randy's Recent Posts

As you can see, Aalto 1.2 is out for Mac and Windows.

Unfortunately there seems to be a problem with the Mac installer affecting about half of the population. I am working on a fix---please stay tuned.

The Windows installer as fine as far as I know, so have at it, and enjoy.

I'll be fulfilling all orders as soon as I get the installer issue sorted.

I run Aalto under Parallels and Windows 7 quite often -- in fact, I did the bulk of the development there. Performance is basically the same as native, on Live's CPU meter.

So, I would expect Boot camp performance to be much better. Unfortunately I have not used Bootcamp, but hopefully someone can help you on the forums here.

Do other softsynths have the same reduced performance? If so, look into driver issues.

Hi guys, thanks for paying close attention and for all the comments. I have a million emails to reply to so I'm not going to respond to each point, but know that they are appreciated.

The sequencer bug is a real problem and I've no idea how it happened so late in the game. I'll have to push out an update soon.

GUI problems across hosts are part of the nightmare that is writing plugins, I'll see what I can do but frankly have to focus on the most popular hosts because I just don't have the resources to do otherwise.

@seppe, Thanks but I have no idea what you mean "pitch bend has strange results". It seems to work fine. You will have to be more specific.

I will look at the All Notes Off message. I don't think i'm trying to do anything about it now.

I know just what you mean about the lack of scaling options. I was trying to make a minimal set of controls that did a lot, but may have erred on the side of minimal. Some help will be in a future release. Thanks for your ideas! I am leaning towards adding a dedicated ring mod / scaling module.

It's planned, thanks for the input.

I am finding the sequencer problem too across all platforms. No idea how this happened so late in the game, but I'm eager to get a fix out soon. Thanks for the reports.

@savaran, I am at 45% for 4 voices in Live 8 on my 2.4GHz Core i5 laptop running Win 7. So that's a little weird, I would expect yours to be way better.

But ah, when we throw these numbers around, don't forget
It makes a huge difference what size you have the buffering set to in your DAW.
Mine is at 256.

RAM doesn't really help because Aalto takes very little for its audio path. One Aalto will only run on one core (for now). So it's pretty much just CPU speed that matters.

The 64 bit version is around 10% faster than the 32-bit on my machine.

@toksin: It has nothing to do with it. So I don't know what registered owner of Aalto "Toksin" matches, because it's not in our Aalto database. But, I hope we got you sorted now.

@cscairney: That's correct, I tried to mail everyone bu my service provide cut off the script half way through the run, so I'm not sure who got mails and who didn't. :-( Email support@madronalabs.com and I'll take are of it.

@toksin, I don't know if I got your email because I don't see ny matching "toksin." Let me know please. support@madronalabs.com

Thanks for the tip. My plan is just to get a real commercial-quality hosting provider, now that we can afford to.

@toksin you should have received an email with update links this morning. If not, email support@madronalabs.com and I'll hook you up.


maybe every 5 minutes starting at noon. :-)

An Aalto 1.2 screenshot, by popular demand. Note the taut, eager beauty of its supple flowing lines.

Yes, it costs a lot more CPU to make the envelope parameters modulatable.

It's too hard on the CPU to modulate the gate decay, unless I figure out some optimizations. The same basically goes for everything else I didn't put a modulation knob on.

Of course. You can click or shift-click to select any combination of cables.

Modulate what about the gate?

Dear Music Makers, please note: I will be taking the Memorial Day weekend off, and stepping away from the computer. Any orders sent in after this morning will not be processed until Tuesday, May 31.

What's a word for sooner than soon? Right, thanks. The Aalto 1.2 release, with much improved UI and efficiency, is imminent. I can safely say it will be out in the first half of June. I'll announce a proper date and time after the weekend.

@rgiskard: same same only better. I'll post a shot in a few minutes.

@ahs: it's much better on the CPU. the actual fix is kind of a bit complicated to explain right now, and depends on which host you are using. but, it's way better on all of them. and it's free. so just enjoy it friday :-)

He made those.

@function Um...

OK, Friday release definitely, around noon.

@function: Sorry, I'm such a chatterbox, I just can't help spending all my time chatting. Its why I never get anything done.

Oh look, I just compiled the Windows golden master. Friday release probably.

@hainbach, these are really nice!

The Aalto 1.2 beta is ready, including Windows VST. I'm looking for about 10 more testers. Please email support@madronalabs.com with subject "Windows beta" for more info.

Please note that this software is a little rough around the edges yet. In particular, Windows installation is a pain. You have to be comfortable making hidden files visible and creating a few directories in weird places. If this sounds OK to you, then please proceed!

Windows requirements:
Windows 7 or XP Service Pack 3
SSE2 capable processor, 2 GHz or better recommended

I know these areas could use some work, and these are good ideas. The website will get an update one of these days to address usability. It's going to be not a major overhaul but a feature here and a feature there, so keep in touch.

Aalto will get a significant update to the preset code with the 2.0 version. That won't happen anytime soon. ;-)

I already added the prev / next arrows to 1.2 by popular demand. I guess they can make A/Bing a little easier if you use them to save a modified patch next to the old one.

Maybe if you stop sleeping you could shave a couple weeks off the release date...

I tried that already, it backfired. :-)


I do appreciate that you are approaching this with a smile, and from the perspective of someone who really, really wants a Soundplane.

Let me tell you a little about who we are and the resources we have to accomplish this project. I am the company founder, and the only application software developer. I am not an experienced product designer, but since there is no one else available, I designed an electromechanical sensor system with many parts and a CNC-milled case for it. Brian is the only hardware engineer, and very qualified for his task, making an original DSP computer and writing the firmware for it.

It's hard to know how long a project "should" take. When I started out, I hoped to have finished prototypes in 3 months, and obviously that was a very naïve goal given our resources. On the other hand, you can easily find examples of products no more complicated than ours, that took more than two years to design, often with much bigger teams, and that did come to market successfully.

And then there's Aalto. You may know, if you have been following us closely, that I originally designed Aalto to play only with the Soundplane. As the Soundplane project took longer than than expected, my "seed money" ran out and I needed to generate more. So I changed plans and made Aalto its own product, a product I am proud of. You may not be interested in Aalto, but with it there would be no Soundplane---I would have a job working for someone else again instead. Aalto is feeding my family.

People have different communication styles. I think these are influenced by culture and by personal preferences and quirks. When I am not done with a job X, I won't tell you "I am having trouble with Y, which is in the way of X," or "my car broke down on the way to my cousin's wedding," because I would not want to hear these things myself. I think of them as "making excuses," an activity that gets in the way of getting the work done. I will only put Soundplane news out when there is something truly new, positive and interesting to report. Otherwise, it serves little purpose, because we are not here to entertain you. We are here to make tools for you to make music with.

When you say I make a lot of promises, but never keep, this offends me. I keep my promises. A promise is me saying something will ship on a particular date, or cost a particular amount of money, or that if something breaks, and you didn't sit on it, we will repair it for you. This is why the Soundplane ship date has always been "when it's done."

Put yourself in my shoes. I have been working hard to bring a Soundplane into the world, since long before you heard of it. We are nearing finished prototypes, which I can start making software for as soon as I release my next product. Then you come along and say "something must be going really worse". This frustrates me. All I can do is give you some more information, mostly repeating things I've already said.