AU Lab

Version: 1.0.3 || Release Date: 2008-06-06 || License: Freeware Developer: Apple Inc. | App Owner: bitnix

AudioUnits host and digital mixing application with recording functionality.

AU Lab is a free digital mixing application that hosts Audio Unit effects. It ships with the Apple Developer tools (for more info on that, read http://osx.iusethis.com/app/xcode:"here").

Note: the only way to retrieve AU Lab is by downloading Apple Developer tools.

AU Lab is in many ways similar to commercial apps, such as Rax by Audiofile-Engineering, Mainstage by Apple Inc. (included in their Logic Studio bundle). Still, it's free.

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2 Opinions

At least version 2.0.1 is available.
I stumbled across this neat little app, but it looks like a good tool to have around.
I use Jack OS to route audio from apps into AU Lab, and apply AUDynamicsProcessor when watching/listening to movies or podcasts while working. It makes for a much more pleasant experience, even though the audio is a bit squished.

This is technically part of Apples developer tools, but there are direct download links floating around in audio forums.

This is a higly competent piece of software. A "secret" gem.

A lot faster to boot up than Rax or Mainstage. Made by Apple, which means it doesn't use any funny trickery, but plain native technology.

It's very trustworthy and rarely crashed on me. Your mileage may of course vary, depending on the 3rd party plugins you use.

I love its built-in recording facility. And for my workflow, making music, this is really perfect:

I play some live mishmash, while saving the result to disk. Then I quickly edit it in Wave Editor (not free, but the best audio editor money can buy). After that, I bring the result back into AU Lab, and put it in Apple's AUFilePlayer plugin, and then record some new stuff on top of that. Pretty much stacking it up, layer on layer, until I'm done.

This is just super cool. I prefer this over the commercial alternatives. Not because of economy, but because it is very light-weight and leaves a microscopic footprint on your computer.

This is supposed to be a developer's tool to test and debug AudioUnits during development. What must have slipped their minds (Apple), is that they didn't just make a developer tool, but in fact, one hellishly useful sound/music tool.