Forthcoming Silent Way features - CV input & OSC

A couple of videos of what's cooking in the Expert Sleepers lab for future release:



Snow Leopard compatibility - update

Following up on the last post about the font changes in Snow Leopard - we've been able to test the new font files as provided in OS X 10.6, and the good news is that the plug-ins work fine with them.

So, the best workaround for people installing Expert Sleepers plug-ins on Snow Leopard is as follows:
- right click on the plug-in file, and do "Show Package Contents".
- inside the folder "Contents/Resources", find the file "gui.lua".
- open this file in a text editor (e.g. TextEdit).
- replace all occurrences of "GillSans.dfont" with "GillSans.ttc".
- save the file.

All of our releases from now on will contain this change by default, so there will be no need to carry out this procedure.

Expert Sleepers plug-ins and OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Just a quick statement on compatibility with the new version of Mac OS X, 10.6 "Snow Leopard".

We don't have 10.6 installed on any Expert Sleepers Macs, nor do we intend to for a while, probably at least until the inevitable 10.6.1 is released. There's just too much stuff that needs to keep working here, which isn't yet known to be compatible.

For this reason, we're as yet unable to directly support Expert Sleepers plug-ins on 10.6. That said, if users want to go ahead and try 10.6, we'll try to help as best we can with any problems that occur.

One issue has already been reported. Apparently Apple have changed some things around relating to fonts in 10.6 - see this article, for example. Most of the Expert Sleepers plug-ins use the font "GillSans.dfont", which sadly is one of the type that Apple appear to have retired. Fortunately most plug-ins that have seen an update recently fall back to "Monaco.dfont" if GillSans.dfont is not found, and it seems that Monaco.dfont is still shipped in 10.6, so the GUIs will continue to work, though will look a bit wrong.

The exception is Crossfade Loop Synth, which simply fails if it can't find GillSans.dfont. The workaround, until an updated version is released, is to either restore the GillSans.dfont file from a backup (it lives in "/Library/Fonts/GillSans.dfont", and will quite happily live alongside the newer "GillSans.ttc" which Snow Leopard installs), or duplicate any font of your choosing (e.g. the aforementioned Monaco.dfont) and rename it as GillSans.dfont.

There's a possibility of a nicer fix, but first we need to establish whether my plug-ins are compatible with the newer ".ttc" font format. Expect an update soon.

Apart from this font issue, there are so far no other problems reported with Expert Sleepers plug-ins and Snow Leopard.

Silent Way LFO plug-in coming soon

I've long promised that more Silent Way plug-ins would eventually join the initial two (Voice Controller and DC). So this is to let you all know that a third plug-in will soon be released, and it's going to be an LFO/trigger/clock generator.

There's a thread on the muffwiggler forum here where I've asked for some input on what features people would like this thing to have. So if you have any thoughts, please hop over there and leave your two penn'orth.

Silent Way and TouchOSC

A demo of the enhanced OSC implementation in the forthcoming new version of Silent Way, here integrating with TouchOSC:


This functionality will make it into the OSC implementations of other Expert Sleepers plug-ins in due course.

Silent Way v1.1 progress report

As those who've been following me on Twitter (@expertsleepers) will know, I've been making some progress on the Silent Way v1.1 update. This update is currently entirely focussed on the Voice Controller.

Changes so far:
* AU version has an effect variant so it will work in Digital Performer.
* New OSC command added for compatibility with TouchOSC.
* New 'velocity' output.
* Velocity-based scaling of envelopes.
* Hz/V tuning mode.
* Note priority modes (last/low/high).

I have some more stuff to add in, then this will probably be released in the next week or so.

After that, I really must add an LFO plug-in.

Another new plug-in coming soon

Hot on the heels of Oomingmak, we have another new plug-in almost ready to go.


It's called Little Spacey (anyone spot the theme in the plug-in names?), and we're really excited about it - it just sounds beautiful.

Watch this space!

New plug-in coming soon

Some time in the next week or so we'll be releasing a new product, the first all-new (non-free) plug-in since Warbler was released in May 2007.

It's called Oomingmak, and it's going to be particularly cool for guitarists.

Watch this space!

Augustus Loop v2 approaching completion

Something of a milestone today - feature development work on Augustus Loop v2 is done, at least for the AU version. So all that remains is to make some presets, write the documentation (itself a not inconsiderable task) and then enter the world of hurt that is the VST and in particular Windows versions.
Stay tuned for a probably public beta of AL2 sometime soon.

OSC coming to Expert Sleepers plug-ins

In case anyone's interested (and I know at least one person is): starting with Augustus Loop v2.0, Expert Sleepers plug-ins will support OSC.

Open Sound Control (OSC) is a protocol for communication among computers, sound synthesizers, and other multimedia devices that is optimized for modern networking technology. Bringing the benefits of modern networking technology to the world of electronic musical instruments, OSC's advantages include interoperability, accuracy, flexibility, and enhanced organization and documentation.

The plan is to roll this out to the entire plug-in range eventually. If you need OSC in your favourite plug-in sooner rather than later, let us know!

I'd like to acknowledge Ross Bencina for making available the open source library oscpack, which has made it much easier than it could've been to get OSC up and running in Augustus Loop. Thanks Ross!

Augustus Loop planning

After much thought, I've decided that, despite the beta that was available a while back, the next version of Augustus Loop will not be v1.9.0 after all, but v2.0.0. So, apologies to those who were getting excited about the v1.9 features, but I think you'll be even more pleased with v2.0, which will have a whole load more new features in it, in part focusing on removing any possibility of clicks and pops from bad loops or sudden changes (e.g. when using Clear Loop).

One new feature that I'm very excited about is a whole new implementation of the Freeze Loop function, which IMHO has never quite lived up to expectations. I have that working already and it's awesome. Really.

I'll also use this message to announce that I'll be putting the price up a bit, mainly because v2.0 is a major upgrade, but also because of the continued weakness of the dollar against the pound (my prices are fixed in $ but I live in the UK so I receive the money in £). However my current plan is to continue my policy of making the upgrade price simply the same as the difference in prices of the two versions, so nobody buying the plug-in shortly before the new version is released will lose out. To put it another way - don't wait for the new version! Buy it now! Now!

Taking the Leopard plunge

I finally did it - I installed OS X Leopard on the Expert Sleepers development machine. So far so good, and I'm impressed with the genuinely useful enhancements in OS X, and in the new XCode.

Even better, Augustus Loop appears to have built without too much trouble and (from a brief test) appears to run fine in Ableton Live.

So hurrah! Onwards and upwards.

Augustus Loop v1.9 beta expired

The Augustus Loop v1.9.0 beta 1 expired today. There will probably be another beta soon. In the meantime, please use the latest v1.8 version from the downloads page.

To Leopard or not to Leopard?

I just wanted to follow up on the post below, in which I said I'd be moving to Leopard once 10.5.2 came out.

Basically, I didn't, and I'm glad I didn't. It seems a lot of people are having severe problems with audio performance in 10.5.2. There are also problems with 10.4.11 (which I'm using) if you have the latest airport software installed (which I do), but fortunately turning off airport seems to fix it (well, perhaps 'fix' is being a bit generous - 'stop the audio problems at the expense of any wireless network connection' would be more accurate).

So, I'm waiting for 10.5.3. At least.

Meanwhile, I'm not getting any more reports of compatibility problems between Expert Sleepers plug-ins and Leopard, so it's looking pretty good on that front. Do let me know if your experience is less favourable.

Expert Sleepers and Leopard

I thought it was high time I put up some sort of statement about Leopard compatibility.

The current situation is this: all Expert Sleepers plug-ins are currently officially untested in Leopard. I have no reason to suppose that they won't work, but you never know. I've had a couple of reports of problems, but I get that all the time on all OSs (and the problems are almost always resolvable, and due to local installation issues). I've had more reports of the plug-ins working fine in Leopard.

So why officially untested? I've been waiting for Leopard to be a bit more stable before moving to it. It's a small operation here and I don't have the luxury of multiple Macs to test different configurations, and I need to keep my development machine stable at all costs. Based on the vibe on the web so far, I'm glad to have avoided 10.5.0 and 10.5.1.

Therefore, the current plan is to wait for 10.5.2 and then move over development (and therefore testing) to Leopard at that time.

If anyone is using Expert Sleepers stuff on Leopard, I'd love to hear of your experiences, positive or otherwise.