MATRIXSYNTH: Madrona Labs Introduces Aaltoverb

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Madrona Labs Introduces Aaltoverb


via Madrona Labs

"Hi there, it’s been some while. I'm excited to be writing you again, with the big news that there's a new beastie in the Madrona Labs family. Meet Aaltoverb, our very first effect.

A number of times over the years, people have asked if Aalto’s reverb could be made into its own plugin. The thing is, our focus here at Madrona Labs is on instruments, not effects. And so it didn't really seem to make sense to add a reverb to our lineup. But more time passed, and I started to think, what features would a performance reverb have? This question led to Aaltoverb, a reverberator with a focus on dramatic sound sculpting and completely smooth tweakability.

Aaltoverb’s coolest trick is this: you can smoothly change the size of the virtual space that the sound is reverberating in. This results in in pitch shifting that is reminiscent of what tape delays do when the speed changes. But instead of a single speed, the shift applies to the whole acoustic space, vibrating “air” and all. So a giant room can turn smoothly into a small and natural sounding chamber, and then into a tiny and very unnatural resonator. With longer decay times, weird spring-like beasties can be found along the way.

The controls are minimal, and are meant to interact in musical and inspiring ways. You can read all about Aaltoverb on the website, and in the manual. It's short but tells about some tricks you might not figure out otherwise. And: cartoons!

Aaltoverb 1.0.0 is available now as a 64-bit VST3 for Windows, and as 64-bit VST and Audio Units for Mac OS X. A single license covers both Mac and Windows and is $35.

Get a bundle deal!
Another thing people have asked about over the years is bundle deals. You know, where you buy more than one plugin at a time and as a result you get a discount. This was hard to imagine doing until our web maestro Philip did a bunch of work to modernize the site, including adding a shopping cart feature. But now that's done—and so are bundles.

They work very simply and so we're calling it the Simple Bundle feature. Buy more than one plugin in a single transaction, and save 15% off the entire purchase. That's it. Even if one of the plugins is, say, $35.

You’ll notice that Stripe, not PayPal, is now the default method of payment. We didn't want to leave people out in the cold just because PayPal didn't work in their regions, and since you need a credit card to get PayPal in the first place, hopefully this is more universal. We're always trying to improve the purchase experience, so please let us know how Stripe works for you. If you need or prefer to pay by PayPal for some reason, please get in touch.

Get the T-shirt!
I really love excuses to make a new T-shirt, and Aaltoverb's release seemed like a great one. I thought this one should be a collaboration and happily, Leafcutter John was into the idea. You might know the music he has put out on labels like Planet Mu and Border Community. This year he's gone and made a machine for making artworks, a homemade pen plotter, and the drawings he's making with it have really been pinging my visual cortex in a pleasant way. And so we made a shirt:


The design reminds me of sound decaying, and also of fabric being folded, and the analog robot quality is just (chef's kiss). I am wearing one nearly all the time, and you can too.

What about Sumu?
A long story that must be told short here, because it's nearly the cocktail hour. Very short version: I'm excited about Sumu, and now that Aaltoverb is out I can get back to finishing it.

Slightly longer version: I have some new design ideas for Sumu that required a lot of infrastructure work to pull off. Some to do with graphics and animation, and more on the DSP side of things. Well I dove into that infrastructure work and when I looked up it was a year later, or something. So both as a first use of the new framework and a way to, you know, ship a product, I decided to focus on the Aaltoverb release first. It's a cool enough reverb on its own, but to me it represents a lot more that's been done under the hood. As fall rolls around and I dive back into Sumu and Soundplane work I'm going to share some more about what's going on in there. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the sounds.

–Randy
Madrona Labs"

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