randy's Recent Posts

Working on it!

Good to hear. I'll be working to make adjacent touches easier. They really need to be on the outermost edges of the adjacent keys.

I heard that Kyma communication is still broken. I'll be sending out another beta to try very soon.

It's hard to say from here— it could be either that a new source of radio interference appeared, or that a mechanical shift took place. Once in a while I see a variation I think is from radio noise here but it tends to be more minor.

When the new detector is deployed I could think about some kind of auto-calibration again.

Yes, I think your experience with the green patches is just the surface not going back to its rest state completely. This shouldn't be a problem. The tracker is designed to ignore those little blips if they don't correspond to a touch. If you have the main page "thresh" set very low to respond to the softest touches possible, it could be more of an issue.

The areas where they appear most may be due to both the long-term compression and the fact that certain carriers have more background noise.

Overall, much more playable and musically stable. I just got lost playing for an hour or so and didn't hear a single ghost note or something that made me stop and move into diagnostic mode. On to practicing more!

I'm very very glad to hear this.

This is just the first version of a tracker using this new technique. Improvements will follow, including some way to calibrate or correct for the wobbly y boundaries.

Adjacent touches should be possible now but only on the opposite sides of keys, and only with care and extra pressure. The centers of the touches must be > 1.5 key widths apart. So, if key edges are at (0, 1, 2), the touches must be within the range (0, 0.25) and (1.75, 2). I'll work on reducing the pressure required in the future. If you look at the "pings" display you can see what might be possible.

I am thinking of adding a "join" mode where a touch directly on the edge triggers both keys. There are some details to work out, but I think this could be a useful option. It breaks the "continuous" use of moving touches but could allow more chords to be played.

Thanks Mark. I'm glad you were excited to check this out and get back to me. Your feedback is very encouraging, and confirms that my new picture, both in improvements and a few remaining problems, reflects reality! After so much work on one thing it's a relief.

I also found that MIDI velocity is not working well. This should be a quick fix. I'll continue to adjust the "slide" distance for a good feel and possibly add this as an expert setting.

I am thinking about a new calibration routine that will work just as you suggest. I wanted to confirm that the underlying layer was working well first.

My next step is to clean up the repo and make the tracker module compile in our embedded world, which means giving up on a few C++11 niceties I'd gotten used to and removing some dependencies.

Glad to hear it. Enjoy!

Sorry I didn't see this post... You can start your own topics for a new question.

I have never heard of Snoopy, except the cartoon dog!

You can start by deleting all Kaivo VSTs and installers, then run FL again. You want to make sure FL does not find the Kaivo plugin. If you think it's deleted but FL finds it, there is definitely one "hiding" somewhere! Look in FL prefs for an alternate VST folder location.

Then make sure you get the latest installer from http://madronalabs.com/products/kaivo .

All of our instrument plugins, (that's Aalto, Kaivo and Virta, for those of you listening at home) have received essential updates. Please download and enjoy.

If for some reason you skipped the previous release or two, note that back in December I rolled out a new registration system. Instead of the old "My downloads," there is now a "My licenses" link where you can get the license keys for all your purchased plugins. Just paste the key into the demo plugin to register it. If you have any questions, I'll be here.

My work the past two months has been on platform compatibility, bug fixes and optimization. The stuck notes in certain hosts including Reaper are no more. Audio glitches that popped up sometimes in Kaivo have been put to rest, I think. CPU use should be around 20% less across the board.

I'm particularly excited about the CPU improvement this time, because there's more on the way. The gains this time came from rewriting parts of madronalib, my DSP library, but the plugins haven't been completely converted to use the new code. When I can do that, there should be another big boost in efficiency.

First, though, the Soundplane app needs some much-awaited love, and I have a shop to put together so I can prototype instruments here again. Stay tuned for gripping wood shop action. Stepper motors! Sawdust!

P.S.: if you just want some random blather and assurance that I'm alive and kicking, I'm @madronalabs on Twitter :-)

OK, I could seriously use your feedback on this. I would love to be sending out news more often at times like this when I'm deep in "development mode." My problem is, I often have nothing to say at these times that I would consider worthwhile news. "I'm working on the Soundplane touch detector" is basically what's been going on since spring.

I could show some of my many notes for Soundplane algorithms and talk about what the major improvements are gonna be. I think that would be interesting to a few people, but if history is any indication, frustrating to others who wonder why they can't just have it yet. Or who want me to be working on something else entirely.

Maybe the best answer is to find a new intern/apprentice who can do things like get t-shirts made and write news updates on the regular.

Anyhow thanks for the note, and If you can think of any categories of stuff you would want to read about, let me know.

The Soundplane stuff is going well and I plan to put together a release before switching gears.

If the installer fails, it should always give you an obvious error message. Maybe the earlier version is still hiding somewhere?

The plugin should be in /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components on Mac, or in your VST plugins directory, probably C:\VSTPlugIns, on Windows.

To get to your Library folder on MacOS you can hold down the Option key while selecting the “Go” menu from the Finder. Sorry this is a bit complicated, it’s Apple’s decision to make ~/Library hard to access.

Very glad to hear this! Thanks for the nice feedback.

I think I sorted this out with you via email just now. If not, please email me: support at madronalabs.com.

There is a low level SoundplaneDriver in the SoundplaneLib project that gets the raw pressure values. Then TouchTracker.cpp in the Soundplane project is the touch tracker. Madronalib is a collection of audio DSP code that I use in all my projects.

OK. I'll pause the Soundplane work if I have to and get a Kaivo update out next week. Sorry about the delay.

The Soundplane Max objects are free for any use. Use / share away.

I hope to be done with a new version of the touch detector soon. I would recommend this for a new 8x8 project. Meanwhile you could do as thetechnobear has done. Or, another quick way for you to use your sensor would be to write a simple single-touch detector. Single touch is easy to do very well and I'm happy to give more pointers on that.

I'm truly sorry if that was unclear! Since this obviously wasn't intuitive to you, I'll try to think of how to improve it.

I think it's consistent that brightness equals presence, or more of something, in the dials as well as the toggles. I guess the disconnect was that you are used to seeing white as background—as we all are.

I could make the meaning of my interface more obvious, maybe, by darkening the actual background of the window. The reason I haven't done this is: light text on a dark background is generally harder to read (and IMO, less good looking) than dark on light.

I'll keep working to find a good balance!

I'm pretty sure this is the longest I've worked on any single technical problem, aside from my thesis work. I think it's possible to do a great touch detector with the Soundplane A sensor, but, just barely. It will be a big relief to roll out this release and get your feedback.

Sorry it's a bit hard to find now. I'll work on a documentation pass after this Soundplane beta coming very soon.

OK, one more vote added—I'll definitely make the quad and/or individual outs version when I get a chance.

I am also planning to have 8 voices in a future version of Aalto. I could see wanting four individual outputs but not 8. So, are there going to be separate stereo, quad, octo versions? Having three separate plugins seems kind of messy. I'll try to find a way to provide the useful features without too much clutter.

Here are some images from my most recent prototyping work. I'm working on a surface with thick keys that should provide very consistent mechanical behavior and a nice tactile quality for the instrument.

Here are some pieces of birch with v-grooves routed into them every inch.

p1

With some fine router work on the flat sides of the strips, I made this profile with a 1/16" bump in the center.

p2

Now sanding, too much sanding. I don't like sanding.

p3

More sanding to get the profile I'm looking for. Maybe it's my years of C++ talking but these look kind of like curly braces.

p4

The individual key pieces are cut and laid out side-by-side to make a larger surface. A finished instrument would have the grain continuous but for this prototype we don't care.

p5

Next comes gluing to the sensor stack to test the feel.

Yes, it's still planned. Sorry, I should never mention upcoming dates unless things are nearly done.

Thanks for the report! Can't wait to try it out.

First, can you confirm you look in the upper right of the plugin and it says version 1.3.2? There are a couple of location where plugins can hide, so you may have an old version around.

I just rechecked it with Logic 10.2.4 here with both stereo and mono inputs. I remember you wanted to use mono inputs so I'll give those steps:

  • make a new mono->stereo audio track. choose Input (for example) 1 and outputs 1-2.
  • put the Virta AU effect plugin on the track. The AU menu will offer only the choice for Virta Mono->Stereo.

Then the mono input turns into stereo audio within Virta.

You can try patching the oscillator direct to the output's AUX in and panning it, this should test to see if you have stereo outputs independent of the input.

I messed around with a "both" mode when making the first version but didn't make anything I found really useful. I also felt like maybe having the three modes was veering too much towards emulating Buchla LPG as opposed to merely "inspired by."

Thanks for the feedback. I will revisit this for Aalto 2.0 and try some things. In particular there's been a good academic paper on the LPG and if that leads to a tastier sound all around, I may use a new algorithm.

Aalto's modular architecture lets it play when it's not getting MIDI notes, so being "always on" and taking up CPU is the downside of that.

I wrote down some related info here: Getting the most out of Kaivo It's somewhat specific to Kaivo, but has tips that apply to Aalto also.