Even more sounds

The user ENV1 was the first to release new instrument presets after Kairatune was released. Among those was the amazingly massive CS-80 / OB-X emulation preset. Now ENV1 has contributed a bank containing a total of 50 instrument presets. Some of the sounds on this bank are just huge. There’s many dramatic sounding rhythmic synths, some more classic synths, some really tight sfx sounds and even some percussion instruments. The bank is available in the KVR banks and patches section as usual.

Thank you very much for your contribution!

Polishing the update

It’s only a matter of days until i can put the first update out. This release is aimed to improve usability and fix any bugs found so far.

The limited MIDI support was to my mind the most important issue with the initial release. So that’s taken most of my attention in this release. All controls on the GUI can now be tweaked via MIDI.

The supported controls include pitch bend, aftertouch and all MIDI continuous controllers, for example modulation wheel. The synth now responds to MIDI program change messages which enables switching the instrument sounds by remote MIDI controller or sequencer.

I can imagine that the fixed velocity response may have been quite annoying to some keyboardists. So velocity sensitivity is now adjustable.

On most synths the master level control is memorized separately for each instrument preset. On some synths switching instrument presets doesn’t affect the master level. I personally appreciate the latter and changed the behavior in this release. The per instrument preset level can still be set via the master trim control.

The fancy mouse behavior caused serious problems to Wacom pen tablet users. This behavior can be disabled from the settings and preferences menu.

This should help the users who are having problems with unusual pointing devices.

The sound engine has remained untouched by most parts but i did improve the bypass controls eliminating the pops and clicks that occured when any of the fx or the drive were toggled on or off.

Unfortunately mousewheel support will remain on the wishlist. I need to ask around and do a bit research on that before supporting mousewheel.

Even though i never succeeded in reproducing a suspected crash reported by an Ableton Live user, i did find a bug in the MIDI event scheduler that may have caused the synth to crash on some hardware. I really hope that the problem goes away now and we’ll have another happy user.

Everything seems to be in fairly good order with the upcoming release. Just some factory preset checking and perhaps even some tweaking left to do before i’ll put the update out.

More sounds

Togeo Studios specializing in music production, sound design and Ableton Live resources, has released a set of over 30 instrument presets for Kairatune. The set contains really great and very useful sounds. The set is available in the KVR banks and patches section.

Danke schön Togeo Studios!

Status update

I’ve been working on the first update. Most of the bugs and known issues are fixed while some GUI work remains.

The midi control support turned out to be a bit more work than i had hoped for. The midi action by it self is relatively simple to implement, but storing the assignments is not. There are too many, in the order of 10000, possible controller assignments and using fixed size preset format that can store all of them is just way too impractical. In fact, storing any fixed number of them is, so i had to change the preset format to variable sized.

I hope there won’t be any nasty surprises so that i can get the update ready, tested and released soon!

Feedback update

The user feedback ranging from positive to enthusiastic has exceeded all of my expectations on the KVR Instruments forum. A number of issues has also been brought up, feature requests, unsupported functionality and genuine bugs. So far nothing really catastrophic i’m glad to say.

Many users have been concerned about the CPU usage which is a bit high, and have been encouraging me to optimize further. Many users have requested also for a polyphonic version of the synth. Unfortunately both of these requests are hard to implement, and i can not promise either of these improvements in the near future.

Other issues involve:

  • Standard MIDI program change messages are not supported. Apparently Ableton Live relies on these when a clip is assigned a preset number.
  • The GUI doesn’t work with Wacom pen tablet.
  • Velocity sensitivity needs to be adjustable.
  • The GUI needs to support mousewheel on controls.
  • Better support for MIDI: modwheel, aftertouch, CC etc.
  • Vibra knob behaves bad when turned left.

I will do my best to fix all of the above issues in an update as soon as possible.

There are lots of reserved parameters that unfortunately can not be hidden from the host. They are not visible in the GUI, but most hosts have some display for all parameters. This arrangement has to do with how the VST hosts and plugins communicate and handle presets. Those unnamed parameters are reserved for future use so that if i ever need to add some new parameters to the synth, the old presets and old projects will remain working.

Huge thanks to everybody for the positive feedback and for bringing these issues to my awareness.

Demo track

Just finished a demotrack for the synth. The idea was to present as many sounds in as brief track as possible, yet in a form with enough resemblance to a dance track production.

All instruments and sounds are made with Kairatune, except for the drums and percussion. The Kairatune tracks were mixed very conservatively – no additional processing per track, although some reverb sends were used. The final mastering was performed without restrictions to bring the end result closer to what one might hear on a real production.