AudioMulch 2 – less pain with patchcords

After almost three years focusing on research and development it's time to start sharing the story. This blog will discuss AudioMulch and the ideas behind it, as well as offering information to assist your music making. Over the next few posts I'll also be discussing new features of the forthcoming version 2.0 release – starting today...

AudioMulch is designed for performance, whether on stage or in the studio. For me that means the user interface must support creative flow, spontaneity and improvisation. The patcher has always been central to AudioMulch; you use it to connect contraptions together, routing audio from generators to filters, effects and mixers, and finally to the output of your soundcard. I've always considered that “patching” can be part of a performance – not just a programming task you do to prepare. Some AudioMulch users take live-patching to the extreme and give whole performances building a patch from nothing!

Even if you're not into extreme-live-patching, routing and re-patching audio signals is central to the AudioMulch workflow – it's a big part of being creative with the software. For some time I've wanted to make AudioMulch easier to use and better suited to live performance. Out of this desire, and lengthly discussions with fellow AudioMulch users, I developed a new patcher for AudioMulch 2.0.

With AudioMulch 1.0 every patch cord must be connected manually. Inserting a contraption in between two existing contraptions often involves deleting the connecting patch cords and then creating new ones. There are a few tricks, but overall patching in AudioMulch 1.0 can become a bit tedious.
The AudioMulch 2.0 patcher makes patching easier. To start with, AudioMulch 2.0 includes a side-bar contraptions palette. You can drag contraptions from the palette into the patcher to create them without the need to navigate the “New Contraption” right-click menu.

The AudioMulch 2.0 Patcher

What's more, if you drag a new contraption over an existing one it will auto-connect, inserting it into the signal flow automatically without the need for you to manually delete and re-connect patch cords. If necessary other connected contraptions will move out of the way. (Incidentally, in AudioMulch 1.0 you can do a similar thing using the right-click menu to create new contraptions using the “Insert Before” and “Insert After” menus, all this right-click functionality is also available in AudioMulch 2.0.)
The AudioMulch 2.0 patcher allows you to grab patch cord endpoints disconnect them from one contraption port and re-connect them somewhere else – you can even grab whole “bundles” of patch cords and move them together.

Screencast: Inserting contraptions into the signal flow and reconnecting bundles of patch cords

There are also a number of keyboard modifiers which make it easy to create multiple connections at once. I'll explain this in a future post.

In summary, the AudioMulch 2.0 patcher will make it much easier to rapidly assemble patches and make creative patching decisions during performance.

Thanks for reading. I hope you found this post informative. I'll be writing a post about once a week, so please come back and check it out. Oh, and Happy Mulching!
-- Ross B.