hardware and software for electronic music 

thetechnobear's Recent Posts

Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 08:29

he he, i know how that goes ;)

what was the issue with the kernel panics? when i looked at this (on eigend) it was due to completion events being returned to a process that had been stopped/killed ... so all i could do was to ensure the process closed cleanly.
did you find another fix?

Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 04:17

Have you had a chance to fix1.6 yet? I’d love to move to it, and also look at porting my code to it.
Thanks Mark

Fri, Dec 22, 2017, 09:03

ah, those are the pesky kind of bugs...
hope the fix is not too difficult.

Thu, Dec 21, 2017, 07:05

oops, bad news... the OSC t3d output seems to be broken...

its not working with Aalto properly, and when i look at the underlying osc message I can see its hanging on to notes that have been released, and its transmitting all 16 touches on every update.

ive tried resetting to factory defaults , recalibating, changing touches, rotate - all make no difference.

note: the touches display looks absolutely fine, so seems to be OSC.
note2: though ive not tested MPE... so could be interface between the touch model and the outputs.

Im going to have to rollback, or rather reinstall 1.5 for now :(

Thu, Dec 21, 2017, 06:49

ooh, great news, can't wait to try this...
thanks for the continued development.

look forward to digging into the source again in the new year.

Tue, Nov 07, 2017, 11:22

unfortunately, all my macs are on 10.12 now, soon going to be testing 10.13

one thing, apple change the usb stack significantly on 10.11...
but for my development, the issues i encountered were the other way - things working on 10.10, started crashing on 10.11+ ( they have been slowly improving). that said, i didn't have to alter anything (other than ensuring the apps closed down the usb connection correctly).
sorry, not helpful, but perhaps useful to know why 10.10 is likely to be different to 10.12 (and probably 10.11/10.13)

is the code base now stable, and in GitHub? or are you still working on it?
are the changes done for the embedded/eurorack system?

if its not under going significant changes, Id like to update my fork, to bring in some of my changes (midi/note offset visualisation)...
and also use if for rPI etc (will be interesting to see performance impact on non-desktop systems)

Mon, Nov 06, 2017, 16:06

works fine here ... macOS 10.12.6 :)

Thu, Sep 07, 2017, 05:01

@Sanne.... this works as expected for me in Live 9.7.4 / Mac OS X.
i.e. in arrangement , start record, it tracks all changes, when you switch presets it records the new values, and subsequent changes...
and no need to hit rearm automation.
(it works identical in Aalto as for other plugins e.g. u-he diva/ace )

one thing you do need to be careful of, is when you do playback, you must start aalto in the same state as you did when recording ... which Randy in his OP alluded too.

you can achieve this in one of two ways

  • use a program change on the recorded clip (MIDI Programs folder)
  • when you start recording, switch to your starting preset (and hence save all automation values)

as fars as I see this achieves what you want... i.e. start recording, select preset, alter values to get a nice sound, repeat many times... then use playback, and find the place you liked... stop, and hit 'save preset as'

note: when you do playback it will NOT change preset name, this is because ableton is as such recording the preset change, just recording the values of the preset.
... btw: i didnt try changing presets via Program change messages, Id assume that would be recorded. (though you'd have to be careful between sessions to NOT change your program ordering )

@randy, I dont think aalto needs to track changes, surely this is exactly what DAWs do with automation, why replicate the functionality... the only thing id prefer, is an easier/quicker way to assign program changes. perhaps just assign to existing presets into different banks/programs #. (rather than copying presets around)

Wed, Aug 02, 2017, 06:48

ideally what Id like is...

a) updated Aalto with more voices but apart from that the same.

b) a completely new instrument, kind of similar to Aalto ,but not Aalto 2, that would not need to be patch compatible i.e. not limited/shackled to what Aalto does already (so well)

(u-he are doing this with Zebra 3, they already have said it will not be compatible with Zebra ... I think they said they will allow imports of patches, but they may/will sound different)

I do agree about Kaivo, I don't use it as much as I thought I would (and no where near as much as Aalto) because its resonance peaks are really hard to contain... I find its quite a small zone of usability, perhaps within only an octave. (pitch can wander too, but I think thats part of the beast)

anyway, Id love to see another out n out synth from ML...
also perhaps we can skip the sequencer, so we can have a bit more UI real estate for voice control... I know alot use the sequencer, but is it not easier to just use the sequencing/automation facilities already present in every daw (or use a MIDI sequencer VST)

Tue, Jul 25, 2017, 02:58

if I want to build, is the 'embedded' branch, the latest and greatest? and are all the necessary changes to madronalib already checked in?

also do you know if the cpu load has dropped with the new tracker?

generally, thinking about updating my fork, to get my midi goodies... and also the mec repo, so I can test it again on my bela.

Sat, Jul 22, 2017, 15:19

so I got distracted and left the SP turned on for about an hour or so, untouched - when I came back there were lots of green patches in the middle...I had to turn it to 0.20 to get rid of them all.
but then by chance, I decided to hit 'recalibrate' ... and they all disappeared, even when turned down to 0.10 .. is this what you would expect?

Mon, Jul 17, 2017, 02:33

this is all great news :)

if you can improve the boundaries, that will make a huge difference for me, in the previous version I rarely used the top/bottom rows, as I couldn't be 100% sure it'd trigger the correct note.

when doing the boundaries, perhaps you can also work out (or even estimate) the useable area of the top and bottom row, so that why can be scaled to that...
e.g. if 50% of the top row perhaps its better, to have Y run 0..1 over that 50%?

another observation, so you talked about x/y and turning up to x10, and then using lo thresh to get rid of green patches... so I did this (though even without , I wasn't getting false triggers) , I turned it up to about 0.12-0.13 (default of 0.10).. and they disappeared, but noticed after about 5 minutes of playing, they seem to be appearing again, so turned it to .14, gone, then a few minutes, .15 etc...
but got distracted, turned off the SP/SP app... can back after a while, and noticed I could turned it down to .12/3 again
always the green patches in the same area (centre, most played/worn ? ... I couldn't really figure if this was a 'software' issue, or if the surface is 'warming up', perhaps not returning to the 'same point'


( as I said, it wasn't causing any false triggers, I was merely following your instructions above-- so perhaps this is expected, nothing to 'worry' about)

Sun, Jul 16, 2017, 07:39

This version definitely feels like a great improvement - congratulations, thank you for putting in the effort to bring about these improvements.

generally, I think the close touches register much better, and its a more consistent feel, and its great to not have the calibration step :)

a couple of things
midi, is still a bit hit n miss for me, in particular the velocity is a bit on/off still... also if you try quickly alternate between 2 different notes quickly, sometimes this will be considered a PB rather than new notes. ( the lopass , seems to have no affect on this)... if you x/y view you can see its thought of as a slide rather than a new touch.

i usually use OSC, and pressure rather than noteon/envelopers so its not a big deal for me, but to use with non ML mpe synths, improving these would help alot.

calibration, as i said seems to work well without it, the only exception to this, is i notice that sometimes the 'line' between row 1/2 , 4/5 is not detected as straight. so if you play a note high on row 2, somtimes it play as row 1, or a note low Y on row 4, it detects as row 5.
obviously this only is an issue if you play with 5 rows of notes, which I like to do, to give me a bit more range (of notes).
... what would nice is if we could draw the row boundaries with our fingers (in a calibration mode), then the software could use these to find the notes, and interpolate the Y position.

it is only an issue in a few places on the board, so i currently play around it.

as you say, I'm also getting used to the fact, that if you play one touch, hold it, and add another touch close (so a chord) it does require more pressure - guess it will take a short while to get used to this, but definitely worthwhile for the other advantages.

as i said really grateful for the effort you have put into it, its hard to tell with 'feel', but from my initially playing it does feel like a big improvement.

Big thanks

p.s. let me us know when the source code is up to date for SP and ML repo, as id like to update my fork to use the new code :)

Fri, Jun 30, 2017, 02:19

I'll pause the Soundplane work

oh, don't do that, Ive been holding my breath, and I'm going to implode if it doesn't arrive soon ;)

Sun, Jun 25, 2017, 12:03

yes, Ive been running some of the soundplane code on bela.

basically Ive take a subset of madronalib and soundplanelib, and put it in the project I'm working on (called MEC).

you can find it here,

its under mec-api/devices/soundplanelite

Ive found Bela is not really quite powerful enough to run the full touch tracker... its close, but not quite there. it is however ok for the raw data.

However, Randy is working on a new version of the touch tracker code, which I believe he previously said should take less cpu, so once that is ready I will move over to this newer code.

note: this is with a soundplane model A, ive no idea how compatible/or not, this is with the DIY version.

Sun, Jan 22, 2017, 14:48

Soundplane software

any news on further development on the Soundplane software, in particular the touch tracker? are you likely to be looking over that code base any time soon?

Ive been doing some more work on MEC, my project which provides a standalone solution for the Soundplane (and Eigenharp), basically turning things like rPI/BBB into 'intelligent dongles' , so the Soundplane can be more like 'a standalone instrument' rather than a computer controller.


currently works with Eigenharps and Soundplane, and connecting too MPE devices (im using the Axoloti to make it computer independent :))

if your back into 'Soundplane' mode, it'd be great to discuss a few thoughts i have. as Im getting a little bit too much latency with the Soundplane due to the CPU requirements of the touch tracker.

so not sure if I can get some performance gains, or really need to move to something more powerful, the O-Driod C2 is quite a tempting candidate, given the rPI3 wont work.

anyway, I know, not much point in discussing unless your actively looking at the Soundplane software... since I think its quite a while since you were look at that code base.

Mon, Jun 19, 2017, 15:32

Sounds like an excellent challenge, look forward to seeing the results

Wed, Jun 14, 2017, 10:54

I like the idea of this with MPE, but how would it work?

it seems to me, that if you have mono voices, and then a separate component taking these as input and processing the same MPE messages as the synth.
then you are relying on some kind of fixed allocation e.g. channel 2 = voice output 1, 3 = vo2.

this works in a simplistic way, but most mpe enabled synths do not have this fixed relationship ... the voice number is not related to the channel number directly (of course its tracked, so that messages from that channel are routed appropriately)

this I think is done for 2 reasons:

  • the midi channel range may be greater than number of voices, and also it may be using rotating channels. (e.g. its setup for channels 2-15) but only hits a synth with 4 voices... it should still work, just your limited to 4 voices.

  • mpe allows for polyphony on one midi channel e.g. say you have an mpe zone, with only 4 midi channels allocated, it allows for you to still play (e.g) 6 notes, albeit that you only get per note expression on 4 of the notes.

ok, I know aalto doesn't do either of these things, but certainly I think it should do the first one at least.

Wed, Jun 14, 2017, 10:38

oooh, beta... now I'm excited :)

Wed, Jun 14, 2017, 05:10

Is in the first sticky thread, on this sub forum ( Soundplane client for Mac)


Probably should be a link to it in the Soundplane production page too.

(Or perhaps I missed it ?)

Tue, May 16, 2017, 12:06

Of the USB to MIDI DIN solutions, aren't they mostly USB Devices?

yes, most are, which is why you want to support usb hosting by being a usb host ;)

Mon, May 15, 2017, 01:25

USB devices are hosted, this is not limited to controllers e.g. A synth that has a USB interface would require USB host, supporting USB midi class compliance.
This is becoming increasing common, and makes sense for MPE hardware given the bandwidth requirements of the data.

It also largely makes din irrelevant, since there are lots of USB to din solutions , which contain flexible routing options, I guess it's convienient but takes up rack space.

As for iOS , as long as you are class compliant it's not an issue, it just works - this is how we connect Axoloti to iOS.

Fri, May 12, 2017, 03:24

Is the midi for Soundplane output? If so USB midi ihost is better than midi din.

Thu, Apr 27, 2017, 13:22

excellent work :)
ok, I'll hold off a bit, shout when your ready - excited here too!

Thu, Apr 27, 2017, 03:00

Hi randy, How is the new touch tracking software going?

I've seen the check-ins on the repo, is it a stage where its worth playing with? testing? have you been mainly working on detection, or also lowering cpu loads?

If there is anything I can do to help, let me know

p.s. great to see you having some time for this, thank you for your efforts.

Fri, Dec 04, 2015, 02:52

Synths for Soundplane

I did this list for someone else, but thought it might be valuable here....

so what synths do you use with the Soundplane? and support MPE etc?

(I know we all have and enjoy Aalto/Kaivo... but Im sure many use others , no?)

anyway ,this is not an exhaustive list, more the ones I use,
but before we start we should group into categories

  • MPE, fully supports MPE ( or at least notionally, including PB range)
  • MPE compatible, actually really this is 'continuum' mode, polyphonic x/y/z via Ch Pres, CC74, PB, may need configuring/scripts etc, not 'automatic'
  • Voice per channel - polyphonic x/y/z but uses different CCs etc
  • Multitimbral, any of these can be used 'as' voice per channel, but some are easier than others, due to how parts can be duplicated/linked etc (Im not going to list)


  • Madrona Labs Aalto
  • Madrona Labs Kaivo
  • NI Reaktor (with my blocks/macros in user library)
  • Oscillot (M4L, Ive a modular for this if anyone is interested)


  • Axoloti (hardware)
  • Madrona Labs Aalto
  • Madrona Labs Kaivo
  • Futuresonus Parava (hardware -I don't have it)
  • Softube Modular (via 'RISE' module)

(ok, none are strictly compliant yet, but very close)

MPE Compatible

  • NI Reaktor (with my blocks/macros in user library)
  • UVI Falcon (since 1.0.2)
  • PPG Wavegenerator / Wavemapper
  • FXP Strobe 2
  • Max/MSP

Voice Per Channel

  • U-he Bazille
  • U-he ACE
  • U-he Diva
  • U-he Hive
  • Logic Pro X (various inbuilt synths)


  • Cubase Pro (possibly Artist) - per note expression
  • Bitwig - MPE support
  • Logic Pro X - can host VSTs very well, and some built-in synths are multi channel , but no recoding facility, need to use track channel or audio
  • Ableton Live - a pain, need to use track per channel or audio

BTW: Id really recommend checking out UVI Falcon, its turned into a powerhouse for MPE controllers :)

Wed, Apr 05, 2017, 05:15

yes, you'll need the soundplane client - but I'm working on eliminating the laptop ;) see MEC

with this I'm currently able to run the Soundplane on a raspberry PI,
which can be battery powered, which then connects directly to hardware synths... testing with Axoloti and my Virus so far.

not yet finished/released, I'm still working on it, but it works, just a matter of finding the time to complete it ;)

Wed, Mar 29, 2017, 04:45

What is a simple host? One users necessity is another's complexity.
Eg why a recorder, but no midi clock? What about send fx, given virta?
Fullscreen would be nice, for small screens, but a bit bare for larger ones ;)

One idea, perhaps integrate it into the soundplane app?
(soundplane tabs could be hidden when not needed)
So no extra app to maintain, and could make the soundplane act like a standalone instrument (direct communication to plugin rather than IPC), similar to what eigenlabs did with eigend.

Wed, Mar 29, 2017, 04:35

Cool, it's really interesting to hear your progress

Wed, Mar 22, 2017, 03:54

my experience with the BBB/Bela (A9 1Ghz running Xenomai) was it was the higher level TT code that ate all the cpu, it coped fine on the lower level stuff and 'crude detection' layer, but struggles with the full tracker. (the rPI2, now its kernel is fixed, runs fine, but thats got 4 cores)

I look forward to hearing how you get on, improved efficiency in the TT will help us all :)

will the firmware be open sourced?
it seems in many ways, we are going in a similar direction...