Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man


Caustic 2 on Android, Windows, and Linux

Okay, had some fun tonight! I found a great app for quick techno/dance track creation called Caustic. It's available as an Android app, and works fantastically on my Galaxy Tab 2. It uses pattern blocks to build songs (similar to FrootyLoops and LMMS) and comes with pretty robust effects and synths. So I checked into it, and turns out the programmer has the Windows desktop version of the app available free on his site! Completely functional, too. This means you can build drumkits, synths, and presets on the desktop first, and then load it on your mobile device and rock it out.

I really like the Android version, but I wanted to see if I could get it to run in Linux under Wine. As you may know, I use Ubuntu Studio for all of my audio work, so I downloaded the Windows installer here, and installed it using:

wine ./Caustic_2.1.0_installer.exe

Once it installed, I tried running it but instead got an error about VC90 missing. I did a bit of research, and using winetricks, I installed Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 runtimes. I tried running caustic again and it opened, but the mouse was actually clicking nowhere near the pointer arrow!

Did a little more poking, and discovered that you just need to edit a config file. If you did the default install, it should have created a "caustic" directory in your home folder, and there's a file in there called "config" (I know, right?)

So edit the config file with:

gedit ~/caustic/config


I then created a shortcut on the desktop that runs the program with wine directly, and swiped a .png off of the website to use as an icon. The result looks like this:


You move the rack of instruments up and down by dragging the left edge (looks like a rack edge) or by clicking the squares in the bottom left corner. I won't get into how to use the program in this post, but needless to say, for a cheap/free program, I'm quite impressed!

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Comments (12) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Nice write-up, I’m glad you’re enjoying the app (on both platforms). The latest “windows” version (2.1.2) gets rid of the mouse click issues without hacks and should even let you resize the window frame to get more machines on screen. Not tested on Linux though, I’ll let you do that 🙂

  2. Thanks! Seriously, fantastic work! I’m looking forward to having some fun with this. I’ve got a few stacks of beat samples I want to use, and well… you know how it is! I’d love to do up some demo videos with it.

    Thanks again for the great app.

  3. The app’s titlebar says “MIDI connected”! Is Wine really emulating windows’ MIDI stack and letting you use MIDI controllers under Linux?

  4. It’s supposed to, but I haven’t gotten it working yet (if it’s possible, I’ll do it!). I’ve got an Axiom 25 controller I want to use with it. If I figure it out, I’ll post it up here.

  5. Silly question, but have you turned it on from the app (Menu–>MIDI) ?

  6. Yes, I did that. The keyboard isn’t showing up in wine, I’m pretty sure it’s a problem with Wine not being configured for MIDI. I’ll have more time to work on it tomorrow.

  7. Just a follow-up, I did get MIDI working with it under Wine. I used the virtual keyboard, and had to manually connect it, but once it picked it up, it worked fine. I will try to get it working with hardware later tonight. I’ll be sure to post up instructions!

  8. Hello,
    thanks for this post. 🙂
    I tried to run Caustic 3 but I wasn’t lucky.
    I get a “Unhandled exception: page fault on read access to 0x00000000 in 32-bit code (0x004ff632)” error.

    Had you any luck with Caustic 3?

  9. I did have success with Caustic 3, actually. It sounds like Caustic is missing something to run correctly. I’m using it on 64-bit Ubuntu Studio 12.04, running 32-bit Wine. What version OS and Wine are you using?

  10. Hi guys,
    I had the same problem as Antani, so ran the following:
    $ winetricks vcrun2008
    Now Caustic runs perfectly! I love it – takes me back to the days of ReBirth 🙂 Thanks everyone involved.

  11. Sorry for bumping such an old thread, but since this is where I got the key to getting Caustic 3.1 to work on Ubuntu Studio (LTS from last year, 16 is it?) more people may be getting this post on top search results. 3.2 was released today and as the developer seem to have changed his environment it is now “winetricks vcrun2013” if wine, winetricks and mono are already all set.


  12. Awesome! Definitely need to check that out, thanks for the heads-up!

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