hardware and software for electronic music 

randy's Recent Posts

Thu, Dec 22, 2016, 08:51

Hi Randy, i'm having an issue with Virta's vocoder. When i load a project that has an instance of Virta with 'Vocoder 256' set as Formant Mode, there's no output or visual graphing of carrier and program.

I'll look into this ASAP, thanks for the report.

A minor note: please post support issues in the software forum to help me keep track of them.

Tue, Dec 20, 2016, 10:20

Release all the things!

The updated versions of Aalto, Kaivo and Virta are all online now on the product pages. Enjoy! As previously posted, here is the list of improvements:

  • 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

Kaivo has some additional fixes to correct problems that version 1.0.2 introduced in certain DAWs.

I've updated the website to replace the previous "My downloads" area with the new "My licenses" link. To replace your old watermarked plugins, simply run the new installers, then log into the website and visit your "My licenses" area. You should find links to your snazzy, new, very pointy license codes there. Just copy them to the system clipboard on either Mac OS or Windows, and click in the upper right of the plugin where it says to. Then you're all set!

Code signing for both Mac OS and Windows, also made possible by getting rid of the watermarking, is something else that should improve life for everyone. No more option-clicking to install, or me explaining to you that you have to do that. And with the plugins protected by a secure chain of certificates, you can be sure that they are genuine. There was a time when I didn't see the need for code signing. But after seeing some of the ransomware floating around these days, I'm convinced it's important.

A long time in coming, the new license system is more like the other plugin registration systems out there, and will hopefully reduce some of the confusion that came up about how to make things go. On my end, it's going to reduce server loads significantly and let me deploy new software versions much more quickly. What previously took several hours (I'm not proud to say) is now accomplished by typing "buildAll" and then, if everything sounds good, "deployAll." This will let me spend more time on making things sound good, and get any needed fixes to you faster and more frequently.

It's going to be a good year.

Wed, Dec 21, 2016, 16:52

@enparticular: thanks for the report. Can you tell me what speed of CPU you have in your Early 2015 13" Macbook Pro?

I have exactly three reports of weird glitches, and all with this particular Macbook Pro. It's very mysterious.

Please try opening some patch that just makes noise by itself (Alessandro's Machines for example) then closing the plugin window. Does the problem get better / CPU use go down without the graphics showing?

Can you please try Kaivo and Virta and let me know if you have similar issues?

Wed, Dec 21, 2016, 12:27

Are these Cubase crashes fixed in the release versions?

Wed, Dec 21, 2016, 12:26

What if you make a new Logic project and make a new track with Aalto in it? Does the menu work then?

I'm updating my Logic to 10.2.4 to see if that affects anything. But mostly I'm on the same recent versions here and everything is working for me.

I'm going to look at the registration / menu code and try to see how this might be possible.

Wed, Dec 21, 2016, 11:27

Thank you so much!

Wed, Dec 21, 2016, 11:22

Did you register your plugin? You need to do this with version 1.8.0 and higher. If not registered the upper right will read "click to paste license."

To register:

  • log in here
  • Click "my licenses" up there ➚
  • copy the license key (with all the /////// etc. )
  • click in plugin upper right to paste
Wed, Dec 21, 2016, 10:18

I didn't make any fix to possible channel issues. I can look into this stuff soon.

Wed, Dec 21, 2016, 10:17

Can you explain more? What happens when you click on the preset menu? Do you see the menu? If so what happens then?

Tue, Dec 20, 2016, 10:41


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.

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.

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.

Thu, Aug 11, 2016, 07:24

Summer sale 2016

Tue, Dec 13, 2016, 12:17

I'll send info out here and by the mailing list. Very soon I hope.

Tue, Dec 13, 2016, 12:16

Can you send me more detailed info? Here or email is fine too. With my setup I can no longer reproduce anything I'd call "CPU spikes" here, so please send

  • OS and software versions
  • specific steps to reproduce, starting from empty Bitwig doc if possible
  • what specific symptoms you see or hear


Tue, Dec 13, 2016, 12:09

I'm planning to update the site tomorrow morning... if it doesn't happen by then I'll get you your codes special delivery! Thanks very much for your help.

Tue, Dec 13, 2016, 12:08

I'm not planning to support VST3. I think it's a step in the wrong direction. VST 2.4 plugins will be useful for a long time and I'll keep making them.

Mon, Dec 12, 2016, 19:06

I've tried a fix but I'm working a bit blind without having Cubase to test. Can you please give this raw VST a try? If it doesn't work I'll have to get a copy of Cubase and work on this for real. I wish they didn't make that so difficult.

Is it working for you in other hosts?

Mon, Dec 12, 2016, 16:48

odd, thanks for the info.

Mon, Dec 12, 2016, 13:34

Yes, I'll put this down as a feature request. Thanks for the feedback.

Meanwhile if you have any success with the alias method, please let me know.

Mon, Dec 12, 2016, 13:12

Thanks for the update.

Mon, Dec 12, 2016, 13:11

Hi there, I haven't done anything to enable this possibility. However, maybe you can make an alias somehow? Hopefully the plugins should have no problem if a network alias is part of the Madrona Labs folder paths they are looking for.

Mon, Dec 12, 2016, 13:09

Thanks for the update.

If you go into your VST folder and rename Aalto.VST to Aalto.vst, does it change anything?

Sun, Dec 11, 2016, 12:26


Sun, Dec 11, 2016, 12:25

Mac or windows?

Tue, Aug 09, 2016, 22:37

Update all the things!

A few months of quiet work on the foundations of things is wrapping up, and I'm feeling certain enough about it to give you a preview. I'll be releasing a revision of each of the Madrona Labs plugins within a few weeks. Aalto, Kaivo and Virta all share a common core library, and I've updated it for improvements in compatibility and stability.

Text handling has gotten an overhaul to allow for use of Unicode in patch names and registrations. If your name is Фёдор, Zoë or 郎, or you want to name your patch, say, デトロイトテクノ, we've got you covered.

The code that turns messages from the host DAW into stable clock got a big overhaul: a new software PLL implementation. In case you missed it, here's a demo:

Aalto PLL test from Madrona Labs on Vimeo.

In order to stay compatible with upcoming versions of MacOS, the license code has been reworked. When I first started making plugins, I thought it would be the most convenient for everyone to download uniquely watermarked software right from the website, because just one install and no registration steps are required. So that's how we've been doing it. This was a neat idea, but it is a very inconvenient idea if I want to codesign the binaries to make Gatekeeper and its Windows equivalent happy. With every plugin being different, a dedicated code signing server would be needed to sign each copy, and that’s not practical for me to maintain.

I'm moving to a system where instead of downloading the whole binary, you just download a license code and paste it into the plugin to turn the demo version into a licensed one. (Yeah, like 99% of the plugins in the world.) All the other license terms will stay the same—installation on multiple computers is still fine, for example. I've worked to make the registration experience, from website to plugin, as smooth as possible. It may even be better than my old system, because you can turn the demo into a licensed version while it's running.

Timing problems affecting Reaper and a problem I introduced with Virta 1.0.2 are also getting fixed.

Because of the need to change the website, all the plugins are switching over to the new license code at once. Probably within a few weeks. It's a big change that should make deploying new versions easier for me, and should also make life easier for all users of the software. I'll keep you posted!

Thu, Dec 08, 2016, 12:08

Yup, got the message re: MIDI learn and will add it soonish.

Sun, Dec 04, 2016, 11:59

You don't want me designing any circuits! Maybe Brian will chime in if he has a minute.

Fri, Dec 02, 2016, 13:28