hardware and software for electronic music 

thetechnobear's Recent Posts

Tue, Mar 31, 2015, 13:54

cool, will test it :)

Im a bit surprised you have moved the offsets, I know the labelling of the notes was wrong, but I would have thought most, would have got used to note positions, so changing the offset might cause some confusion. (I know you can transpose)

I thought you would probably just change the note names, I know inconsistent with guitar tuning, but id assume its what most users have got used to?

Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 06:12

the soundplane software (1.2.4) has introduced a bug which meant it only connects on the default port - Id already reported to Randy. But Ive also now debugged it, and supplied the details of the fix to Randy.

for details see : http://madronalabs.com/topics/4365-new-soundplane-app-version-1-2-4-released

its a trivial bug/fix so hopefully ML will release it

note: you will need to use Aalto 1.6.1, as 1.6.0 also had a bug related to using multiple OSC addresses, and also incorrectly reported 't3d connected, when it wasn't'

Fri, Mar 27, 2015, 06:07

ok the issue is in :

void SoundplaneController::doOSCServicesMenu(int result)

the parameters in resolve passed in incorrect order.

Resolve(getServiceName(result - 1).c_str(), kUDPType, kLocalDotDomain);

should be:

Resolve(kLocalDotDomain,kUDPType,getServiceName(result - 1).c_str());
Thu, Mar 26, 2015, 11:52

have you had a chance to look at the multiple OSC issue I reported via email?
(ie. when using osc offsets, so I can have kaivo and aalto running, worked in previous release of SP software)

if not no issue, then I will fork repo, and fix it... but don't want to duplicate effort.



p.s. any chance of a tag/branch on the madronalib/soundplane repo for released versions. i.e what makes up 1.2.4

Tue, Mar 24, 2015, 12:37

love almonds :)

dry by european standards, as no rain from June-August, but some rain the rest of the year.
We run off our own well, which is about 20 meters deep.

btw, today had an issue again... i noticed that the carrier i was uisng (2), had jumped to 0.08, and now carrier 1 was better at 0.04 ... so perhaps these changes are why im getting these issues.
just not why sure the noise changes so much ?

Tue, Mar 24, 2015, 07:03


ah, although I'm from the UK, I now live (~2 years) in southern Spain on an old almond farm in the mountains close to the Sierra Nevada - its very beautiful, especially now as the almond trees are in flower.
but... no supplied infrastructure, so I have solar panels (with backup), my own water supply (treatments/storage), and for heating - solar thermal panels, a biomass incinerator which uses almond shells (a 'waste' from the almond farms), and wood burners (to burn cuttings from our trees)... and fortunately, recently, internet via WiFiMax (used to be satellite)

Its alot of fun, but still very much a 'work in progress' :)

Sun, Mar 22, 2015, 06:07

hmm, interesting, I can see this behaviour too.
CCs are ignored until the first note comes in...

odd, it looked like an optimisation on Lives part.... but Kaivo doesnt have the same behaviour,
... so either the plugin is telling Live not to send until first note, or aalto is not responding to the CC or flashing the mod light.

Sat, Mar 21, 2015, 06:31

@antolyi/randy, just tried here with Mac/1.6.1 vst/Live9 (also N4) ... and works as expected.

I tried first with default MW, ok - then changed CC# to 10, and checked Mod worked on 10, Mod+1 on 11 , both seemed fine.

perhaps a Windows or host (daw) related issue? which daw? does the mod input flash?

Sat, Mar 21, 2015, 05:55

Im out of my depth here...so may be talking nonsense :)

UK/US, I assume your referring to mains hum, and the difference between europe using 50hz vs US 60hz... and I guess that implies different carrier frequencies are suitable for europe? Im assuming you have to be careful of harmonics of these frequencies too?

Q. what are the frequencies used by the SP? 
Q. are the choices of carriers 'hardwired' in the SP, or could we potentially have different choices in europe?

off gird, I was referring to the fact some mains supply cans be pretty 'dirty', with pretty big voltage changes (dips and peaks) as demand alters... and was wondering if this also might induce different RF interferences (and so implicitly change which carrier signals are better)

but as I live in the mountains and don't have mains, I don't have this issue. my solar system has very stable voltage (+/-0.2v variation according to my metrics, which is tiny compared to mains swings which can typically be +/-5v, and at times by much more than that).

Ive read these voltage changes, can make equipment operate differently (sub optimal), but again... Im only going on what Ive read rather than seen any real evidence of it.. not sure if it affects the 'hum' of not.

(the reference to inverters... these, as you possibly know, take my 48v DC to 230v AC, but not all inverters are 'equal', in terms of voltage/cycle variations and some don't even put out perfect sine cycles... so this is something I was very careful of, when designing my system, as well as ensuring I have good earthing, and no ground-loops :))

saying all this, I've not finished building yet, so I'm in a temporary studio, which has a lack of plug sockets, so quite possible the huge number of power strips I have could be far from ideal :)

Fri, Mar 20, 2015, 10:27

hmmm interesting...

noise results are:

so carrier 2 is selected.. which I'm 'fairly' sure is always the one selected.

But whats interesting is I'm pretty sure, there used to be 2 (carried 1 and 2) that were around the same 0.004 level, sometimes it would choose one, others time the other.

now 2 things have changed....

a) Ive moved my gear around a bit, due to getting a new mixer in the studio.

b) Ive put a new (powered MTT ) usb hub in place,

I just noticed, if I plug directly into the mac, that carrier 1, goes back down to 0.0048 levels, from 0.00758 ... so I'm wondering if the new hub is creating a bit more 'noise'.
(the usb cable is, I think, the one supplied, and has a ferrite block on it)

so... a couple of questions...

is there anything i can do, to ensure noise is not an issue, or reduce it?
is there anything I should avoid? ( my SP usually is played in from of the mac)

also, next time I see, the issue, I will do a carrier scan, and see what its says, e.g. has the noise gone up.
(when the issue has occurred, Im pretty sure I've not been doing anything to USB devices, or turning any other devices on ... and my power supply is pretty clean, as I'm off-grid running off of solar power with good quality inverters :))

EDIT: actually scrub the 'new hub' theory, just did a few more scans, and even in the new hub its sometimes at 0.004 levels, seems carrier 1 is a bit 'random' on its noise levels.

Fri, Mar 20, 2015, 10:06

@mtvic, Live 9.1.7 + Aalto AU 1.6.1 + OSX 10.9.5 works for me :)
sorry not much help ... might be work rescanning/reinstalling?

Thu, Mar 19, 2015, 14:46

thanks.... Im pretty sure I was using 1.1.2 before but I guess same place modified url :)

yeah the ghost touches are odd... they occur in a couple of forms...
a) a random touch, quite far away from where other real touches are... i think these tend to be on on the bottom row
b) if play a tri chord, I get 4 or 5 touches (i.e. 2 extra) quite close to the other 3,

(a) is a pain, as the touch tends to persist, until I hit the recalibrate button (pg 2)
also, If i turn up the view scale, it does indeed look like the SP has a touch in that region.
and it also seems commonly in the same place ... bottom row around column 6 (approx)
but it just suddenly starts... I've not placed a touch close to there, and it might start after 5 mins or 30mins!

(b) bit different, but again fine for quite some time of playing, and then suddenly will start glitching, not all the time, but once its starts seems to be more likely to reoccur.

the above are just 'impressions' rather any serious quantifying/testing... but definitely didn't occur in 1.1.2 (which is I'm pretty sure what I was using before)

I did have a try with the reducing template (its about .300) but didn't appear to help, but will try more 'rigoursly' :) threshold Ive got at the default 0.010, but will try to increase.
(I'll look at the ghost touch pressure value a bit close next time, I assume I can use that to tune thresh)

BTW: an idea for you.
I really like the 'pressure value' display on the grid,
I was wondering if we could have something similar for a musical context....

Im trying to get better with quantise OFF, and I'm ok with single touches, as i can tune to a 'backing track'.

BUT when Im doing multiple touches its very difficult, the issue is, I can hear one of the notes is OFF, but its hard to determine which one...

so I was wondering, if we could display a 'tuning' offset for each touch,
this would be a useful training aid, as I could see which note was off, and tune it by ear.

there could be other representations ... e.g. the touch colour could be different for sharp/flat/in-tune.... this would be cool, as very quick to see.

(Im guess not really interested in how much Im out, just which touch and in which direction, just a clue... to then let my ears do the real work :) )

will get back to about the ghost touches, if I can determine anything more concrete to help.


Thu, Mar 19, 2015, 14:10

Is there somewhere I can get the previous version from? (I stupidly overwrote it)

Im getting some issues with 'ghost' touches that I didn't get on the previous version, and I need to 'perform' with the soundplane in a couple of weeks, so much as I prefer the new version ... I cannot risk the ghosts touches :(

also, when I go back, will I have to recalibrate?

(It would be nice I think to have a separate app state for each version, in case you need to rollback/ or use different versions for testing)


Mon, Mar 16, 2015, 11:49

nice release, already improves touches on the edges for me, and I like the new pressure display. I've emailed you a couple of minor issues, but overall feels really good.

looking forward to seeing and hearing more about the new generation touch tracking :)

my #1 requests would be improved handling of tri-chords, which can be a little hit/miss... but a tough challenge I'm sure, given the 3 notes are quite close.
( though >1 cell apart)


Mon, Mar 02, 2015, 02:04

When you log in to the this site, top right you will see a link "my downloads"
(Underneath your login name, my account etc)

Fri, Feb 27, 2015, 05:05

apart from this project is going to involve me going down the modular rabbit hole, I'm really excited by it :)

a couple of thoughts

  • iPad/Bluetooth
    this discussion scares me, Id get a modular to get away from computers, Im not keen on integrating them... am I the odd one out on this?

  • KISS,
    Id really love it to be simple, and do one job really well, direct connection of the soundplane. Im sure the architecture will be open to expansion anyway, so no need to over complicate at the beginning? keep it simple ... conquer the world later.

In this vain, Id have thought something like:

  • micro controller with limited storage (need for SP touch tracking software - no?)

  • upgradeable firmware via USB, and also allow upload of small files (e.g scales/zones), or possibly this could be done via micro SD, but not sure a slot in a non-clean environment is good option, also adds cost.

  • open source firmware

  • 8 CV out, default assigned to 2x X/Y/Z/Gate BUT by assignable to whatever via firmware (so future firmware could have zones which use as 8 faders)

  • 2 endless encode with small readout to show values, addressable via firmware (example use might be to change scales/zone mapping)

  • 2 CV in (by default, drive the endless encode values)

  • expansion connector to allow for additional banks of CV outs etc.

Note: Number of CV outs/in I guess this will be driven by cost, and keeping the module 'affordable', which was stated as the goal.

with this kind of model the initial firmware could be very simple (and rock solid!), but could could easily be extended to cover different zone mappings/scales, or other imaginable uses.

open sourcing the firmware, could help relieve some of the pressure on ML.
ML is really creative and is always coming up with fantastic ideas and products, so Im sure we (users) have to be realistic about how much effort can be put into this project (without letting other ML projects suffer)

Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 11:36

awesome stuff... OSC and automation working great here... thanks!

Tue, Feb 24, 2015, 07:34

ok uploaded here Cantor Digitalis Max Patch

this actually combined with changes also made for a haken continuum
(don't worry there is no mention of SP, as it needs no UI, it just works )

to use, download CD from their website, then copy this patch into the _MainPrograms directly and start it from Max.

you will need the CNMAT packages for OSC-route, since i use those (would be easy to avoid this, but I often use them so didnt think not to this time around :))

then run the SP app in OSC mode, and use the chromatic zone, without quantisation, (as cantor digitalis has its own.)

first 6 columns have vowel space, rest is playing area.

oh cantor digitalis set manual tuning to -14 -3, no link... this will ensure correct tuning for voices.


Wed, Feb 18, 2015, 10:14

Cantor Digitalis on a Soundplane (vocal synthesis)

Ive 'ported' this to the Soundplane, as its really fun, you can get some amazing voice sounds, with vowel control on one x/y grid, and pitch/effort and larynx on another.

Cantor Digitalis on a Soundplane

go check out their website (in YT description) for some examples of what skilled players can do with it, very impressive stuff.

Sun, Feb 22, 2015, 10:27

If your interested I could post the patch…

(Im not sure if max patches can be posted here, as the forum does some weird formatting)

I use OSC, put the soundplane into chromatic zone (so I get full x/y/z), then Ive edited the main control patch to send the relevant max messages based on the tch messages. If your familiar with max its simple enough.

as I say, though I can post the patch if your interested/prefer

Fri, Feb 20, 2015, 08:52

any news on a 1.6.1, which fixes the OSC and automation?

Mon, Feb 16, 2015, 10:37

@jue, interesting its working for me with N4Pro (b149), osx 10.9.5 , i.e. I can see aalto and load it within N4, and also save it as part of a stack etc.
though it doesnt appear to want to load the presets from the N4 folders, I guess as these are the .aupresets - this is why I asked Randy, if perhaps I can delete that folder, so it doesnt confuse.

Sat, Feb 14, 2015, 16:10

Is automation working?
Ive tried in both Live 9.1.7/Mac 10.9 (au and vst) and Bitwig 1.1, and it doesnt seem to be working for me.
I think I'm doing everything correctly, as it works with Kaivo (and others) and also if I reinstall Aalto 1.5 it works there too.
(in Live the curve goes dark red, but i don't know what that means, I guess its having a problem)
note: the automation initially appears to work, i.e. curve gets drawn, dial moves, but as soon as it loops/playbacks it turns dark red and doesn't do anything. I have the same issue if I just draw the automation in.

edit: works ok in Logic 10.1

Sat, Feb 14, 2015, 08:20

ooooohhh... Ive been avoiding modulars, but this might tip me over the edge :)
id echo @drart comments, id really love a box to allow my SP to be computer free, perhaps a separate CV + midi box might widen the appear to other analog (and non analog) synths.

Sat, Feb 14, 2015, 07:28

Ive found if you prefix your bank name with Aalto or Kaivo, it considers it to be a factory bank, if its anything else its not.

@Randy, can I now delete ~/Library/Audio/Presets/Madrona Labs ?
i.e its not used by Kaivo or Aalto now?

Thu, Feb 12, 2015, 13:08

FR: Kaivo/Aalto - dry/wet crossfade

Just been playing with Kaivo, having some fun with creating some new patches for the soundplane.

one thing I've noticed, is often I would like to modulate (often with Y) the balance between dry/wet between the stages.
I know there is little room for additional modulators, but I wonder, perhaps rather than a modulator for dry and wet, we could just have one (on the 'line') that did a crossfade from dry to wet, so when connected to Y I could have some influence on how much of the body or resonator gets thru at each stage.

Wed, Feb 11, 2015, 13:18

ok, Im getting a bit more in to Reaktor so Ive updated this Macro :)

as I mentioned, the issue is Reaktor does not keep the OSC messages in order... (its a known bug in Reaktor). This would cause 'stuck notes' with the previous macro.

In this newer version, I look for frame messages, and if I receive a frame, but no touches then I know the note is 'off' (as touches are continuous, so if your not receiving a tch its because its no longer active)
Ive played with it a bit, and seems to be working fine.

here it is Reakor t3d it contains the macro, and again the 2 demo ensembles from Mark Smart, converterd to use it.

Tue, Feb 10, 2015, 14:15

I'm always playing with 1.2, it so tempting as the 1.2 code is much more responsive :)
( the zone thing is a small issue introduced by changes in underlying ML lib they are usually pretty simple to fix if your a programmer)

Thu, Feb 05, 2015, 10:11

a thought, if I setup 2 different midi controllers to talk to any VST (via midi), I fully appreciate that sending the same note/cc from both controllers will possibly lead to oddities. so perhaps to some extent, this is 'the users problem' :)

saying that, aalto/kaivo (osc), and some other VSTs (e.g. u-he in poly mode) already seem to handle this situation, as I can send in the same note twice already from my eigenharp/soundplane due to duplicate notes on the surfaces, and the note plays twice.
(can be nice if they are not sync'd :))

anyway, sure post 1.6... which Im hoping will bring me multi instances, which will cover me for this purposes for the time being (albeit a bit cpu intensive).

is aalto getting more voice in 1.6 ... I could do with ~6, and I think my CPUs can cope :)

Wed, Feb 04, 2015, 13:12

Question, which unfortunately I think is related :(
how can I change presets when OSC is active?
Im assuming if your not listening to midi then I cannot sent a program change?
or have i missed something obvious?