Caustic has featured in several blog posts before but I’ve not blogged about it specifically. Until now.
Caustic 3.1 was released at the weekend and introduces yet more features that mean if you haven’t considered Android as a bona fide music production platform you really should. It’s also available on iOS. There’s even a free windows version but this is not provided with any support. If you’re not convinced, one thing that might sway you is that the software is free to try, the save and export functions are disabled but there is no time limit. If you like what you see, and lets face it that will take all of about a minute, the unlock key is £5.99.
A massive amount of credit goes to Rej Poitier the developer. He works tirelessly to improve the app, listening to user feedback and implementing frequent improvements. There’s no confusing or excessive in-app purchases either. Download the app, purchase the unlock key and you’re good to go. Whilst you can download free and/or paid-for sample packs – some of which are very good – there are lots of free presets available from the forum.
In summary Caustic 3.1 brings AudioBus and virtual midi support for iOS; a brand new string modelling synth; machine routing; velocity drum pads; undo/redo; UI skins as well as a number of stability improvements. The best way to see what’s new is via the ‘What’s New’ video:
I’d also recommend checking out the official youtube channel for much better and detailed explanations of the various features than I can do justice to here.
In essence you’ve got 14 channels with 2 effect slots per channel; mixer console and master effects section. You create patterns of 1, 2, 4 or 8 bars and arrange them into a song using the sequencer. There are 9 synths plus a vocoder and a beatbox that can be used in any combination you like. You can make pretty much any type of sound in these synths but if you need more you can load your own wavs into the PCM Synth (I do this a lot for sounds created in external VSTIs) or soundfonts too. There are total of 16 effects that can be applied to the 2 effect slots on the individual machines; delay, reverb and EQ can be applied in the mixer and there are a further 2 effect slots that are applied universally in the master section.
Whilst Caustic comes with a very good range of presets, you can get more through free and paid packs, many are available but the EIPStudiosOhio packs on Google Play are excellent value for money and there are a number of free ones available. Alternatively many are available for free from the forums. You definitely should check the forums out, the user support is awesome, people are very friendly and freely offer help, advice, presets, tracks, tips and tricks. They can be found here
It’s not just limited to one type of music either. You can make almost any style of music. A quick browse of the ‘show and tell’ section of the forums shows a lot of electronic styles such as ambient, industrial, minimal, experimental granted but a recent template produced by EIPStudiosOhio effectively provides you with a band setup – guitar, bass, natural sounding drums.