technomonkey's Recent Posts

Good morning,

The metasurface totally works - you just need to use the VST. This is not specific to Aalto; I've personally never had any luck getting AUs to save properly in metasurface snapshots where a VST is available. Audiomulch 2.1.1

Nice lookin' Log you got there!

Every time I see a Log just materialize like that I think "man, there must be some important News coming up, probably having to do with Soundplane".

Which is not very often.

You could also do a lot worse than becoming a full-on Aaltotarian. For those on a steady diet or whatever.

EDIT: (minutes later....) OK Randy I just now got the breath-mint reference. Good morning! :]

  1. You could sell that excellent user manual for $99 and throw in Aalto for free with every purchase.

  2. Somehow I get the feeling the "secret lair" is no joke.

  3. Nor is the Zapp cover band!

  4. The cover illustration patch-cord wave is absolutely gorgeous, and I would be proud to wear it on a hooded sweatshirt or something. Just sayin'.

  5. Thank you, again, sincerely.

So there was a little private patch trading going on earlier today...

Had some thoughts about the User Patch area and related:

  1. Randy, somewhere you mentioned that it would be cool to be able to share and search for patches online from within the software. Please add my vote for this.

  2. It would be nice to have some level of organization on the User Patch page, which is already becoming a trackpad workout. Sort of like the Reaktor user library? Patches organized by contibutor, according to keyed or sequenced, number of voices, pad/lead/perc/bass etc, upload date, perhaps a rating/favoriting system.

  3. Did someone mention a textual/non-graphical patch generator? Also gets my vote.

  4. Humble feature suggestions: choice to "save" or "save as" for presets. Prev/next preset is low on my list but would be cool I guess. An "A/B compare" function would be much higher on my request list. (While I'm at it, howbout undo/redo?) Just some conveniences.

  5. Somehow embed comments into the patches? Sort of like ACE where the contributor can leave the user hints about playing that particular patch (ride the mod wheel, etc).

As promised I switched back to using the Aalto 1.2.1 AU...

Wish I would have tried that a long time ago - now I can't get the audio-dropout thing to happen while putting Aalto through some torture of my own: switching presets under full cpu load, re-opening a saved project with several stored Aalto instances, tweaking parameters under full cpu load, turning audio engine on and off, complex patches, etc etc, 100 percent success so far.

This is in ReNoise. It seems to prefer the AudioUnit in general - the preset systems of ReNoise and Aalto are communicating again (reNoise is now populating the preset name in the instrument bank area for example).

Also, with the AU, Aalto does not steal keyboard focus from the host like the VST does.

OK! There's fireworks going off outside and happy people drinking and here I am sneaking off to test that new v1.2.4 AU. :]

Works perfectly. Just tested in ReNoise - 100% success rate. No dropouts or re-starts. Was able to keep five instances of Aalto at 88% cpu load continuously with minimal drag and glitching.

New thing: I had a few instances open at ~80% total cpu load, and was switching presets with one instance with wild abandon -- no clicking or burps - very smooth.

One more thought:

  1. I switched to the VST version when it became available. I realize I should fire up the AU and see what's going on...

  2. Oh yeah: macbookpro 5,3 c2d 2.8ghz, osx10.6.8

Sorry: major typing accident.

Ha! 41 visitors but only 5 contributors...? I smell some patch hoarding going on.... :)

Is there a word for when a patch has every last possible target being modulated by something? If such a term doesn't already exist we should invent it: "spaghetti mess"? "all mods on"? something like that

Not sure if this will help or confuse the issue even more, but:

Since updating to 1.2 I am enjoying about a 75% success rate opening Aalto and "holding" audio. Typically I will have to clear and re-open Aalto several times before it "catches" and works continuously. The differences here being:

  1. hosting in Renoise 2.7 and audiomulch 2.1, both of which I literally experienced not a single crash or audio dropout with v1.1.

  2. the host audio is never dropped for me; only the individual instances of Aalto.

  3. with unchanged latency (and all other) settings since v1.1 in those hosts, I have been experiencing heavy audio "drag" when cpu load is anywhere around 80% or greater - in contrast to v1.1 where I was often making tracks at nearly 90% load with no glitching or dragging. At the same time overall cpu load is down 5 or 10 percent since v1.1.

  4. this seems to be worse when opening an existing project in a host where several instances of Aalto have been saved, but can happen on a fresh project too.

  5. after many many hours of use I am declaring the sequencer/clock issue from v1.2 totally disappeared.

For what it's worth/hope this helps - in case the problem is not exclusive to Logic or whatever :)

@Sam -
Man, really enjoying the patch dump! :) Thanks for doing that! I know you're probably still evolving it but I think it's cool already. It was pretty much all over when Fiocz uploaded the Dodecanol patch. Yesssss

I've been trying to work on Aalto drum and percussion sounds lately in hopes of totally replacing drum samples and machines etc. - would love to see a bunch of drums in the user area.

(UPDATE JUNE 27) Now stay tuned for my new badass commercial preset library "Aalto: TechnoMonkey's Easy-Peel-Patch-Kit" - coming soon! KIDDING KIDDING

The next few posts are some simple drum sequences that I've been building from. I guess they could be easily adaptable to keyed playing. They are sort of Techno, but whatever. :)

Well Sam I tried the PatchDump finally - pretty cool but I made a mess of your descriptor tags - sorry I am basically an idiot. Commas between tags. Commas between tags.
I like the audio preview, and that Finn patch. :_)

Well, maybe not a true Discovery, but:

Was using Aalto in Audiomulch just now and realized that you can really save some CPU by not using the Aalto GUI at all - just use the generic editor.

I have been obviously been experiencing an audio drag when running multiple instances of Aalto; say 10-11 total voices at ~88% cpu. Turning off the animation can save a little cpu, but dispensing with the GUI altogether makes all the difference and seems to save a substantial amount of cycles.

Not that I would ever build patches without the gorgeous interface (you can't do actual patching through this method or MIDI or host automation anyway), but this really helps when you have a thick project going and just need to make little adjustments. I know some other hosts have their own generic editors; don't use Ableton so I'm not sure about that...?

Sorry this may have been obvious to everybody but me - just wanted to share

OK now I see why Numerology is the choice for most Modular/Analog people. The CV thing makes it... so cool. For anyone reading, especially who are making solely computer-based music, and find Numerology to be too much/too expensive, I recommend Colorflex by Twisted Tools for sequencing. It's a Reaktor ensemble/instrument, so you'll need that too, but it certainly qualifies as interesting, and when hosted in something like Bidule that has limitless routing possibilities, and re-Wire.... loving it.

I haven't yet heard anyone incorporate Aalto into an otherwise Hardware recording, or some permutation of that, but maybe I'm not looking in the right places. I am wishing for a lot more activity at the soundcloud group page too - I could stand to hear a dozen new Aalto tracks a day (or make them). Songs, experiments, whatever.

And so they are! Man, thanks for the tip, just checked it out - didn't realize software got discussed over there. Good discussion, too.

I'm a little envious of the high activity at Muffwiggler :) - hopefully it catches on here also.

ah just found it - well, something. Randy is saying he is at least listing CC's in the manual (coming out within a couple weeks it seems)...

man I hear you - I think it says a lot that you're exploring Aalto when you've got a bunch of hardware around!

There's no built in: you have to use whatever generic Learn function your host has. They (Madrona) may have changes planned for that - I'm not sure.

Wow Sam - looks pretty good! It reminds me of the Divine Machine look (do they still exist?) except better honestly! My only critique right now is that maybe each entry could take more space horizontally than vertically - to be able to see more entries on the screen.

My only trip with listing number of voices was mostly to prevent CPU surprises for the user. And the number of voices in a way can sometimes give a clue to the complexity of the patch texture.

Pretty cool!

Just when I thought things would plateau into Boring, I saw this, which I assume will get posted on the News page soon:

Randy, you are a bad, bad man. I of course mean that in the best way. Personalized Aaltos?!? And I had been wondering why my Aalto is so noisy when, for example, Savaran's is nice and mellow.

Beyond that, thanks for those words in the essay - inspiring, and never heard it put better. They've got me fired up to express as a verb right now. And to do a little cleaning.

@Savaran and Randy:
Yes, kidding. Sorry, that paragraph called for a couple Smileys! :) :).
I'm bad with that sometimes.

One more time: great idea Randy and it fits with everything you've said about being you own Poet. Even if the differences are too subtle to notice or measure, just knowing that your instrument is really Yours makes the playing more satisfying. Very cool.

Getting some similar behaviors as Brian. And other initial findings:

  • popup menus are hidden behind the GUI in Plogue Bidule.

  • getting occasional non-cooperation from the sequencer as well... won't accept host transport/clock maybe two percent of the time. or audio "knocked out" - all meters showing activity except final output stage. re-instantiating Aalto fixes this.

  • When Aalto 1.2 has focus, the key-commands that control ReNoise no longer work - you now have to click on a main ReNoise window to get space bar->start/stop, etc etc. :(. Will test in other hosts. If it matters, I am now using the vst32 instead of the AU.

New Good Things and Thoughts:

  • I love the dial action improvements, especially that the smaller Modulation Amount dials no longer "jump" to the clicked value (where in contrast this is exactly the perfect behavior for the main control dials).

  • I like the new incremental control for the waveguide and pitch modulator! Much easier to tune now.

  • For my own setup which is a 2009 MPB c2d, in ReNoise/Audiomulch/Bidule/Logic, saw about a 5-10% CPU load decrease overall from 1.1 - can squeeze in a couple more voices now.

  • The Preset Converter was an unexpected gift. Thanks.

  • Does it sound better now or something?

  • Supple, eager, flowing lines indeed. But did Aalto gain a little weight, or did she just get taller? Bad joke.

Thanks for the new improved instrument! Love it. Hope the weekend went OK, though I'm guessing you feel like you got hit by a bus.

Hey, there it is.


Didn't think it was possible to wear out the 'reload' browser button, but mine is getting close to pooping out......

Way to go Randy!

Golden Master!!


[runs and hides]

I love watching this. This site is one of the first I look at every morning, too. Go, Sasmir!!

I'm trying to think of another example of excitement and obsession for a new instrument - or any product/creation - and I can't think of anything close. I am trying to imagine a similar letter written to, say, Native Instruments: "...I MUST have Razor...", and I just can't see it happening.

Madrona Labs have severely captured some imaginations out there, it looks like.

Maybe if you stop sleeping you could shave a couple weeks off the release date...

Maybe you could have said, "Boy it sure feels good to be West of the Sierra-Cascade mountain system" or something.