when we are talking about software with a unit cost of just a few £/€/$.

        As far as I can see, all Taylor has done here is tried to seek a return on some considerable work by making v.3 what is essentially a paid update. V.2 will, for some time I suspect, continue to work just fine providing you have it installed (and backed up) for those that don’t wish to access the new features in the new version…. This is no different to the normal practice for desktop software (music or otherwise) from both major and indie developers alike.

        We will, perhaps, have to agree to disagree… but I think Audulus 3 is a brilliant piece of software and, if you are in to the whole DIY ethic of sound/synth design, fabulous value for money. I have absolutely no interest in supporting developers who are obviously out to scam customers…. but, in my view, Taylor is utterly professional and honest in what he does…. and I sincerely hope Audulus 3’s sales help him put food on the family table. Very best wishes, John

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