hardware and software for electronic music 

randy's Recent Posts

Wed, Aug 09, 2017, 11:16

Kaivo 1.3.3 beta available

I've fixed a few issues and uploaded a new beta version for intrepid Kaivo users: Kaivo1.3.3b1.

This beta is for Mac OS only. I plan to ship the final Mac version as well as the Windows version next week. I'll also update the other plugins with the relevant fixes then.


  • bugfix: the sequencer was not retriggering from reset input
  • bugfix: .kbm mappings were not always using all notes
  • bugfix: .kbm mappings were not setting reference note properly
  • fixed a rare condition where the metal string resonator could lock up

If you noticed any changes in how your patches behaved after installing Kaivo 1.3.1, hopefully the sequencer fix will get them back in shape.

Fri, Apr 20, 2018, 12:43

Thanks for sending the example and the additional comment. Hopefully this helps me track it down ASAP. Apparently some scale+kbm combinations are not working. I'm taking a look at this today. It's the same code in all of the plugins so if it's not working in Aalto there's no need to try it in Kaivo and so forth.

Wed, Mar 28, 2018, 09:26

It's Aalto T-shirts!

Five years ago, I did a small run of Aalto T-shirts. It was fun making them but with all the printing and shipping and paperwork it took up roughly a couple of weeks of my time so I've never done it again... until now!

aalto shirt

The key was finding a US-based fulfillment company called Printful that prints shirts to order. I made a test shirt using their process and I've been wearing it a lot. The charcoal tri-blend fabric is very soft and has a nicely textured look. This detail photo shows it after being machine washed four times, and the colors haven't faded at all. I like that the digital print is not crackly like plastic process shirt inks are and so far, it seems more durable. These are very nice shirts.

aalto shirt, detail

Another big benefit of using Printful is that they print to order in Europe! This means that my European customers can actually get a shirt for an affordable price. Wherever you are located, I hope it will be a pleasure to purchase through them because I'm very protective of your experience when you do anything Madrona Labs-related. So please keep me posted.

tl;dr: simply click the following button to...

Get that sweet Aalto T-shirt!

A form will pop up to enter your size, then a second page lets you select your shipping and payment options. I've set up shipping for North America and Europe. Shipping rates should be as follows: USA: $5 (first shirt) / $1 (each addl.) Canada: $8 / $1. Mexico: $10 / $1. Europe: $9 / $5. If you can't find your country on the form, give me a shout and I'll see if I can add it. Enjoy!

NOTE: The European shipping rates include the VAT of $4 per shirt.

Thu, Apr 12, 2018, 18:33

Of course: email me at support@madronalabs.com and I'll sort it out.

Sat, Apr 07, 2018, 10:34

I can look into adding some kind of expert UI for this. As a workaround I would suggest just making a duplicate of your Scala tuning like "MyAwesomeTuning_A432.scl" and an associated .kbm.

Tue, Apr 03, 2018, 08:27

Thanks for the follow up. I'll make sure that the plugins can respond to the "all notes off" message in the future.

Maybe more importantly, I would like to fix the stuck notes condition. If you are able to describe how to get a stuck note so that i can reproduce it, I will investigate. I could try installing Usine Hollyhock and running your patch. I've never used this program before so if you have time please break it down into the simplest thing that will cause the problem!

Fri, Feb 13, 2015, 14:32

Call for input: Soundplane to CV module

This year it seems desirable and possible for Madrona Labs to make a Soundplane to CV device. This would be primarily a Eurorack module, but the circuit could also be built into its own enclosure for use with vintage synths etc.

Normally I do most of my design work in private, and only announce a product when it's pretty much done. But we (Brian and I) are going to change it up this time. Because neither of us is that deeply into the Eurorack world, it makes sense to solicit input early on in the process this time. This is going to be a utility device (though hopefully an elegant one) — so before we get too far along, let's make sure it will be useful to you!

The basic idea

USB jack for powering the Soundplane. Module puts out CV / gates / mod outputs for individual touches. Like the Soundplane app, a zone map decides how the Soundplane surface is divided up into notes and what those notes are. You can switch between zone maps, and the name of the current one should be displayed somehow. Aside from this, visual feedback will be at least an LED per Z value. To keep costs low, probably nothing too graphical or fancy.

We're looking for input on things like:

How many voices?

Each voice of touch output will probably have 4 outputs for pitch, x, y and z. Setting up many voices on a modular is not the way most people use them, so I'm guessing that two voices of output will take care of 90% of what people want. We would probably add an expander module for more voices.

Any interesting modes?

A switch that changes z (pressure) into a strict on/off gate might be useful. Any other things like this?


individual voice groups vertical or horizontal? voice outputs at bottom or top? I'm thinking top, because a USB jack on the bottom will go to the Soundplane.


The module will need roughly 250mA at 5v to power the Soundplane. Brian will correct me if I'm wrong. Then there's whatever computing and display the module needs to do, and the outputs. Do we need our own power supply, or a list of compatible Euro power supplies that we can point people to? Any choices in connectivity to make here?

Finally, we're still looking for a great name…

Thu, Mar 29, 2018, 17:26

Probably lots to do beforehand but I'm listening.

Thu, Mar 29, 2018, 17:26

This is the kind of thing I could see adding.

Thu, Mar 29, 2018, 17:25

Alex, I can probably make you a one-off. Please email me and we'll work something out.

Wed, Mar 28, 2018, 14:10

Should be there by 6 April.

Wed, Mar 28, 2018, 12:55

Thank you!

Wed, Mar 28, 2018, 12:47

Ode school!

Wed, Mar 28, 2018, 11:54

@masarin you can pick "see size guide" at the following page:

Wed, Mar 28, 2018, 11:52

@starthief I have added that option now!

Tue, Mar 27, 2018, 07:52

Hmm, I haven't run into this but I'll try to reproduce on Windows 10.

Mon, Mar 26, 2018, 07:51

Others have reported bugs with the Scala handling. Sorry for the inconvenience. I'll take a look at this scale as well as my other test cases and keep you posted on a fix, later this week I hope.

Fri, Mar 23, 2018, 11:10

This thread got lifted up by a spam comment and then I saw I never replied. Sorry about that!

Aalto does a basic version of MPE without some of the possible configuration options. It only responds to notes on channels 2 and up, and on channel 1 (main) to affect all notes as spec'd in MPE.

Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 11:13

Sorry this was frustrating. It's supposed to be very easy: the Aalto installer just installs all the presets.

What OS are you running on? What did you do to fix the issue? Did you find the presets elsewhere on disk? Thanks for any additional info.

Tue, Mar 20, 2018, 07:56

If I can do it without changing the panel, I might. I've thought about adding an A/B kinda thing where one panel could control two objects in an expert mode. Thanks for the feedback.

Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 12:23

The patches are just JSON files. You should be able to edit the sample_name parameter and save a copy with a text editor. Then you can switch between those patches either with the main patch menu or by putting them in the MIDI Programs directory and using pgm change.

Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 12:00

Kaivo is not doing anything special with the files, currently. Feel free to drop any short WAV in there. I wanted the ability to store things like grain start points with the file, so importing is the go-to method but there is not any saving of preprocessing happening, currently. If you put in a lot of long files, Kaivo may take longer to start up.

I used to put things in Application Support. Then Apple decided to make the ~/Library folder invisible by default and I found myself explaining over and over again to people both how to find it and why I would hide stuff away in an invisible folder. I could implement a redirect function for power users at some point.

Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 07:37

Yes, these parameters currently behave like this. It should be possible to fix. I'll take a look.

Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 07:36

Currently un-possible. I'm adding a feature request for this.

However, a workaround would be to make two or more patches equal in everything but the sample source, and use MIDI program select or something to switch between them. The sound engine is not required to do a reset between patches, and so if the body types etc. are not changed, you should have continuity of sound.

If you find the MIDI Programs are not being sorted correctly, that's not you, it's a recently discovered issue on my end.

Mon, Mar 19, 2018, 07:31

Good morning... Yes nonlin doesn't really do anything for some models. For others it does something but is subtle. The gut string should be not subtle- there it affects the tension modulation and thus the pitch envelope. Sorry if this was driving you crazy.

Tue, Mar 13, 2018, 10:17

A lot of code is shared between the plugins. If I fix it for one of them, I'll release fixes for all ASAP. Thanks for the reminder.

Thu, Dec 02, 2010, 09:35

STICKY: Aalto Patch Thread!

I'm going to make this thread sticky. It should be a good place to find and share Aalto patches. I'll try to post one every day or two for a while.

It would be cool if we could embed Soundcloud links here, but setting that up will take some time.

Mon, Mar 12, 2018, 21:39

Oh no! Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to reproduce this on Windows.

I will be sending out Aaltoverb as a freebie when I can find time. Have you tried Virta as an effect? It does delay and chorus type FX pretty well. reverb.... maybe not.

I point everyone to the reverbs from ValhallaDSP for great sound and value.

Thu, Mar 08, 2018, 10:19

I'm working on sumu as well as the CV interface for Soundplane.

Tue, Mar 06, 2018, 07:34