AudioMulch v0.9b21 released

AudioMulch is an interactive musician’s environment for computers running Microsoft Windows. Bringing together the popular with what has up to now been considered experimental, AudioMulch merges the worlds of mainstream electronica and electroacoustic sound composition to create a fluid sonic environment only limited by the artist’s imagination.

While many of the processes featured within AudioMulch are not new to computer music programs, it is the software’s ability to carry out these traditionally "studio" or "non-real-time" signal processing techniques in real-time that emerges as its major asset. With AudioMulch, music that has for so long been limited to the pre & post-production practices of a studio can emerge in a new LIVE and interactive context.

Through the essentially unlimited (only by the power of the computer) combination of a network of synthesis and processing contraptions, AudioMulch allows the user to extend their current audio processing capabilities or create new music within their computer without additional expensive software or hardware systems.

AudioMulch 'Contraptions' (signal processing elements) include:

Signal Generators:
Test tone / noise, drum machine, bassline synthesizer, additive synthesizer, stored sample granulator, loop player, Shepard / Risset tone generator, arpeggiator.

Reverb, flanger, phaser, delay line granulator, ring / amplitude modulation, stereo delays, dynamic stereo spatialiser, waveshaper / distortion , digital grunge inducer, pulsar comb filter.

Parametric EQ, resonant comb filter bank, Shepard / Risset filter bank, granular filtering.

AudioMulch supports VST audio effects plugins, allowing over 50 free plugins and many commercial plugins to be used within the AudioMulch environment.

AudioMulch can be used to process and generate sound files or as a live performance instrument.

AudioMulch allows any processing parameter to be controlled via MIDI. AudioMulch can syncronise to an external MIDI clock source.

Up to 16 channels of real-time audio input and output can be generated and / or processed by AudioMulch when used in conjunction with a multichannel soundcard.

AudioMulch is distributed as shareware, the registration fee for a single-user license is currently US$50. Alpha and Beta versions of AudioMulch expire 90 days after their release date. Registering AudioMulch disables program expiry. See the registration page for further details.

System Requirements
AudioMulch is a 32 bit Windows application requiring either Windows95/98/Me or NT4.0/2000/XP (or later). To hear audio in real-time (that is what the program is designed for) you need a soundcard capable of delivering 16bit 44.1k stereo sound. To process audio from the soundcard input you will need a full-duplex soundcard i.e. one capable of simultaneous 16bit 44.1k stereo recording and playback. To do anything useful a Pentium(R) class machine is required. MMX Won't speed things up much but enhanced floating-point (Pentium Pro or Pentium II, III, IV, AMD Athlon etc.) will. The faster the machine, the more you can do in real-time.

This version of AudioMulch adds new multi-channel file recording contraptions which can record up to 24 channels to one or more sound files. All file recording contraptions have been extended to allow Automation and MIDI control. The minimum bandwidth of the ParaEq equalisation contraptions has been reduced to 20Hz. A number of small usability and sound quality improvements and bug fixes have been made. Read on for more details.
Some Notes About the Future

After 33 public beta releases, and over 7 and a half years of development, it's time for AudioMulch to move into a new phase. By early 2006, a final, non-beta version of AudioMulch will be available. With this non-beta release will come the first price increase in AudioMulch's history. There will be no upgrade fee for existing users to use this non-beta version, nor for users who purchase a registration prior to the release. Non-registered users are encouraged to purchase a registration well in advance to avoid the price increase.

The decision to make a non-beta release stems from a number of factors: most notably that the software has been demonstrated to be stable and has been successfully used by many people in performance and other stability-critical situations. Related to this, significant changes to the software, which are required to add fresh capabilities, can in the short term be detrimental to stability. The new non-beta version will provide a stable reference, while allowing more interesting development to be undertaken in future beta releases. Among the interesting changes planned for next year's exciting new development cycle are a powerful re-vamped rhythm sequencing support and a new user interface based on TrollTech's Qt toolkit.
File Recorders and File Players

This release sees the introduction of new multichannel file recording contraptions. Together with the FilePlayer, FileRecorder and multichannel file players, AudioMulch now has a powerful range of contraptions for dealing with streaming soundfile playback.

The new multichannel sound file recorders allow recording up to 24 synchronised channels to one or more soundfiles, in any combination, for example 24 mono files, 12 stereo files or a single 24 channel file. This can be useful for recording separate parts of an AudioMulch patch to separate files so they can be mixed using standard multi-track recording software. It can also be used for making multi-track or multi-channel surround sound recordings for later playback in AudioMulch or elsewhere.

All of the file recording contraptions have been enhanced with the capability of being activated using MIDI or Automation. This makes it possible, for example, to create an automated sequence which records input to a file and plays it back with processing later (although read on for some limitations on this).

6 Channel multi file players and recorders have been added to make 5.1 surround mixing and playback more convenient.

Advanced users may find it useful to understand the underlying design philosophy of the sound file playing and recording contraptions in AudioMulch. Although these contraptions can be automated, they were not envisioned as replacements for multi-track recording and mixing software. Instead they are designed to provide interactive playback of streaming soundfiles in a performance context. In practice what this means is that they are not tightly coupled to the Automation system, automation simply triggers them as would the user with a mouse. The contraptions are designed to stream sound from disk, which means that they cannot begin to play until the sound is loaded from disk, which can take time. In general this means that using automation to tightly synchronise multiple players, or to synchronise playback of sound files with automation does not always work. This is especially true of the file recorders which do not pre-roll sound files for playback as do the file players. Users are encouraged to stretch the limits of what AudioMulch can do, however please be aware that there are limits to the capabilities of these file players for synchronised performance. A future version of AudioMulch may include more advanced capabilities for automation-synchronised sound file playback.
Bug fixes

The following bugs were fixed for this release:

* Made FileRecorder (and the new multi file recorders) work even when its outputs aren't connected to SoundOut.
* Fixed bug introduced in 0.9b20 which could cause a crash on startup.
* Fixed bug where documents saved with "Save a Copy with soundfiles" could loose track of where the soundfiles were and ask the user to locate them.
* Fixed click in DLGranulator and Nebuliser when Freeze is enabled.
* Fixed Shaper waveshaping, doesn't create DC or incorrect spectra now.
* Fixed bug where loop points weren't displayed the first time a document was loaded and tried to display them.
* Fixed bug where sometimes it became impossible to select patch cords in the patcher, usually when VST plugins gained the keyboard focus.
* Fixed bug where the help window dissappears behind the main AudioMulch window as soon as it is shown.
* Metasurface window is now hidden when a new document is loaded unless that document uses the Metasurface.
* Fixed bug where changing the MIDI sync device wasn't always picked up until AudioMulch was restarted.
* Patches are now aligned to the bottom of the patcher pane when loading so that SoundOut is near the bottom.
* Fixed bug where it was possible to create a feedback loop from the input to the output of a single contraption by creating a loop using a second contraption, and then using the right-click Bypass option to remove the second contraption from the loop.
* Fixed bug where right-clicking on a note cell in the Bassline contraption brings up both note entry window and right click menu.
* Made VST parameter name handling even more robust, Pluggo parameter names are now displayed.

This is one of my favorite sound mangling softwares.