For a few years now, each version of Aalto has reproduced this specific problem, and 1.9.2 is no exception. After pasting the license inside the VST, all is well. Then at some point, the license disappears and watermarking begins.
The problem is NOT:
1) permissions in AppData folder, as the current licenses in plaintext are indeed in Roaming/Madrona Labs/Licenses
2) related to a change in Windows OS, as I have experienced this problem in Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and now Windows 10
3) related to admin rights (at least in an obvious way) as my DAW of choice, Reaper, starts with those rights (and the fact that pasting the license works means Aalto can write to AppData from inside the Reaper sandbox so that really can't be the issue)
Unfortunately, this issue is actually sort of a big deal. Maybe 70 percent of the time when I open a session with Aalto in it, I have to hunt down the track making noise. I have resorted to creating a Notes file that I keep on my computer to quickly cut and paste the license in when I use Aalto.
Now, I am well aware of Madrona's stance toward iLok. However, with all the headaches caused by the current copy protection scheme, I have to admit that iLok's seems much more robust. I have never had a single problem with iLok. It works.
Is there anything that can be done to improve this situation? It is currently a blight on what is otherwise, obviously, excellent software. We like using Madrona because it sounds special -- what I currently say to my clients while they're watching me search for the source of white noise is "this plugin is sort of a pain in the ass, but it sounds so good we just deal with it!"
Thank you for everything you do!
I am sorry to hear about the frustration you've been putting up with to use Aalto. I'll work here to fix the issue.
Frankly I haven't put any significant time in on this problem so far. That's because it's been reported to me a handful of times over the years, but I can never reproduce it here, and meanwhile I usually hear "it's sorted itself out" or stop hearing from the user. In the latter case, has it been fixed? I don't know.
My best educated guess, currently, is that this is a bug that manifests semi-randomly, due to disk access or CPU use. I'm also guessing that your system is somehow running into it much more commonly than most. That's good in a way, because it means you should be able to know whether a fix is working pretty quickly. If you are willing to stay in touch and try some beta fixes, I will stay on this issue until it's fixed. I can send you a version that prints diagnostics while it's looking for the license file.
Please send all the versions of software you are currently running—hopefully I can get the same Reaper version and test with that on Windows 10. You can either post here or send me an email. Also if you have any sort of utilities you can think of that might affect disk access (drive encryption, for example) let me know.
Hey there -- thank you for responding!
I am using 1.9.2 of Kaivo and Aalto, 6.12c/x64 of Reaper, and Windows 10 1909.
There is no disk encryption/compression on this computer, and quite low CPU use generally on a quad-core Xeon custom build with 16 GB of RAM.
Absolutely happy to stay in touch, as I am a mega-fan of both Aalto and Kaivo.
I've just set up a new Windows machine and am now experiencing this bug. I've never experienced it on Mac (along with a plethora of other issues)
In my case it happens with Kaivo maybe 2 out of 10 times. But not Aalto.
I can recreate the bug (with Kaivo only) by closing and re-opening the plugin window multiple times in both Cubase & Reaper. (new projects - 1 track).
Sometimes there is demo hiss. Sometimes the license just shows the demo message rather than my name. At first I was re-pasting the license, but then realised that the license refreshed when closing/reopening the plugin window.
This machine is a 10 core i9, 32gb ram, if specs could have an impact. I don't own many plugins from other vendors but I did perform the same test with a few and could not recreate.
I'm happy to help investigate the issue once you've had a chance to look into it.
Edit: system info
Cubase 10.5.20 & Reaper 6.15
Windows 10 Pro 2004
Just encountered this bug in Max so will add here
Kaivo - demo hiss in Max (Aalto seems fine)
Windows 10 Pro 2004
Thanks for the info! I have heard reports of this issue before. Maybe running Kaivo in Max will help me track it down. So far I have been unable to reproduce.
That it only seems to affect Kaivo is super weird because Aalto and Kaivo share the exact same license code. But this is a consistent pattern now. Some CPU overload + disk access interaction on some systems? That doesn't seem likely... but here we are.
Sorry this issue has existed for a while. The problem is, I just can't reproduce it. Will try in Max/MSP and report back.
I'm still investigating/configuring this machine to run smoothly for audio work and will let you know if any specific changes resolve the issue on my side.
Yea super weird bug, the developer in me probably spent more time trying to recreate the issue in Aalto, just as a sanity check.