Interview: Five times the MuLab
SoundBytes wanted to have a few words with Jo from MuTools, so we contacted him to briefly ask a few questions. We think you’ll find what he has to say of interest.
by Robert Halvarsson, May 2013
MuTools just released the fifth installation of their growing DAW, MuLab. This version has bought repeatedly requested features such as multi-core enhancements, as well as clip functionality and multi-monitor support.
Readinxg the change-log is a daunting task. There have been a lot of changes recently. But some things remain the same. MuLab is inexpensive, costing less than 70 euro’s for MuLab Ultimate, it also sports a modular interface where power-users can create their own effects, and route things nearly freely through the interface. The aesthetics remain quite simple – too simple for some people’s taste while others find it beautiful. But despite different tastes when it comes to what an interface should look like, it would be stupid to neglect the power this superficially simple workstation.
Like many other digital audio workstations, it comes with its own set of instruments and effects, but can be made to work equally well with the immensely popular VST-standard. Being made to work with multi-core support, at long last, the user will not be restrained as previously to limit the track-amount or use of instruments due to legacy code. Good news for those of us who like to write complex tracks.
SoundBytes Magazine wanted to have a few words with Jo from MuTools, so we contacted him to ask a few questions.
SoundBytes: How does it feel to see MuLab 5 released to the public?
Jo, MuTools: I’m happy and proud! It has been an intense trip towards MuLab 5 with the R&D of multi-core support, the integrated browser, etc. At the same time releasing M5 also creates eagerness to start designing the next M6
SoundBytes:Which is the most prominent new feature in your opinion?
Jo, MuTools: Multi-core support, without doubt. Parallel audio processing is a key feature these days and the importance will grow even further the next years. So now MuLab users can insert more synths and effects before reaching the bounds of the system, and of course that improves the musical workflow. Because the less musicians have to think about technical aspects, the better for their musical workflow!
SoundBytes: Tell us about MuClips, what makes it original to some of the systems we’ve seen in the competition?
Jo, MuTools: Even though it may not be a pure original feature, sometimes you just need to add more standard features so as to make MuLab more complete. It’s part of the growth process. MuClips are definitely a key feature in consolidating all those little sketch ideas/jams musicians create for now, these ideas can be easily reused in other sessions and/or combined with each other. MuClips are also handy for creating preset drum patterns, bass loops etc., it’s a very [production-oriented] feature!
SoundBytes: Seeing how many improvements there are, how did you manage to pull this off?
Jo, MuTools: Good question! Sometimes I wonder myself. Well, it has been very intense months with long working days. But at the same time it was a very creative period and creativity also creates new energy. I’m thankful to life and my creativity. I’m also very thankful to all power users for their vital feedback!
SoundBytes: Do you already now have any plans for future enhancements to Mu lab?
Jo, MuTools: Absolutely! There will certainly be some MuLab 5.x updates with nice further developments. But I’m already also dreaming about MuLab & MUX 6. It will be a combination of adding extra ‘standard’ features (e.g. support for REX, parallel editing…), also extending the sonic power of the MUX (e.g. FM synthesis, step sequencing), and last but not least I have some nice dreams regarding new ways of workflow which can boost the musical creativity. I can’t say much about that now because they still are dreams and I need to research them in order to work out a concrete plan. That’s what will keep me busy the next few months.
SoundBytes: When you first started creating Mu lab, did you imagine that this project would grow to where it is today?
Jo, MuTools: Yes, step by step MuLab and the MUX are growing in the direction I always dreamt of. With my previous project, “Muzys”,I could already reach a nice level in realizing my dream about the ‘ideal’ music workstation. Unfortunately Muzys died in a cooperation deal accident. Now with MuLab 5 i think most of the magic of Muzys has been reincarnated, while MuLab already has become much more than Muzys ever was. Yet I’m looking forward to put the cherry on top of the Muzys reincarnation cake and meanwhile push MuLab and the MUX to new creative levels.
SoundBytes:Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.
Jo, MuTools: With pleasure! Cheers!