hardware and software for electronic music 

christianhuygen's Recent Posts

Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 15:44

I do the same thing in Samplitude that others have described doing in Live (and probably other DAWs): routing the output of a VST on one track into audio recording on another track. Then the impact of my real time knob tweaks (which I do using the Novation Ultranova as the controller, because it has 8 knobs each of which has a LCD display telling you what it is) gets recorded in the audio track. AND the midi information gets recorded in the original track. AND you can draw automation curves for any parameter as well, before recording.

I made Automaps (controller map files) for the Ultranova for Aalto, Kaivo and Virta. They include nearly all the parameters of each synth. Help yourselves here https://us.novationmusic.com/community/libraries/automap-mappings

I really like the clarity of the audio quality in Samplitude. And, there are things about it that I find confusing. Which I guess makes it a typical DAW.

So nice to see everybody sharing pointers and solving problems together.


Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 08:18

It doesn't have the magic of VOX. Anytime I use a soft modular that doesn't have that, I feel like I'm walking on the ground. The VOX in Aalto and Kaivo makes me feel like I'm flying. Or dancing.

Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 08:18

It doesn't have the magic of VOX. Anytime I use a soft modular that doesn't have that, I feel like I'm walking on the ground. The VOX in Aalto and Kaivo makes me feel like I'm flying. Or dancing.

Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 10:09

Aalto / Kaivo feature request - multitimbral output?

I think the VOX feature of Aalto and Kaivo is so great. (I was just discussing that over on muffwiggler https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=163209&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=50)

Would it be possible for A and K to provide multitimbral output, by which I mean, sending each voice to a different audio track of my DAW? Right now my favorite way to 'play' a patch in either synth is to route VOX to selected parameters, vary various parameters, then increase the number of voices, building up the sound and then thinning it down.

BUT when I do this I can't have voice 4, say, all by itself. I can have 1, 1 + 2, 1+2+3, or 1+2+3+4. Oh, but what if I could have voice 4 plus just a pinch of voice 2? The very thought fills me with yearning. (Seriously.)

If I had 4 tracks of output (or 8 for kaivo) I could mix and mingle the results more flexibly than as described in the above paragraph. (You could implement something similar if you had a mixer within Aalto or Kaivo that could control the volume of each of the voices, but that would need more GUI real estate.)

Multitimbral output might increase cPU load, since I think right now all voices are mixed together before they go into the reverb (or are they? because you can route VOX to the amount of reverb for that voice, so maybe not). And it might bring other challenges I haven't yet thought of.

I wonder if anybody else would be interested in this, or if implementing it would be a huge headache, which is not something I'd like to cause.

Thanks for your consideration and, always, for these wonderful synths, which I continue to view as high water marks in VST design.


Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 08:57

Thanks for your response Randy. It does add complexity, but it sort of 'outsources' the complexity to the DAW. If someone wanted monotimbral output to a single audio track, the functionality of the instrument would not change. (Of course building in this option probably also adds coding complexity too.)

Could each send be routed to a separate audio track, even if that meant skipping the Aaltoverb for multitimbral output?

I think one KEY module and several sub-instances of plugins is an idea that could unleash huge possibilities. Wow. Yes, I think that would produce what I initially asked for, plus a whole lot more.

Thanks for your consideration. Please take my suggestion as just a humble "what if?" Have a good day.

Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 16:55

I built a map for the Novation Ultranova which is here https://us.novationmusic.com/community/libraries/automap-mappings along with maps for Kaivo and Virta. I like the Ultranova as a midi controller because each of the 8 knobs has a LCD label so you know what it is as you flip up and down through the pages.

What emerges over time is a smaller set of controls you use most, and that's probably different for everybody. I add pages at the end of the map marked with ** and then map the smaller set of controls to 2-3 pages, rather than the 14 pages of the complete map that includes all the controls. That way you have a complete map followed by as many mini maps as you want. This is just one way to approach it. I'd like hear others.

Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 09:58

The platform does not appear to be monetized at this point. Just saying.

Sat, Aug 05, 2017, 13:58

Merely regarding the sequencer, I like having that as an inherent part of Aalto and Kaivo, with other modules modulating it, and vice versa. That functionality would not remain if sequencing were "outsourced" to a DAW.

@Thetechnobear raises the important issue of screen real estate. Something I love about all 3 of these plugins is that they're all on one screen. They feel like an Instrument, in a way that no other soft synth I own does. You can live with them and get to know them, and, as the manual says, learn to push and pull them spontaneously.

Sometimes I wish I could use an element of one of these synths in another. Is a modular possible? Would it lose the feeling that each of these is a very carefully thought out, open ended, style-agnostic, very complete instrument in its own way?

A lot of other soft synths that go into version 2 and 3 and so on (1) have many screens, so adding features is easy; (2) don't have a unique identity of their own; and (3) try to compete with other soft synths by adding more kinds of functionality and features. To put it in Darwinian terms, they don't have a unique niche, so they are forced to evolve in order to compete for the limited resources and attention of users.

I don't think Aalto is missing anything. I don't think Kaivo is missing anything. (I don't use Virta very much, because it was harder for me to figure out, so I don't have an opinion about that one.)

With all that said, Randy, if you want to make Aalto 2, I'd pre-order it today.

Mon, Mar 27, 2017, 14:19

I second that emotion, @winterlight. It took me years to understand and appreciate the elegant simplicity and boundless possibilities that this mysterious and seemingly straightforward instrument offers.

There is no piece of hardware OR software that gives me more pleasure.

Every time I sit down, I go looking for a sound I've never heard before. And many times, Aalto magically provides it.

plus, the VOX feature provides vast complexity and richness, in an (apparently) simple way. It's the kind of thing that only software can do, and yet very few softsynths manage something like that. It's awesome.

Sun, Jan 01, 2017, 10:35

Novation Ultranova Automaps for Aalto, Kaivo and Virta

Happy new year everybody.

I am happily using the Novation Ultranova to control my Madrona Labs plugins. I created Automap templates for all 3 plugins; they will be available here https://us.novationmusic.com/community/libraries/automap-mappings after Novation staff review and approve them. If you can't access them, please email me. myfirstname at myfullname dot com

The Ultranova has 8 rotary encoders, each with a LED screen that shows an 8 character label for the parameter the encoder is controlling, plus its current value. As a controller for these plugins, I really like it.

Ongoing praise and thanks for Randy's genius and hard work, and these wonderful instruments, which are inspiring elegant works of art in their own right.

Christian Huygen

Wed, Jul 20, 2016, 22:00

Woo hoo! Thanks Randy.

Tue, Jul 19, 2016, 11:11

Kaivo also increases wellbeing. I used to be more intimidated by Kaivo than by Aalto, but as I spent more time with it I became deeply impressed with its ability to create rich, varied, and very organic sounds and textures. It's a beautiful, strange and very rewarding instrument. Just spending time with it feels therapeutic, spiritual and educational. Many thanks.

Tue, Jul 19, 2016, 10:07

"I do plan to make a modular plugin that will have some of the modules from the other instruments. I think this is the real answer."

That would be a dream. Any chance of a comb filter? Or does the Resonator module already accomplish a similar function?