ForumsSoftware ← Kaivo in Main Stage 3

Hi Randy,

Remember me? I bought Kaivo some years ago but never got it to run because I did not yet use a DAW at the time. In the mean time I tried Tasty Chip's GR1 which at least seemed to tick all the granular boxes within a hardware solution but it's software tuned out to be a bit of pile up (to put it mildly!). So I returned it. Then I bought Bitwig Studio 3 because one can build his own instruments in its Grid modular synth. So far so good. It works really well but it only provides regular building blocks like delays, comb filters and such. In that respect Kaivo still comes closer to my ideal. So run Kaivo in Bitwig Studio then, you will say. I do however still only use the DAW for synthesis purposes so that seems overkill and a waste of valuable processor power to me. Which at last brings me to my question: Do you have any idea how Kaivo will run within Main Stage 3 on a Windows laptop? For me such a program was after all the missing link at the time. My laptop is a reasonable machine but not high spec. It's a 64 bits, Windows 10, 8MB with an Intel 8th gen i-3 core. An 8 voice Kaivo instance would however already suit me VERY well, especially if poly AT can be used to control / scrub the sample position per note in real time. Otherwise running 8 mono instances or so and driving them via individual MIDI channels will do the trick. The laptop's audio output will then be “dumped” on a stand alone audio workstation so no extra number crunching is needed for that.

Please let me know what you think.

Kind regards,

Marc Brassé

I don't think Mainstage is officially supported on Windows(?). It sounds to me like sticking with Bitwig will be the most straightforward solution for you, especially as you already own it.

"So run Kaivo in Bitwig Studio then, you will say. I do however still only use the DAW for synthesis purposes so that seems overkill and a waste of valuable processor power to me"

DAW's are optimized to host VST's. A large portion of my workflow is also only using synths, and I don't see it as overkill at all, but a necessary prerequisite of using VST's. Having the ability to freeze tracks can help with performance. It also sounds like you might want to have multiple instances running, so a mixer will be useful.

Bitwig's grid is very, very capable. A lot can be done with those basic building blocks.

UVI Falcon works standalone, is multi channel audio & midi. It has decent granular modes. It's a brilliant tool but sounds nothing at all like Kaivo.

AAS Chromaphone is a physical modelling percussive synth that works in stand alone mode, again nothing at all like Kaivo.

VCV Rack also has some physical modelling modules.

Thanks Dylan,

It is true that The Grid is very sophisticated. What I am referring to is that one can only build exiter and resonator modeling solutions out of such standard objects and that is of course not as sophisticated as Kaivo's options.

About Mainstage 3: It does seem to exist for Windows by now.

I am simply wondering if using it will free up resources that BitWig Studio might still use in the background if I am only using it for VST-running.

Do you think that I wil need to run multiple Kaivo instances to get the sample position scrubbing per single note in order?

Why don't you try to run the Kaivo demo with Bitwig and see how that works for you?

Hi Marc, I personally have never used Mainstage so I can't be as helpful as I would like. My advice is definitely to try the Kaivo demo and see how it goes for you. DAWs are usually not too different from one another in terms of performance but really the best thing is to try it.

To scrub a sample position per note, you can use one instance of Kaivo with either poly aftertouch or MPE data patched to the sample offset. It's up to you whether you want to use MPE for this. If you might have other things to control per note that would be an argument for MPE. But not all DAWs support it well yet.

Thanks Randy (et all),

Nobody seems to have an opinion about my processor load reduction question so I gues I'll have to find out the hard way (sigh)! :-)

Maybe I am too puristic. If An uncluttered solution is avialable I always go for that. It's probably because this old man "grew up" in the one function per "brick" era. The advantage of that is however that it also keeps your workfow uncluttered.

For instance: The instrument I have built in The Grid can be best described as a Yamaha CS80 with granular samplers for VCO's (they can after all also be original CS wave samples) followed by a simplified modeling section consisting of a complex delay plus a comb filter. Then follows the conventional combo of a CS80 style filter + VCA arrangement in which a sine wave is injected into the VCA to thicken out eventual low frequency losses from the typical CS style independantly resonant LPF and HPF.

Compared to Kaivo the modelling is of course rudimentary. Furthermore Kaivo's user interface is compact but at the same time very flexible which makes the dispaly much less cluttered then wihtin a complex Grid build! Those are basically the main reasons why I am still in doubt.

That Kaivo can scrub per voice via poly AT is very good news anyway. I think that is the ultimate tool to open granular samplings full potential. Brightness can then for instance be controlled by the samples own inherent tonal variety. Such "filtering" will then by it's very nature become mulitiband because it depends on the natural decay / sustain / release portion of an original sound in which all overtones wil have their own unique decay behaviours. One could argue this material is then already engraved into the sample and thus static but in practice the possible permutations should already be nearly endless. That is after all what the granular part brings. Conventional filtering will then often only have to be used for refinement.

See, I've really thought about this stuff! I only have to get off my butt to bring even more of it into practice. But I'm working on it. :-)

Have a nice weekend.


brassee, the link you posted to a pc version of mainstage is not legit at all. mainstage is mac only, so i've no idea what that download link is - best to avoid downloading anything from there.

Good looking out garf.

In this thread, user @progster mentions a Windows VST host: Maybe you can use it?

I have Mainstage (in Mac). Honestly I always end up using Logic Pro (DAW) because it is faster for me, even if I don't record anything (I rarely do). Regarding Bitwig, I remember thinking it was the first DAW which didn't "get in the way", much like AUM in iOS. That said, I sometimes wish Madrona Labs plugins were stand alone (but again, it is not one of my priorities)

There are non-DAW solutions for computers (Gigperformer comes to mind, MPE support, as far as I recall) but I have never tested these.

Noname: Thanks for suggesting Nanohost and sorry for not answering earlier. Suddenly the internet seems to be awash with standalone hosts anyway. When I bought Kaivo they where very hard to find. So it's high time for me to catch up at last.

Randy: I fully understand that you are already quite busy with all the other stuff but I, in general, find VST developers lacking when it comes to compatibility issues. Even a VST, nay, especially a VST should be a plug and play product, even more so if a standalone version is not in the cards. As composer / musician / music technology afficiado one should not be obliged to also be a computer specialist. Having to be my own producer, sound progrmmer and general sound technician is, beside the aformentioned tasks already more then enough. A bit more proactivity in checking which DAW's and VST hosts are compatible would therefore be greatly appreciated. This whole issue has after all kept me from using Kaivo and eventually buying any of your other instruemnts for years.
I do however hope you interpret these remarks as a constructive critisism. :-)

Thanks for the feedback.

Again. Don't take it to personal. It's almost a sort of hobbyhorse of mine to complain about this.

I am form the dark old days and went through it all. MS-DOS, 386 processors, mighty big bending floppy disks, CDR's. Things are still improving. At least computer hardware tends to be plug and play but it is still a far way to software interfaces which turn a computer into a tool pre-configered tool right away.

MIDI for instance. MIDI 2.0 seems to fall flat on it's face but I am already dreaming about a sort of MIDI 3.0 in which individual polyphonic audio voice stream can be sent mutichannel beside all the existing stuff. A sort of MIDI plus ADAT integration without the need for a special network.

Is that maybe the sort of environment you are thinking of for your Grid- equivalent? Just like you already treat poly data within your VST's? That would indeed be a great thing!