Do you want to make money by selling your Audulus modules? Need your feedback!
  • Do you want to make money by creating and selling Audulus modules? We need some feedback on how to implement this feature in Audulus - answer below on this post, or over at the Audulus forum:

    Forum post:

    VCV Rack allows developers to make and sell modules within the VCV Rack environment. Being able to make money attracts people who are good programmers and designers. If we create a similar ecosystem, I think we could attract more people to make more patches that would expand the Audulus universe.

    Taylor and I thought briefly about doing the same within Audulus (like in-app purchases, but for modules) but that really becomes complicated accounting-wise. If you sell them on your own, too, you get to keep all the money you make - no Apple 30% cut, just whatever Gumroad or some other site takes (or even just straight Paypal transaction? Would be up to you.)

    However, we can still implement some kind of locking mechanism that locks the module's internals so people can peek in and see how it works. You could then sell the patch on sites like and make money off them.

    But what's to stop people from passing around a patch that's been made? Nothing yet. Can you think of some novel way to copy protect patches so that you could buy the patch from Gumroad but only allow the person who bought it to use it?

    We were thinking maybe the patch is password protected, so maybe it can only be used if you have not just the module but also the password. But this might get onerous as you'd seemingly have to enter it every time you'd create it (i.e., no way to store in the Audulus program file that the password has been entered).

    Any thoughts? We'd love to support a little cottage industry around Audulus, and I think it would ultimately lead to bigger and better patches being made. It's just how we implement it that's the head scratcher.

    Maybe it's OK that you could "pirate" the module by passing it to a friend through an Audulus file. We obviously wouldn't allow that to happen on this forum, but also what if people just make a performance patch and want to share it?

    Lots to think about, but this really could be closer than we realize, and the faster you all come up with a solution to do this the right way, the faster you can start making money!
  • My 2 cents:
    I think a easy-ish way could be that the selection of available-to-buy modules would be curated by the devs, and implemented into Audulus as in app purchases via incremental updates, so those modules become linked to the paying account, making use of the already available paywall used for many enhanced functionalities in various apps.
    Hope this make sense.
  • @mschenkel - the problem with doing it as an IAP is that we have to then send out tax forms to people (and we'd probably have to take a cut of the sale as well to make it worth our time), and then Apple would take a 30% cut on top of that. It's just messy and not something we want to get into at least yet. Doing something where we give users the ability to lock modules would allow them to do the selling on their own. Audulus would still benefit by attracting new developers to make modules, and those developers would actually be able to keep much more of their earnings. We might do an IAP thing when we have enough money lying around to have a person who is solely dedicated to regulating that and making sure paychecks/tax forms go out.
  • The ideal solution to this is one that doesn't take much time to code up and has a simple implementation that anyone can use - that way we could literally start this up in a week or two from when we get the idea, so that people can quickly start making money at it.

    And btw, personally, the patches I make will always be "free" because, well, I'm getting paid by Audulus to make them, and there's no need for me to double dip. But I do encourage more active patchers like @stschoen and @robertsyrett to perhaps save their best and biggest modules as paid versions, and maybe release smaller, less featured-laden versions as "demos" or freebies.
  • Personally I'm not sure that this would be a good idea. One of the things I really enjoy about Audulus is the open sharing of ideas that the Forum provides. I'm afraid that introducing money into the equation would tend to discourage this. I've learned an enormous amount from other Audulus users and by trying to figure out how a patch works and I'm more than happy to make a contribution to the community. That being said, I can see some practical problems from a support perspective. What happens when a change to Audulus "breaks" a patch that someone has paid for? How about patches that won't run on older devices or in the plug-in. How would a user get a refund? Any approach that involves an IAP would ultimately make Audulus responsible for the code. Even if you could come up with an alternative approach that doesn't use IAP, I don't know if the additional support headaches would be worth it.
  • So you make some good points @stschoen - however, to be clear, we're definitively saying no to IAPs for right now. All we're trying to figure out is a way that people could lock and sell patches that they create on a separate marketplace like Gumroad.

    I do get what you're saying about the free exchange of ideas, but unless we offer a reward system for people to innovate, then Audulus won't necessarily attract the caliber of people who program for VCV Rack.

    The other boon for Audulus and other users is that if people make and sell Audulus modules, they will be incentivized in a way they currently aren't to spread their creations on other forums and blogs. I see often that new VCV modules get press releases from places like Synthtopia. I might be wrong, but I'm guessing that the makers of those modules actually submit those to Synthtopia as news items, rather than VCV Rack themselves.

    The end result of more word of mouth and press coverage is more money for Audulus and thus more time and resources to make it better for everyone. It's a win-win.

    Adding money in the mix also might encourage people who otherwise wouldn't to reach a little further and make bigger and more complex modules than they otherwise would.

    As far as updates breaking patches, I'm not sure that's actually ever happened for Audulus modules? At least it wouldn't break for that specific module, it would break for the entire program, and that would be something we'd fix as any bug would be fixed.

    Patches that wouldn't run on older devices or in the plug-in would, if the seller was reputable, be up for a refund. But that would be between that person and the seller, and not the buyer and Audulus.

    One alternative approach would be to lock the modules with a password and what you pay for is the password to unlock them and open them up and look at how they work.

    Ultimately, the reasons I see VCV Rack being so popular are threefold: its basic version is free, it's skeuomorphic, and people can develop and sell modules in its marketplace. Audulus will never be free, never be skeuomorphic, but we can offer a feature that could create a marketplace around Audulus.

    Of all the patches that have been made for Audulus 3 and shared here at the forum, I'd estimate off the top of my head that maybe 80% of them were made by me, you, stschoen, and @robertsyrett. I don't say this to minimize the contributions of others, but just to point out that adding an economic element into patch creation could attract more and more dedicated patch makers. Plus, even if you can't see inside of something in Audulus, you can be inspired by what it does, and if you're so inclined, you could try to figure out a way to do it yourself. Nothing would bar anyone from doing that.
  • I must say that I’m also reluctant to introduce money into the equation. Audulus and the forum has really been a ‘happy place’ for me over the course of the last year and I think I’d rather keep it free of added purchasing decisions. (In app purchases seem like some kind of gaming nightmare.) While Audulus itself isn’t open source, the spirit of sharing and joint learning and development has been a truly wonderful aspect.

    That said, if people would like to sell their patches/modules via GumRoad or their own sites or some other platform, or open up for support via something like Patreon, then all the more power to them.

    Off the top of my head I think that one important difference between Audulus and VCV Rack, other than the skeuomorphism, is that the VCV Rack modules are more or less complete and self contained whereas part of the beauty of Audulus modules lies in the ease with which they can be opened up and tinkered with. Robert Syrett also commented on how the real value of all the Audulus Eurorack clones has been in what one learns along the way and how that learning can then be implemented in ones own creations. I’m not sure if comparing Audulus to VCV is all that helpful.
  • No. Pay @taylor, then visit the forums for patches. :)
  • So I feel like the people who would stand most to profit off this initiative are mostly negative about the idea of selling patches - what then I guess do you think we could be doing better as developers and as a community? I mean, just in less than a year, VCV's Facebook group has gotten almost twice the Facebook forum membership than we have here since 2012.

    Should we start our own Facebook group? Would people like that? I know Taylor quit Facebook and is generally against having two separate forums, but I could be open to it - the plus being that people are already on Facebook anyway, and they have to take a special trip to this site to interact, but Facebook groups are way more ephemeral and harder to search back through for knowledge than these forums are.

    BTW I'm not saying that we need to crush VCV Rack or anything lol - I'm just saying they're doing something really right that's resonating with people. I think over half of that success is due to it being free, and then maybe 25-30% of that is due to it being skeuomorphic - that it looks like the stuff people are already using or want to use. They look at Audulus and think "oh this must be so different" when in reality it's not, and in fact, it's simplified more than regular Eurorack stuff since everything uses very standardized signals. And I figured the rest is paying developers to work on it. But what else is there to the equation that maybe I'm missing?

    So how do we draw more talented developers to Audulus? People who are great at coding and audio DSP, who instead of easily dropping into an environment like VCV where they'd be somewhat used to it, have to kinda relearn a little and adjust to the visual programming environment? Basically, it seems like what's so attractive about Audulus to beginners can sometimes be offputting to seasoned coders who would rather just do this or that in a few lines of code rather than connecting nodes together.

    Ultimately, we want to do things that make our users happy - my instinct was that being able to make money selling stuff you create would make you happy. In my mind, it makes sense to pay people for their effort and work - that a total utopian freely shared information economy is only supported by people who actually have the free time to contribute, rather than incentivizing people who could spare time to do it if they only got paid a little.

    That said, I wouldn't want to implement this and people be upset that they feel like they have to pay more to get more patches. What's the middle ground? What can we do better to reach more people?
  • VCV is free to buy into, plus it looks like eurorack. I think what they are doing right is satisfying people's curiosity about eurorack with no risk. I'm not sure that's something Audulus can ever really do (especially without internal normalizing of connections). Because 1/oct and 0-1 modulation for knobs are added layers of abstraction over the nodes, Audulus is far more open to other paradigms than any VCV patch.

    I think there are two things being asked, "How can Audulus appeal to DSP people, and thereby grow the module-building community?" and "How can we grow brand awareness of Audulus as a eurorack alternative/companion."

    The two questions have different answers in my opinion. I think including the csound library into Audulus would be a great leap forward for DSP junkies, and when that happens politely inform people on other forums with similar concepts such as elektronauts, mutable instruments community forum, and r/dsp subreddit. Also do outreach (that is supporting them for $5/mo on patreon) to math-based youtubers to see how Audulus could evolve to suit their needs. Audulus is a fantastic tool for teaching about periodic motion and that is a niche that contrasts greatly with VCV rack. But we need a real oscilloscope.

    For growing brand awareness of Audulus to people who want to use it as a sidecar to their eurorack rig I would recommend streaming more consistently and getting youtubers with eurorack/electronic studio content to do a feature on them. Channels that come to mind specifically are the ones I am constantly posting as references- DivKid, mylarmelodies, learning modular, cuckoo, and I'll throw in sonicstate, BoBeats and loopop also (most of these are open to sponsored content BTW). These are tastemakers and getting featured there is perhaps the most organic way to follow in the footsteps of VCV in becoming associated with opening up the possibilities your limited eurorack skiff.
  • It would be interesting to know how many VCV users actually buy modules rather than simply use the free stuff. Free is a powerful incentive for many people and the skeuomorphic design makes it seem more familiar. If you are looking for a "soft" modular synth and don't want to invest in Reaktor or Softube Modular etc., it's hard to pass up VCV. I'm not sure that VCV and Audulus appeal to the same users. I would put Audulus in a group with PD and MaxDSP. They're all audio DSP programming environments rather than "soft" synths. I think it's interesting that they are also visual programming environments rather than the more traditional text based approach.
  • I have to say that I’m VERY grateful that Audulus has a dedicated forum and hasn’t taken the Facebook route. I dropped Facebook a few years ago because of their general creepiness and find it frustrating when companies/organisations/individuals provide that as the only option. Over and above FBs privacy invasions there’s also the question of being able to link to things and make searches, as @biminiroad points out. I can understand that FB is where a lot of people are, but from my side a big thumbs up for the Audulus forum.
  • I agree with @stscheon that Audulus has more in common with the Max and PD. I’ve been thinking of how Max4Live started out open and then gradually paid devices started to appear. But perhaps the Ableton/Max4Live platform is somewhere between VCV Rack and Max/PD. Max4Live devices that one never opens up somehow seem to make more sense than Audulus modules where there’s less of a rack to slot things into and more of an open canvas.

    I also agree with @RobertSyrett that I’d be happy to throw a little more money in @Taylor’s direction to ensure Audulus’ continued development and keep the forum and patches open.
  • I would second @Rudiger’s feelings about Facebook. I’m still a reluctant Facebook user, but I can’t say I’m particularly happy about it. I certainly wouldn’t want to be forced to use Facebook to participate in the Audulus Forum.
  • I dunno. Look at what a marketplace did for something like Reaktor? Would something like Razor exist on that platform, if there wasn’t a way to pay professional synth designers to make it?

    I mean I get it though. @SansNom’s Moog filters I’d have gladly shelled out for ... but then I wouldn’t know how they work, and I couldn’t build my own zero delay filters now ... heck, I wouldn’t even know the term.

    A neat trick might be to model the purchased modules as an audio unit. Au3 has its own licensing hooks and can run on iOS as well as OSX. Other platforms I dunno. But the idea might be that you purchase and license the AU from the developer. It’s really a ‘read only’ instance of the Audulus AU, running your patch.

    And of course since Audulus can host AUs, it’s turtles all the way down :-)
  • If Audulus were able to act as an AU host you could even run them inside Audulus running stand-alone.
  • Used to you could?
  • I must’ve missed the last line of your comment. I don’t think Audulus can currently host AUs But I think it’s been discussed as a possible future enhancement.
  • (Sorry, if I talk again about something which you already discussed, I did not read all comments yet.)

    My 2 cents, why I‘m rarely frequenting the forum and what could be improved:
    1. Forum is a mess. Do you remember the spam? Why not go for something like Whats the real reason for this forum? Sharing your code is so tedious. Code sharing usually needs a special environment like github. A subpar forumtechnology like this only makes it worse.
    2. The development *seems* to stagnating. Inefficient code limits your possibilities. It’s in some places buggy. While optimizing is fun, yet sometimes you just want to play.
    Some of the longest threads in this forum is the „What‘s your top feature request for Audulus?“ Does not that make you think?
    3. Standardization (I think I‘ve already read it). Soft standardization usually don‘t work. You need to implement standards, otherwise everybody makes their own.
    4. Better demos. While most of the vcv stuff sucks at least there are sometimes good ones.
    5. My biggest concern is the lack of real performability. I have 10 fingers and a 12.9“ screen. But can only use one. This really sucks. Why do you think I use haptic interfaces? Because I have two hands. First I wanted to replace many ER interfaces with Audulus. No I have a Intellijel Tetrapad. It would be easy to simulate it in Audulus... but you know... 1 finger.
    6. Developing on windows seems like you are a 2nd class peasant. Missing some stuff like SVG graphics.

    If you want to engage more people, try to gamificate the experience with Audulus. Make challenges where people *have to* work together.

    I am dismotivated by this forum, because
    1) the strucutre is a mess (e.g no rules where the most recent patch should be, like on the top),
    2) I don‘t know which patches are worthwhile because of a missing rating system. I mostly use my own patches or ones by stschoen.
    Often times the things I want to do with Audulus is not reflected by the stuff that gets posted here. I want to control my ER with Audulus. Though because of my dissatisfaction I rarely look inside the Audulus forum. Meine Erwartungen werden einfach nicht erfüllt.

    Sorry that I‘m so picky and negative. I do plan, configure and administrate exactly the kind of stuff which is missing here: New product development environments.
    My ultimate goal is: The perfect workflow. Therefore you need to listen to the problems and solve the technical difficulties. If you take too long, people get dissatisfied and then move on (although in my case they have to get used to the quirks of my systems - they usually get a „compensation“ for it :P).
  • @Experiment1 Don't ever change :) Critical viewpoints provide the sharpest contrast.
  • Well, I'm interested. I hope I can finish soon that patch I started years ago, hundreds of hours of work, and yes in that particular case making a little bit of money would make sense. IMO it only makes sense for very big patches (in the sense of value, not number of nodes ;) ), so I don't think that the forum would be filled with patches to purchase, nobody would buy them anyway... Just look how much they charge for Audulus itself! A few patches for sell for a few bucks only.

    While I was waiting for an annoucement from the Audulus team, my thoughts were more on a donation system. As a seller, you must offer support, updates, etc... You have customers. Who will be responsible if that given patch doesn't work on that version of iOS? How support will be organized? And then there is the copy protection system... With donations, everything remains basically free. Of course the creator is still responsible for his patches but the position is not the same (no customers). Then people would be invited, if they enjoy the patch, to make donations. The audulus team could maybe help and have a control on this. This would be useful because if I want to do something like this at the moment I have to create my own webpage and that's a hassle. Perhaps author pages hosted by Audulus, presenting some authors and their work, with donations buttons?
  • @SasNom perhaps a Patreon page sponsored by Audulus where Audulus patch developers can have Patreon exclusive patches would be a way to go with minimal effort on the part of the patch developers?
  • @sansnom, I think it would be very difficult to manage a store as Audulus used to have a store but it was abandoned at the end of Audulus 2. I agree your patches are worth paying for however. Like @Paulinko says, if you and/or @stschoen made a patreon where people could pledge $5 or whatever when you have a big patch that warrants reward. It might be more trouble than it's worth, but I would sponsor you :)
  • @Paulinko, @RobertSyrett - Perhaps, we’ll see what they decide. Thanks for the kind words Robert ;)
  • "Being able to make money attracts people who are good programmers and designers. If we create a similar ecosystem, I think we could attract more people to make more patches that would expand the Audulus universe"

    No, wrong. Modules shop isn't what attracted so many people to vcv in the first place.

    1. Rack is free, and most of the modules from 3d party devs are free - they were attrached by openness of vcv and the ease of making a module.

    Audulus isn't exactly pricey, and is supported by tremendous forum patch collection, but there's no demo version, so there's no "hook" of allowing users to make a track and make him or her feel like "cool, that was fun, I want more of this in my life"

    2. Rack is a quality and consistant experience on all 3 desktop platforms. Audulus is pretty much ios and mac.

    3. Making and understanding a patch in vcv is easier, as everything is on one screen - no subpatches, nodes; modules are organised in rows, which gives the patch its structure, most modules follow their own design and color scheme - I can even take off my glasses and still see "aha, that's probably NYSTHI, that's Vult, this is Mutable" and so on.

    Plus modules browser with the search bar.
    Plus there are already samplers, loopers, multichannel audio, mutable stuff, etc.

    While Audulus has this sci-fi look, all modules float in space, differ in hight, everything looks samey, and sampling is only planned for the next major version.

    So to gain the same attention Audulus needs a sort of user-friendly "upper plain of existance" with a clear euro-like structure, and as little obstacles for a musician as possible, AND THEN there's a possibility to dive deeper into all that usual Audulus goodness, and make your own modules without coding. and then it may be viable to make a shop with paid modules - after there is an audience that may buy them.
  • Hey everyone,

    Just saw this and thought I could hopefully add something positive and meaningful to the conversation.

    My first suggestion, if you want to get your top patch designers paid - just pay them. Have them build amazing patches that come with Audulus that make people want to buy it. Kind of like the instruments that come with Reaktor. I’m thinking if I put a sound in the next project I work on, I can tell people who ask - that’s Audulus - and they can buy it and get similar sounds.

    Since the underlying issue is more about attracting users, the next suggestion is a bit along the lines of what @Experiment1 and @Fedor are saying. Just make Audulus a great experience for the users. How long will great patch designers overlook the frustrations? If I were looking at Audulus as a platform for a potential business, it would have to be easy to use, stable, and future proof. I would also care about what sort of support I have if I run into an issue.

    Oh, and don’t bother with a copyright protection. Most devs write EULAs for that stuff and move on with their lives. I hope instead of sinking time into a password protection solution, there’s more time for improvement in areas that people have been asking about. I like Audulus. I really hope it continues to grow and become a more used/usable app.
  • I agree that there has to be a way to create patches in Audulus that are more oriented towards the end user playing them without needing to know how to create the patch long before there will be a big enough market of people willing to pay for patches.
  • I was going to make a really long post but i think that @Fedor summed up everything perfectly, also yeah a Patreon page sounds way more in line with the general 'philosophy' of Audulus, the open/friendly community is one of the best thing about it.

    Also on a side note, you guys should stop comparing your product to a simple virtual modular synth, because to me, it has the potential to become the visual programming environnement of the future, with it's non-Skeuomorphic design, you guys could break any of the boundaries that a conventional modular emulation have, with the right amount of money behind it's developpement of course, it could become
    a Reaktor- like software, but user friendly and more affordable
  • I agree with Nomak’s comments that Audulus has way more potential than just a modular synth and that locking into a skeuomorphic approach because VCV Rack is having some success seems to focus too much on what Audulus isn’t good at rather than focusing on what the barriers are to capitalizing on its current strengths.

    Look at Pd as a text based language that eventually developed a wider following and is used as a framework to build all sorts of music apps that the end user has no idea were made with Pd.

    Audulus is so much more intuitive and accessible to people who struggle with more conventional text based approaches. On the other extreme, trying to emulate physical devices in the GUI has been done by lots of people. At some point there could be a process for being able to reskin Audulus patches for end users though this is very different from having a viable programming environment.

    One of the bigger problems I see is a tendency to have promo videos which have a bunch of flashing connections and lights. This can be very intimidating for many people as they have no idea what’s going on. Speed building patches in videos has more entertainment than educational value.

    The new video series by Robert Syrett seems much more reasonable. As people get into programming Audulus, they’ll be able to increase their level of engagement and commitment to the app. People who have no knowledge of synthesis or programming could learn how to use Audulus provided there were sufficient user friendly approaches such as Robert’s and changes to Audulus I’ll address further on.

    As I’ve mentioned before, the cumbersome GUI design process and fragile playability due to the lack of an effective lock player mode are stumbling blocks to a wider adoption of Audulus especially on iOS where there is no Pd or similar coding language you can code within iOS specifically for music. Being able to run AU patches on iOS will be huge provided an adequate lock mode exists so the patch doesn’t break while they’re trying to play it. I would promote Audulus a lot more but I’m concerned users will be turned off by it while these issues still exist. I’m holding off as I’m hopeful they’ll be addressed relatively soon.

    The new uModules, support of the Files app, and the search functionality have made a world of difference.

    The more people who program on Audulus, the more people will appreciate the work it takes to create patches and their willingness to support those efforts.

    The additional functionality of Audulus 4 and multitouch support in iOS will help even more.

    There seems to be a lot of interest by the general public in the maker community which has almost exclusively text based approaches for programming. Audulus is very visually oriented so it can be a boon to people who struggle with text based programming approaches. Even Apple’s attempts to make Swift more programmer friendly fail in comparison to the Audulus approach.

    A more user friendly programming environment and the ability to reskin your patches for the general public would move Audulus forward.