LFO contraption

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exaxis's picture
Joined: June 25, 2009

Let me begin by saying that I am very impressed with Audiomulch and it has changed the way I compose music. However, the workflow is in great need of an LFO device. The workarounds using VSTs eats a lot of CPU on my machine and makes Audiomulch unstable when there are too many LFO VSTs running at the same time. The only way I can modulate perameters with these VSTs is to route the signal out using a MIDI OUT VST and then back into Mulch using MIDI yoke. This is hardly a solution because it seems to cause Audiomulch to become unstable as well as introduce a lot of pops and clicks when moving contraptions around. Possibly because modulating CC values eats a lot of CPU??? A simple LFO contraption would revolutionize the audiomulch workflow. Perhaps with user defineable shapes as well. The automation scheme is great but can become difficult if not nearly impossible to audition different automation shapes on the fly as well as make those shape changes throughout your composition. Please consider making an LFO available. Thanks for your time and thanks for a great piece of software.

Al Magnifico
Al Magnifico's picture
Joined: June 24, 2009

How do you think an LFO contraption will integrate into the present patcher concept? You have only audio signal wires.

I posted my proposal in the yahoo list.
See http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/mulch-discuss/message/15228

i.E. MIDI inlets on every contraption. This also needs VSTs to provide the control streams but avoids the instabilities by MIDI_loopbacks and running a second host for the MIDI plugs

exaxis's picture
Joined: June 25, 2009

Although the last post sounds like a good solution it will still require 3rd party plugins. IMHO LFO functionality should be native to Audiomulch . It doesn't necessarily have to be an LFO contraption but at least provide a way to apply modulation as a user definable time syncable shape to a parameter. For a good example, look at Reapers parameter modulation scheme. Each parameter can have its own modulation which can be user defined as a time sync able shape or respond to audio. This system is not a separate plugin but a native feature. The benefits of this are obvious. You don't need to hand draw automation when a simple time looping sine or saw wave will suffice. You simply select the slider or knob that you want to modulate and then you press the parameter modulation button and select the shape...simple. One other solution would be to have a rightclick menu in the automation pane with an option to add a certain shape for a specific amount of time to your automation. It can be VERY frustrating and counter productive to draw shapes by hand. Thanks again.

Al Magnifico
Al Magnifico's picture
Joined: June 24, 2009

How would you visualize such LFOs in the patcher/editor pane? All in Audiomulch is WYSIWYG.

exaxis's picture
Joined: June 25, 2009

Automation shapes perhaps. Maybe there is no need for an actual contraption for this purpose. All that is needed is a way to draw shapes as automation. Check out the "automation shapes" post. thanks again.


paradiddle's picture
Joined: June 24, 2009

But then the clock has to be running and you probably would have to loop it somehow if you plan on jamming for 20 minutes non-stop. Also if you wanna modulate 10 parameters using the same sine pattern (for exemple), you would need 10 automation lanes.

I'd prefer a dedicated LFO contraption for that. Some kind of lfo that syncs (starts at 0 everytime play is hit) and non-sync to the clock (free running) with multiple wave pattern (you know the drill), phase alignment , etc.

Thrown an envelope follower.

blugaruda's picture
Joined: July 18, 2009

This might be useful to you:


It's a sort of step synth that outputs cc's - it's configurable as an LFO and there's a useful range knob on it to scale the output. You can choose to synch it or not too..

olegeeza's picture
Joined: July 20, 2009

in regards to your suggestion that to modulate 10 parameters using the same sine pattern you'd need 10 seperate automation lanes, maybe we could make it possible to link multiple parameters to one single automation lane?

strunkdts's picture
Joined: July 21, 2009

+1 for an LFO contraption of some sort.

exaxis's picture
Joined: June 25, 2009

Bumping this. Has there been any new developments?

strunkdts's picture
Joined: July 21, 2009

droppin in these ways again and i would still very much love to see an LFO contraption in this fine, fine program,,,native to Mulch...

riggin VSTs is cool n all but im very much into the modest applications that is the 'Mulch'n'machine :)

the possibilties in this regard are huge...its a very simple program and therein lies its initial appeal...but the longer i worked with it the more i wished it had more onboard bits n pieces to hook up and play with....without it turning into pluggo,msp,reaktor style bloated mess.

i love this program. I would venture to say its one of the best out there and it seems to be a real sleeper(?)...maybe it aint big n bright enuff for the kids(?) but without a doubt im creating pieces in 'Mulch that i could not do else where. The metasurface is genious!!!!

im straying from topic but it feels good to rant :)
Have a nice day/evening. PEACE

brettweldele's picture
Joined: August 20, 2009

I would love an LFO contraption.

schneertz's picture
Joined: September 28, 2009

If there was an LFO contraption with brownian motion as one of the LFO waveshape types, *my life would be complete*!

bagger288's picture
Joined: September 12, 2009

just thought i'd bump this! I know this has come up before. But I didn't see this on the roadmap and would LOVE for it to be included. Right now I use five12 numerology to send LFO's to mulch. But it would be amazing if it was all integrated. LFO's and other control data generators like random, sample&hold, and even maybe a custom LFO shape/drawable wavetable. Even better would be ways to operate on the control data, like multiply, add, boolean type stuff... and so on :)

blank_frank's picture
Joined: May 11, 2010

I would also love a feature like this. maybe another contraption that generates midi CC messages. It could have variable ranges for speed, depth, quantization, etc. I get all crazy thinking about it.

Al Magnifico
Al Magnifico's picture
Joined: June 24, 2009

There are tons of plugins for CC generation, check http://asseca.com/nicfit/index.html

WaveRider's picture
Joined: November 9, 2010

Well I would love an LFO contraption (with modulation input on all the other contraptions parameters) but really just a LFO function generator in the timeline would do the job!!!!

Èlg's picture
Joined: December 25, 2013

Hello all

I really love Audiomulch, I'm having really deep sonic work with it. But adding some LFO generators for controlling any contraption parameters would be just a pure sci-fi dream becoming true! Are there any improvments planned for the next AM version?

thx a lot


flies's picture
Joined: July 31, 2014

I'm writing this here because this is the first hit when you google "audiomulch lfo".

The automation scheme presently available in audiomulch is, IMO, at odds with the basic design of audiomulch.  Whereas the meat of the program is a WYSIWYG *map* of contraptions, the automation is basically no different from a parameter lane in an ordinary sequencer, except quality sequencers will have more features.  There is no connectivity.  There are no contraptions that do cool stuff.  There's just a bunch of lines that change over time.  

Digital music tends toward a samey sound.  Real musical instruments sound exciting because they never produce precisely the same sound.  Computers will produce a sine wave that stays in phase from now till kingdom come, a perfectly linear filter with a static phase response, etc.  In order for digital music to avoid sounding flat, you have to do work to bring it alive.  Automation is one of the most useful tools for adding animation to digital sound.  Mulch already has many tools that do this kind of work, and many contraptions include LFO's in them, but not all, and simple LFO's sound samey pretty darn quick.  But if you put a little FM on an LFO, you'll get something quite like a natural vibrato.  But you can't, not in audiomulch, anyway.

So there is a real need for actual automation schemes, for LFOs.  And it wouldn't be that hard to put in place.  Here's a straightforward way you could do it in a way that fits right in to AM's design paradigm.

Instead of just having one window with audio contraptions, have a second, parallel field of control contraptions with that connects to the audio contraptions via "control busses".  If you want to animate a particular parameter, instead of selecting an automation lane for a parameter, you select a control bus input.  Note that Audiomulch already has this functionality built into it.  Instead of watching the "automation" piano roll, which is effectively a bus, it just has to watch a different bus.

Example control contraptions would be an LFO (duh), 2-D LFO (for lisajous figures, etc), a random walk, strange attractors, envelopes (that respond to midi/OSC), basic mixing, crossfade, vector/VBAP mixing.  In principle, you could also have audio feed in to the control areas so you could have envelope following, threshold detection, etc.  

Consider what is possible with just three contraptions: LFO, gain, and output bus.  The LFO input would be considered frequency (or phase) modulation.  The Gain would have two inputs, one for mix and another for gain level.  With just these three contraptions and you could have FM and AM on LFO signals that map to any parameter.

I like audiomulch a lot, but the absence of real, flexible parameter automation makes it a tool that I can only play around with rather than use for serious work.  I would pay a pretty penny to obtain an audiomulch that could do this.

Ross B.
Ross B.'s picture
Joined: April 11, 2009

@flies: thanks for your very clear and considered comments.

There are a number of ways to achieve the kind of modulated texture that you're discussing with the current AM setup (for example: layering and chaining multiple phasing modulated contraptions), but I agree that there could be a separate modulation layer and/or more flexible/varied LFO capabilities.

My own approach to achieving musical "liveness" is to use live control (sensors) and live audio input. I don't think LFO type modulation can replace the musicality of  physical coupling. (As an aside: Michel Waiswisz argued this point quite strongly in an interview in CMJ Summer 1990).

None of this is an argument against adding LFOs to AudioMulch. Right now the production schedule is focused on a number of other often requested features detailed here: http://www.audiomulch.com/info/whats-coming . Once these goals have been met I'll be considering the next round of possibilities.

whitelight's picture
Joined: June 3, 2010

The container with embedded LFOs and a kind of stepsequencers is more musical than a second patcher with LFO contraptions. And has a live usability. If you could change the snapshot of the container,in your session, live, the LFOs and other of its automations would follow your taste like the metasurface. Unlike the Metasurface you have automation that follow a line: You can let run its programm like introduction, your bridge and transitions, alternative parts, what ever you like, let some work to the computer, and be able to change your sessions progression or parts of it(If you use a container for each component, like Pad/ Lead/ Drums, for their signal processor-, input-, and effectcontraptions).

To make metasurface-automation possible is nice, but it can´t replace a LFO that regulary change one slider or a stepsequencer that give controlled liveliness to your music or a random LFO with limit controls. The Metasurface is changed better live, I think. With the stepsequencers you can manipulate even a crossfader-contraption.