hardware and software for electronic music 

randy's Recent Posts

Wed, Jul 20, 2011, 09:29

Try the "deep bongo" patch. You'll hear a difference there!

Wed, Jul 20, 2011, 08:41

The gate decay controls the time constant of the Vactrol emulation. This is a special kind of low pass filter applied to the level input itself. So you probably won't hear it if the level input is coming from the envelope is longish. Try setting all the envelope controls to minimum to get a 'tick,' put that into level, and adjust the decay control. You should definitely hear a difference then.

Thanks for the nice words!

Sun, Jul 17, 2011, 19:19

Actually this is a problem with Logic I have heard of, but not before with Live. Can you try the 1.2.5 DEMO posted on the forums here and let me know if it fixes the problem on your system?

Sat, Jul 16, 2011, 08:35

I did everything I could about this, but I'm going to have to call it a Logic bug, Works great in Live.

Sat, Jul 16, 2011, 07:41

Thanks for the report. Can you try the 1.2.5 demo, posted here, and see if that works?

Sat, Jul 16, 2011, 00:17

nice one! always good to see the Aaltoverse expanding. :-)

Thu, Jul 14, 2011, 07:36

I think the changes I'm making for next update may fix this. If not, I'll make it a priority and work with Fxpansion on it if need be, they seem helpful. Thanks for the report.

Wed, Jul 13, 2011, 09:16


Mon, Jul 11, 2011, 19:15

You can automate them by drawing an automation curve. It appears that trying to record by clicking on the buttons themselves doesn't work in Logic. Weird, because it works in Live. I'll look into it.

Sat, Jul 09, 2011, 08:45

Will have to install Rax and test. I'll see what I can do for the next update.

Sat, Jul 09, 2011, 08:44


I hope this will be fixed in the next update. Maschine was also crashing in it's own examination process, and that seems to be fixed, so I hope DP is fixed too. Will test next week.

Tue, Jul 05, 2011, 12:23

What’s happening

July 5, and it finally feels like it's summer here in Seattle for more than one day in a row. Though after a vacation getaway last week, I'm inside most of the time, back to work here on hardware and software for electronic music. Still, working is nicer when I can walk to the cafe under sunny skies, or pop into the backyard for a strawberry. Mmm strawberries.

I'm devoting half of my time now to finishing the Soundplane project. It's exciting to finally be working again on our centerpiece, the heart of what we're doing.

Meanwhile, Aalto is working great for some users but not so great for a few, so improvements are ongoing. Let me run down the main issues I have been working on:

  • Fixed a problem with the GUI freezing in Live 7.
  • Optimized multislider to speed up patch changes.
  • Added parameter update message on loading a preset.
  • Issues with audio dropouts and CPU spikes when switching patches in Logic 9 remain. These seem to be worst on multi-core machines. I'm working on a fix.
  • There are problems for some people getting Aalto to work with Native Instruments Maschine. While I work these out, try the forums if you're having trouble, where some people have found ways to get it working.
  • Aalto seems to crash Sonar 8.5 on Windows XP. I hope to work on this for the next update.
  • FInishing up the manual.

The next update will be a 1.2.x, meaning it's just a bugfix update with no additional features. So those of you waiting on host sync etc. will have to be a little patient while I work on the foundations. I'll roll it out next week at the latest so people using Live 7 can get back in the saddle.

We got another very nice mention in Create Digital Music today, thanks to the work of Sam Greene. Sam was really taken with the weird sounds coming out of Aalto, so he dusted off his site patchdump.com and made it into a really great way to share Aalto patches. Thanks Sam, for this great gathering spot for Aaltophiles! Part of me wants to write a post on why this kind of community contribution is so vital to small companies like ours, and how I hope to encourage it, but for now I'm going to let that impulse slip away and get back to work on making the hardware and software.

Happy patching,


Wed, Jul 06, 2011, 11:42

Thanks for the updates. I do have one problem in Logic that I can duplicate just often enough to work on it. It's an intermittent one, which seems to match people's descriptions of the problems starting up.

The keyboard handling in different hosts is just such a huge mess for anyone who writes a plugin. Some hosts work better with the VST and some with the AU. Live won't pass keys to the AU to play notes, but the VST works OK. Other hosts only work with the AU. Fixing this crap will take a lot of time---I'm going to focus on the more severe problems and get an update out first.

Mon, Jul 04, 2011, 10:52

Well, glad you're up and running. I'll try to get the other versions going ASAP.

Wed, Jun 15, 2011, 09:55

Maschine Help


Some people report Aalto 1.2 working just fine in Maschine. Others are having problems. If you had to tweak your system somehow to get it working, I would appreciate it if you could post here. I don't have time to try Maschine myself for a while, so hopefully sharing information can get more people going happily! Thanks!

Mon, Jul 04, 2011, 10:51

Thanks, I'm aware of this and will work on a fix after the next update. Sorry for the trouble.

Mon, Jul 04, 2011, 10:50

The good news is I finally saw this bug occur on my own system. I did a long torture test session changing patches in Logic and was able to see some bad input from Logic that I hope is the cause of these problems.

Sun, Jul 03, 2011, 21:22

moved to software forum... i should really fix it so people can't post to the News forum, my bad. I look forward to hearing your sounds!

Sat, Jul 02, 2011, 18:45

In other words, I'm getting somewhere? Sweet!

Sat, Jul 02, 2011, 09:11

No dropouts here for your patch. This issue is highest priority for me though.

If you try this demo component do you get the dropouts?
(Component only - I'm assuming you know how to drop this in the right place)

[EDIT] - updated component again. Should print all the numerical errors if any, and there's a button for you to copy them. click the nearly invisible button on the right to bring up the debug output.

Thu, Jun 30, 2011, 11:23

Think of each sequencer's position as a continuous number with a fractional part, not just the integer step number. The light just shows the integer position. But depending on where the actual fractional position is within the step, you can get different results.

This is what the difference is between your example and the preset. If you change your example so that the number of steps is 1 and rate is nonzero, you will get the results you expect.

Thu, Jun 30, 2011, 10:16

Uh, I see now but I have no idea. That's very strange. Thanks for making the video. I'll investigate soon because, if there's some behavior I don't understand, maybe it's a clue to one of the other bugs happening.


It's a little weird but not that weird. I made a mistake by believing what you wrote in the text in your movie. Only one voice is detuning a bit when you change slider 4, not all of them. To verify, turn all the other faders to the same note, and hear the increased beating that results for turning up fader 4.

What's happening is that one voice gets mostly the signal from fader 3, with a tiny bit of fader 4 mixed in. This is because of the way the interpolation works. When the rate is 0. and has never been changed, the fractional part of the step is 0.0001 or something like that. If you set the # of steps to 1 and turn the rate up, you should get more obvious behavior.

I don't have too much time now but I'll try to explain better in the manual.

Thu, Jun 30, 2011, 10:17

Thanks for the report. I want to fix this ASAP.

Wed, Jun 29, 2011, 18:00

It doesn't quite make sense to me what you're talking about, because I don't know what you mean by "affect the de/tuning of the unison notes". Maybe the difference is where the sequence is within the step. It's kind of complicated to explain without pictures. I'm trying right now in the manual, so maybe stay tuned for a full explanation. The outputs with 0 steps in a sequence and 1 step will be different, and if you run the clock, then stop it, it will be frozen in the middle of a step and you can see different results.

no easter egg type thing is intended. and if vst and au work differently, that would be a bug. can you tell me a sequence of steps to do, that gives different results for the VST and AU versions? You could start from default or any factory patch.

Wed, Jun 29, 2011, 16:51

.mlpreset files should be the same on both platforms. It's just XML.

On the Mac there's also an .aupreset format for full AU compatibility.

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