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Inspired by analogue synth legend Don Buchla's legendary and quirky units, Aalto is brimming with features that provide an alternative to common methods of sound design, composition and performance. It's a semi-modular instrument, so it offers a fixed number of synthesis components, but these can be freely patched together.
Right from first launch, it's obvious that we're in new territory here. Aalto's GUI is divided into two sections. The top half of the interface sports most of the modulation and control sources, while the lower half provides oscillator, filter and other audio-level modules.
Madrona Labs has gone out on a limb with an instrument that can at first seem intimidating, but really isn't too hard to grasp. It sounds rich, evocative and wonderfully weird at times -if you got into synths because you wanted to explore new sonic territory, check it out.4 Stars