hardware and software for electronic music 

randy's Recent Posts

Wed, Aug 02, 2017, 10:02

Thanks for the thoughts, all.

Aalto has been around for quite a while, and a lot of people have patches they are attached to. I have a lot of additions in mind, and I think all of them can be accomplished while maintaining good compatibility with previous versions.

I think if a Kaivo 2 were to offer improved smoothness across a larger range for certain sounds, then compatibility can come second. This thread is supposedly about Aalto so I'll probably write more about that elsewhere.

Wed, Aug 02, 2017, 09:05

It sounds to me like having only 8 voices is the problem here. At some point a voice must be stolen for a new note to sound, and with a long sustain there's no way to do this without hearing it.

At some point, maybe when Kaivo gains multicore support, then it will probably make sense to allow more voices.

Thanks for the feedback.

Wed, Aug 02, 2017, 08:58

OK, I'll look into this. To recreate the problem I need to lean more.

What version of Reason are you using when you get the problem?
What OS and version?
What input do you send to the plugin? It could depend on pitch.
Finally, if you are able to try the same patch in a different host on your system, please do and let me know if you can reproduce the same issues.

Tue, Aug 01, 2017, 08:48

It's not really complicated. The value signals can be any number within the range set by the range dial. The pulse signals can only be a 1 or a 0, because the UI is just a toggle switch. That is the difference.

All the UI for the value signals, including range dial, glide dial and 16 sliders, takes a lot of room. So instead of two sets of values one set is just triggers. This kind of interface comes from hardware sequencers and drum machines.

Tue, Aug 01, 2017, 08:40

Thanks a lot for the feedback, I appreciate it. I might add a gate output to Aalto 2 if I can do it and maintain compatibility with existing patches. It seems doable. I know the gate adds a lot of flexibility.

I hear you about Kaivo's resonators being too wild at times. If anything I try to err on the side of allowing too much dynamics. But I think with some more work it would be possible to make things a little smoother.

Mon, Jul 31, 2017, 13:13

The pulse and value signals are really the same thing, except the value signals can only be turned to 0 or 1 by the UI. Every signal in Aalto is just a floating point number, which in a hardware modular would be a voltage. I hope that makes sense.

Sun, Jul 30, 2017, 09:39

Now I have Aalto !! I can keep my stereo, my bassoon, my sofa, etc.

One of my favorite testimonials ever :-) Thanks for the good words.

Sun, Jul 30, 2017, 09:36

@jeffreypierce Latency should be a bit lower for the new software.

My guess is you are describing a problem I've seen where OSC communication gets "stuck" at a very high latency sometimes. The trigger seems to be high CPU load. I would try rebooting or using MIDI to see if this is the issue.

Future versions of the app will be optimized, so hopefully you can do whatever you were trying to and the CPU load won't be such an issue.

Thu, Jul 27, 2017, 10:23

Hi there, glad you're digging into Kaivo!

The resonator gets its patch only from the pitch signal inputs and the setting of the pitch dial. There's no scale reading or quantizing happening inside it. So, if you send it signals from the KEY module for a pitch sequence it will use them.

You could try some really different scale from 12-equal like Japanese/hirajoshi with a simple patch to really hear the difference. If you don't send pitch to the granulator, just have it produce a constant noise, you can hear only what the resonators are doing.

Tue, Jul 25, 2017, 08:55

Everything is there and would theoretically compile. I'm checking in all the changes to the embedded branch currently, and will merge it back into master and clean up compilation instructions / dependencies when the software is out of beta.

I'm going to be changing the API around the TouchTracker module before that release, again for better compatibility with the embedded code.

Then there's note-on velocity, which happens in the tracker and really isn't done yet.

All this is to say, if I were you I'd wait a bit more until I send out something with proper velocity and a new API.

I haven't done any work on optimizing yet. So the new code may even be slower. But due to the new algorithm I know it has the potential to be much faster.

Right now I'm mostly working on a much-needed update to Kaivo. I appreciate your patience.

Mon, Jul 24, 2017, 17:01

A new beta: Soundplane 1.5.0b2.

The only changes from b1 are attempts to get Kyma working. So, if you don't have a Kyma you probably don't want to bother with this.

Mon, Jul 24, 2017, 07:56

MIDI filtering by channel is up to the DAW, in general. In most programs there is a channel setting in the track somewhere for each MIDI instrument.

Ableton Live has a different approach. It chooses to basically ignore the concept of a MIDI channel and (I think) merges all channels of MIDI data onto the current track. So if you're using Live you may have to filter the data somehow before it reaches the program.

Mon, Jul 24, 2017, 07:51

Working on it!

Mon, Jul 24, 2017, 07:49

Good to hear. I'll be working to make adjacent touches easier. They really need to be on the outermost edges of the adjacent keys.

I heard that Kyma communication is still broken. I'll be sending out another beta to try very soon.

Sun, Jul 23, 2017, 14:40

It's hard to say from here— it could be either that a new source of radio interference appeared, or that a mechanical shift took place. Once in a while I see a variation I think is from radio noise here but it tends to be more minor.

When the new detector is deployed I could think about some kind of auto-calibration again.

Mon, Jul 17, 2017, 08:38

Yes, I think your experience with the green patches is just the surface not going back to its rest state completely. This shouldn't be a problem. The tracker is designed to ignore those little blips if they don't correspond to a touch. If you have the main page "thresh" set very low to respond to the softest touches possible, it could be more of an issue.

The areas where they appear most may be due to both the long-term compression and the fact that certain carriers have more background noise.

Sun, Jul 16, 2017, 17:32

Overall, much more playable and musically stable. I just got lost playing for an hour or so and didn't hear a single ghost note or something that made me stop and move into diagnostic mode. On to practicing more!

I'm very very glad to hear this.

This is just the first version of a tracker using this new technique. Improvements will follow, including some way to calibrate or correct for the wobbly y boundaries.

Sun, Jul 16, 2017, 12:12

Adjacent touches should be possible now but only on the opposite sides of keys, and only with care and extra pressure. The centers of the touches must be > 1.5 key widths apart. So, if key edges are at (0, 1, 2), the touches must be within the range (0, 0.25) and (1.75, 2). I'll work on reducing the pressure required in the future. If you look at the "pings" display you can see what might be possible.

I am thinking of adding a "join" mode where a touch directly on the edge triggers both keys. There are some details to work out, but I think this could be a useful option. It breaks the "continuous" use of moving touches but could allow more chords to be played.

Sun, Jul 16, 2017, 09:45

Thanks Mark. I'm glad you were excited to check this out and get back to me. Your feedback is very encouraging, and confirms that my new picture, both in improvements and a few remaining problems, reflects reality! After so much work on one thing it's a relief.

I also found that MIDI velocity is not working well. This should be a quick fix. I'll continue to adjust the "slide" distance for a good feel and possibly add this as an expert setting.

I am thinking about a new calibration routine that will work just as you suggest. I wanted to confirm that the underlying layer was working well first.

My next step is to clean up the repo and make the tracker module compile in our embedded world, which means giving up on a few C++11 niceties I'd gotten used to and removing some dependencies.

Mon, May 13, 2013, 13:45

Aalto T-shirts!

Just in time for summer, Aalto T-shirts are now in stock! Oft-requested and long-awaited, these shirts are the first physical artifacts besides the Soundplane to come out of the Labs. They start out soft, will wear in gracefully and are likely to give you super patching powers.

We asked our good friend David Chandler to tidy up his Aalto manual cover for a larger reproduction size, and printed it in a subtle aqua gradient on American Apparel’s Sustainable Edition organic cotton shirts in Galaxy Blue. Nerdy yet surfy!

We are selling these nice shirts for $20. Shipping is by US First Class Mail, for $4 within the USA and $16 internationally. PayPal will add these costs automatically when you enter your shipping adress.

Select a unisex size and click to buy:
EDIT:
SOLD OUT except for size small.

Tue, Jul 04, 2017, 10:08

Glad to hear it. Enjoy!

Fri, Sep 17, 2010, 15:44

READ ME FIRST: how to report bugs

If you are going to report a bug, please look at the topics in this forum to see if one matches your problem. If so, post in the existing thread. If not, please start a new thread with a title that describes the problem briefly. be sure to include your

  • Plugin (Aalto or Kaivo or... ) version, found at upper right
  • AU/VST host and version
  • OS Version

and then explain

  • what you did, in a way that I can repeat it
  • what you thought was supposed to happen
  • what happened instead.

I need this information to give me the best chance of doing something useful about your issue,

Sun, Jul 02, 2017, 09:35

Sorry I didn't see this post... You can start your own topics for a new question.

I have never heard of Snoopy, except the cartoon dog!

Sun, Jul 02, 2017, 09:34

You can start by deleting all Kaivo VSTs and installers, then run FL again. You want to make sure FL does not find the Kaivo plugin. If you think it's deleted but FL finds it, there is definitely one "hiding" somewhere! Look in FL prefs for an alternate VST folder location.

Then make sure you get the latest installer from http://madronalabs.com/products/kaivo .

Tue, Mar 14, 2017, 14:28

Hooray, it’s a spring all-plugins update!

All of our instrument plugins, (that's Aalto, Kaivo and Virta, for those of you listening at home) have received essential updates. Please download and enjoy.

If for some reason you skipped the previous release or two, note that back in December I rolled out a new registration system. Instead of the old "My downloads," there is now a "My licenses" link where you can get the license keys for all your purchased plugins. Just paste the key into the demo plugin to register it. If you have any questions, I'll be here.

My work the past two months has been on platform compatibility, bug fixes and optimization. The stuck notes in certain hosts including Reaper are no more. Audio glitches that popped up sometimes in Kaivo have been put to rest, I think. CPU use should be around 20% less across the board.

I'm particularly excited about the CPU improvement this time, because there's more on the way. The gains this time came from rewriting parts of madronalib, my DSP library, but the plugins haven't been completely converted to use the new code. When I can do that, there should be another big boost in efficiency.

First, though, the Soundplane app needs some much-awaited love, and I have a shop to put together so I can prototype instruments here again. Stay tuned for gripping wood shop action. Stepper motors! Sawdust!

Fri, Jun 30, 2017, 10:51

P.S.: if you just want some random blather and assurance that I'm alive and kicking, I'm @madronalabs on Twitter :-)

Fri, Jun 30, 2017, 10:15

OK, I could seriously use your feedback on this. I would love to be sending out news more often at times like this when I'm deep in "development mode." My problem is, I often have nothing to say at these times that I would consider worthwhile news. "I'm working on the Soundplane touch detector" is basically what's been going on since spring.

I could show some of my many notes for Soundplane algorithms and talk about what the major improvements are gonna be. I think that would be interesting to a few people, but if history is any indication, frustrating to others who wonder why they can't just have it yet. Or who want me to be working on something else entirely.

Maybe the best answer is to find a new intern/apprentice who can do things like get t-shirts made and write news updates on the regular.

Anyhow thanks for the note, and If you can think of any categories of stuff you would want to read about, let me know.

Fri, Jun 30, 2017, 08:16

The Soundplane stuff is going well and I plan to put together a release before switching gears.

Fri, Jun 30, 2017, 08:09

If the installer fails, it should always give you an obvious error message. Maybe the earlier version is still hiding somewhere?

The plugin should be in /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components on Mac, or in your VST plugins directory, probably C:\VSTPlugIns, on Windows.

To get to your Library folder on MacOS you can hold down the Option key while selecting the “Go” menu from the Finder. Sorry this is a bit complicated, it’s Apple’s decision to make ~/Library hard to access.

Fri, Jun 30, 2017, 08:04

Very glad to hear this! Thanks for the nice feedback.