hardware and software for electronic music 

randy's Recent Posts

Mon, Jun 18, 2018, 17:00

June plugin updates: betas

I'm putting out an update of each plugin soon for stability / compatibility. Meanwhile I'll be releasing a few betas first for Mac and later for Windows.

http://madronalabs.com/media/aalto/Aalto1.8.3b5.pkg

version 1.8.3 changes:

  • added handling of "all notes off" and "all sound off" MIDI messages
  • fixed bugs with Scala .scl and .kbm handling
  • fixed issue with step sequencer not quantizing to current scale
  • fixed issue with step sequencer UI not reaching maximum when dragging
  • more to come...
Thu, Jun 14, 2018, 15:52

Hey, I got into the work on Scala and tuning. I fixed some bugs. With this particular scale you sent though, the problem is in the scale here. Generally you want ratios in between 1/1 and 2/1. Most of these are less than 1, then the last ratio jumps up to 2.

Instead I would start this idea 25/23, 21/19, and so on. The ratio 1/1 before the scale is a given and the rest of them should be monotonically increasing from there.

Thu, Jun 07, 2018, 12:39

It's the same as natural latex rubber foam. I'm sure there are a ton of suppliers you can find online.

Wed, Jun 06, 2018, 10:13

V2 is a ways off yet, gotta finish sumu first for starters.

Wed, Jun 06, 2018, 10:12

you can search this site by typing into google: "site:madronalabs.com" followed by your search.

I haven't seen any sharing of wavetables.

Wed, Jun 06, 2018, 10:08

It's not going to be super accurate, because a kora has such a special body. But I bet if you play around with gut string resonators and a large box body you can get something evocative.

Wed, May 30, 2018, 14:22

My guess would also be CPU use. If you turn the number of voices down to 1 it's an easy way to check this without messing with audio buffer sizes. Increasing the audio buffer size can be an effective fix.

Fri, Feb 13, 2015, 14:32

Call for input: Soundplane to CV module

This year it seems desirable and possible for Madrona Labs to make a Soundplane to CV device. This would be primarily a Eurorack module, but the circuit could also be built into its own enclosure for use with vintage synths etc.

Normally I do most of my design work in private, and only announce a product when it's pretty much done. But we (Brian and I) are going to change it up this time. Because neither of us is that deeply into the Eurorack world, it makes sense to solicit input early on in the process this time. This is going to be a utility device (though hopefully an elegant one) — so before we get too far along, let's make sure it will be useful to you!

The basic idea

USB jack for powering the Soundplane. Module puts out CV / gates / mod outputs for individual touches. Like the Soundplane app, a zone map decides how the Soundplane surface is divided up into notes and what those notes are. You can switch between zone maps, and the name of the current one should be displayed somehow. Aside from this, visual feedback will be at least an LED per Z value. To keep costs low, probably nothing too graphical or fancy.

We're looking for input on things like:

How many voices?

Each voice of touch output will probably have 4 outputs for pitch, x, y and z. Setting up many voices on a modular is not the way most people use them, so I'm guessing that two voices of output will take care of 90% of what people want. We would probably add an expander module for more voices.

Any interesting modes?

A switch that changes z (pressure) into a strict on/off gate might be useful. Any other things like this?

Layout?

individual voice groups vertical or horizontal? voice outputs at bottom or top? I'm thinking top, because a USB jack on the bottom will go to the Soundplane.

Power?

The module will need roughly 250mA at 5v to power the Soundplane. Brian will correct me if I'm wrong. Then there's whatever computing and display the module needs to do, and the outputs. Do we need our own power supply, or a list of compatible Euro power supplies that we can point people to? Any choices in connectivity to make here?

Finally, we're still looking for a great name…

Mon, May 13, 2013, 13:45

Aalto T-shirts!

Just in time for summer, Aalto T-shirts are now in stock! Oft-requested and long-awaited, these shirts are the first physical artifacts besides the Soundplane to come out of the Labs. They start out soft, will wear in gracefully and are likely to give you super patching powers.

We asked our good friend David Chandler to tidy up his Aalto manual cover for a larger reproduction size, and printed it in a subtle aqua gradient on American Apparel’s Sustainable Edition organic cotton shirts in Galaxy Blue. Nerdy yet surfy!

We are selling these nice shirts for $20. Shipping is by US First Class Mail, for $4 within the USA and $16 internationally. PayPal will add these costs automatically when you enter your shipping adress.

Select a unisex size and click to buy:
EDIT:
SOLD OUT except for size small.

Thu, Mar 06, 2014, 08:17

STICKY: Kaivo patch thread

A place for Kaivo patches! Just select copy to clipboard from the patch menu, and paste here to share.

Fri, May 18, 2018, 07:56

By pressure I guess you mean note-on velocity? [edit] I guess if you don't mind a "pulse" that is not a constant amplitude you could map amplitude directly to pressure. Seems worth trying at least!

Mon, May 14, 2018, 13:23

Hi there,

I'm still working to get a local search online or find a better forum software. Meanwhile you can use google to search within only this site like so:

"site:madronalabs.com Kaivo" (for example)

Sun, May 13, 2018, 18:35

We have to get the touches working now and see what extra features make sense to implement. I hear that a selectable length trigger might be nice to have.

Fri, May 11, 2018, 01:32

The granulator is the input to the physical models that follow. The input to models is also called the exciter sometimes. The exciter determines what comes out of the models, because for the most part only frequencies that are in the exciter can be in the output.

I say "for the most part" because a nonlinear model can produce frequencies not in its input. However nonlinear effects here are a small portion of the sound.

It may help to think of the models as collections of delays and reverbs. fundamentally there is no difference.

Tue, May 08, 2018, 04:49

Yeah, it's hard to say what my relationship to that platform could be. Aaltoverb or other free things I might release in the future seem a natural fit. Beyond that I don't know. I'm not against it.

Mon, May 07, 2018, 12:59

It's gonna have a display. Top dial selects a parameter and then the bottom dial changes that parameter. Both changes are shown on the display.

Mon, Apr 30, 2018, 11:48

Berlin Bound for Superbooth 2018

I'm doing one last load of laundry, have my boarding pass printed out, passport on the desk where I won't forget it, excited to be headed to Berlin for Superbooth 2018 in a few hours. It's the first public event of its kind I've done in a Madrona Labs capacity for several years, at least. I plan to meet a bunch of my customers, hear some concerts, and do a lot of talking about what's next in the World of Shiny Things that Make Noises.

packing

We already know what the next shiny thing from Madrona Labs will be. The Soundplane-cv is a 12HP Eurorack module that powers the Soundplane and listens to it over USB, and puts out up to four touches as control voltages and gates, for a total of 16 outputs: gate, and assignable x y and z per touch. Brian and I did a big push on this project this month, and we now have finished hardware to poke at and talk about. The Mac still does a much better Soundplane demo, so we won't be demoing the Soundplane-cv, but we are very close to completing it. They will be available this summer.

Now where's my passport?

Mon, Apr 30, 2018, 07:43

I'm glad to hear your nice comments on the interface, thank you!

MIDI learn has been a long time request and I will definitely be adding it.

Mon, Apr 30, 2018, 07:41

OK, I hear all this and am sorry you can't use my instruments right now. I'm eager to fix this situation.

Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 21:53

Maybe you are thinking of some plugin from a different company? Guru doesn't live here, sorry.

Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 08:05

I've been looking at the Roland JV-1080 softsynth! Those sounds are very cool and of a certain time and a million miles away from what I will ever do...

Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 08:03

What would I know? I just work here.

Wed, Aug 09, 2017, 11:16

Kaivo 1.3.3 beta available

I've fixed a few issues and uploaded a new beta version for intrepid Kaivo users: Kaivo1.3.3b1.

This beta is for Mac OS only. I plan to ship the final Mac version as well as the Windows version next week. I'll also update the other plugins with the relevant fixes then.

changes:

  • bugfix: the sequencer was not retriggering from reset input
  • bugfix: .kbm mappings were not always using all notes
  • bugfix: .kbm mappings were not setting reference note properly
  • fixed a rare condition where the metal string resonator could lock up

If you noticed any changes in how your patches behaved after installing Kaivo 1.3.1, hopefully the sequencer fix will get them back in shape.

Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 08:02

There is no doubt that I will be continuing to improve Kaivo and all the plugins. Right now there has been longer between updates than usual because I'm working on other things.

All my plugins are considered ready for sale at version 1.0. After that they continue to improve, hopefully.

Mon, Apr 23, 2018, 08:47

The next release will not be about optimization, but rather fixes to scale and note handling and some other bugs that are on the list. I hope these address your stability issues.

I'm currently working on another project for Superbooth coming up next week. Afterwards I'll return to plugin work full time.

Thanks for your support and your patience.

Mon, Apr 23, 2018, 08:44

I am really liking the design! If Kaivo is granular meets physical modeling, then Sumu is additive meets FM. More soon.

Fri, Apr 20, 2018, 12:43

Thanks for sending the example and the additional comment. Hopefully this helps me track it down ASAP. Apparently some scale+kbm combinations are not working. I'm taking a look at this today. It's the same code in all of the plugins so if it's not working in Aalto there's no need to try it in Kaivo and so forth.

Wed, Mar 28, 2018, 09:26

It's Aalto T-shirts!

Five years ago, I did a small run of Aalto T-shirts. It was fun making them but with all the printing and shipping and paperwork it took up roughly a couple of weeks of my time so I've never done it again... until now!

aalto shirt

The key was finding a US-based fulfillment company called Printful that prints shirts to order. I made a test shirt using their process and I've been wearing it a lot. The charcoal tri-blend fabric is very soft and has a nicely textured look. This detail photo shows it after being machine washed four times, and the colors haven't faded at all. I like that the digital print is not crackly like plastic process shirt inks are and so far, it seems more durable. These are very nice shirts.

aalto shirt, detail

Another big benefit of using Printful is that they print to order in Europe! This means that my European customers can actually get a shirt for an affordable price. Wherever you are located, I hope it will be a pleasure to purchase through them because I'm very protective of your experience when you do anything Madrona Labs-related. So please keep me posted.

tl;dr: simply click the following button to...

Get that sweet Aalto T-shirt!

A form will pop up to enter your size, then a second page lets you select your shipping and payment options. I've set up shipping for North America and Europe. Shipping rates should be as follows: USA: $5 (first shirt) / $1 (each addl.) Canada: $8 / $1. Mexico: $10 / $1. Europe: $9 / $5. If you can't find your country on the form, give me a shout and I'll see if I can add it. Enjoy!

NOTE: The European shipping rates include the VAT of $4 per shirt.

Thu, Apr 12, 2018, 18:33

Of course: email me at support@madronalabs.com and I'll sort it out.

Sat, Apr 07, 2018, 10:34

I can look into adding some kind of expert UI for this. As a workaround I would suggest just making a duplicate of your Scala tuning like "MyAwesomeTuning_A432.scl" and an associated .kbm.