hardware and software for electronic music 
Fri, Dec 09, 2016, 19:10

Beta all the things!

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, all the Madrona Labs plugins have been updated. Almost immediately after announcing all this work I unexpectedly had to go into panic mode finding a new location for the Labs. Now the new digs are found, the move is complete and we are in great shape, but it sure slowed things down a lot. So if you have been waiting on one of these fixes this Fall, let me thank you sincerely for your patience and support.

I'm putting up these beta installers for both Mac and Windows now, for any adventurers who want to try them. They incorporate the new licensing system, which is more like what you're probably used to from other plugin makers: the demo and release are the same exact plugin, and you turn the one into the other by entering a key. I will update the website to send out keys early next week. So until then, these betas are demo-mode only, with the lack of saving and the whooshing noise we al know and love.

The biggest improvements to all the plugins are :

  • new registration system
  • new software PLL host sync
  • UTF-8 compatibility for patch and registration names
  • fixed an issue where the protocol type (MIDI, MPE, OSC) was not loading if the plugin editor did not exist
  • fixed an issue where folder or patch names starting in numbers might not appear
  • code signed Mac OS installer for Gatekeeper compatibility
  • code signed Windows installer for security and good feels
  • fixed a drawing problem with multiple plugin windows
  • fixed a problem where the sequencer would restart when its parameters were changed
  • fixed a problem where sequencer voices would stop after a program change

Virta has some additional fixes.

Please give these puppies a try, if you have time, and if you were having issues before let me know if things improve.

Windows installers:
http://madronalabs.com/media/aalto/AaltoInstaller1.8.0b4.exe.zip
http://madronalabs.com/media/kaivo/KaivoInstaller1.3.0b4.exe.zip
http://madronalabs.com/media/virta/VirtaInstaller1.3.0b4.exe.zip

Mac installers:
http://madronalabs.com/media/aalto/Aalto1.8.0b4.pkg
http://madronalabs.com/media/kaivo/Kaivo1.3.0b4.pkg
http://madronalabs.com/media/virta/Virta1.3.0b4.pkg

Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 00:57

I love Madrona Labs vsts, so glad to see these updates ....can hardly wait for the next instrument to be released:grinning: a Winter Sale would make the current lineup mine!!!....

Sat, Dec 10, 2016, 06:10

looking forward to trying these, once all the keys are sent out :)

Sat, Dec 17, 2016, 08:40

I was really looking forward for Macbook Pro performance fixes - not sure if they got into, but in any case: it's still completely unplayable which makes me incredibly sad as I basically thought it's an early christmas present! :(

Basically something is still definitely VERY wrong with the code (and I say it with all due respect!).

I'm on early 2015 retina Macbook Pro with i7 3.1GHz and 16GB RAM running most up to date OS and Ableton Live (all stable releases). There are no CPU spikes only because CPU is constantly loaded to the max. Live's CPU Load Meter shows 60+/-20% all the time while macos activity monitor shows that Live is constantly above 90%, but very often above 100%.

My setup has no problems running any other plugins, not even things like Equator, not even with ridiculously long fx chains all of which I can easily run at 128 samples.

And all that without me playing anything. Just blank project with one midi track to which Kaivo 1.3.0b4 loaded and "box of chimes" patch is selected. When I start playing notes it goes worse.

The CPU load is so high that even the demo noise crackles badly! It's terrible really. Sounds like crickets almost :)

When I record the audio and render it into aiff file then the audio in a file is clear. So it's just current CPU load that mangles the sound (I assume). It's unfortunate really because the only way to show what happens is to use microphone and the only one at my disposal is the my mac's built in one.

Take a look at this file. First you see the clear sound. What I did is I recorder kaivo track on a midi track, then exported it. The second part is recorder from the microphone - that's a midi-kaivo track playing live. Yes, it's THAT bad at 128 samples. It is a bit better at higher settings, but it's meaningless, because it is still too bad to play at any setting that would give reasonable latency. It's noticeable better if I close Kaivo plugin window but only slightly.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/garqti9gelt73in/boxofchimesb4.aif?dl=0

Sat, Dec 17, 2016, 13:29

Thanks for the detailed report and for your calmness. I definitely share your frustration.

I have one other person reporting the same type of problem, and he also has an early 2015 MBP. Since most people are not encountering the glitches, it looks like there's something wrong that only comes up on this particular machine.

I have a guess at what might be going on (priority inversion, for the technical among us). For this version I went over all my code to hunt for that kind of error and fixed a couple of things. So I hoped this glitch would be resolved.

Please send me the exact model of your computer as shown in About this Mac / System Report / Hardware Overview. It looks like I'm going to have to get one of these computers to really get to the bottom of this.

Also, please let me know if Aalto and Virta have the same problem.

Sat, Dec 17, 2016, 14:38

One more piece of info: the other person has this problem in Bitwig, but NOT in Ableton Live! So that's odd. Do you have any other hosts you can try it in?

Finally let's rule out the off chance that you are running an old debug version or something. Can you confirm the Kaivo version in the upper right?

The other person has an i7, same exact machine possibly. Are there any settings like App Nap you can experiment with?

thanks for the help.

Tue, Dec 20, 2016, 09:52

@hyperscientist: you posted about how you weren't actually so frustrated, and then with your system details. Then I updated the website, had a major emergency, and had to recover from an image just prior to your post. If you have a way to recreate it, or can just provide your system details again, please do. Sorry for the trouble.

Wed, Jan 04, 2017, 00:50

Hey, I tried latest versions, so Aalto 1.8.1 (AU.64) demo and Kaivo 1.3.1 (AU.64) licensed.

Aalto works very good! At 44.1khz I can run it at 128 samples buffer with almost no pops. They only happen rarely, so it's possible that it could maybe be an issue with more instruments and fx plugins running at the same timeā€¦

And Kaivo is also much better. I get similarly good performance to Aalto at 44.1 khz and 512 samples. Most patches can then be played smoothly and with no pops. Of course I would much prefer to work on smaller sample rates.

The sure thing to trigger terrible pops is to play some note and switch to another app, so that Live is in the background and then for example scroll around. So, to give a concrete example I cmd+tab to chrome browser to write this message and I get short burst of pops in this same time, then I can type the message no problems but when I try to scroll the forum site I get MASSIVE pops.

It must by macOS doing some crazy rendering optimizations. I know that on iOS it used to be that while a user was scrolling the website then that website JavaScript code and all CSS animations would literarily freeze - this way a perfectly smooth scroll could be achieved. Maybe something similar is happening here. The only question is - why doesn't it affect other heavy plugins the same way it affects Kaivo (and Aalto to some degree too).

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro12,1
Processor Name: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 3,1 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 16 GB
Boot ROM Version: MBP121.0167.B18
SMC Version (system): 2.28f7

Intel Iris Graphics 6100:
Chipset Model: Intel Iris Graphics 6100
Type: GPU
Bus: Built-In
VRAM (Dynamic, Max): 1536 MB

Wed, Jan 04, 2017, 09:54

@hyperscientist thanks again for jumping back in. I'm glad things are better. You may have seen in the "Retina MBP glitches" thread: I'm getting a MBP 12,1 this week so I expect things will improve more on this machine soon!

Thu, Jan 05, 2017, 01:42

That is incredible dedication, thank you so much randy!