brassee's Recent Posts

Dear Randy.

In the last 2 weeks I've sent you 2 mailed requests for help with my Kaivo license. The first to the support@ email adress and the second to the randy@ address.

I see you are responding to remarks here on the forum so you are clealry still alive.

Where my messages maybe set aside as spam?

Anyway: Help! PLEAAAZZZEE!


Thanks pdt

Randy: Just checked my own spam folder. Nothing showing.

Anyway. Even I should get it runnign now! (Erm, fingers crossed) :-)

I just saw that I can copy the key as text form my licences overview. Is it THAT easy?

Hi Randy,

To my delight I found the oct/nov edition of Germany's Syntmag with a complete special about you and your products. It was great to get all these extra insights into your approach and thinking. I devoured every word of it.

I love the Sumu concept. Any idea if you could add an analyses function to re-synthesize audio samples? I assume that will be a rather difficult thing to implement but it would be another killer feature.

I also love the idea of sooner or later putting all your VST's into a sort of The Grid environment. Combining the Sumu with the Kaivo would lead to something even closer to my ultimate dream-instrument then Kaivo already is; namely a flexible re-synthesis engine with modeling features. Call it a Kaivo plus.

Just for fun: here are some suggestions for Finish names for such a platform:
"Sekoitus" = a (fluid) mixture. I am not sure though if you'd like the, probably latin induced, "koitus" bit. Only food for dirty thinkers of course but still.... :-)
What about Suspensio then? It means "fluid suspension" and even suggests a connection with the English word "suspense"! Almost to good to be true?
Then there is the finish word for "vortex", being "kierre". Very nice but it would probably leave some doubts about the correct pronunciation.
Then there is "valuma-alue" which stand for the catchment area of a river or stream.
"Valume" also seems to stand for value as single word which associates itself easily with amplitude / volume, another nice one.
Individually "Alue" stands for "surface area" but is thus less clearly connected to the existing theme.
Then there is "joen suisto" for "river delta".
Individually "joen" also seems to stand for "river". I however also found "joki" as a translation but maybe that is to close to Jogy Bear. :-)
"Suisto" also seems to be associated with delta as a single word.

I obviously chose these words because they imply an even broader connection to water / streams / fluids.

I hope you don't mind these suggestions though. I just could not resist trying to play the same association game. Do however check all translations out more thoroughly if you like any of them. We all know how bad translator programs can be. :-)

Have a nice weekend.

Marc Brassé

Hi Randy,

Remember me? I bought Kaivo some years ago but never got it to run because I did not yet use a DAW at the time. In the mean time I tried Tasty Chip's GR1 which at least seemed to tick all the granular boxes within a hardware solution but it's software tuned out to be a bit of pile up (to put it mildly!). So I returned it. Then I bought Bitwig Studio 3 because one can build his own instruments in its Grid modular synth. So far so good. It works really well but it only provides regular building blocks like delays, comb filters and such. In that respect Kaivo still comes closer to my ideal. So run Kaivo in Bitwig Studio then, you will say. I do however still only use the DAW for synthesis purposes so that seems overkill and a waste of valuable processor power to me. Which at last brings me to my question: Do you have any idea how Kaivo will run within Main Stage 3 on a Windows laptop? For me such a program was after all the missing link at the time. My laptop is a reasonable machine but not high spec. It's a 64 bits, Windows 10, 8MB with an Intel 8th gen i-3 core. An 8 voice Kaivo instance would however already suit me VERY well, especially if poly AT can be used to control / scrub the sample position per note in real time. Otherwise running 8 mono instances or so and driving them via individual MIDI channels will do the trick. The laptop's audio output will then be “dumped” on a stand alone audio workstation so no extra number crunching is needed for that.

Please let me know what you think.

Kind regards,

Marc Brassé

Again. Don't take it to personal. It's almost a sort of hobbyhorse of mine to complain about this.

I am form the dark old days and went through it all. MS-DOS, 386 processors, mighty big bending floppy disks, CDR's. Things are still improving. At least computer hardware tends to be plug and play but it is still a far way to software interfaces which turn a computer into a tool pre-configered tool right away.

MIDI for instance. MIDI 2.0 seems to fall flat on it's face but I am already dreaming about a sort of MIDI 3.0 in which individual polyphonic audio voice stream can be sent mutichannel beside all the existing stuff. A sort of MIDI plus ADAT integration without the need for a special network.

Is that maybe the sort of environment you are thinking of for your Grid- equivalent? Just like you already treat poly data within your VST's? That would indeed be a great thing!

Hi Alan,

To repeat the bit Randy said about it (as far as I understand it): He'd like to produce a sort of Bitwig The Grid-like environment in which all his instruments (or even individual modules thereof?) can be patched. He was however very clear about this only being a long term vision.

Now imagine that: A Madrona Labs supermodular! Let's keep our fingers crossed! :-)

OK Randy,

I'll read the article again to see if you already touched on those terms in there but I suppose you mean that this analyses format from the extra software can then be used to set up the 64 partial operators. 64 partials and all of them individual FM- operators plus a noise component (assuming I am getting all this right so far) should be more then enough for decent resynthesis.

Seems you've spilled the beans a bit early about Sumu and stuff in that article but it sounds very exciting. We'll be patient through.

It's a pity you can't publish those artciles here. Copyrights, eh? Did they at least dend you a hardware copy of the magazine? It aal looks excellent!


Randy: I fully understand that you are already quite busy with all the other stuff but I, in general, find VST developers lacking when it comes to compatibility issues. Even a VST, nay, especially a VST should be a plug and play product, even more so if a standalone version is not in the cards. As composer / musician / music technology afficiado one should not be obliged to also be a computer specialist. Having to be my own producer, sound progrmmer and general sound technician is, beside the aformentioned tasks already more then enough. A bit more proactivity in checking which DAW's and VST hosts are compatible would therefore be greatly appreciated. This whole issue has after all kept me from using Kaivo and eventually buying any of your other instruemnts for years.
I do however hope you interpret these remarks as a constructive critisism. :-)

Noname: Thanks for suggesting Nanohost and sorry for not answering earlier. Suddenly the internet seems to be awash with standalone hosts anyway. When I bought Kaivo they where very hard to find. So it's high time for me to catch up at last.

Thanks Randy (et all),

Nobody seems to have an opinion about my processor load reduction question so I gues I'll have to find out the hard way (sigh)! :-)

Maybe I am too puristic. If An uncluttered solution is avialable I always go for that. It's probably because this old man "grew up" in the one function per "brick" era. The advantage of that is however that it also keeps your workfow uncluttered.

For instance: The instrument I have built in The Grid can be best described as a Yamaha CS80 with granular samplers for VCO's (they can after all also be original CS wave samples) followed by a simplified modeling section consisting of a complex delay plus a comb filter. Then follows the conventional combo of a CS80 style filter + VCA arrangement in which a sine wave is injected into the VCA to thicken out eventual low frequency losses from the typical CS style independantly resonant LPF and HPF.

Compared to Kaivo the modelling is of course rudimentary. Furthermore Kaivo's user interface is compact but at the same time very flexible which makes the dispaly much less cluttered then wihtin a complex Grid build! Those are basically the main reasons why I am still in doubt.

That Kaivo can scrub per voice via poly AT is very good news anyway. I think that is the ultimate tool to open granular samplings full potential. Brightness can then for instance be controlled by the samples own inherent tonal variety. Such "filtering" will then by it's very nature become mulitiband because it depends on the natural decay / sustain / release portion of an original sound in which all overtones wil have their own unique decay behaviours. One could argue this material is then already engraved into the sample and thus static but in practice the possible permutations should already be nearly endless. That is after all what the granular part brings. Conventional filtering will then often only have to be used for refinement.

See, I've really thought about this stuff! I only have to get off my butt to bring even more of it into practice. But I'm working on it. :-)

Have a nice weekend.


Thanks Dylan,

It is true that The Grid is very sophisticated. What I am referring to is that one can only build exiter and resonator modeling solutions out of such standard objects and that is of course not as sophisticated as Kaivo's options.

About Mainstage 3: It does seem to exist for Windows by now.

I am simply wondering if using it will free up resources that BitWig Studio might still use in the background if I am only using it for VST-running.

Do you think that I wil need to run multiple Kaivo instances to get the sample position scrubbing per single note in order?

Dear Randy.

As per my comment on Youtube: Of course the whole VST hassle normally comes with the territory but that is actually my main point: Must one really add a completely new kitchen wing to the house to get that one pefect expresso machine whistling? :-)

A semi-standalone situation as you (seem to) suggest could however be just the right ticket for me. I can then keep the rest of my workflow in the good old "hardware only" realm and just let the laptop do all the number crunching on one instance of Kaivo, which seems to be renowned for being processor-hungry anyway. So if I could run it as a single semi-standalone polyphonic poly aftertouch sensitive synth with a reasonably low latency I would already be more then happy since my preffered working method is based on recording real time performances anyway.

One extra remark: An alternative to full poly aftertouch processing would be to at least have Kaivo available in a multitmbral mode, since somebody has already cracked the poly atertouch to multichannel /-timbral nut for me, assuming that would not defeat the whole K.I.S.S. principle again.

Anyway: If you could point out a sure fire method to achieve such a solution I would appreciate it very much.

Kind regards,

Marc Brassé

Sorry to be stubborn but that is actually exactly what I am trying to avoid, now is it? Are there any experiences with hosts, for instance, Savihost?

Hi Guys,

I just bought Kaivo after wondering for quite long if I wanted to get into using plug-ins at all. My present main axe, the Techncis WSA (Uh oh, Ancient!) can do about everything I want, including rather advanced sample based acoustic modeling (sounds familiar?) but it can not load user samples.

Now I have to find out how to get Kaivo running. I think I'dd actually prefer to run it individualy in something like VSThost, since I still do everything else in ultra stable dedicated hardware. That might seem archaic but the ergonomics of hardware can still not be beat. Any solution I'dd use for Kaivo should however be able to handle polyphonic aftertouch because that is very important to me.

O.K. I know that I should be ashamed that I dare to ask you buffs (some of you actually build your own Soundplanes!) but can somebody help me? Does anybody have experience with such hosts? Or should I still switch to something more advanced to get the poly aftertouch running?

Kind regards,

Marc Brassé

Ah, other hardware buffs do still exist.

I've got a whole list of issues with these old things but the "fun" side is that one learns a lot about repairing and even modyfing this old analog stuff in the process. Did youa have a look at my special projects? Ever seen a fully programmbale E70 oozing with CS80 technology. Have a look at my Son OF GX project. Want some Kaivo avant la lettre. Look at my Starship One setup.

Recently I resored the sixt voice on my Yamaha CS70. Now I am trying to revive a very rare one: The Crucialnelly Compacsynth. That one however ahs so many issues it'll probably end in something close to a full electronic restoration.

And those Rhodes Chroma's stil need a new power suplly and, and adn, Jadajadajada.


Thanks Inductive,

Sorry If I was no totally clear but you answered the question anyway. For the time being I'dd prefer to run Kaivo as close to stand alone as possible, so without it being integrated into a full Workstation or Tracker environment.

The route for an accompanying hardware solution is clear enough. We have some laptops "lying around the house" (I am actually not that ancient. I thank you. :-)) and I also already own an early USB to MIDI interface.

I'll surely try Minihost and get back to you on the results

Marc Brassé

ab lard moans?

My wife: Maradona B(a)l(l)s.

OK, we'll keep on practicing.

Er. I own a collection that might look like a museum collection to most of you/ I'dd advice you to have a look at my website at (if you dare!).

Kaivo is actaully my first foray into plugins after some bad early experiences with Native Instruments B4 Hammond simulator.

Marc Brassé



I also just bought Kaivo after wondering for quite long if I wanted to get into using pluginns at all. Now I have to find out how to get it running. I think I'dd actually prefer to run it individually in something like VSThost, since I still prefer to do everyhting else in in ultra table dedicated hagrdware. That might seem archaic but the ergonomics of hardware can still not be beat.

Any solution I'dd use for Kaivo should however be able to handle polyphonic aftertouch because that is very important to me.

Can you inform me how you set up Kaivo n htt XP. What did you use as a host? Any other tips?

Marc Brassé

Hi Randy,

The special Kaivo 50 % discount just pulled me over the threshold but the coupon code does not seem to work (anymore?). I might be too late because you mention december 10 but on the other hand, counting from receiving the mail on 08-12 at at 21:29 Central European Time, I should have been wiithin the 3 day period mentioned.

Please let me know if you can still do anything for me.

Kind Regards,

Marc Brassé

Dear Randy,

I just had a look at the demo again and would want tot add these question / suggestions:

1) Does the 2D plane of the granulator work like a mixer only or does it provide real interaction between the granulated samples? In the Technics WSA there is such a function. It can for instance impart sustain on a percussion sample when one combines it with a longer or looped sample, which leads to very lively results because the sustain is not derived from looping or granulating (and thus repeating) but from a "natural" and thus continiously stretching of the percussion samples harmonic contents.

2) More in general: I'dd probably want more complex EG's, preferably with a loop function. Loopable EG´s can be used like extra LFO´s with fully programmable waveforms and would therfore fit rather well in (semi)modular systems like the Aalto and Kaivo.

Marc Brassé

Oops, I just spotted a repeat knob in EG2!


Dear Randy,


Sorry about my remark about the marketability of such concepts in general. I didn"t want to sound smug but was just thinking about how the physical hardware synths of the 90ties bombed when the analog revival hit. Of course I still hope this will make you all fabulously rich :-)

I also understand that asking for a standalone version proves my probably rather obscure reluctance to get into the software realm. It's just that my hardware studio works flawlessly. So why fix a problem that does not exist? This old dinosaur knows that any tool that isn't stable is a true creativity stopper. If you buy a coffee machine you want it make coffee right away don't you, in stead of having to wade through endless installation issues?

But let's not discuss me personal anxieties here.

I am realy looking forward to Kaivo and I'm glad that fall is nearing its end (:-)). In the meantime I'll have a look a the Aalto manual for those MIDI options.

Marc Brassé


I have been grazing the whole net for something like the Kaivo so seeing your preview really got me exited.

Normally I am a hardware only guy because I always had troubkle with PC based systems in the past (crashes, lost work, latency, you know the dril) but this piece of software can do things no hardware synth can. It reminds me a lot of my favourite synth: the totally underestimated Technics WSA acoustic modeling synth, which I love even more then all the “classics”. The WSA can however not load samples, let alone granulate them. So as far as I am concerned you guys just more or less found the holy grail of synthesis: User configurable exiters for physical modeled resonators!. The only improvement I could think of right now would be the inclusion of real additive re-synthises. Bu this will already do very nicely indeed (understatement!).

The only major question I have is: How controlable is it in real time? Can it react to all the major MIDI controllers? But since it comes from the guys who also build the Soundplane (for me yet another exiting find) that proabably won't be much of an issue.

So although this probably will not be a big seller because most people wil have trouble fully fathoming the whole concept it is almost exactly what I am searching for. Well done!

Other questions:

– When will it be avialble?
– What will it cost?
– Since the rest of my studio still is hardware based: Can it run standalone or is there a simple VST plugin host on which it will run?

Kind regards,

Marc Brassé