hardware and software for electronic music 

randy's Recent Posts

Wed, Jul 27, 2011, 09:49

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

Wed, Jul 27, 2011, 09:47

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.

Wed, Jul 27, 2011, 09:39

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.

Tue, Jul 26, 2011, 13:45

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

Tue, Jul 26, 2011, 13:43

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.

Tue, Jul 26, 2011, 13:38

try the update!

Sat, Jul 16, 2011, 00:25

Aalto 1.2.5 DEMO


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.


Sat, Jul 23, 2011, 09:13

Thanks for posting!

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

Fri, Jul 22, 2011, 08:41

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

Wed, Jul 20, 2011, 16:36

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!

Wed, Jul 20, 2011, 13:37

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.


Wed, Jul 20, 2011, 11:20

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.

Wed, Jul 20, 2011, 09:29

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

Wed, Jul 20, 2011, 08:41

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!

Sun, Jul 17, 2011, 19:19

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?

Sat, Jul 16, 2011, 08:35

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

Sat, Jul 16, 2011, 07:41

Thanks for the report. Can you try the 1.2.5 demo, posted here, and see if that works?

Sat, Jul 16, 2011, 00:17

nice one! always good to see the Aaltoverse expanding. :-)

Thu, Jul 14, 2011, 07:36

I think the changes I'm making for next update may fix this. If not, I'll make it a priority and work with Fxpansion on it if need be, they seem helpful. Thanks for the report.

Wed, Jul 13, 2011, 09:16


Mon, Jul 11, 2011, 19:15

You can automate them by drawing an automation curve. It appears that trying to record by clicking on the buttons themselves doesn't work in Logic. Weird, because it works in Live. I'll look into it.

Sat, Jul 09, 2011, 08:45

Will have to install Rax and test. I'll see what I can do for the next update.

Sat, Jul 09, 2011, 08:44


I hope this will be fixed in the next update. Maschine was also crashing in it's own examination process, and that seems to be fixed, so I hope DP is fixed too. Will test next week.

Tue, Jul 05, 2011, 12:23

What’s happening

July 5, and it finally feels like it's summer here in Seattle for more than one day in a row. Though after a vacation getaway last week, I'm inside most of the time, back to work here on hardware and software for electronic music. Still, working is nicer when I can walk to the cafe under sunny skies, or pop into the backyard for a strawberry. Mmm strawberries.

I'm devoting half of my time now to finishing the Soundplane project. It's exciting to finally be working again on our centerpiece, the heart of what we're doing.

Meanwhile, Aalto is working great for some users but not so great for a few, so improvements are ongoing. Let me run down the main issues I have been working on:

  • Fixed a problem with the GUI freezing in Live 7.
  • Optimized multislider to speed up patch changes.
  • Added parameter update message on loading a preset.
  • Issues with audio dropouts and CPU spikes when switching patches in Logic 9 remain. These seem to be worst on multi-core machines. I'm working on a fix.
  • There are problems for some people getting Aalto to work with Native Instruments Maschine. While I work these out, try the forums if you're having trouble, where some people have found ways to get it working.
  • Aalto seems to crash Sonar 8.5 on Windows XP. I hope to work on this for the next update.
  • FInishing up the manual.

The next update will be a 1.2.x, meaning it's just a bugfix update with no additional features. So those of you waiting on host sync etc. will have to be a little patient while I work on the foundations. I'll roll it out next week at the latest so people using Live 7 can get back in the saddle.

We got another very nice mention in Create Digital Music today, thanks to the work of Sam Greene. Sam was really taken with the weird sounds coming out of Aalto, so he dusted off his site patchdump.com and made it into a really great way to share Aalto patches. Thanks Sam, for this great gathering spot for Aaltophiles! Part of me wants to write a post on why this kind of community contribution is so vital to small companies like ours, and how I hope to encourage it, but for now I'm going to let that impulse slip away and get back to work on making the hardware and software.

Happy patching,


Wed, Jul 06, 2011, 11:42

Thanks for the updates. I do have one problem in Logic that I can duplicate just often enough to work on it. It's an intermittent one, which seems to match people's descriptions of the problems starting up.

The keyboard handling in different hosts is just such a huge mess for anyone who writes a plugin. Some hosts work better with the VST and some with the AU. Live won't pass keys to the AU to play notes, but the VST works OK. Other hosts only work with the AU. Fixing this crap will take a lot of time---I'm going to focus on the more severe problems and get an update out first.

Mon, Jul 04, 2011, 10:52

Well, glad you're up and running. I'll try to get the other versions going ASAP.

Wed, Jun 15, 2011, 09:55

Maschine Help


Some people report Aalto 1.2 working just fine in Maschine. Others are having problems. If you had to tweak your system somehow to get it working, I would appreciate it if you could post here. I don't have time to try Maschine myself for a while, so hopefully sharing information can get more people going happily! Thanks!

Mon, Jul 04, 2011, 10:51

Thanks, I'm aware of this and will work on a fix after the next update. Sorry for the trouble.

Mon, Jul 04, 2011, 10:50

The good news is I finally saw this bug occur on my own system. I did a long torture test session changing patches in Logic and was able to see some bad input from Logic that I hope is the cause of these problems.

Sun, Jul 03, 2011, 21:22

moved to software forum... i should really fix it so people can't post to the News forum, my bad. I look forward to hearing your sounds!