ForumsNews ← Kaivo preview

Here’s a video preview of Kaivo. Not all of the functions are final, but it’s getting very near its finished shape, and as you can hear, makes some very nice sounds!

Kaivo is designed to do physical modeling, which is to say it solves physics equations in real time. But unlike other physical modeling plugins so far, Kaivo is geared towards quick and easy experimentation that can get wild. Sounds rooted in physical reality, but headed for outer space. As with Aalto, my #1 goal is to help you get sounds that were difficult or impossible to make with your computer before. To surprise and delight seekers of the new and weird.

Kaivo will be released later this fall, and it will be reasonably priced. Stay tuned!

Just wanted to congratulate you on this upcomming release.

I really love Aalto and have been looking for a good granular synth for some time now. This looks like it + so much more.


Am I correct in reading the "voices" dial on your Kaivo demo, that it will allow for up to 10 voices?

Also, is there a plan for the next Aalto update to allow for more than 4 voices?


The granulator by Robert Henke a Max for Live Instrument. You can grab a sample on the fly and play it... If that was poosible in the KAIVO it would be fantastic to use it in my live setup.

  • Kaivo will not have an audio input, at least at first.

  • Kaivo has 8 voices.

  • Aalto will get more voices: not in the next update, but in the update after that.

Amazing work!

I love Aalto more than any synth I've ever used (hardware included.) Can't wait to start using this.

Now if you ever make a synth drum machine I don't think I'd ever be able to use any other instruments again, haha.

Amazing Work Randy ;) I make a lot of advertising about your synth ;)

The winter comes slow and slow. In Europe is Time change

What do you think Randy about the release? In November or December ? ;)

It looks great. I love that the interface is similar to aalto.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm going buy it right away, but damn, it's crying out for some "utility" modules!

I mean especially with those dual pitch inputs my mind goes to scaling or inverting. But also when scrubbing samples more rhythmic interrelations are always good.

Just an idea: you could put a "math" module on either side of the patch box to wire into. A dial that goes from .1 to 1 and can be positive or negative.

What's tilt? Distortion/Waveshaping? Physical modeling does well with distortion.

Good to see a limiter! I haven't used a physical modeling synth that I haven't exploded.

Hi Randy!
As an happy Aalto costumer, I'm really looking forward to play with your new creature. If there was some kind of discount for preorders I'd buy it right today!

I'm just saying "this fall..." Technically that gives me until mid-December but I hope to get it out sooner.

Thanks for the good comments.

Tilt will be a tone control EQ type filter inspired by Quad hifi amps! A neat circuit.

I have blown up many other physical modeling plugins from other makers as well—even ones that don't allow pitch bend!

marc0, thanks for the idea about preorders. I like to keep things simple on the purchasing side but it's good to remember I could do that if I needed to.

the attenuverters on every input allow you to scale and invert

an actual math module has been brought up before and randy showed some interest in maybe including something like it in aalto 2 (this was long ago so things may have changed)

the math module allows for operations like modulo

yes modulo utility… if you could split layers and recombine them……



Man I can't wait to give this grain baby a try!

Looking forward to this one! Looks like a next great synth.


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

The only major question I have is: How controlable is it in real time? Can it react to all the major MIDI controllers?

Yes, like Aalto you can map MIDI controllers into the patch matrix. For specifics, you can download the Aalto manual and investigate. Kaivo should be very similar here.

So although this proabbaly will not be a big seller because most people wil have trouble fully fathoming the whole concept

I guess I have to rely on enlightened buyers then...

When will it be avialble? – What will it cost? –

Later this fall, reasonably priced.

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?

A standalone version is a good idea but this is not possible yet. The development effort is not too hard and I will look at standalone versions in the coming year. In the meantime I or the community here can point to to good free or almost free hosts for Mac or Windows.

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

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!


So Randy, it's fall… Hehehehe. Any release date to share with us? :)

can't wait for it!

Are you looking for beta testers?

The beta is full now. I am working hard to finish this wonderful thing by mid-December.

fantastic, this is the only thing I would like in my christmas stocking

I'll go for it when released! I like what I saw/heard in the video. And I like Paul Bowles too. ;-) Didn't think anybody read him any more...

Ready to buy from day one here, Kaivo looks so cool, but a simpel question I has:

How does the sample load work? Drag'n'drop?

You put samples in a special directory and they will be loaded up. Or select "Import" to send them to this directory.

Chomping at the bit for this!

Really looking forward to this.

I really cannot wait for this, hope we can buy it soon!!!

Hey Randy,

Do you think Santa will have this ready for Christmas? : )