randy's Recent Posts

Can you get this to happen by running up your CPU use in some other way? The Aalto instances should not be sharing any state, so maybe it's not that you have two of them but that the CPU load is high. Maybe install the DIVA demo or something to hog a comparable amount of CPU :-)

If you get a chance... thanks

Hi Zip,

I like Numerology and have tested quite a bit, so this is surprising. What OS are you running?

unfortunately I removed the logging in the release version in case it was slowing things down. I'll add it again after some testing. But now, there's nothing you can do, really-- the audio file was a big help.

BTW, email if you want a quick response. I don't get any notification of forum posts and often come by just once a day.

WIll do this when I can. For now I owe Soundplane customers more of my time. Thanks for your patience.

I did get to show Aalto to Don eventually. I demoed the OSC and its timbre knob-- he smiled and said something like "mm-hmm." I can't really say what he thought.

I'll be working to optimize Aalto more in the future.

So, a lot of patching and then you select "default" on the menu, and then it immediately happens? (!?) OK, that is super weird. I can't even think of anywhere in my signal chain that could occur. Well, I'll keep the audio file and look at this harder when I have the brainpower-- sorry for the weirdness.

Hi Garf,

I took the log panel out in the release version of 1.2.6 because I was afraid it was causing problems. it is still in the debug version, so if you have time you can try to replicate the problem in the debug version and send me any text that's in there.

For the update I'll make sure the log is not causing problems and put it in the release.

I've never heard of this bug before. If you tell me the host and OS I can try to replicate it.

This is definitely not typical, so we have to figure out what is causing it. What if you close the Aalto interfaces but leave the sounds running?

As I replied to your email, not yet but I'd love to add this feature.

MIDI semantics don't seem to map well to patching an NxN matrix, but I'll figure something out that may not be beautiful but will at least work.

Hello again! Here are a couple of photos of my new shop space in Ballard, where I'm going to be doing the assembly and testing of the Soundplane. I got a nice used table saw, and first thing, It got used to build a room within a room. The shop building has giant ceilings, which is great, but it is not heated and so I needed a smaller space inside it I can insulate and heat, so that finishes and laminates will dry. My friend Christopher helped me frame the little space you see here and build a workbench.

We picked up the funny racing-stripe glass panes at my favorite used building materials place the Re-Store, a couple of blocks from the shop. They were exactly what was needed and were all of eight dollars in total. I think they were for a shower that never got built.

On the right you can see a few future Soundplanes. And yes, an Aeron chair from the dot-com bust.

On the software front, the new calibration is coming along very well. In just the last few days, thanks to my new filter code, the Soundplane has gone from being a promising prototype to a sensitive instrument that you can actually play. I'm going to turn this new work into a proper demo movie ASAP. I won't finish the client software for the demo, but do want to demonstrate OSC support and some of the calibration features.

I don't mean to make anyone feel dumb for not knowing about a feature. I wish I had more tutorials and stuff out there.

I think your other idea is cool BTW.

Thanks for the info, that's weird. I'll look into it.

Shift-drag! It's in the manual.

When they finally make the program that listens intelligently to all the music ever recorded, and traces the tree of its true lineages, absent the blathering of marketers and promoters, we'll find that a very few sturdy limbs were the source of all vital electronic music since the 1960's. Conrad Schnitzler is one of them.

Con died August 4 2001, aged 74. You may not have heard much about his work except that he was a member of Kluster and Tangerine Dream. Krautrock pioneer and all that. So here's the first thing I want to say: Con was by far the most adventurous, the most provocative, the most musically free member of either of those groups, and left them early on. While those guys were pushing rock's formulas out of the box a little, Con was channeling a powerful amalgam of avant-garde electronics, performance art and free jazz too big for the rock idiom to hold. Con was never in the box to begin with.

In 1998 I visited Con at his house in Dallgow-Döberitz, a town just west of Berlin, to talk to him about doing a project with my small electronic label, Orac Records. I'd been a fan for many years, and was nervous because of that and because, well, what kind of guy would be behind these intense, unconventional and sometimes brutal sounds? He stuck out in the quiet suburban train station: a bearlike yet modest physical presence, in black from head to toe, the famous dome. He drove us to his house and we walked around the yard, where big containers of strawberries were in bloom.

He took me down the stairs on the side of the house into the basement, through a small raised metal door with a "high voltage" sign on it and into the studio, a kind of concrete bunker filled with racks upon racks of synthesizers, bundles of patch cords, a nondescript PC. We talked about which synthesizers were his favorites, a big modular that he wasn't really getting along with, and how his computer made mixing and distribution so much easier. He showed me how he transmitted his music out into the world, grabbing a label image here, a sound file there (hopefully matching), a quick jacket print and burn to CDR. His own blue thumbprint and the date on the inside of the paper sleeves signed the disks. Then out with the next day's mail. Con's releases of his solo electronics projects numbered in the hundreds---he needed an efficient machine for self-distribution, and so he made one, with a DIY approach to technology and an artist's attention to detail.

And here I was, clogging up the machine. For my remix project I wanted to pick some of Con's new work. It seemed to me he was making sounds as vital as ever, and it must be frustrating when people are most interested in reissuing what you did 30 years ago. With an artist as prolific as Con, though, picking out something new takes a lot of listening. And how do you do that when you are in the studio straining the patience of your hero and you have hundreds of CDRs of unheard work to pick from? "I give you a finger, and you want to take the whole hand!" he joked---good naturedly, I think. Anyway I didn't know when I would be able to come back, and so I had to do my listening there and then.

I ended up with four CDRs, and burning them gave us some time to talk. Con had picked out found images to put on the covers of his CDRs, always something to do with the music, sometimes obliquely. One cover of a volume "solohaus" intrigued me a lot, a little sort of power station building in a woodland setting. Con talked about how the solohaus was kind of imaginary refuge for him, a place to get away from all distractions, everything in the world, except his sounds. Funny that he still had to dream about this setup, when it seemed to me he had come so close to it in real life.

Two months passed while I did other work and I lined up remixers for the Orac project. When I got back in touch with Con to do his own remix he said "Uoops it feels like years ago!" A day later he sent me the finished mix. Apparently Con inhabited an accelerated time scale compared to the one I'm on.

The records got done, and I was very happy with them. Con and I kept in touch from time to time and mailed a little music back and forth. Last time I emailed in the Fall, he said he had been working all the time as usual, but it was getting boring staying in the basement so much. He'd been using softsynths more on his PC, up in the piano room, to see the outside while he worked. As it happened I had just finished up the Windows version of Aalto, a softsynth I had written, and I was excited to hear what Con would do with it. On Wednesday morning I sent Con a copy of Aalto to try out.

Seven minutes later, Con wrote back:

Hi Randy,

(:))) Thanks a lot ,I´ll try in the next time.



He passed away the next evening. Before that I had not heard about his cancer and so I was stunned. I wasn't sure what he meant by "the next time." But I heard from his friend Jin that Con was having his good days, and his bad days, and maybe was waiting for the next time when he felt good enough to do some more work. In any case let it be known that here's a guy who, with little time left in this world and while battling cancer pain, took care to respond promptly to a once-met acquaintance / fan.

Con's sounds rocked my world since I first heard them. His energy inspired me even more. He's one of the most important musicians to me, period, and he had to leave us too soon. I don't have as many memories as I would like, and they are already starting to fade over time, so I'm putting these words out there to stand in for them. RIP in electric gardens eternal.

Randy Jones

9 August 2011

Your computer should be plenty fast.

Really weird about the spike issues, I spent a lot of time getting rid of these for 1.2.6 and seemed to be successful. You are running 1.2.6, yes? I can't say I've tested in Studio One much, but in Live, definitely a whole lot.

If you see this in 1.2.6 then give me specific instructions on how to reproduce. What host and version, how to instantiate Aalto, what to click on in what order to make the problem. If it's intermittent then I understand this will not really be possible, let me know how to cause it eventually.

First let me know how to cause the issues in Rax if you can.

I'll investigate it as well as these other plugin players you mention and see what I can do.

Return in the JUCE framework I am using will generally redo whatever control you actuated last. Unfortunately this is different between different hosts, like a lot of keyboard issues. Sorry for the trouble. Please let me know what version to try to reproduce this on, and I'll make sure it doesn't do that in the future.

No, you are not missing anything, this is one of the main usability issues I need to address for 1.3. Thanks for the feedback.

If you look in the patches you'll find some tricks to get the most out of the single oscillator.

Aalto is inspired by the Buchla Music Easel. If you are familiar with or read up on that you'll get a good idea why I like a small collection of fixed modules.

A modular version sounds like a cool product though... doesn't it?

Yes, I will check out the cases you describe and try to fix any problems.

Aalto should make sound sometimes without notes being played. And I don't want to stop all sound when switching the patch-- there are many possibilities in letting one sound "ring out" as another when the patch changes.

The case you describe with Digitaldu EDT probably shouldn't happen though. I think you described it clearly. I will investigate.


Thanks for the report. I guess this might happen with some combinations of presets. You can probably play some MIDI notes in the new patch to make the sound stop, once all voices have been used.



Aalto works in Mainstage last I checked. So it's not that I don't support plugin player apps.

If you give me a more specific report of what goes wrong, and what I can do to reproduce it, I will definitely look into it.


No news-- except that I'm going to look into this today. Sorry for the long delay-- I hadn't heard any bug reports from PT people in a while, so was hoping the 1.2.6 update had fixed the issue.

Hi Arnaud,

Thanks for your interest. Unfortunately there is some very low-level USB code needed, which will be difficult to port to Windows. If there is enough interest in Soundplane for Windows, I plan to hire someone to do this part. I really have no idea as to timing -- it will depend a lot on how many people are interested.

Would you also be interested in a Linux port?


Way cool!

hi @fernandolins,

I read that you had problems before but it looked like the 1.2.6 update fixed them.

I am working on a 1.3 update and will look at the issues with Lion.

You can help me by sending me a bug report with your current OS, Aalto Version and Logic version, and the steps to take that will cause the problem.

I'm sorry the speed of updates is not always very fast. As a single developer, I do what I can.

Things are good here, thanks. Very peaceful and productive the last couple of days! I've been going for a short walk each day and working on Soundplane software the rest of the time.

Since the Soundplane is a true force sensor, stickers and so forth on the surface don't hurt the response at all. If you wanted a big area you would have to add gaps to keep the surface flexible.

I like this idea and would encourage the discussion very much! Myself, I'm busy trying to finish the remaining details and ship the Soundplane, so I won't be participating too much. But I'll follow along with great interest and chime in sometimes.


Sadly there are many differences in how the various hosts handle keyboard keys, making it very difficult for me to engineer a consistent user experience across hosts. Sometimes the host captures a certain key and doesn't pass it to plugins. I think this is what is happening here.

Thanks for the report.