phil999's Recent Posts

truly a work of art. Magnificent. Thank you very much.

this is a very good demonstration of the first Buchla modular system. Touch surfaces, sequencers, and - rarely used - microphone input.

The descriptions of each module are quite interesting, but you can skip to the middle part with her patches. At the end there are some funny bloopers.

it is of course a good idea.

also thanks from me, this is a fine interview.

From early on I had sympathy with the creator of Madrona Labs, but the focus was more on the products. The Soundplane, Aalto, etc. As years go by, the likemindedness appears more and more apparent. We, including the users of these instruments, pull on a similar string. This is something beautiful.

with Lemur (iOS/Android app) I made a bi-directional controller for Aalto, using the Generic Remote Device in Cubase. That was ten years ago. This works really well, invites to quite unusual sessions where the beginning patch is altered into a completely new patch. But the main use is when changing patches in Aalto, the controller displays the exact position of knobs and sliders.

Recently, there is a new method available in Cubase for bi-directional control, called MIDI Remote. I adapted the old Lemur template to this, and it works well for knobs and sliders, but not for the switches.

The mapping process in MIDI Remote is simple. One assigns each knob to each Aalto parameter with mouse clicks. Very convenient.

Somehow the GUI of MadronaLabs instruments do not register the mouse clicks on switches for the Cubase MIDI Remote. It is not a problem, I can still use the old Generic Remote Device method. I just wanted to bring this to your attention.

it works fine with Aaltoverb, but Aaltoverb has no switches. Knobs and faders work fine with the VST's, only the switches do not work. I will try out with Sumu and future instruments when they're ready.

As mentioned, it is not important. And there are other ways (not many) for bi-directional control.

it seems that every well informed and serious developer of virtual instruments is considering CLAP. A good trend.

I agree. $30 might be a good introduction price for the first month, then the official price of $50-60 or even higher. However this will possibly create a huge sale at the beginning, and then later only sporadic sales. And then there will come the question: 'what does Aalto better than my other 20 polyphonic synths I already have?'.

A rather clever approach did Imoxplus with its iOS version of the excellent Respiro instrument. The app is free, with a couple of good sounds, but no editing and saving. One can load patches exported from the desktop software, so users with a desktop license can do much more with the iOS app, while the others can enjoy the internal sounds without paying anything. The patch import is hardware specific, it can only be imported to a specific (machine number) iOS device. To prevent pirated patches.

For Aalto it would be different, sound editing should be allowed of course, but maybe just prevent saving (and import from desktop version).

The third option is to do a $10 version with no saving, and a $100 version with saving.

Yeah, not easy to decide which way to go. Maybe make a poll in the forum? I could do that, people know me there.

thank you for the hint, this looks fascinating.

today I used Aalto as reference to determine the pitchbend range for my Kenton USB MIDI/CV interface, and it was very difficult, rather impossible to find the right setting.

MIDI keyboard -> Aalto with initial preset (no modulations)
MIDI keyboard -> Scala Relayer -> Kenton -> VCO

It turns out Aalto is slightly off between C# and H when using .scl files, because after a while I used Diva as reference, and could immediately determine the Kenton pitchbend range of 2 semitones. Diva, the VCO, and later FM8, lined up perfectly. When played at the same time there were only slow beatings for a note or two. Aalto was the only one that created heavy beatings, so it is clear to me that Aalto's tuning system is not quite correct.

I used sine waves and the identical .scl file (dorian_schl) for all synths (except FM8 which I tuned by ear). The VCO is a Furtherrr Generator which is a very stable analogue oscillator with perfect scaling over many octaves. So I'm sure I eliminated all possible error sources.

I've used microtunings a lot with Aalto, but this is the first time I discovered this error.

Not a big problem, only a detail. I just thought I'd mention it after discovering. When Virta is released, maybe you'll find some time to replicate this behavior, and have a look what could be the reason. No hurry at all.

I had to edit my entire post, because I know the problem, but somehow couldn't replicate it anymore. Which is good. But also very, very confusing.

just as an idea: save all patches that you like. They land in the user preset folder (MIDI Programs). All patches in that folder can be accessed via MIDI Preset Change commands. This can be very useful.

very glad to hear that.

And this IAA and iPadOS thing made me laugh. Only one week since my last post and things have changed quite fundamentally. And I forgot about the fact that MadronaLabs synths are already vector based.

AU and standalone would be good.

Looking forward to the future developments.

it looks like there will be a couple of free apps using the now open source Mutable Instruments resources. Although I would guess that Madrona Labs apps would be successful despite those announced MI apps, I would probably hesitate if I were Randy.

I think there are a couple of hurdles. Things have changed. In today's iOS world, the distinguished customer expects full iOS integration with support for Ableton Link's latest version, AU's latest version, IAA latest, as well as the current Audiobus integration. This is quite something, it needs a seasoned expert to accomplish this task. Synth apps usually need to be updated regularly. And there are the iOS updates too, which - again - regularly pose fundamental and painful problems to developers. Also there may appear problems with different devices, iPad Pro, different resolutions, etc. Maybe a collaboration with such a seasoned developer would make sense. A collaborator who would ideally also take care of customer support, otherwise this software forum would be floated with problems and requests from a completely new corner.

From my personal point of view, I would love to have Madrona Labs apps on my iPad, especially since I own a Sensel Morph controller (Madrona Labs synths belong to the few that really go well with this controller, or similar controllers).

To help with this problem, I may be able to contact certain iOS developers. But I understand fully if Randy decides against it, I would probably decide against it too if I were him. But who knows, sometimes opens a window with an opportunity, and things go easily.

Soundplane integration is another important topic. Some Soundplane owners would like to use the app, and how do you connect? This is going to be rather complicated. But not impossible.

I used Virta a lot with microphone and voice in a band room that is no more, and in my home studio I don't do voice effects often. It's one of the most interesting audio effects I know.

a new platform means also more work with support. I think this can become difficult for a small company. A good thing is to outsource this task. The gentlemen at Audulus do this very well. There is one who posts often in forums, proposes solutions for problems, works actively on hardware integration. Which gives the developer enough time to focus on his work.

yes parameter lock would be a good addition also for other purposes.

Aalto is a well suited plugin for polyphonic aftertouch keyboards. Madrona Labs synths not only makes one happy, they keep one happy for a long time.

it appears that there is a need for a .kbm file as well, when loading a .scl file. However many if not most softsynths with Scala support don't have Scala Keyboard Mapping support.

you probably know this site already:

Many articles about .scl and .kbm problematic with softsynths.

it's low priority for me too. Good to know that it doesn't seem hard to do. In Harrison Mixbus it is already possible to access plugin parameters via OSC, including feedback, but it's only possible there (and in Ardour I guess). And (in Mixbus) it gets a bit complicated if the plugin is not in the first slot (although this might change in the coming months).

sorry if I continue to state the obvious, but you can save a new text file anytime. Maybe your problem lies in the saving of the file?

  1. go to "My licenses" on this webpage. Click "show key" and click inside the text. Press ctrl+a to select the entire text (note that there is a blank area at the bottom).
  2. copy to clipboard with ctrl+c
  3. open Notepad and paste the content from the clipboard.
  4. save the text file. Now you should have a license text file that surely will work.

it would be interesting to access plugin parameters via OSC, as well as parameter feedback to the controller/programmer. Note input would be, as usual, MIDI notes from host, MIDI clock sync from host, or OSC note input from Soundplane.

We could then build OSC-based programmers in e.g. Lemur to change parameters while playing or while playing back recorded notes, or while running a self-playing patch. Additionally, the plugins would send parameter changes upon preset change, while editing parameters with the mouse, and during DAW-automated parameter changes. Every parameter would instantly reflect on the programmer surface.

But I understand that this could be difficult to do, there may be conflicts with Soundplane inputs, etc. I just thought, after discovering this forum topic, it may be worth considering.

in Windows' Notepad you may want to activate Format/Word Wrap.

Open the text file containing your license. Then you highlight all the lines that include the license code, but only these lines. And all of it, including the blank area at the end. Once the code is highlighted, select Edit/Copy. This puts the code into Windows' clipboard.

When you run your VST host (DAW application), load Aalto, and click on the top right area. The license code will instantly be pasted into Aalto. You should now have a fully licensed copy.

I would welcome VCV modules from MadronaLabs, but as far as I know there is no copy protection for commercial modules. Maybe smaller freeware modules could be an idea.

Softube Modular is another platform, where time investment for high end modules possibly would make more sense. It is protected with iLok.

But it may not take long until such platforms (there are more) will have VST/AU hosting capabilities, and it may make more sense to continue developing these plugin standards.

sure it would be nice to have standalone MadronaLabs synths, but as mentioned there are simple ways to host a plugin.

my observations concern only multi-instrumental situations, where Aalso is one of those instruments.

If one uses Aalso only, there are of course no problems.

great news because sometimes I use computers with slow CPU.

today I compared three softsynths, Aalto, Z3TA, and Diva. With 12-tone tunings, Z3TA and Diva correlate (as well as Scala Relayer and analogue VCO). Aalto does not. But I don't think it is some kind of oscillator drift. And I used a patch with one voice (no polyphony). The only logical conclusion is that Aalto does not interpret the tuning file correctly.

However, when I try non-12-tone tunings, all synths spread apart, no correlation except for the one reference note. I have no idea why is that. Tuning synths together is a very difficult task!