It’s been a long, long time coming: AudioMulch has finally gone from “preview” to 1.0. That means a strong new candidate for your modular sound-making brainwaves might be ready for prime time. (And check out that “meta surface” interface, pictured!)
For a long while, a loyal following on Windows has immersed themselves in pre-release versions of the AudioMulch Interactive Music Studio. Granular sounds and grungy digital effects have made it appeal to noise lovers, while a traditional complement of live audio processors and MIDI tempo-synced pattern tools make it a serious modular package. It has nothing approaching the depth and flexibility of Max/MSP or Reaktor, but it also doesn’t approach their premium price. It’s not nearly as flexible and extensible as Pd, either, but it’s also much friendlier and more Windows-like. (Is that a positive adjective, or does that just work on Mac? Well, you get the point.)
AudioMulch’s simplicity is a big part of its appeal. It’s modular and customizable, and has network sync and surround capabilities, but it opts for a selection of useful objects instead of a zillion-object smorgasboard. The 1.0 release should make it much easier to learn: the passionate AudioMulch community has contributed a host of new example files.
I’m too deep into Max/MSP/Jitter and Reaktor to get into AudioMulch; when I tried it I felt it was missing some things I liked. But if you’re looking for something cheaper and streamlined and you’re on PC, this could be it. There’s a 90-day trial (wish others would do that!) so you get a full evaluation to decide. Let us know what you think!