randy's Recent Posts

It's very much still happening. Obviously, Aalto was a big project and took over for quite a while. Now I'm back to Soundplane and working out problems in the prototype. We'll post something as soon as we have a cool demo to post.

I won't say anything about scheduling until the ship announcement. Thanks for your understanding.

The mousewheel code has been hard to get just right on both platforms. So I'm still fiddling with it. I have the same problem that you do now, with my Apple magic mouse, so I'll have another go for the next version-- thanks for your patience.

I don't want to add buttons to the interface, but I will probably add a "settings" menu where some MIDI settings like this could go.

I'm happy that 1.2.6 was a successful step up in performance for everyone, and fixed most of the glitches people were having.

Changes in version 1.2.6:

improved performance!
optimized patch loading
fixed Logic dropouts, improved Logic CPU spikes
fixed Live 7 UI hangs
fixed Sonar crash
fixed Maschine scan crash
fixed multislider parameter behavior
added debug diagnostics
smaller executable

There remain some incompatibilities with certain hosts. Here are the known, verified issues that didn't get fixed, in rough order of severity.

After a longer investigation, I can't recommend using Aalto in Fruity Loops until MIDI controller issues are sorted out. Notes play just fine, but FL Studio blocks direct access to all the controller data that Aalto needs to implement its patchbay. Until I work out a solution with the FL people, Aalto's capabilities in this host will be limited.

Users have reported that on rare occasion there are still audio dropouts in Logic 9. These seem only to affect multi-core Mac Pro systems. If audio drops out for you under Logic, please get in touch so I can collect more info!

Using the AU in Ableton Live 7 or 8, Live's qwerty note keyboard does not work when Aalto has focus. This is a JUCE / Ableton issue I can investigate.

On Live 7, there are some issues with the Aalto window focus. Another JUCE / Ableton issue I can investigate.

Aalto does not seem to respond to host sync in Rax v3.

The Zen preset manager does not work with Aalto.

My focus is on Soundplane development now, but I will be devoting some hours each week to fixing these issues. If you have something to add, please post a new topic here or email me at support @ madronalabs.

Not soon, but yes!

I see what you mean-- depending on what host you use there might be a good way of quantizing the MIDI values to the detents. In Logic's environment, for example, you could do this with a mapping table.

I'm always up for making Aalto better, though, as long oas it doesn't make it more complicated on the outside. I'll think about solutions as I revamp some of the MIDI handling.

Sadness. The update fixed this for some people and has been tested on a few different Mac Pros, where the problems were. So I was very hopeful it was gone for good.

You can help by installing the demo version of 1.2.6 and sending me the debug output when you get a glitch. To reveal the debug pane, click the nearly-invisible button at center right in the demo version. Some debug messages will be printed every few seconds. Let a few of these go by, then click "copy text" to copy everything. Then please email to support at madronalabs!

I would be interested to hear if this improved with the 1.2.6 update.

Didn't know that about Circle, thanks for the info.

I think the Korg mini-MS20 controller will let you do that. But I don't know if there's a way to hook it up to other software.

Version 1.2.6 of Aalto is done and updates will be going out tonight. If you're a licensed user, just follow the links in the email, coming soon, to download your software!

Demo versions are available now for Mac and Windows:

Aalto 1.2.6 Mac [10Mb .zip]

Aalto 1.2.6 Win [3Mb .zip]

Changes in version 1.2.6:

improved performance!

optimized patch loading

fixed Logic dropouts, improved Logic CPU spikes

fixed Live 7 UI hangs

fixed Sonar crash

fixed Maschine scan crash

fixed multislider parameter behavior

added debug diagnostics

smaller executable

As always until v.2, this update is free for registered users.

please email support at madronalabs and I'll get you sorted out!

I think that the entry is made automatically when they try it. I'm in touch with those guys and hope to make it work.

I like it! Mandala Bros is also awesome.

I'm aware of this and will look at it for a future update. The AU might treat you better?

Aalto is very CPU intensive. I made no secret about this, and to some extent it has to be, to make the sounds it does.

Your subject "not so optimized" is a little unfair to me, because of all the work I have put into optimizing. The 34% you are seeing would have been about 50% in the previous version, so I feel pretty good about my progress.

The question about constant CPU use is a fair one. Unlike a lot of soft synths, Aalto is modeling circuits that are on all the time, just like the circuits in an analog synth. This is what makes it such a good free-running drone machine, and is also somewhat responsible for the good sound. I can imagine adding code to find out when a voice is making sound, and save some CPU on that voice (while keeping its free-running state), but this is not a trivial thing to do.

I think I have the most customers over at gearslutz. But if you want support from me, remember to post here! I can't always read other online forms. I read this one at least once a day.

You're welcome! Great idea on the T-shirt.

Yeah, the reverb can get tiring. But a special feature to do something about it is not something I would add. You could use your host to learn the reverb knob to MIDI and then keep turning it off every second, or something.

try the update!


If you're interested enough to check the forums, maybe you're interested enough to check the Aalto 1.2.5 demo out. This is Mac only at the moment. It should fix the problems with Live 7 and Maschine, and hopefully the dropouts with Logic some people are getting. CPU use in general is about the same, or a couple percent better. Switching between presets should be a lot smoother, especially on Logic.

If you want to try this demo, you can just save your old installer and re-install back over the demo when you're done.

If it's working well I plan to send this update out next week.


Thanks for posting!

re: performance, you may be pleasantly surprised by the next update.

Glad to hear! A bit of testing to do, then will send this one out.

I almost forgot: the new demo prints some debugging information that can help. To open the debug output, click the almost-invisible button in the middle right of the Patcher. There's a button to copy the text. Please send it to me when you get the AU dropouts!

Oh man, sorry for your bad experience. Can you please try the 1.2.5 demo, posted in another thread here, and tell me if it helps?

Also, what OS and what kind of CPU are you using? I can't reproduce these bugs at all, so I'm hoping a pattern will emerge.


Hopefully you saved the installer for your registered version. You can just install it over the demo again.

I'm finishing up some details with the Windows side of things, and working to push out the release ASAP.

Try the "deep bongo" patch. You'll hear a difference there!

The gate decay controls the time constant of the Vactrol emulation. This is a special kind of low pass filter applied to the level input itself. So you probably won't hear it if the level input is coming from the envelope is longish. Try setting all the envelope controls to minimum to get a 'tick,' put that into level, and adjust the decay control. You should definitely hear a difference then.

Thanks for the nice words!

Actually this is a problem with Logic I have heard of, but not before with Live. Can you try the 1.2.5 DEMO posted on the forums here and let me know if it fixes the problem on your system?

I did everything I could about this, but I'm going to have to call it a Logic bug, Works great in Live.