ForumsSoftware ← questions - new user

Hi all,

At this moment I am still demoing because I cannot choose whther I want to get Aalto or Kaivo first - I started with a preference for Kaivo but Aalto seems to be winning the race. (I'll get the other one later, and maybe Virta also)

OK, to business: I like your manuals but they don't give some essential information. If I haven't read over it that is.

1/ Aalto: I am confused about the CC+1 and CC+2 outs. There seems to be no way for me to assign them anywhere. Mod has the modwheel, what cc triggers 1 and 2? Of course the pitcbend wheel would be a good candidate for one...

2/ Kaivo: Is it normal that I cannt use my own wav sample in demo mode? How long can such a sample be? Can I set the length of the grain? Can I use all samples etc etc...

I may have more questions later on, but I can already tell you thatAalto (which I have most played with) is addictive.



Welcome aboard and thanks for the good words.

The "mod cc#" dial controls the number of the cc message that comes out of the "mod", "+1", and "+2" outputs. So if you set the dial to "14", the three outputs send the values of CC messages 14, 15, and 16. This is in the manual on p.32–33. The explanation could probably be better.

The pitchbend control is added to pitch before coming out the pitch output of the KEY module. As you note, it can't be assigned to anything else. I have never seen a synth that's able to to that, so I never really thought of it! MIDI kind of sets us up for this because pitch bend is not a CC#, it's a separate kind of message.

I think Kaivo should let you import samples in demo mode. The readme file that comes with the installer has a quick rundown of how to make your own multichannel files if you want to do that. Otherwise you can just use the "import" feature in the granulator. If you are just adding your own files by hand, you have to move them into the Madrona Labs directory. There is a maximum length of 8 seconds for the sample files so if you just moved them in yourself, it may be choking on that.

Grain length is totally independent from sample files and is set up in the granulator engine by the "pitch" and "rate" and "overlap" dials.

I don't know what you mean by "can I use all samples."

Out of the two synthesizers I recommend getting started with Aalto, it's the main one a lot of people reach for every day, and you don' t need external samples to make great sounds. Kaivo is more specialized.

Thank you for your quick reply.
You are right about pitchbend. Of course you are. My bad. Blame it on my enthusiasm. Midi has never been my speciality...
I re-read the passage on the three different outputs, Mod, CC+1 and CC+2, and now it is clear. So your explanation was really helpful.
I will try again to import a sample into Kaivo. I prefer to have my samples on a separate ssd. But although I love all things granular, Aalto will indeed be the first. If I grasp its structure, Kaivo will be a lot easier. I like the tutorial series you have on YouTube.

Some extra information: I use CuBase 9 on a Win7Pro machine and Aalto and Kaivo work fine in it. I also use a QuNexus keyboard for experimental work because of its aftertouch. Again no problems, and aftertouch really works well with both synths.

Being a lover of Risset, Bayle, Roads etc, even Xenakis your synths are really what I was looking for, but it's a small miracle I found 'Aalto' mentioned and decided to take a look on YouTube. And the sound quality is very good, really.

If I have more questions, I won't hesitate to ask them.
Just one more night's sleep or so over it, and I'll get my Aalto license.

O, by the way: do you know savvyhost ? (
Instead of having to open big truck CuBase, I can open any single synth in it. Just copy the savvyhost.exe to the location where the dll resides, rename it to the exact same name as the dll and double click the exe. To test things out it is really very handy.
It replaces standalone mode.

thanks again, and 'till soon.

kind regards,


Other people have asked for the ability to store Kaivo samples on a different disk. I'll be adding that feature when I can.

I do use Seib's VSTHost sometimes on Windows. For really quick launching I use the "Plugin Host" that comes with JUCE. You have to compile it yourself though.

Compile I cannot. I am not a coder. I'm very happy when I can create some sound I like.
I use Savvyhost only to test things. For all the rest I prefer a daw.

So Aalto it is, and I have my license. No more noise crescendo's.

Just my 2 cents on plugin hosts as its still new, cross platform, (mac OS X and Windows) but very promising - GigPerformer.
(No affiliation and no gain whatsoever, did beta test and its steadily entering my live rig)