ngwese's Recent Posts

The documentation for the norns integration is close to non-existent with the exception of the demo code itself. For future travelers if you do run into problems please consider filing an issue in the spn repository on GitHub.

Apologies for the cross post but I figured those with a soundplane may be interested to know there is support taking shape for the monome norns platform.

soundplane for norns

The current integration uses the latest tracker (1.8.5 at the time of this post) and supports defining zones in Lua. Touch and control information is delivered directly into the norns scripting environment for maximum flexibility.


Interaction with any Kaivo plugin UI controls is extremely sluggish, controls often take 0.5-1.0+ seconds to react. Turning off animation provides minor improvement but the UI updates are still too slow to make the plugin usable. Futher as long at the plugin UI is open clicking/dragging in menus or other parts of the host application suffers (menus don't update, respond clicking, and clicks often miss the intended target).

Virta plugin UI it much better but still a touch slow (however it is usable)

Aalto plugin UI is the best performing, with generally smooth interaction.


  • macOS 10.14.6
  • Mac Pro 2013 (D700, 3.0Ghz 8-core, 64GB RAM) + LG UltraFine 5K monitor
  • Logic 10.5.1
  • Live 10.1.30, Live 11 beta 25
  • Kaivo 1.9.4 AU.64 (or VST both behave similarly)

Steps to reproduce

  1. Launch Logic 10.5 or Live 11
  2. Insert Kaivo plugin on track, open UI
  3. Scrub Level control with mouse
  4. Within Live in particular grabbing the plugin UI title bar and moving the window results in a 0.5-2 second delay in the windows moving. It snaps to the mouse cursor and then tracks the cursor smoothly until released.

For me the sluggish UI happens all the time. Within Logic in particular interacting with Logic's menus is glitchy. Menus drop down slowly, selection lags.

Expected result

Interactive plugin UI with update rates in the 10 Hz range at a minimum, preferably much faster than that. Historically the Kaivo UI was usable on this machine but the plugin hasn't seen limited use in the last 2-4 years so it isn't clear when this change might have occured.


I can attempt to capture video if desired.

I had wondered if Retina/HiDPI support added in Live might be a contributor on my particular hardware. Lowering the screen resolution did not have an appreciable effect.

Regardless the differences across the Madrona Labs plugins seems interesting to me considering that they are in theory using a common UI framework.

UPDATE: I did some more experimentation.

Kaivo 1.3.2 (apparently I hadn't updated the laptop) on late 2016 MBP running Catalina and Live 11b26 was as smooth UI wise as I can remember across the Madrona plugings.

Updated that machine to Kaivo 1.9.4 and while still very usable there was a small but detectable drop in refresh rate. Running Kaivo 1.3.2 on the main Mac Pro system outlined above was slightly more sluggish than Kaivo 1.9.4 on that system.

I captured video of 1.9.4 behaving poorly on the Mac Pro and can forward that via another channel if desired.

Happy to run debug builds to collect data.

Kaivo is not the only plug-in which is suffering on this system but it is unique in how unstable the host UI becomes. Sonnox plugins have similarly sluggish UIs in recent Live/Logic versions yet u-he plugins seem more responsive in later versions of these hosts.

What strikes me as unusual is that I would expect similar behavior across Kaivo, Virta, and Aalto but they are behaving very differently.

After a long time away from the SP I just lost myself for three hours with the new tracker and aalto - a marked improvement. In the past I struggled to find a calibration that provided a consistent and predictable response over time. The new tracker seems much easier to dial in.

I am unable to get adjacent touches to work with continuous pressure (the touches always merge) but trills are working very reliably (much more so than with the older tracker).

Awesome step forward. I look forward to the eurorack interface as well.

(When I get a chance I'll test out the Kyma support as well and confirm that is working well).

Interesting... particularly the comment about the heat.

For what its worth I returned to my soundplane after a few months hiatus and found the tracking to be much further off than I remember. Pitch tracking was okay but the inconsistency in pressure was surprising. I tried several rounds of calibration but the end result generally seemed less consistent than just clearing out all calibration.

...all my recent experimentation was during a string of very hot days (comparatively).

...the surface of the soundplane also seemed to have more vertical travel than I remember.

Regarding the importance of open firmware. For myself the desirability of open firmware is not simply the promise of alternative features, it's also the ability to fix bugs if/when I encounter them. While I haven't contributed any public feature enhancements (yet) I have offered up a fix to maintain last known pitch on touch release in the SP client. Just the other day contributed fixes to a nested interrupt masking problem along with finding some resource management bugs which have been causing the monome aleph to lockup. Given the ultimately limited production run of the aleph, its longevity and feature set is almost entirely a function of its user base for the foreseeable future.

Based on my experience with a continuum + CVC I've found gate/trigger out along with Z to be very useful. For any kind of plucked sound I tend to patch gate/trigger to a fast envelope and then mix that with Z such that I get a sharper attack followed by continuous control over sustain. Further feeding the result through a slew/lag produces nice results.

Using a comparator on Z to derive gate is certainly possible at the cost needing additional modules to derive a control value which would be readily available to this soundplane interface.

Regarding size I'd vote for 10hp for the base unit. If a significant number of additional features demanding more space are envisioned the idea of an expansion module mentioned previously sounds attractive.

My main argument for a compact base module would be to better enable one to pair the soundplane with a small (but capable) system which is easily portable (say 104hp or smaller). Having both a large (immobile) MOTM system and a small eurorack system I'm struck by how wonderful it would be to be able to take the soundplane + small euro system the same places that I would take the soundplane + laptop today.

For what its worth I ran into this as well (OSX 10.10.2, Live 9.1.7 64bit). I installed 1.6.0 and Live insisted that the plugin could not be loaded while LogicX was perfectly happy.

I eventually trashed the AU plugin entirely, re-ran the installer(s), and rebooted. After that Live was happy. Not sure why the first install didn't work...

The Kyma environment contains several (offline) audio analysis tools which generate what I believe are proprietary descriptions of the original audio/samples. In turn these analysis files can then be used as the basis for realtime re-synthesis of the original.

One can have the hardware (the Pacarana) generate OSC messages in realtime but the formatting is limited. The OSC (or MIDI) messages are basically just broadcasting the value of one of Kyma "global controls" (i.e a control of their virtual control surface for each sound).

A related note on the Kaivo 1.1 import dialog; it appears as if under Mac OS X the dialog will only allow navigation of the root filesystem (i.e. /)? For whatever reason /Volumes is hidden.

On my main machine / only contains the OS and Applications while all the samples and music bits are on a drive called "Media" which OS X mounts under /Volumes/Media.

Curiously one can browse through symlink'ed directories...

(I'm on Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.9 for what that's worth)

If you are comfortable compiling the client yourself I've made an attempt at fixing the pitch return bug:

I believe Randy is taking another pass at the client in general so hopefully there will be an official fix sometime soon.

Just returned to experimenting SP + Kyma after a long hiatus seems as if the Kyma support has changed in recent clients?

My recollection was the in older versions of the SP client Kyma's !KeyPitch value would remain constant on touch release. With SP client 1.0a1 !KeyPitch is reset to lowest note on the SP on touch release. The net effect of the new behavior is that every sound with any kind of decay ends with a downward glide.

I'm tempted to think this is a bug or behavior change in the SP client because the "default" voice patch for Aalto exhibits the same behavior. Patch "pitch" -> osc freq you get the downward behavior, patch "x" -> osc freq and there is no downward bend (the correct behavior in my mind).

Is this a bug or a feature?

I can work around the new behavior in Aalto by using the "x" output but I see no way to get usage behavior in Kyma.

After a fair amount of sleuthing I believe there was a bug introduced recently. The behavior change was effecting any OSC output (kyma or aalto).

I've attempted to fix the problem. See pull request #2 on Github.

OS: Mac OS X 10.6.7
AU Host: Live 9.1.1 32-bit and Logic Pro 8.0.2
Aalto: 1.5.0


  • Select "Save As..." in the preset menu of Aalto's UI
  • Choose a location under ~/Library/Audio/Presets/Madrona Labs/Aalto
  • pick any name and clieck save => Fails with a dialog which says "Please choose a location in the Aalto folder"

Both the Save and Save Version options appear to work, only Save As... is broken.

I am able to use Save As... on another system running the same version of Live and Aalto but Mac OS X 10.9.1

I haven't tried mapping OSC messages from the soundplane to a VCS control but all standard Kyma note event values seemed to be responding as expected in the quick test I did yesterday (soundplane client 0.992 and the latest Kyma version)

X (left/right) => !KeyPitch (or !Pitch),
Y (front/back) => !KeyTimbre,
Z (pressure) => !ChannelPressure (I thought this was working but didn't thoroughly check)

The above matches the behavior of a Continuum Fingerboard + Kyma to the best of my memory. I didn't happen to check if !KeyVelocity was getting set to some approximation of initial force...

I do particularly like how the soundplane clients "touches" parameter automatically updated to whatever number of voices one had set in a MIDIVoice sound.

It appears that adding a second instance of Aalto to a session while the UI of the first instance is open will consistently crash the plugin host.

All of the following combinations exhibit the problem:
OS: Mac OS X 10.6.7 or 10.8.2
Host: Live 8.3.4, Logic Pro 8.0.2, Numerology Pro 3.1.1
Aalto: 1.3.1 32-bit AU or VST

Repro steps in Live:
(1) Drag Aalto from the browser to "Drop Files and Devices Here"
** leave the plugin UI window open, if it isn't open, open it.
(2) Repeat (1) => Live crashes.