hardware and software for electronic music 

randy's Recent Posts

Fri, Dec 31, 2010, 08:45

Yup, it uses an instrument-appropriate Chinese scale. Would love to hear this patch with a wind controller...

Tue, Dec 28, 2010, 10:13

Aalto has a different approach to avoiding aliasing than most softsynths. Oversampling is only one piece of the puzzle. I could make a kind of "draft mode" that did not do oversampling, but it would not sound as good. On the other hand there's lots of work I can do still to make it run faster with the sounds the way they are. So while there's room to improve there I'll focus on that.

Mon, Dec 27, 2010, 08:12

So it's only the vertical sliders in the sequencer that are acting weird?

Sun, Dec 26, 2010, 11:15

Hi downeyst,

First: be nice! This is not a place for namecalling, whether directed at me or anyone else.

Second, you have no idea what you are talking about. Think about it for a minute. Of course, if I could wave my magic wand and make the Windows version be done today, so I could ship it and make some money, I would do it. Unfortunately, it takes hard work. If you really want to know anything about the development process, ask me.

Fri, Dec 24, 2010, 10:49

Sorry to hear about your trouble. I just checked out automation in Logic 9 and touch mode seems to be working.

I have my older laptop running 10.5. When I get a chance I will try the 10.5 / Logic 8 combination.

Wed, Dec 22, 2010, 11:59

Hi active,

Thanks for sharing. Some description of what's in the packages might help people decide if they want to download or not.

Wed, Dec 22, 2010, 11:57

I'm still working on it, but sorry, no news. Have a happy holiday anyway!

Sun, Dec 19, 2010, 10:30

Hi Dennis,

Thanks for writing and sharing some of your history! I am very happy that some Buchla users have responded well to Aalto, and find it can complement a hardware setup.

Aalto does use CPU when it's not playing notes. The free-running oscillators are always going so that you can just turn up the gate level, for example, to make a drone. I will be doing some optimizations to get the CPU use down while keeping the benefits of this setup.

Sun, Dec 19, 2010, 09:00

Hi lapsi, Can you get it to it happen often? If so, I would love to send you a debugging version so I can find out where audio is stopping.

Sun, Dec 19, 2010, 08:57

Hi, what do you mean by user presets library? Like the SoundsDivine ones we have, but more people for example?

I will add to the presets again for the next release. In the meantime keep a look out for patches to copy and paste in the patch forum right here!

Wed, Dec 08, 2010, 10:05


Mon, Dec 06, 2010, 11:24

Valse mechanique

Evolving tense waltz time sequence from Aalto. The two envelopes are triggered using the sequencer's regular and delayed outputs to give a variety of note shapes.

Aalto: Valse mechanique by Randy AKA Caro

<Aalto pluginVersion="65829" presetName="valse mechanique" scaleName="12-equal" scaleDir="" key_glide="0" seq_trig="1" seq_rate="0.0958554745" seq_rate_p="1.30999982" seq_steps="12" seq_range="48" seq_quantize="1" seq_pw="18" seq_value_delay="2.5" seq_pulse_delay="1.5" seq_value="0.00892853737" seq_value:1="0.991071463" seq_value:2="0.6875" seq_value:3="0.00892853737" seq_value:4="0.508928597" seq_value:5="0.00892853737" seq_value:6="0.00892853737" seq_value:7="0.991071463" seq_value:8="0.776785731" seq_value:9="0.00892853737" seq_value:10="0.508928597" seq_value:11="0.00892853737" seq_value:12="0.00892853737" seq_value:13="0.00892853737" seq_value:14="0.00892853737" seq_value:15="0.00892853737" seq_pulse="1" seq_pulse:3="1" seq_pulse:6="1" seq_pulse:9="1" seq_pulse:10="1" seq_pulse:13="1" lfo_freq="0.049999997" lfo_level="1" lfo_freq_p="4" env1_attack="0.0510000028" env1_decay="0.639999986" env1_sustain="0" env1_release="2.04999995" env1_level="0.179999992" env1_trig_select="2" env1_attack_p="0.199999973" env1_decay_p="0.579999983" env1_release_p="0.199999973" env2_repeat="0" env2_attack="0.00100000005" env2_xvel="1" env2_trig_select="2" osc_ratio="2.1420002" osc_offset="2.98023224e-06" osc_pitch="110" osc_waveshape="-0.899999976" osc_ratio_p="1.12999988" osc_offset_p="200" osc_index_p="10" osc_timbre_p="-2.23517418e-08" osc_pitch_lin_p="216" osc_mod_out="0.5" gate_mode="1" gate_decay="2" gate_level_p="0.99999994" delay_input="1" delay_drive="1" delay_feedback="0.289999992" delay_freq="3.02937484" delay_output_wet="0.109999999" output_reverb="0.229999989" output_reverb_p="0.329999983" patcher_input_8="000000000010100000000000000" patcher_input_9="000000000000010000000000000" patcher_input_10="000000001000000000000000000" patcher_input_11="000000000010000100000000000" patcher_input_12="000000000000000100000000000"/>

Fri, Dec 03, 2010, 16:43

cool, thanks for sharing!

Wed, Dec 01, 2010, 13:49

It pains me for you to have to go back to 1.0... one thing I might try before that is copying the channel strip containing Aalto from your working project.

I'm pretty sure none of the audio matters, so you can just send the non-working project with an Aalto instance loaded and that's all. When you have time.

Wed, Dec 01, 2010, 13:05

Nice bullet points.

So, am I right in understanding you have one other project in which Aalto is working?

Can you email me the project that doesn't work? Maybe then I can reproduce.

Wed, Dec 01, 2010, 12:12

The acid house demo.

I'm taking a quick break from programming to get the word out and make some videos. Here's a quick demo of the host sync and clipboard features in Aalto 1.1. Stay tuned for more!

Wed, Dec 01, 2010, 07:09

I am actually on 10.5.8 / Logic 9 here too. So basically the only difference in my setup is the audio interface. But I can't reproduce your problem here.

I did have lots of similar glitches with Aalto 1.0, so I would love to track down what's going on.

What happens when you set the default preset, and change the number of voices? Changing the voices should restart the whole Aalto audio path.

Tue, Nov 30, 2010, 21:30

I am deleting old Aalto components in ~/Library/... with a script. I thought the installer was deleting copies in /Library... but apparently it's not. It is safe to get rid of them yourself, then run the installer. In any case only the most recent component in /Library... should be loaded.

Mon, Nov 29, 2010, 11:36

Thanks for posting the follow up. The installer is supposed to get rid of old copies. I'm not sure what failed in your case so it's good to have this info here.

Fri, Nov 26, 2010, 12:22

Aalto 1.1 demo available.

Hold onto your hats! The Aalto 1.1 demo is now on the product page. Updates will go out to all registered 1.0 customers later today.

Much faster: Aalto now runs 25 to 50% faster than version 1.0.

Installer: Easy install using Apple's Installer puts Aalto's bits where they belong.

New preset management UI: Load and save presets from the Aalto window.

Copy and paste presets: From the preset menu to and from the clipboard, for easy sharing, editing, and backup.

Host sync: Aalto's sequencer now has rock-solid synchronization with your DAW's clock.

Tuning tables: Load tunings from the Scala .scl file format. Over 100 different tunings categorized by musical tradition are included.

Sequencer modes: Key trigger and loop mode allow new uses of the sequencer.

Presets: Aalto now comes with 30 new presets from programming guru Simon Ball of SoundsDivine, and 10 fun sound machine constructions from synth innovator Alessandro Cortini.

Many minor bug fixes have also been implemented. See the bug tracker for a complete list.

Sat, Nov 27, 2010, 13:54

Emails just went out with the download links!

Sat, Nov 27, 2010, 00:03

update: Internet is very slow tonight-- will send out the rest tomorrow.

Fri, Nov 26, 2010, 21:16

I'm going to do some some quick screencast videos next week.

Tue, Nov 23, 2010, 17:45


Sat, Nov 20, 2010, 07:03


I'm really happy you want an Aalto so much. I would really like to have a Windows version done for you by Christmas time. I can't promise it will be done, but I will be working on it. Best thing to do is stay in touch, like you're doing. The same goes for beta testing Windows---I'm not sure exactly how I'll be handing that but you'll find out here.


Wed, Nov 10, 2010, 11:28

Hi Bob,

I have not had time to try out the the audiounit~ object unfortunately. It's one of the things I want to do as soon as I kick out this 1.1 update. When I get around to that I'll try to make it work if it doesn't.

Getting the sequencer data out of Aalto is an idea I hadn't thought of. I guess because the plugin is a set of possibilities restricted in a way that's hopefully useful. Internal to Aalto, all the data are signals, so while a control signal output could be useful in MSP, the more commonly used hosts don't seem to have mechanisms for doing anything with one.

Tue, Nov 09, 2010, 10:40

Hi Jamie,

Aalto is more fully modular than a lot of synths-- it doesn't make MIDI notes without the right patches connected. You can connect the patches by loading a preset. If you read the first part of the Quickstart guide it will tell you how to install the preset files where Logic can find them.

Sorry the install is a bit of a pain-- I'm working on a simple installer to send out with 1.1.

Mon, Nov 08, 2010, 15:56

Sure, you can put Aalto on a track in any Audio Units host, like Ableton Live, Logic, or Numerology, and then play your keyboard to that track. The details of how to do this are different in every host, but basically you just put Aalto on the track and play.

Thu, Oct 21, 2010, 14:12

Aalto News

Hi there. First thing I want to say is thanks to all of our Aalto customers, and to everyone who has spread the word that we have something new and exciting here.

Also, thanks to everyone who has sent comments or ideas for how to improve Aalto. I'm programming this synth by myself, so unlike organizations with more inertia I'm free to make use of feedback really quickly. You'll see some of that reflected in the 1.1 update.

I had hoped that Aalto 1.1 would be out this week, but some things are taking longer than I'd hoped. Sometimes fixing the big problems is easy but the small ones are hard... go figure. Currently I'm shooting for late next week. Though all schedules can slip, I think it's better if I let you know what my plans are. So here's my current roadmap for you:

1.1: mid Oct, performance improvements, parameter automation fixes, host sync, alternate tunings, more documentation, sundry bug fixes.

1.2: mid Nov, more performance improvements, UI improvements, installer, patch management features.

1.3: mid Dec, sound engine update, delivery via web site, Mac and Windows VST.

Some online publications have posted very generous reviews of Aalto.

Check out Seattle's Waveformless and Berlin's AudioNewsRoom. And whether or not you read Italian, this very extensive and thoughtful review by Enrico Cosimi is worth a look at Audio Accordo.it. It's got a nice movie showing a lot of the presets and some new creations, and a system diagram that should probably work its way into the manual.

And most recently, James Patrick at the Institute for Recording and Production in Minneapolis has posted a 3-part video introduction he made for his class! Check it out on Vimeo.

When I designed Aalto, I had a few main goals in mind: make it sound good and flexible, make the interface simple and intuitive. Of course, these goals all make conflicting demands on the shape of the instrument and, well... product design is hard. So it was really gratifying to stumble on this weblog from Michael Lemmon, a Portland-based musician and product designer who got exactly what I was trying to do. Thanks Michael, and keep in touch!

Tue, Nov 02, 2010, 13:01

Forum update, bug fixes

Hi all,

I made a tiny but very useful update to our forums software this morning. Now when a reply to a forum topic is posted, the topic rises to the top of the list. You know, just like in every other forum software.

If you have other suggestions for the forums, feel free to let me know. Mike hooked this software up with Ruby on Rails because nothing out there seemed to meet our needs. We hope it's minimal, but not too minimal.

Betas of Aalto 1.1 are working well and I'm nearing the finish line. One great new feature is the ability to copy and paste patches to the clipboard as text. Basically, this turns any online forum into an Aalto-patch-sharing forum, if people want to share patches there. And, it's human-readable and hackable... you could make your own random patch generator now.

I added some of the features to 1.1 that were planned for 1.2. Basically anything that affected the interface. I realized that even though it delayed 1.1 a bit, this was the quickest way to move ahead overall.

Host sync is working great now. This was a bit of a pain to get going in Logic.

I keep track of feature updates and bug fixes in a spreadsheet you can view here.