randy's Recent Posts

I'm happy to announce that our home here on teh interwebz, has a brand new look. The old site got the job done, but was not working on mobile and was generally starting to look a little, well, old.

Now we have a better-looking interface that's more usable. An update from 2009 to 2019, if you will. A year in the making, this overhaul brings our look up to date and supports mobile browsing. It should also respond quicker, and the infrastructure sets the stage for new features I want to add over the coming years.

Big thanks to the friends who have helped with this work: Joel Marchand, Brit Hansen and Philip Kobernik.

Thanks Andrew! Nice to see you getting along with the instrument.

I've done a few on YouTube, this one most recently:
Soundplane—Gnossienne

Thanks for the feedback. I have plans to add to the preset system for v.2 and make a sample pack format with export / import functions.

I guess currently you're seeing the influence of my working methods where I tend to make patches as I go. I have not put as much energy into systems for sharing patches as making them on the fly. But I recognize that people out there want to have better ways to share and receive patches, and adding features to Aalto could help with this.

In MPE mode, only the mod output is controlled by the mod cc# dial. The x and y outputs for each voice are fixed to CCs 73 and 74. So you get for each voice an independent cc#74, as required by the MPE spec, and then two additional mod sources: cc73 and one more you can select.

As MPE outputs go in general, any input from the main channel (typically channel 1) will be added to all the voice channels. This goes for mod, x and y.

This setup follows the MPE spec as far as cc74 but the names are a little funny—this is because I set up the Soundplane->Aalto connection over MPE before the MPE spec was really finalized. Now that MPE is settled I may make some changes for compatibility.

Thanks very much for writing. I love hearing that Aalto's design is helping you make your own patches for Linnstrument. Enjoy, and keep in touch!

I think the best solution here would be a "parameter lock" mechanism, already planned. With this feature you could set any parameter to a fixed value that will not change upon loading a preset.

Thanks for the feedback!

That's a good idea to make an MPE or Soundplane specific group of presets. Mostly you can take any existing preset and then patch the y output to something interesting, so I hope you have fun playing with it anyway—please let me know if you have more questions.

Hi Greg,

There's nothing special about the signal from the "y" (or CC74) output as opposed to the other modulation sources you can use in the patcher. You could test this by using a different "mod CC #" in combination with the "mod" output. If you set "mod cc" to 1 for example you could use the modulation wheel on most controllers.

In the case of the sequencer rate, possibly you have host sync on?

In the case of the body, there's only one body and multiple voices, so all of the params except for x and y use the average the voice inputs. In the case of x and y there is one input location per voice, so these work as usual.

Thanks for the feedback. Feel free to use the beta as long as you need—it's fully functional, non-expiring, etc. I'll send out an all-plugins update in a bit.

Welcome! There are a bunch of patches in the Aalto patch thread up above in the Software section. You can copy and paste these using "Paste from clipboard" in the Aalto patch menu.

Thank you so much!

I'm not using Logic much so I don't feel like the best person to provide details, but it's definitely doable. I think there may be a trick with sending the track to a bus and recording that.

I don't know why I just saw this... Josh has moved on to other things but is well AFAIK, maybe he'll chime in.

I just uploaded a beta installer for Aalto MacOS. Please give it a try: http://madronalabs.com/media/aalto/Aalto1.8.4b1.pkg

Sumu is going to be only an instrument, not an effect—so live processing won't be part of the fun. You'll have to import a sound clip and analyze it, like in Kaivo.

Virta does a great job with live formant processing though!

The Soundplane is currently Mac only but I see that changing with the Model B release.

OK thanks for the info, I'll be in touch here about a plugin update.

In the first crash with the VST, you can see at Line 30: Crashed Thread: 5 AudioCalc

So you can scroll down to thread 5, which starts at line 114. The function calls are in order of most to least recent. Each line has the name of the executable module that is running, followed by hopefully the name of the function inside of it. For com.ableton.live you don't usually see function names, just numbers, because the function names have been stripped from the executable.

Roughly speaking, thread 5 tells you that the crash was in the kernel library, called by the C ++ standard library, called by Aalto, called by Ableton Live. My own code is trying to print some debug information, which it shouldn't be doing in a release build for various reasons, one of which being that the string library might allocate memory as we see here. Allocating memory in an audio processing thread is always something to avoid. Even so, it should not be crashing, so I will look to see what is causing the crash before simply removing the debug printing.

This change would be a fundamental one and is not going to happen in a minor update. It is exactly the kind of thing I will be looking at for a major update (Aalto 2).

Sorry you are running into problems. These are new to me. I appreciate the detailed reports.

You seem very on top of the latest from Ableton so you probably heard that Live 10.0.3 had some bad bugs with AU parameter updates. You say you are using 10.0.4, and I think these have been fixed in that version. Just FYI.

The VST crash report does not indicate the JuceVSTWrapper is the problem. It does point to some debugging code of my own. I should be able to post a beta very soon that I hope will fix this.

The AU crash you sent later does not point to Aalto. It looks like purely an issue with Live. If you want to experiment you might try the same track copying operation with a different AU instrument plugin.

Hi, if you give the .kbm file the same name as the .scl file except for the extension, the mapping will load for that scale. Do you have a mapping you are using with the other programs? If so, try loading it using this method and you should get the same results.

If you are not using a mapping, you could try transposing the notes to get the same results.

I'll check out werck3 when I get a minute here.

Ah yes, it only loads them when the plugin starts, good thing to go into the docs. Glad it's working.

Hi Greg, yes I know this works because I've used it in a performance. Maybe check the spelling of the "MIDI Programs" folder?

Yes, yes, I know this feature is not the best. It is just a stand-in that allows the job to be done, until I have time to make a good UI for associating patches with numbers. So far there have always been more critical things to do, and unfortunately it's just me writing the software.

Thanks for the feedback, though. If it's any consolation I have to use it for my own shows as well. I'll definitely change this for Aalto 2, which is the next update or very nearly so.

Because you say "go to the GUI" I guess you are talking about using the controls of your Push here? From the GUI itself the dials snap to the quantized positions. The shift modifier allows a fine adjustment from there.

I should really get a Push 2 and do a run-though thinking about usability in general. It's a nice controller!

Thanks for the feedback. What format are these other plugins in? I'm not sure that VST2 for example supports this concept. I agree it would be a nice usability improvement for formats that support it.

seq_wave is only there to communicate between the interface and the parameter system within Aalto. It shows up automatically as an automatable parameter but is not useful.

Later I added the concept of a non-automatable parameter, but to remove this one would break patches by changing the order of parameters. I could rename it "unused1" or something.

Hi Wolfgang, I'm sorry to hear this bug is still happening after the update. I'll check into it using Reaper.

@brianleu You can still find all the DIY stuff at madronalabs.com/DIY. Feel free to download it all!

Well OK, last in this series anyway. These four instruments make a great kind of group and next I need to do something different. I could put a patcher in the middle of something again, someday. But it will probably look different. Hopefully I'm always learning.

Fedor Pereverzev, AKA Moa Pillar, is an artist who specializes in deep, dark electronic sounds. Hailing from Moscow, Fedor works by day as a sound designer for the audio company Monoleak. His recent album Humanity was released by the label Full of Nothing. A label based in Karelia and run by Anya Kuts and Ivan Zoloto of the noise duo Love Cult. Humanity is a beautifully textured journey through the Moa Pillar world, all while showcasing Pereverzev’s sound design expertise. We were happy to have the chance ask him some questions after learning he used Aalto as the main tool on his new album.



You’ve described your music as “Spiritual Bass”. Can you elaborate on what this means to you?:


Spiritual bass is a journalist’s term. I used tag “spiritual” only in track’s description on Soundcloud. This word is important because it allows me to show that this music is not only about dancing (although I attach great value to this aspect as well) but about my own way of understanding the world. The tag “Spiritual” points out that this music is a result of my own discoveries and experiences regarding to metaphysics of the world.



What is Moscow like as a place to be making electronic music like yours? Would you say that where you are physically, and a sense of place, is important to your work? Do you enjoy performing live?


I think Moscow, like any other big city, is a comfortable location for music making. There is always something going on. You can feel this eternal motion that motivates you to move on. You can always find somewhere to go or to be inspired. But at the same time, I can’t say that Moscow inspires me. I’m not interested in reflection on the aesthetics of the city or its metaphysic in my music.


I’ve truly started to enjoy live gigs just recently. Until now I had pretty mixed programme that didn’t allow the most important thing to happen - going deep into the music. It didn’t allow me to do this. Today meeting people is important for me. New programme is strong and solid. This is where the magic happens. Anyway, live performing is still a tricky thing for me technically. I never write music keeping in mind the way I will perform it. I always consciously choose building complicated structures instead of the ease of performance. So the question "how to play it?" is always acute. My music has lots of layers and I can’t play them all. You have to find balance between audio, that plays automatically, and structures, that should have been manipulative. This kind of analysis of my music is an interesting game for me.





You mentioned that you work as a professional sound designer by day. How does this line of work relate to your personal musical expression? What can you tell us about Monoleak?


Monoleak is a full service audio production and music agency, formed by me, Savely Shestak and Savva Rozanov. We’ve been producing music for movies, advertisement and shows for almost five years now. For the last couple of years we’ve worked with dozens of automobile brands with their launches in Russia and abroad. Our latest significant achievement is creating original soundtrack and sound design for the biggest show in world history of 3D-mapping created by Sila Seta Inc. covering huge Ministry of Defence building in Moscow.


The working process helps me with my own music growth. Working on the projects as part of Monoleak I better understand what is really interesting for me in music and what is superficial. I can realize all of my spontaneous desires, not allowing them to get into my personal field. For example I can write “sweet” house music, edm and so on. It’s also a constant improving of technical skills. By the way, we use Aalto pretty often in production. It’s perfect for background atmosphere and sound design.






You mentioned on our forums that your new album is 85% Aalto. What is it about Aalto that you connect with so well? Can you tell us anything about how it fits into your process? For example, do sounds tend to come first and lead to rhythms or vice versa?


Yes, that’s true. In fact I used Aalto (and sometimes Kaivo) for all the sessions except melodic bass and rhythm. Tracks without rhythmic structure (Essence and Magnets) had been made with Aalto. I can honestly say that I’m in love with this synth. I like its clarity, intuitive interface and certainly the sound! I had a feeling that I was working with a live instrument because with Aalto you can achieve tones and rhythm imperfection. And I really appreciate it. Should also note the ability to download different musical temperaments. It’s great! I was really impressed when I found variety of my favorite composers (Terry Riley and La Monte Young) in the list of “key tuning”. I dream about modular synth by Madrona Labs (as many other people I think).


My work starts with opening the session where all the knobs of Aalto are connected to Launch Control XL. Further, if I don’t have any specific idea, I just turn on the recording and improvising. Most often something impressive comes out during this process and I use it in further work. This approach and scopes of Aalto were very useful during my trip to the Caucasus, Kabardino-Balkaria. The purpose of the trip was the musical commination between me and the guys who play and learn traditional Kabardian folklore. The result of it was a documentary “Bonfires and Stars”, which is now being prepared to be shown at international festivals. It was filmed by Stereotactic team.



profile: Josh Leibsohn

photos: Fedor Pereverzev




Listen to Humanity: http://everything.fullofnothing.net/album/humanity


Moa Pillar:
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Monoleak:
Soundcloud
http://www.monoleak.ru