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Audio Unit Plugins (Macintosh only)

As well as its own contraptions, AudioMulch also supports Apple's Audio Unit plugin format. This gives you access to a large number of third-party effects and instruments to expand AudioMulch.

There are thousands of free, shareware and commercial plugins available on the internet; check the AudioMulch website ( for links to some relevant sites.

See the Adjusting Contraption Properties section for information about using sliders, knobs, presets etc.

Installing Audio Unit plugins

To install an Audio Unit plugin, follow the plugin manufacturer's instructions. Often, Audio Unit plugins will come with an installer application that simplifies the installation process. Sometimes you'll be asked to manually copy the Audio Unit to your plugins folder.

In case you need to manually copy a plugin to install it, you will need to place it in one of two special folders so that AudioMulch and other applications can find it. These locations are:


~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components ("~" represents your home directory.)

Plugins installed in /Library are available to all users on the computer, whereas plug-ins installed to ~/Library are only available to the user in whose home folder they reside.

We recommend that you follow the manufacturer's instructions about which folder to use. If in doubt use the folder under /Library.

Scanning for new Audio Unit plugins

When AudioMulch starts it will scan for new Audio Unit plugins and update its list of available plugins. If you add or install a new plugin while AudioMulch is running, you can update the Audio Units contraption menu without restarting the program. You can do this in several ways: select the Refresh Plugins List item located below the list of installed plugins in the New contraptions menu (right-click in the Patcher Pane, and select New > Audio Units > Refresh Plugins List) from the popup context menu. You can also right-click on the Contraptions Palette and select Refresh Plugins List. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Command+Shift+5.

Using Audio Unit plugins in AudioMulch

Once Audio Unit plugins are installed, you can use them in the same way as you use built-in AudioMulch contraptions. They can be selected for use in AudioMulch from the Audio Units section of the Contraptions Palette. You can also select plugins from the New contraptions menu in the Patcher Pane. To do this, right-click in the pane, select New from the popup context menu, and then select Audio Units from the list.

Graphical user interfaces, parameters and values

Audio Unit plugins can be used just like other contraptions. AudioMulch provides a generic Properties Editor displaying all parameters and their values. Some plugins also have their own graphical user interface that can be accessed by clicking the Show Editor button on the plugin's Properties Editor.

MIDI control of Audio Unit plugins

Audio Unit plugin parameters can be controlled by external MIDI control sources. Mapping of external controllers to Audio Unit parameters follows the same procedure as for AudioMulch contraptions. Go to the Controlling AudioMulch Parameters from MIDI page of this Help File for further information.

Note: the Quick Map MIDI Control function only works with the Generic Editor. When using a Audio Unit with a custom editor use the Parameter Control window instead.

Routing MIDI to Audio Unit plugins

Audio Unit instrument plugins are designed to respond directly to MIDI input. They are often played by pressing keys on a real MIDI keyboard, or triggered from a MIDI drum pad. There are also VST plugins that are designed to generate MIDI data (for example, a step-sequencer plugin), and others that let you transform MIDI data (for example, by transposing incoming notes, or filtering certain messages).

In AudioMulch, you use the Patcher Pane to route MIDI data from one plugin to another (and also to and from AudioMulch). Note that this is separate from MIDI parameter control described in the previous section.

Plugins designed to respond to MIDI input have a MIDI input port at the top right of the contraption in the Patcher Pane. In the case of an Audio Unit instrument, this MIDI input must be connected to a MidiIn contraption or to the MIDI output of another contraption in order for the plugin to receive MIDI messages. Plugins that generate or process MIDI have a MIDI output at the lower right of the contraption in the Patcher Pane. MIDI outputs can be connected to the MIDI inputs of other plugins, or to MidiOut contraptions. See Routing MIDI in the Patcher Pane for more information.

MIDI input channel

By default the plugin will receive messages on all incoming MIDI channels (1-16). You can assign the plugin's MIDI input channel using the Parameter Control dialog box. The dialog box allows you to select a single MIDI channel or configure the contraption to receive messages from all incoming MIDI channels. To access this setting, display the Parameter Control dialog box (from the View menu, F3 key, or right click in the Property Editor's title bar) and select the VST plugin in the tree at the left of the Parameter Control dialog box.

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