hardware and software for electronic music 

randy's Recent Posts

Tue, Jun 28, 2011, 11:41

cool news! ekwipt, can you try using the VST with the default 32-bit mode off?

Tue, Jun 28, 2011, 08:59

I like these ideas. The signal dials would be hard to make in hardware though :-)

Mon, Jun 27, 2011, 15:05

all fixed...

Thu, Jun 16, 2011, 11:38

Aalto 1.2.1 update

I made an update of Aalto to fix a real problem with the sequencer that crept in at the last minute. The new demo is up on the website. If you are a registered user, you should get your links in the mail over the next couple of hours.

1.2.1 changes

fixed sequencer UI bug
fixed mouse wheel behavior on Windows
fixed typo in reverb algorithm, sound now restored to v.1.1 glory
demo version now prints debug info

Mon, Jun 27, 2011, 15:03


Tue, Jun 21, 2011, 08:25

Thanks for the feedback. I may change that wording. I'm not the kind of person that would make my software do something malicious.

Short answer is, if you are offline, there will be no problems.

I am willing to discuss in more detail, but I'm headed off on vacation for a week.

Tue, Jun 21, 2011, 08:18

Sorry you're having difficulties. I can't think why examination would just hang. I can suggest you try the VST, assuming DP runs VSTs. I'm on vacation for a week starting later today--have added this issue to the list for when I get back.

Mon, Jun 20, 2011, 10:53

It's still a good suggestion.

Mon, Jun 20, 2011, 10:52

Sorry to hear it. What kind of computer (CPU) do you have?

Tue, Jun 07, 2011, 15:24

Aalto 1.2 coming this Friday.

Hi there,

Aalto 1.2 for Mac and Windows will be available this Friday, June 10 at around noon Seattle time.

New in Aalto version 1.2:

  • Mac and Windows VST versions
  • 64-bit Mac AU / VST
  • 64-bit Windows VST
  • Improved performance (20-50% faster than version 1.1)
  • Brand new patching interface
  • New cross-platform preset format
  • Improved dial ballistics
  • Over 100 new presets from Alessandro Cortini, Richard Devine, Rory Dow, Surachai, Edward Ten Eyck and Madrona Labs.

Mac people, you are really going to enjoy so much more smoothness as compared to 1.1 --- I'm really happy to send this one out. Now I have to go make the scripts for the website that do the watermarking and emailing, and spend a little more time on the manual. I might be kind of quiet until Friday. Seeya then.

Sun, Jun 19, 2011, 19:02

I heard another report from a customer that 1.2.1 fixes the Maschine problems on Mac! Would love to hear more confirmation of this.

Sun, Jun 19, 2011, 09:47

Hi John, I think he is making good products too, so I just decided to get in touch at some point.

Sun, Jun 19, 2011, 09:41

@ekwipt, thanks for the report. Be sure to try Aalto 1.2.1!

Fri, Jun 17, 2011, 09:25

The best thing here would probably be a diagram.

Anyway, the reverb dial is a reverb send for each voice, simple as that.

Fri, Jun 17, 2011, 09:20


My first reaction was "I have no idea..." but then I saw, what you're trying to do should really work. So I looked through the code and I think I may see a fix that would give the behavior you want.

I'm not going to push out another 1.2.x release before a couple of weeks though, unless there's some really bad problem in the meantime. So, I will get this working for you, just not right away.

To confirm, when you change a dial, your MIDI stuff does update, correct?

Thu, Jun 16, 2011, 16:27

Fixed. Thanks for letting me know!

Thu, Jun 16, 2011, 15:51

Good idea about alt... or something to get semitone steps. I'll think on this.

Not sure about the color idea, if only because I don't thin it would look nice, or be very readable, esp. with more voices. But keep 'em coming...

Thu, Jun 16, 2011, 15:26

You can even get two totally different 8 note sequences... see the patch 2x8 seq or something in the "techniques".

Thu, Jun 16, 2011, 15:15


you are right. broken build script = old version in there. I'm going to upload new mac versions now...

Thu, Jun 16, 2011, 14:05


I do see CPU spikes switching presets in Logic . I don't know what I could do about that. I might work on it, but not soon. In my experience Logic is less efficient than other hosts.

I do not get crashing or any problems with more than one Aalto. I am on Logic 9.1.3 however.

Maybe this will be better for you in the 1.2.1 version.

Thu, Jun 16, 2011, 12:26

create a different pitch sequence per voice

you can't exactly do that. Think of the modules as faceplates to 4 identical modules, like a polysynth. The signals going through them can change, but the settings of the front panel knobs can not. since the sequencer has only the 16 sliders, the same sequence goes to all the sequencer voices.

You can do some tricks with the voice signal from KEY though, like set "offset" or "rate" in the seq to a different value for each voice. or, you can set the pitch of the osc to a different offset for each voice for weird harmonies.

Thanks for the discussion, people, it's helping me finish the manual... :-)

Thu, Jun 16, 2011, 10:17

I have plans to upgrade the existing site that we've done using Rails. But any additional forums are always welcome!

One day, I'd like to enable some kind of patch sharing from within the synth itself. One day...

Thu, Jun 16, 2011, 10:16

@jazztypewriter: THanks! I think that was a good explanation. I need to put an example in the manual there. I'm busy sending out 1.2.1 updates this morning...

Wed, Jun 15, 2011, 23:43

What's shown in the reverb dial is the amount of signal from each voice going to the reverb.

Wed, Jun 15, 2011, 23:24

This is a good question. Jazztypewriter is basically right. All the voices are actually combined after they are panned, though, and before the reverb. So, there is one reverb for all the voices. The reverb is a true stereo one, so the pan image of the reverb changes depending on the input.

An interesting point here is that it wouldn't make any difference if there were four reverbs or one. A reverb is basically a linear time-invariant system, and while that is a fairly technical-sounding definition, it basically means that if you mix the signals then send them through the reverb, you get the same result as if you had sent each signal separately through a different reverb, then mixed the results.

Mon, Jun 13, 2011, 13:15

Aalto 1.2 FAQ

I'm wrapping up support work for the day. Here's a brief wrapup of the issues on peoples' minds:

Q:I'm a registered Aalto 1.1 owner, how do I get my version 1.2 upgrade?

A: We had some email problems, so not everyone got the email about the update. Please email me at support at madronalabs.com and I'll help you out.

Q: The press release mentions a $99 discount on Soundplane with Aalto purchase, but I don't see this on the site. Is it for real?

A:Yes, what the release says is good, and I will update the site to reflect that.

Q: There is a bug with the sequencer settings on Aalto 1.2.

A: I can verify, and I'm perplexed and embarrassed at how this crept in after so much testing. I will fix this in an update within the week.

Wed, Jun 15, 2011, 14:47

You have the blue values going to the pitch. These are just triggers. The pitch values are the orange ones. This is covered in the Quickstart.

Th patch you posted is messed up, maybe because of the sequencer bug I just fixed. I'm sending out an update in the next day or two.

I'm going to paste here part of the manual, under construction, about patching and voices.

Every module you see on the surface of Aalto is really a controller for as many copies of the module as there are currently enabled voices. When a patch cord is made, it is made simultaneously for each of Aalto’s voices. If you connect the output of the \textsc{lfo} to the oscillator pitch, for example, you are connecting \textsc{lfo} of voice 1 to pitch of voice 1, \textsc{lfo} of voice 2 to pitch of voice 2, and so on. You can think of the \textsc{key} module similarly, except that there is a copy for each note currently being played. When a note is played repeatedly, the \textsc{key} module makes connections to each of its copies in turn, so that the pitch of each note in a chord will be sent to a different voice.

Since they are controlled by the one and only patcher, the patch for each voice is identical. But what signals flow through the patch for each voice can be very different. Thus, each voice is separately controllable, in timbre, modulation, and all of its parameters.

Wed, Jun 15, 2011, 14:48

I suspect this was just a happy accident. I'm sending out an update with the fix soon.

Wed, Jun 15, 2011, 13:14

Hi Sam,

I fixed the sequencer issues and will do another release soon. I hope this will fix your crash as well.

Wed, Jun 15, 2011, 10:25

Thanks for posting! Moved to software forum.