hardware and software for electronic music 

randy's Recent Posts

Fri, Nov 18, 2016, 10:21

The fact that you're using a powerful machine and seeing these troubles is a hint to me that the crackles should be fixed by the next update. I've put a Virta beta out and it's available here on the "Virta beta" thread. If Virta works well for you I think that Kaivo will too, after the update.

The need to move the Labs impeded progress over the last two months but I'm working full time to get these updates out now. Thanks for your patience.

Thu, Nov 17, 2016, 10:08

A reasonable question, given that a few weeks turned into a few months. I guess you heard I had to move the Labs, somewhat unexpectedly. I'm just now getting settled into the new space and back to working full time. A few issues remain on the Windows side of things but hopefully I'll be done very soon.

Wed, Nov 16, 2016, 08:45

If changing the preset fixes it, this is likely a different problem. It could be that the default patch makes no sound in the DAW setup you are using?

Wed, Nov 16, 2016, 08:44

Model B is what I am calling the next version of the Soundplane.

Wed, Nov 09, 2016, 12:38

Hi Giorgio,

What comes off the DIY controller is a few steps away from being MIDI. You need some kind of computer reading the pressure matrix to recognize the touches and then transmit MIDI data.

I would start by making a 1x1 controller. in other words, a single point pressure sensor. When you do this you will get a good feel for the materials and all the steps involved.

Mon, Nov 07, 2016, 12:54

Yes, I think I know what this is. There was a bug that only affected certain machines, more often the more powerful ones, unfortunately. I believe I have fixed this for the next update.

I had to move the Labs across town, so it's taken a while to get this update out, but I'm pretty much back to going full time on it until it's done now. Thanks for your patience.

Fri, Nov 04, 2016, 10:20

Yes, we're at https://www.facebook.com/madronalabs/

I don't check it very often though. If you have support questions, you will get a faster response here on the forums or from emailing support @ madronalabs com.

Wed, Nov 02, 2016, 09:16

MPE uses the Channel Pressure for each channel and not Poly Pressure.

Yes, velocity should be the same, whether regular or MPE.

Aalto (and other ML stuff) doesn't respond to release velocity.

Wed, Nov 02, 2016, 07:49

Hi Greg,

If you are seeing x and y then you are in MPE mode. those two outputs change according to the "protocol" setting in the settings menu, where protocol can be either MIDI, MIDI MPE, or OSC. The manual usually refers to MIDI mode things though out of habit. I'll try to correct this.

In MPE I am always using 1 for the "main channel" and 2 and up for the others.

Sun, Oct 30, 2016, 09:52

I'm feeling the same. Expect more serious effort on Linux and Windows support as we work on Soundplane B.

I always planned to have Windows support "soon" but it turned out to be much harder than expected. A nice contractor did a Linux driver for me and we intended he would go on to Windows work, but he ran into problems. Maybe in Windows 10 this is easier. If not, we'll just do whatever we have to including possibly contracting the work to someone who has low-level driver experience on Windows.

I still have my sights on making a well-designed "music appliance." I'm always looking at ARM vs. Atom vs. DSP and so on. I think enough power for lots of audio processing, just about anything I'd want to do on stage, can go in quite a small box now.

Fri, Oct 28, 2016, 10:55

Nice and prickly, thanks for sharing.

Fri, Oct 28, 2016, 10:53

Hmm. Google search brings up mostly whole threads for me.

Fri, Oct 28, 2016, 10:06

No problem, I wish searching the site were more obviously possible.

Wed, Oct 26, 2016, 08:06

MIDI itself should be fineā€”it's all about when the messages are actually getting sent in Max. I tend to use a lot of signal-based control flow in Max. When signals break, at least you know they are breaking, but messages can kind of start degrading in performance and drive you crazy trying to figure it out.

I would use the setting "Scheduler in audio interrupt" in Max, along with a small vector size of 64 or 128, maybe. This should give the most repeatable performance with messages. Unless something in Max has changed since I used this stuff...

Mon, Oct 24, 2016, 11:24

My usual goal is to make things sound the same at different sampling rates. Doing this perfectly would take a lot of CPU in some cases, though. So there are optimizations that you might be able to hear sometimes, like calculating certain signals only once per signal vector instead of every sample. (Usually these should be only every N samples regardless of signal vector, but maybe sometimes it's the latter.)

I'll take a listen...

Thu, Oct 20, 2016, 09:03

This is fixed for the release. I'm afraid packing / moving is slowing everything down significantly. Will release ASAP when landed, probably next week.

Fri, Oct 14, 2016, 08:15

Sounds like possibly the bug that I introduced with Virta 1.0.2. Please try the beta version available here:


And let me know if things get better.

Thu, Oct 13, 2016, 11:07

I can make this happen! It occurs the first time a parameter is changed after the host sequencer is stopped and restarted. Happens in both Live and Logic.

Weird this didn't get noticed before! I'll see what I can do.

Thu, Oct 13, 2016, 09:09

Hi Dan, thanks for the feedback. This bug should be fixed in the next version coming soon.

Thu, Oct 13, 2016, 08:34

Can you try the beta and let me know if it's better?

If not, please send me your test case as a patch and I'll try to fix it. thanks for the report.

Wed, Oct 12, 2016, 09:45

OK, I just uploaded a beta to

Please give it a try and if works for you, you can email me for a license text. The website will provide these after I switch everything over to the new license system.

Wed, Oct 12, 2016, 09:17

Any progress on just Aalto in max in general, or something in particular? I have done a bunch of fixes to keep up with Max since 2013.

Sequencer stepping by messages is not something I have ever thought of doing. Would you turn the clock rate to 0 and then use seq_step messages to change the location?

Wed, Oct 12, 2016, 09:12

Huh. this seems like a big problem that I would know about but it's not familiar. I wonder if possibly Live is sending some automation or a program change to Aalto, that is resetting it? the "open the window" issue kind of makes this unlikely though.

I have completely new host sync code in the next version that is coming out ASAP. It's been a bit long in coming because I'm packing the house up for a move. I can commit to sending out a beta this week so you can try the new version. If it works for you I can make a license code for you to unlock it.

Tue, Oct 11, 2016, 10:44

Are you possibly changing the offset parameter or steps parameter of the sequencer? They are designed to do this.

If not, please email me or post below a patch that reproduces the issue, I'll take a look.

Mon, Oct 10, 2016, 09:02

Here's a link that may provide a way to get it working in Reaper:

Like so many things in Reaper I think it's possible but very much not obvious.

Sat, Oct 08, 2016, 09:52

What host are you using? On some hosts apparently the default setup for a music effect like Virta is to leak the dry signal through. If you have Ableton Live, you can try the setup shown in the Virta manual as a reference.

There may be some glitches that come up with the current version, especially on Mac Pros. Please try the beta available here: http://madronalabs.com/media/virta/Virta1.2b5.pkg and let me know if it gets any better!

Sat, Oct 08, 2016, 09:48

Hi Greg,

There was a thread about that here:

With Soundplanes being out of stock right now, an important feature of the Linnstrument is that you can actually order one from Roger! It's going to be a little while until more Soundplanes are available. Please stay tuned for news and development blogging.

Thu, Sep 22, 2016, 12:59

Virta 1.2 BETA available for Mac.

I made a beta installer for download. If you had problems with Virta in the past, please give this new version a try and see if they are fixed.

This beta is demo-only, so please download and keep your previous installer to restore your licensed version.


Virta 1.2b1 release notes - Sept 22, 2016


This is a BETA demo-only version. It is possible to try in demo mode but the website is not yet set up to allow licensing the plugin. If you want to test this version, your help is appreciated. Please download and save your previous installer so you can get back to the previous version.

Hi and welcome to Virta, a sound tool by Madrona Labs.

Virta is a MIDI / OSC controlled effect. This means it can process audio as well as note and controller data. To get the most out of it you need both types of data. In general, Virta will live in a channel insert and have MIDI data routed to it from another channel. Please see the manual for a quick introduction to setup using Ableton Live.

Please see the Virta manual, available on our website, for a complete introduction. For questions or technical support, please try the forums at http://madronalabs.com. If you have purchased a Virta license, you can try us directly by email at .

Macintosh users, please note:

Virta is now Gatekeeper compatible, which allows installation under MacOS Sierra. To install, just double-click the Virta .pkg file and follow the instructions. You can click the lock icon in the upper right of the installer window to confirm the developer signature.

Licensing the plugin

Virta ships as a demo version. The demo has a gentle reminder "wave" sound, and does not allow patches to be saved.

To buy a license for unrestricted use, visit http://madronalabs.com/products/virta and click "Buy now." From the "My licenses" page on the website, you can see the licenses for any products you have purchased. Copy the license, then click on the plugin's upper right registration area to paste the license into the plugin. The license will be saved on your disk.

A license allows you to install the plugin on multiple computers and to run it on any one computer at a time. To run multiple copies of the plugin at once, as in a lab setting, you must purchase mutliple licenses.

Known issues:

  • The "carrier thru" formants mode is not documented in the manual. Choose this option to reduce CPU when a vocoder is not needed.

Changes in Virta 1.2:

  • new registration system
  • 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 a issue with plugin output creation in Cubase
  • fixed an issue where folder or patch names starting in numbers might not appear
  • fixed audio hangs in delay / diffuser and improved sonics
  • fix instability issues introduced with Virta 1.0.2
  • fixed zipper noise in Virta params
  • cosmetic: clear Virta formants display when mode = thru
  • fixed an incompatibility with the AU version in AudioMulch
  • code signed installer for Gatekeeper / MacOS Sierra compatibility
  • tweaked colors some more

Changes in Virta 1.0.2:

  • changed VST version to a MIDI-controlled effect, enabling Cubase compatibility.
  • improved graphics performance with OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
  • changed preset loading to strip unused settings
  • fixed a problem with Reaper always passing through dry audio
  • fixed a problem with audio stopping at some parameter settings
  • brightened background color


[edited link so people don't get b1 by mistake]

Fri, Oct 07, 2016, 09:32

Noted, thanks for the clear feedback.

Fri, Oct 07, 2016, 09:28

Yes, I've had a few requests for this and I'll be happy to do it at some point. Thanks for the feedback.