Madrona Labs Aalto MPE Synth

Madrona Labs Aalto MPE Synth

Madrona Labs Aalto MPE Synth


If you’ve seen our demos for the Buchla Thunder Overlay - online or in person - then you’ve probably seen us show how easy it is to get incredible sounds from Madrona Labs’ Aalto plugin. Inspired by Don Buchla’s West Coast Synthesis paradigm, Aalto is a versatile and easy-to-use plugin which works particularly well with an expressive, MPE-ready controller like the Morph with Buchla Thunder Overlay. 

Aalto uses a patching paradigm to map velocity, pressure, and slide gestures to different sound parameters. As the GIF shows (2nd image in the carousel), it's easy to assign how your fingers control the sound.

Order and get a full license to Aalto, plus 30+ custom patches created by Randy Jones, founder of Madrona Labs. These patches have a wide range of sounds and demonstrate how to use Aalto with the Morph via MPE

Please note: We can't accept returns on software. If you're not sure, try the demo before purchase.

    About Madrona Labs Aalto

    Aalto’s sound engine lets you create sounds that have been difficult or impossible to make with softsynths before now. The heart of Aalto is a Buchla-inspired complex oscillator, with FM, timbre and waveshape controls that enable a wide range of expressive sounds. These sounds are uniquely malleable and alive, in part because they are made with dynamic calculation, not static wavetables.

    Aalto is designed as much for sequencing patterns as for playing individual notes. Each voice has a separate, built-in sequencer with a patchable, independently controllable rate and offset. This topology makes it easy to build complex, evolving textures.

    Each voice also includes a lowpass gate module with a vactrol emulation in the control path. The vactrol equation slows down the response to incoming control signals through a complex nonlinear filter. You can turn the vactrol response down to instantaneous, or up to a pronounced ring.

    Following the lowpass gate is a patchable waveguide / delay module with a waveshaper and a peaking EQ built into the feedback loop. Because it has such short and controllable delay times, unlike a typical analog delay, it can be used as an additional oscillator.

    Aalto’s filter is a state-variable topology with mixable simultaneous outputs, a more resonant take on the Oberheim SEM filter.

    Subjectively speaking, Aalto can make a wide range of sounds, from lush to edgy, including some very complicated ones, without sounding too thick in a mix. Aalto’s sounds are not hyped or compressed, they are wide-range, open and natural. We hope our approach will appeal to experienced sound designers who have their own favorite EQs and limiters. And for those just getting into synthesis, Aalto is an accurate and honest tool for learning. We have tried to make Aalto a deep instrument that will reward lasting engagement.
    Audio Samples
    Aalto System Requirements
    Mac versions require OS 10.7 or higher. Windows versions require Windows 7 or higher. Windows XP and Vista may work but are not officially supported. All versions require a 1.6GHz Intel Core Duo processor or better.

    Results vary between hosts and operating systems—if CPU use is a concern, the best thing to do is try the demo before purchase.

    License Terms
    You can install Aalto on as many computers as you like. If you want to run the plugin on more than one computer at a time, we require that you buy a license for each computer.

    This license approach is designed to let legitimate owners get work done, whenever and wherever they need to, without worrying about authorization issues. When you buy a license, your name will appear in the UI of your licensed software as a reminder of your awesomeness.

    Read the friendly manual
    Aalto’s manual has over 50 pages full of Aalto lore, tips and tricks, and a complete introduction to patching synthesis! Click to download: AaltoManual.pdf

    Here's a detailed tutorial from Peter on using MPE in Aalto

    Artists are digging the Morph + Aalto combo

    From Robin Rimbaud, aka Scanner

    "A little improvisation on a rainy Saturday morning, as grey skies hang heavily over the mood of the day. I love such simple set ups as this, using the Sensel Morph - a tablet-sized pressure sensor - with Madrona Labs Aalto software.

    The Morph offers such a playful and sensitive way of approaching performance, where every little twist and turn of your fingers can affect the sound, very much like a traditional instrument like a piano. Here I'm using one of their overlays which emulates the design and functionality of the Buchla Thunder controller, and at a fraction of the price!

    Aalto is one of my favourite pieces of software, a semi-modular software synthesizer with an innovative, patchable U, and here I'm using a patch that Randy, the developer himself, created. So this took all of 30 seconds to set up and play. Happy listening" - source