Using grid as patching cables?

Hi all, great to see this sub forum! I’ve using aalto quite a lot and just love the sound and possibilities.

And can’t help thinking if ppl can use grid to act like patching cables…

like you hold (0, 0) and (7, 15), a patching cable is established, and if you only hold one button, the monome will show you all the already established patching cables.

possible to achieve this through coding?


Of course it is possible, but you’d have to code the whole synth as well…
Also, the grid could also act as a matrix connector (a la AKS).

I was just reading Aalto’s excellent manual and it doesn’t appear to me that the patcher responds to CC values. Perhaps there is another way that hasn’t occurred to me?

I remember some discussion in the madrona forums about osc control over patch cables. that would make this possible. monome control over the whole plugin would indeed be very awesome.

oh sorry, i didn’t see it was in the brand new ML category !

went there too for a moment! :smile:

yeah having a lot of fun reading that manual too, it’s awesome.

i had thought about this as well but as jasonw22 said there i don’t think you can access the connections with code

Here’s the thread about controlling Aalto via OSC.

Looks to me that it’s about touch 3D data, so not really useful for manipulating the patcher.

many moons ago, i hacked 256 grid support into a max patch inspired by the EMS Synthi. it was great having a 16 x 16 patching matrix, but it was very hard to remember which button did what. i had to hard label it with tape and it was kinda messy.

for a while i was looking into using the illucia dtr as a basic patcher for aalto, but that didn’t go anywhere.

1 Like

Using the illucia dtr for that is a neat idea.

I can kind of imagine some kind of printed overlay for using the grid as a matrix patcher, but there isn’t a lot of room between the keys for that. I think it’d get pretty squinty.

One thing I did notice in the manual is that you can send MIDI program changes to select patches. So, the grid could be used for quick access to a bank of presets.

yeah, i was also hoping to use the illucia for that at some point as i still have one of them kicking around in my studio.
would be fantastic if that could be enabled on the aalto/kaivo side in the future.

I thought about controlling the patcher via MIDI for some time, and tried some experiments. I decided there was no solution reasonable enough to be worth using. It’s just a really horrible problem to try to solve with MIDI. I mean, a sysex dump of the matrix could work or something, but the idea was that people would want to “modulate” the patcher with dials and buttons in some kind of sensible way and I never found a sensible way.

with OSC of course there are no problems, and in the near future I plan to add OSC control over all the internal parameters including the matrix ones like the patcher.

My own thinking is that as @shellfritsch found out, a grid is not a great controller for a patch matrix. Not that there’s anything wrong with the monome grid for this, I mean an 𝑛⨉𝑛 matrix is just not a great way to visualize n inputs connecting to n outputs—I had the same problem with the VCS3 even though it has labels. With more than a few patches, it’s pretty easy to get into some feedback, and then it’s hard to identify what to change to make it stop.

Anyway I’ll be sure to make this OSC input Illucia-compatible.

I’m also going back to the first post now, and thinking, what about a solution using say the 8x16 grid where it’s laid out like Aalto, top to bottom, to connect 16 ins to 16 outs, and you can somehow see all the lines by holding / scrolling. Worth trying!


I’ll buy a beer for whoever solves the “connection visualization problem” for making connections on a grid. I’ve fooled with a few different designs and they all suck. The closest I’ve come to acceptable is hooking my DSP modules’ parameters to the ins/outs of my ADAT interface/patchbay. I used software envelope followers to physically patch my program with 1/4" patch cables, but I don’t want to be doing this because I only have 16 ins/outs that I want to use to patch audio not parameters…

yeah i thought about that too! but changing preset realtime will cause a very short glitch/silence.

From my experience of using mlr and other monome apps, what’s really impressive to me is the intuitive feel once i remember the basic functions. And if patching could be like play mlr(somehow) I think it might generate some really interesting music. I believe many of you guys have tried patching modules in the dark and personally I don’t think it’s such a pleasant experience. :slight_smile:

and if, just if you can play around with patchers with monome, that’ll generate some gesture recording possibilities. Like using Mesh to record how you patch… and I believe that’ll bring aalto’s sound to the next level.

I think the dtr is not really suitable for patching in this sense, but it has potential for creating a set of modulation sources (LFO’s, S&H) which could then be piped via midi to aalto - patched in, so to speak. With all the loss of resolution that implies. In fact, the biggest step up for aalto imo would be high resolution midi. (Unless that’s already there and I just missed it).

While we’re talking aalto and how wonderful it is but also how it might be improved - it would be nice to be able to access the sequencer random/sine/ramp buttons via midi.

1 Like

one thing i have enjoyed in that past is using the grid with aalto and an intermediary max patch to map the sequencer section-- virtual sliders with the trigger pulses at the bottom.

unfortunately this approach required a crazy amount of midi mapping within the daw.

1 Like

it would be nice to be able to access the sequencer random/sine/ramp buttons via midi.


1 Like