randy's Recent Posts

Aalto is at its heart a modular synthesizer—a lot of patches do make sound when the DAW is not running. You can try switching to the default patch to see if this is the case. Or look at the gate level and make sure it is down!

It could be. What kind of computer do you have? What OS and version?

A restart may help!

please keep in touch for a beta announcement!

Not yet. This issue is at the top of my bugfix list though. Thanks for your patience.

Hi @sntr,

Thanks for the clear report. I'm also experiencing infrequent loss of sound like you describe, with the latest version of Kaivo. I'll work to fix this ASAP.

Hi friends,

It's tough times. We hope you and your families are in good health. We know you know what's going on, and you have probably heard a lot of takes on it from a lot of companies so we're going to keep this to the point.

Just over a week ago, Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, the latest in a long history of unjust Black deaths at the hands of law enforcement. Since then, the outcry has been ringing out in protests all across our country. The violent suppression of these protests by police has resulted in more injuries and deaths. We stand in solidarity with the protesters and with the Black community.

How can a music software company contribute positively and constructively in this moment? For us, the answer is: by sending funds to those doing front line work. We're writing to ask for your support.

The Black Youth Project is an organization that both provides emergency funds to Black community members in need, and invests long-term in the future of Black leadership. They have chapters in many U.S. cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, DC and Detroit. From their website: "Our work is generally centered on ending systems of anti-Blackness and emphasizing the urgency of protecting folks living on the margins of the margins, including women, girls, femmes, and the gamut of LGBTQ folk." To find out more, please visit https://www.byp100.org/about.

From now until the end of Friday, June 5 (Pacific Time) we'll be donating 100% of our sales to BYP100. As a family business, our pockets are not deep enough for an impressive direct donation right now, but this way we can leverage the software we've made to direct some funds where they are sorely needed. We hope you'll help.

We and some folks we know have been contributing individually to community bail funds around the country and that is another way to help right now. If you are interested in contributing to these efforts, here’s a link to donate to many community bail funds at one time: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bail_funds_george_floyd

There will be a time soon to get back to music, which is more important to us than ever as a force for change, as meaning and community and connection. But this week is not that time. If it were not for the inspiration of great Black music, Madrona Labs would not exist. We owe the Black community our help.

with all best wishes,
Randy Jones
Madrona Labs

photo: Nathalie Graham

I'll see what I can do about an update for Mac and Windows ASAP.

I appreciate that you updated your post! Glad it's working. Yes, the "mystery reboot" is still all too necessary for Audio Units especially.

Thanks for the update, seriously. It's hard for me to stay on top of what all the DAWs are doing so I can judge how much of a relative pain things are for people and where I should focus.

That sounds annoying. I'll take a look ASAP.


I guess I will keep making these until the the beta starts properly. Please note that there's nothing to try yet!


I appreciate the notes! Thank you all for your support.

oh yes, I'll make VST3 versions before too long.

Thanks for the thoughts! The Respiro approach you describe is interesting.

Right now I'm working mostly to finish Sumu—meanwhile the world of pricing and distribution is always changing and there's a little part of my brain where I collect this kind of info and try not to overthink it.

OK, here's a new link.

Reminder that the beta is not out yet and nothing is really going on there at the moment! Right now I'm working on the app for making Sumu partial files, called Utu-view. That will be the first release on the discord, as soon as it's possible.


The main reason it hasn't happened sooner is that people aren't willing to pay a lot for iPad apps. But I do still want it for myself! So it's still on my list.

There will definitely be more voices! Computers have come a long way since 2010 :-)

The 1.9.3 update to Aalto, Kaivo, and Virta is now available for both Mac and Windows. Mac users should find a dramatic improvement because this update fixes issues with drawing speed that have crept up due to changes in Mojave and now Catalina.

To get the updates, just download and install the demo plugins from the product pages as usual.

In addition to the big changes with drawing on Mac OS, I have fixed a few lingering issues affecting both platforms. These include failure to redraw the granulator wave in Kaivo sometimes, and a sequencer triggering bug.

Lastly, I've gone over the MPE MIDI code for better compatibility with the MPE spec and with particular controllers like the Linnstrument. Pitch bend range messages are now responded to according to the spec, and separate pitch bend amounts for Main and Member channel now allow more flexibility in your MPE setup. The MPE pitch bend range is now an option under the "Settings" menu and does not change when switching patches.

Windows users please note: these new downloads may trigger the "Windows Defender" warnings in Microsoft Edge. There is no good reason for this and according to Microsoft, the warnings should go away when the files are downloaded more. Meanwhile, we all have to put up with a few extra clicks. Please write me at support@madronalabs.com if you have any questions.

It's still near the top of my list but I have to make a little more progress on Sumu before I can switch to the Apple Silicon work.

by Randy Jones
photos: glia

Glia makes a very refined music that explores what looping and synthesis can do in a jazz context. Though Fela Kuti's funk is one of many influences he cites, there are no freight-train sized grooves here—think instead of an intimate Blue Note or ECM trio with acoustic players and friendly AIs.

A drummer first, glia has shifted more and more creative effort towards electronic music over time. His latest album, OUANEM, ties together a variety of fruitful collaborations recorded over the last two years into a cohesive whole. It's very deliberate, but far from sterile. It's enigmatic and runs counter to so many commercial trends of this time. To me it sounds like the jazz that future hiphop will sample.

I got to ask glia some questions.

How long have you been making music as glia?

I adopted the name back in 2008 as I more fully embraced electronic music and improvisation. Prior to that I spent a few years learning the basics of production, beatmaking, and recording but considered myself a drummer first and foremost.

One thing that strikes me about OUANEM is how it's short for an album, but very condensed. Like each track was distilled down into its essence. Is "album" a meaningful category for you or are you reaching for something new, here?

You are very observant...I can agree that finding the essence of a musical idea intrigues me. It's no accident that many of the tracks feel condensed but I'm not sure it was totally deliberate. I guess part of the reason they turned out this way is that I've always liked playing with scale/duration/concision in my art and find that, as a listener, I'm often drawn to repeat-listens of the same song. Making recordings brief is one way to encourage my audience to do the same & savor or study a tune more than once.

Albums do hold significance for me and I consider this to be a proper collection in my loose definition of the term (though I know ONM might seem too short...more like an EP for others).

The short nature of the tracks also serve as a personal invitation to revisit, extend and reinterpret them on future albums or live performances.

There are a number of other performers listed. Can you talk a little about how the collaboration works?

Each collaboration was unique. The common thread linking them all was remote file exchange...all the recordings and edits took place virtually with plenty of trust and communication to ensure we were happy with the completed songs.

I usually tried to build a rhythmic foundation before getting other folks involved and just followed an intuitive flow to decide what to do next or how to adjust the parts depending on what they contributed. There were, of course, a few exceptions (Chris Hill and Logan Kane sent me things to build around or rearrange freely)

What does building one of these tracks look like?

I recorded acoustic percussion or drums as a core rhythm. Then looped those parts and layered takes with more percussion, digital synths and woodwinds in ableton. I tend to use many fx but the arrangement or structural workflow is based heavily on the simplicity of "tape" recording.

How do you know when a track is done?

When I sit with a track for a few weeks or months and "hear" nothing else. Sometimes I know as soon as I finish recording but most of the songs on Ouanem were works-in-progress for all 1- 2 years. If I could listen to a piece after that period of reflection and still see beauty in it then I know for certain it's done...otherwise it might need things slightly adjusted (or might not be worth releasing)

What do you do when you’re not making music?

Think about music! My answer is surely cliché but I spend very little time actually making music. Studying language and religion is my main diversion outside of music. I also enjoy cooking, sports and watching films.

I've met you through the lines forum- (llllllll.co) --are there other online or physical communities that sustain your musical world?

The pandemic has definitely made me more cautious about connecting in person but I really love seeing what High Zero/Sonic Circuits and Rhizome in DC have done over the years to involve the community. NPR Tiny Desk Concerts are another local favorite of mine and it's crazy to see how their popularity has grown and spread worldwide!

The people behind Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago also come to mind, especially for promoting really incredible shows across the full spectrum of improvised music during lockdown. I'm a longtime fan of Dublab and felt immediate kinship with ESS heads cause they seem to cover a similarly diverse range of musical interests.

I feel a special connection to all the artists on past Smartbomb compilations and the creative team who worked on Video Home System the past few years. Also hard to ignore the positive impact certain labels have had on my music...along with Minaret I'm indebted to friends at Leaving, Phinery and the many artists associated with Dolfin, Eglo & Touching Bass. They've found unique ways to fill virtual spaces with the same beauty and intention their in-person events are known for...so I love checking archived shows and music videos for inspiration.



Ok here's one more:

the links expire after 7 days. here's a new one!

ok! https://discord.gg/p5XXD9D3

I'm sending out a newsletter soon with more info, as soon as I can finish this sub-project (Utu) I'm working on. If you're interested in learning more about that in the meantime, there's more info on the Discord.