hardware and software for electronic music 

randy's Recent Posts

Wed, Jun 01, 2011, 09:50

Maybe if you stop sleeping you could shave a couple weeks off the release date...

I tried that already, it backfired. :-)

Wed, Jun 01, 2011, 09:49

@sasmir:

I do appreciate that you are approaching this with a smile, and from the perspective of someone who really, really wants a Soundplane.

Let me tell you a little about who we are and the resources we have to accomplish this project. I am the company founder, and the only application software developer. I am not an experienced product designer, but since there is no one else available, I designed an electromechanical sensor system with many parts and a CNC-milled case for it. Brian is the only hardware engineer, and very qualified for his task, making an original DSP computer and writing the firmware for it.

It's hard to know how long a project "should" take. When I started out, I hoped to have finished prototypes in 3 months, and obviously that was a very naïve goal given our resources. On the other hand, you can easily find examples of products no more complicated than ours, that took more than two years to design, often with much bigger teams, and that did come to market successfully.

And then there's Aalto. You may know, if you have been following us closely, that I originally designed Aalto to play only with the Soundplane. As the Soundplane project took longer than than expected, my "seed money" ran out and I needed to generate more. So I changed plans and made Aalto its own product, a product I am proud of. You may not be interested in Aalto, but with it there would be no Soundplane---I would have a job working for someone else again instead. Aalto is feeding my family.

People have different communication styles. I think these are influenced by culture and by personal preferences and quirks. When I am not done with a job X, I won't tell you "I am having trouble with Y, which is in the way of X," or "my car broke down on the way to my cousin's wedding," because I would not want to hear these things myself. I think of them as "making excuses," an activity that gets in the way of getting the work done. I will only put Soundplane news out when there is something truly new, positive and interesting to report. Otherwise, it serves little purpose, because we are not here to entertain you. We are here to make tools for you to make music with.

When you say I make a lot of promises, but never keep, this offends me. I keep my promises. A promise is me saying something will ship on a particular date, or cost a particular amount of money, or that if something breaks, and you didn't sit on it, we will repair it for you. This is why the Soundplane ship date has always been "when it's done."

Put yourself in my shoes. I have been working hard to bring a Soundplane into the world, since long before you heard of it. We are nearing finished prototypes, which I can start making software for as soon as I release my next product. Then you come along and say "something must be going really worse". This frustrates me. All I can do is give you some more information, mostly repeating things I've already said.

Tue, May 31, 2011, 17:52

@sasmir,

your English is fine.

We are making a new kind of instrument. It is a difficult project. It has taken lots of time. I have made you no promises, I have told you no lies.

Possibly we (Brian and I) could talk more often about some of the many small technical problems we have solved along the way, but this would take time away from the actual work, and I doubt many people would find it interesting. Instead of "you give us no news!" you might be saying: "you give us all this useless news, and no Soundplane!"

Since I know that our work is going forward, it's hard for me to know just how to respond to you except to say "stay tuned," which is the thing that frustrated you in the first place.

Wed, May 18, 2011, 14:41

I'll have to support using VSTs of course but i think some really neat ways of playing will only be possible with custom instruments that talk to the Soundplane directly.

I won't go too in depth here but I'm thinking more along the lines of signals than messages for the Soundplane / instrument connection. Imagine there's no note on / note off as in MIDI, but instead as many channels of CV / gate / expression signals as you like. Haven't run into any problems with OSC that would prevent this.

I'm still experimenting with the best way to do an attack that's faster than your finger...

Mon, Apr 25, 2011, 10:55

when? soon.


Yes, some of you are very excited about Aalto for Windows. I'm busy here trying to make sure that when it's out, it's as enjoyable to use as its Mac counterpart. And, as a relative Windows noob, this is taking some time, so I appreciate your patience. The Windows version is in beta testing now, so please, mister hedgehog, put that pointy stick down.


I'm using Visual Studio 2010 Express with the JUCE framework to create the Windows version, and I'm getting a grip on some performance issues with the nice free profiler Very Sleepy. I feel pretty comfortable with this toolset and with Windows 7 now. There are only a few bugs, it seems, but one or two are the Nasty kind.


The Windows version will run under 7 and XP SP 3. I have a couple of people trying out Vista, and it seems to work well for the most part, but I probably won't have the resources to track down Vista-specific bugs. It's a little like the situation with the many different VST hosts out there-- there are so many combinations that the best thing I can do is give you the chance to try before you buy. Which you can do. Soon.


And for those of you wondering, "have they forgotten about the Soundplane?" Quite the opposite, we are working to finish it. Stay tuned for news.

that's a Duncan Fegredo panel from Hellboy.

Mon, May 16, 2011, 10:40

It's possible I would implement it if it really caught on and lots of customers wanted it. I'm more interested in the possibilities with the Soundplane and OSC linking to a whole world full of new soft synths that aren't hampered by a MIDI interface to begin with. Check out some of Roger Linn's recent demos with his Linnstrument. He has been explaining to people the same thing I demoed with my prototype Soundplane, which was, you don't need envelopes any more if you can articulate each note individually. So I see this kind of control as a new baseline, not something added onto MIDI.

Did you know that Aalto has polyphonic aftertouch right now? The "after" signal is the sum of the channel aftertouch and the polyphonic aftertouch for each note.

Mon, May 02, 2011, 11:43

My favorite kind of feedback

My favorite kind of feedback to get is when I stumble on something on the Web, some traces left by a person who's gotten excited by something I made and what it's doing for their creativity, how it's helping them make music. They're not trying to get a free product or get their name out there into every conceivable nook and cranny. What they're doing is, spreading the word about their process and about a tool that they think is awesome, and I start to think, wow, maybe I'm on the right track.


five Aalto ideas and bonus beats [april28-may1] by morendifernt

Tue, May 10, 2011, 09:23

More soundplane news soon! I have had to focus on getting Aalto Windows out (obviously), but exciting things are happening with electronics nearby...

Sat, May 07, 2011, 13:43

I'm like 15 blocks west of the I-5, so it's all good.

Mon, May 02, 2011, 11:47

tik-tok

Sat, Apr 30, 2011, 11:36

Hi,

I did talk to Roger Linn for a while. He was very supportive and I'm happy he's out there evangelizing for the next generation of pressure-sensitive instruments.

We are getting really close to a working prototype. The design has not changed much. More info soon.

best,
Randy

Thu, Apr 28, 2011, 10:04

Hey, a DIY question. It's been a while.

Yes I used 1/4" cables in my prototype, with only the + attached to the plates. The most important thing is length, the shorter the better. If you can take apart the interface and put it in a box with the sensor, that would be best.

As to interface I'm pretty sure any cheap one should work fine. You can look at what the G-Tar guys did in their forum post.

Tue, Apr 26, 2011, 09:14

The 1.2 update will bring many improvements to the Mac side of things.

Thu, Feb 24, 2011, 11:21

Just a quick update.

Hi there! Maybe you're here courtesy of the very nice review in MusicRadar today. I thought the reviewer, Scot Solida, did a good job of presenting the mostly pros and few cons of Aalto.


Aalto Glitch Groove by ARTrythall


There's an ever-growing Soundcloud group full of Aalto sound examples, some from me and some from other Aaltophiles.


I'm currently working on the next release, 1.2, which will have major UI improvements, further optimizations, a brand new manual, and most importantly, a Windows VST version. 1.2 will be free for current customers. This release was planned for February and we are not far behind. Beta versions will go out soon. If you're interested in beta testing, stay tuned to this channel for updates.


Now and for a limited time after the 1.2 release, Aalto will come with a $99 discount on the Soundplane A, a new instrument for computer music we are developing. It's been a long time in coming but we are still actively working towards finished hardware.


That's all for now, keep in touch!

Fri, Apr 22, 2011, 10:36

@nickster that's a good question-- I'm still trying to make it work here but I hope so.

Tue, Apr 19, 2011, 10:04

Thanks for sharing! Here is great too---it's just not, you know, as active.

Thu, Apr 14, 2011, 10:37

Well that could definitely be the problem!

Wed, Apr 13, 2011, 14:31

Sorry for the delay.

I have heard reports where having other apps open makes the install fail.

But I take it things are working well for you now?

Fri, Apr 08, 2011, 17:40

Great patch! Reminds me of some Analogue Bubblebath action.

Fri, Apr 08, 2011, 08:22

@ ak4115, please go ahead!

Wed, Apr 06, 2011, 17:14

please ignore

e7f4dac9f95ddad10600d5ff36db75b0a8c32504

Wed, Apr 06, 2011, 08:58

Hi and thanks!

I have enough people now to try a bunch of different hosts.

If you didn't get here in time, don't worry --- If all goes well the release should be in 2-3 weeks.

Mon, Apr 04, 2011, 09:19

I know the forum software is a little bit primitive. I will fix some of these issues soon after Windows beta.

Sun, Apr 03, 2011, 15:39

I have heard there are some good LPG clones out there.

I'm not sure there's anything close to the oscillator. The Harvestman Hertz Donut does some wicked sounds and has a similar layout, but sounds quite different.

As far as the waveguide, I don't think there's anything like it in a modular-- if there were, it would have to be a DSP.

Sun, Apr 03, 2011, 15:34

OK, if the update does not fix this, I will get back to this issue.

Sun, Apr 03, 2011, 15:30

really?

Sun, Apr 03, 2011, 15:30

@piebald80, did you ever get it working?

Thu, Mar 31, 2011, 10:30

I finished a big step yesterday! Now I'm knocking down Windows bugs and really expect to get to beta soon.

Thu, Mar 31, 2011, 10:27

Hi Markus,

Thank you for the report. Having no Maschine unfortunately I can't investigate this. I am hard at work getting the next release out which will include a VST version. Hopefully the VST will be a workaround for this problem.

Mon, Mar 28, 2011, 09:07

then you're in the right place...