Our first product, Aalto, will be released this coming Monday the 13th of September. Exciting news! But I know Aalto's introduction has left a few people wondering what happened to the innovative hardware we announced. Let me explain.
I started Madrona Labs to make the Soundplane, developed as part of my Masters work in Computer Music at the University of Victoria, into a reliable, portable instrument. The prototype required a bulky and expensive external audio interface, and had low resolution. But it felt great to play and generated enough excitement that I took a leap of faith and started working on it full time. I luckily found a great hardware engineer who wanted to help me make a self-contained version, and borrowed money to fund six months of development.
Six months later we had a great case and mechanical design and a mostly working main board built around a fast DSP from Texas Instruments. But it was clear we wouldn't have a working prototype for at least a few more months.
I had already started working on Aalto, which I had planned to release along with the Soundplane in order for folks who aren't Max/MSP wizards to have something fun to play out of the box. So I decided to release Aalto as a standalone product in order to get some income. Supporting it very well, as I intend to do, will necessarily slow down Soundplane development, but you gotta do what you gotta do! It has been a long road, but we get ever closer to working Soundplanes. Soundplane is still the center of our business model and a driving passion of mine. I badly want to play one. Expect more news soon.
Woohoo! Still chomping at the bit for Soundplane but excited about Aalto coming out tomorrow! Will it be a digital download or a boxed product?
@walker it'll be a digital download!
I think Aalto will function as a fantastic promotion/awareness-raiser for Soundplane. I didn't even know about the project before someone told me "HEY! THERE'S A BUCHLA-INSPIRED SOFTSYNTH IN THE WORKS!"
I feel confident I speak for everyone visiting this site in saying tonight feels like the night before Christmas.
Thanks for your hard work.
I was a bit ??!?? when I saw a VST coming from Madrona Labs but I knew it had to be something inspiring or worhwhile.
So Aalto is going to be perfectly integrated with the Sounplane right???
@dsk but of course! There will be a special version for Aalto with x, y and z inputs to the patcher. In fact, I initially designed Aalto to be used with the Soundplane.