randy's Recent Posts

Hi pbr,

In a week or two I plan to show a new movie demonstrating the finished calibration software and hardware, and announce that production is starting. At that point there will still be a window, probably two weeks, for getting an order in at the intro price. There are still some Soundplanes left in our initial run. I certainly don't expect them to run out before the new demo is out, but they might do so during that window.

I still expect production to take 8-10 weeks.


Yes, I could reproduce this immediately. Amazing, how could this not have been noticed after all this time? I guess, most people use fast attacks for the most part...

Anyway thank you for the good report, I will fix this.


A good idea, I'll think about this one.

A quick update to share some photogenic progress. I got the new milled case from O.B.Williams this morning, and it fits the new aluminum back panel perfectly. In these pictures you can see the new rabbet for the panel, and the very tight tolerances we are holding with the milling.

I can't wait to apply an oil finish, put circuit boards in this beauty and make some sounds. That should happen next week. Until then, happy new year everyone!

Aalto For Soundplane will just be for Soundplane. Some features might make it into the regular version of Aalto. The idea will be to keep them as similar as possible.

You can bypass the filter by setting it to lowpass mode and turning frequency up to 20000 and Q to 0.

The delay is bypassed by using just the "dry" knob -- there is no delay on that signal.

There might be more options for reverb in the future. If you want to add "dirt" a reverb is not the usual way-- I recommend using the "drive" dial on the delay and using that signal if possible.

Aalto could do this?

salisbury steak. [theme] [for garf and bnek] by mad brahmin

I didn't either. If that was too frantic for you, here's some ambient overtones:

AltoLow by Bsteele

Yup, the Aalto group on Soundcloud is still blowing the eff up.

The work to finish up the Soundplane is going well. What you see here is the new flexible antenna undergoing testing. It's a thin layer of copper deposited onto a white PET substrate. One nice thing about this material is that it's created additively, resulting in less waste than the traditional flex circuits we were using. It's also much less expensive.

Our supplier in the UK has shipped out what should be the final version of this part---I expect to get it next week. [...]

Meanwhile I'm also working to put Soundplane on a little bit of a diet.

During the tour I got a couple of comments to the effect that the plywood bottom of the prototype was sort of raw looking. I had some plans to address this, but then I thought of a better one. A thin aluminum plate inset into the bottom of the enclosure is now taking the place of the plywood bottom. So now the Soundplane will be significantly thinner: one inch even instead of 1 1/4". And a little ligher and more durable. Win!

In January I'll make a new demo video showing off these improvements and the new calibration software, and when I put it online I'll offer another short window for people to get in on the introductory deal. After that window, preorders will close and production will begin.

I've sorted out the customs issues and will be extending the introductory deal to people outside North America. So, if you're one of the people in Europe waiting to get one of the first run, you can get your preorder in from now until mid-January or so. Please contact me with any questions.

I've rented a light industrial space in Ballard, where I'll have room for assembling Soundplanes more than one at a time. The place has a really good feel---my neighbors are boatbuilders and other woodworkers. And a karate studio, I think. At least, I hope that's what those noises are. Stay tuned for more updates as Christopher and I build a workbench and a wall.

But first, a few days of rest and reflection! Happy holidays and a very merry Christmas to all.

I'd like to get it out in January sometime, but can't promise.

Hi Colin,

You are correct, there is no mod input for LFO level. In hindsight I see this was a bad design decision on my part. I will fix it in an upcoming release.

Aalto 1.0 was much tougher on the CPU and four voice was the maximum I could get out of my own machine. As I optimize Aalto further it's very likely I will increase this limit sometime in the future.

So, I took the time to install Max 6 today and here's the state of things:

the vst~ object runs VST and AU plugins, so forget what I said about audiounit~.

the Aalto VST does not hear MIDI events in MSP. The AU version does.

Neither AU nor VST seems to hear the MSP clock for host sync.

So, the AU version should work well overall except for host sync. I'll try to work with the Cycling elves to resolve these issues.

I would try the audiounit~ object with the AU version instead-- it seems to be more stable in Max than the vst.

MIDI is certainly possible-- I'd start from the vst~ or audiounit~ help patch and try to change as little as possible.

I'm not sure if host sync is possible. I haven't been able to spend too much time working with Max/MSP, so hopefully someone else can offer advice here.

I'll do something to address this area. I'm not yet sure exactly what.

OK, thanks for the example. I agree that's not a desirable sound.

Thanks for your follow up post! I had forgotten that myself and was going to have to look at this otherwise...

Thanks broman.

The sequencer is not supposed to restart when a patch loads. It's more fun for performance this way! Imagine switching between multiple patches while a sequence runs. The sequence can be the same in all the patches. Or not.

Using 'key trig' you can restart the sequencer whenever you like.

Good catch on the pitch input. I'll fix.

Not sure about the clicks, I'll listen.

I hear you. The hard part is the UI. Can you point me to some other synths that do this?

Some good ideas for fine tuning here -- thanks Valery.

Not a bad idea-- I do love a Theremin.

The dial between FILTER and OUTPUT is the only way signal gets to the output. So it acts basically like a volume control. The only difference is that any reverb will continue to ring out.

I know what you mean about the filter cutoff-- will work on this issue. If you notice, all the controls move in the smallest visible increment when you move the mouse slowly. In the case of the cutoff that's 1 Hz, a very small portion of the knob. With increased mouse speed I move the knob faster, but it's a hard balancing act to get this just right for all the controls.

Have fun.

I added another link.

Randy if you're reading this - what would it take to be able to embed the little >soundcloud players on the patch page here? Would it be worth the trouble.

Good call, this one has been on my to-do list for a while. I hope to add this soon along with a few other improvements to the forums.

That would be fun!

I hear you, but I don't have any other good options if you are in the UK. You could send me an international wire transfer, but would then have to pay the fees, which are exorbitant.

I looked into setting up credit card processing directly but I'm not yet a big enough business to do this in a cost-effective way.

My personal take is that PayPal is OK. Unlike the other online payment systems, I am actually able to talk to a human representative there in case something goes wrong. They do need to transmit your information to and from banks in order to do the transactions. So to me this agreement doesn't look bad. But I do wish I could give you more options.

Yes, good idea.

The name length limit is due to a problem with Audio Units. AU plugins don't let the entire name get longer than 32 characters. Since i wanted a cross-platform format, I had to add the same restriction for the .mlpreset files.

It might be possible to add a "long name" field to the patches, and create a shorter AU preset name automatically-- but This might cause other problems. I'll have to look into it.

I can probably fix the dot thing. It's bad practice to put dots in a filename on Mac or Windows. But I could translate them into something else.

The problem with both of these fixes is that the file name no longer matches the patch name, making the files potentially harder for to you find in the long run.

The real fix is that operating systems should lose the concept of "file", but I can't do much about that right now.

I woke up this morning to a dead website. The culprit turned out to be a simple lack of disk space. We are back online, fired up and ready to go again -- sorry for any inconvenience.

I mean, I have to implement the feature. I'll do this some time, maybe for 1.3.

"ridiculous small"? it's all relative. My biggest monitor is 1680x1050. So, I like small plugins.

I'm working on the resizing feature though.

Hi Lee,

It was my pleasure. Thanks for the note and keep in touch!