Madrona Labs Sumu

been a long time coming, but (early access) is here

introduction price of $129 (vs $179)

Im a big fan of Randy’s work at Madrona Labs.
Aalto is still my favourite soft synth even after so many years…

this one is is different beast, and im looking forward to giving it a go.

I know some here were on the beta program, care to share your thoughts?


one Important note: (that Ive just seen)

this is early access, and one of the feature scheduled for the full release is

so I take from this, that MPE is not supported in this early access

I need to check if the soundplane’s OSC format is also supported in EA.

the above link, has details about the EA version, whats missing etc.
also, there is a demo, so you can check to see if EA is missing any features you need.


Yeah, I’m on beta team since day one, waiting for this :wink:


so what do you think?

I had a quick play with the demo yesterday…
it wasn’t a great start, as first time I launched it, it crashed… (Live 12)

second time worked ok…
I went thru the presets, and honestly, I wasn’t blown away.
they are very full, with (unsurprising) digital flavour.

I think the ‘issue’ for me was, the presets I liked most, could be achieved pretty easily with an FM synth… albeit using different techniques.
for sure the more wacky, couldn’t but they didnt have much appeal.
also, I found it tricky to get meaningful modulation going, which makes me wonder how well this’ll play with mpe etc.

ofc, this is not fair, a quick play with a synth won’t reveal its depths.
… and I didnt touch vutu, nor did I read the manual :laughing:
(I also didn’t dive to deeply in to the pulses, which I think is a large part of sumu)

but yeah, I came away feeling, this was going to be creating tones that are a bit too harsh for my taste… (which is, frankly, the issue I often have with Kaivo)

though, perhaps Im being unfair, possibly because I really just want Aalto 2, with it lovely smooth west coast tones :wink:


This is very similar to the additive tool that Christophe Duquense has been building for the EaganMatrix, demoed at ContinuuCon 2024 (he said to ship maybe late summer). Both are based on the open-source Loris.

From what I’ve seen of the demos the whole process and technique can be challenging to get good results, and many source samples will be useless. I expect you can end up with better modulation results out of the EaganMatrix. Some of the work that Chistophe and Ed Eagan did for the Dune2 sound track were created with it. Christophe has been regularly playing a preset built using the tool using a sample of AR Rahman’s daughter singing, that sounds great.


yeah, I saw/heard this last year at ContinuuCon and Superbooth, and discussed it quite a bit with Christophe.
indeed, challenging to get good results, so definitely need to spend some more time with it.

I’d guess, although there are differences in approach, some time with sumu/vutu will also pay dividends when we get to play with within the EM.

ofc, also, Sumu is early access, so there are a few things not quite finalised yet… and hopefully for full release there will be some new examples/presets.

anyway… I do need to invest some more time in it :slight_smile: