Forum rss-feed


General Discussion: Important Announcement from Eigenlabs

Most Recent

written by: cellular_model


Thank you very much for your response.

I guess, it's just those ten thousands hours of practice that are missing.


written by: TheTechnobear

Fri, 28 Jun 2013 14:55:22 +0100 BST

John, I agree, you make some very good points here - as a programmer I have very rarely worked for free :o)

Expecting people to pay for a subscription, is I assume done on the basis that Eigen Labs (or who ever receives the capital) is also going to provide support and software updates.

I think the 'misunderstanding' here, may be due to:
- eigen labs having reduced support and not provided updates since the announcement
- the announcement talked, of reduced contribution by eigen labs, and the foundation being supported by the community via open source type effort.

of course, open source projects, do tend to be free, or live off of donations - but that is because the programmers are not paid.

But I think this may be, a misunderstanding by some (including me :)) of how the eigen foundation will work, and its reliance on the community.
Id say perhaps those expecting it for free, are assuming a more open source model - which i think given your last post, is perhaps incorrect

Also finally, as it looks like the foundation is taking some time to sort out, can I repeat my request for source access, Ive sent the NDA to you twice... also as mentioned, what are your thoughts of open sourcing plg_audio, so we are able to build a 2.1 release.

Thanks again for your efforts, and also giving us more info - it would perhaps be good if you could let us know how things progress more regularly... no promises but just so we dont get the wrong idea/impression or jump to incorrect conclusions :)


written by: TheTechnobear

Fri, 28 Jun 2013 15:01:39 +0100 BST

can't comment if v1 was buggy, as it worked for me.

But I think many other companies would charge a fee for major upgrades, so Eigenlabs are in line with that.

Perhaps Eigenlabs could consider a demo version of v2, i.e. that works for 15minutes?
In fairness though, the upgrade cost as a one-off for the basic v2 is not expensive. (49 GBP) this would let you test it out as needed - this is less than most commercial VSTs :o)

written by: MarkPowell

Fri, 28 Jun 2013 15:01:49 +0100 BST

Hi John,
Just to clarify, you talked about me 'avoiding buying EigenD'. I'm not doing any such thing; I've already paid for the full Pro subscription in the past and there have been no releases since my subscription expired. Incidentally, I've also spent over £5000 on your instruments and accessories (Alpha, Pico, Stage, etc.) and am looking to spend more again on a new breath pipe. This is all a massive commitment to me, since I'm the only bread-winner in our house of 5 and thus that money has involved real sacrifices elsewhere - I also haven't been on a holiday for the last few years for example.

Non-financially I've also tried to be involved in the community and help other users wherever my home situation allows (three kids under 5 take a lot of my time!), plus have already said that the work that I've been doing on trying to integrate EigenD and Ableton Live will be given back to the community as soon as I (or more likely Mark Harris/Geert through their very generous help) can get it into a state where that's practical, rather than the proof of concept kludge that I've hacked together at the moment. Hell, I've even offered to let strangers come to my house to play the instruments, not for any direct benefit to me, but purely to try and do my bit to expand the community and generate more Eigenharp players.

I've never said that I expect all subsequent work on EigenD to be without cost, and indeed aren't adverse to making donations to the foundation when I can, but your original post did say "The full current EigenD, Stage and Workbench software source code will be donated to the foundation by the shareholders of Eigenlabs and will become freely available as a combined system to all users.", so presumably you can see how people have reached that conclusion? Until today you've never said since your announcement of the foundation that continuing to subscribe would 'grease the wheels' in terms of getting that going; in fact you've never even replied to direct questions on here asking whether the wheels are even on, despite the fact that you've been here and answered other threads (the website outage and the guy wanting a refund on his Pico being the ones that spring to mind, along with your thread about the new breath pipes). Without any info on progress, even whether the foundation was to progress, how am I to know that you wouldn't dissolve Eigenlabs Limited, in which case my £140+ wouldn't have any impact whatsoever on the foundation, but rather would go to paying creditors. I'll stress that I sincerely hope this doesn't happen, but you have been very candid about how the company isn't making money, so isn't exactly unprecedented.

I know that the above probably comes across as very negative, and I really don't want to be seen as just moaning. I love the instruments and the community of users, many of whom have spent a lot more time than me in helping others and 'selling' the instruments to other musicians (Geert being the obvious example, but Antonio, Mike, Randy, Mark, Ian and others also contributing an awful lot). Likewise, I genuinely don't doubt your integrity and have a great deal of respect for you; it's obvious that you've carried on ploughing money, time and effort into Eigenlabs without getting a great deal back except a big financial burden and a lot of earache from the likes of me. However, railing at myself and others whose greatest crime seems to be asking what's happening seems rather insulting.

Anyway, I took this afternoon off work to do some playing while the kids are out at Grandma's, so I'm going to stop emulating my favourite XKCD cartoon (, get some lunch and then do some much needed practice at actually playing some music! Repeat after me everyone… "Must resist opening workbench… must resist opening source code…."


written by: BobThDog

Fri, 28 Jun 2013 15:08:33 +0100 BST

TheTechnobear said:
can't comment if v1 was buggy, as it worked for me.

But I think many other companies would charge a fee for major upgrades, so Eigenlabs are in line with that.

Perhaps Eigenlabs could consider a demo version of v2, i.e. that works for 15minutes?
In fairness though, the upgrade cost as a one-off for the basic v2 is not expensive. (49 GBP) this would let you test it out as needed - this is less than most commercial VSTs :o)

Most companies don't charge to fix bugs though!

Version 1 for me is unusable with plugins, it crashes constantly. To me my Pico was a total waste of money. The hardware is great but let done by awful software.

To be quite honest I would be happy with a simple driver that converted the keys to midi or OSC. The over bloated, inefficient and buggy software that came with it is a joke.

written by: TheTechnobear

Fri, 28 Jun 2013 15:48:14 +0100 BST

If the v1 hosting is an issue, can you not just use a midi setup - then you would have the equivalent of the midi driver you hope for.
btw,Im not defending EL/EigenD, as have little experience with 1.4x, just offering ideas.

anyway, i suggest create another thread, so this one is not taken further off-topic

written by: geert

Sat, 29 Jun 2013 00:30:29 +0100 BST

@BobTheDog sorry to hear that you have problems with EigenD 1. However, I've personally not been aware of any major plugin incompatibilities. Sadly, it's almost impossible to properly host all AU and VST plugins since the hosting model is extremely poorly specified. It basically comes down to 'if it works in Logic or Cubase, it's fine'. Many other plugin hosts have a lot of problems with many plugins, even Logic and Cubase actually!

Now, concretely, which plugins have you got trouble with? I can't remember a report from you (though I've been less involved for the past few months). Have you reached out to the plugin makers to see what they say? You might be surprised, but quite a lot of them take compatibility problems seriously and will try to help you or improve their plugin.

written by: BobThDog

Sat, 29 Jun 2013 06:35:31 +0100 BST

Hi Geert,

All plugins cause me problems!

I tried my Pico again the other day, after 7 crashes in an hour or so I gave up.

Five of these :

Exception Codes: 0x0000000000000002, 0x0000000000000000

Application Specific Information:
dyld: launch, loading dependent libraries

Dyld Error Message:
Library not loaded: @executable_path/libpic_1_4_12_stable.dylib
Referenced from: /Applications/Eigenlabs/*/
Reason: image not found

Two of these:

Exception Codes: KERN_PROTECTION_FAILURE at 0x0000000000000000

VM Regions Near 0:
--> __PAGEZERO 0000000000000000-0000000000001000 [ 4K] ---/--- SM=NUL /usr/pi/release-1.4.12-stable/bin/eigend
__TEXT 0000000000001000-000000000004c000 [ 300K] r-x/rwx SM=COW /usr/pi/release-1.4.12-stable/bin/eigend

written by: geert

Sat, 29 Jun 2013 08:07:52 +0100 BST

Can you please be more specific, which plugins are you trying? I doubt it's all of them that are in existence.

written by: BobThDog

Sat, 29 Jun 2013 08:12:41 +0100 BST

Ok, all plugins that I have tried, I do not have all plugins in existence!

On that day I was using Diva and Plogue Bidule I think.

But As I have said whatever plugin I try it crashes.

I get it out the Box every 6 months or so, plug it in, get sick of the crashes and put it back in the box.

Maybe I am unlucky

written by: geert

Sat, 29 Jun 2013 23:08:32 +0100 BST

FYI, Plogue Bidule is handy but running as a plugin it's quite buggy. I've had it crash many other hosts.

written by: BobThDog

Sat, 29 Jun 2013 23:33:31 +0100 BST

Those exceptions seem to be in your code though?



written by: MarkPowell

Sun, 30 Jun 2013 00:16:01 +0100 BST

Hi Bob,
You mentioned that you'd prefer to have a Midi-only setup - are you getting the same crashes if you use the '4 VST or Audio Unit and 4 Midi Out' Pico setup? That's obviously a lot simpler than the normal factory setup and you could use it with no VST's/AU's loaded if you're just after the MIDI to send to a host.

Regarding the plugin crashes, are you using the latest version of Diva? There was a new version a few months ago with quite a few bug fixes included - it may not work any better, but it's worth a try if you're on an older version. Also, have you tried doing a Verify/Repair Files from Disk Manager? I've had that sort out stability problems in Live in the past.

As Technobear mentioned earlier in the thread, it might be worth moving the discussion to a fresh thread to avoid cluttering the main thread up.


written by: BobThDog

Sun, 30 Jun 2013 07:08:52 +0100 BST

Hi Mark,

I'm getting it out of the box again today to do some testing, I will open a new thread about it.



written by: geert

Sun, 30 Jun 2013 10:45:04 +0100 BST

BobThDog said:
Those exceptions seem to be in your code though?



That doesn't mean much, since there's only memory protection per process, not per library. I've seen misbehaving plugins causing bad memory access elsewhere, specifically in their cleanup code (when you remove a plugin), since there is no standard cleanup scenario. I've also seen plugins that simply never were tested with the amount of data that is sent from the Eigenharp, triggering frequent internal problems.

For the record, if you're using Plogue Bidule as a plugin, expect unstable host software when you close the Bidule plugin instance. It's quite frequent with EigenD, but also with other hosts that I've used. Again, since the plugin cleanup routines are not standardized in any spec (mostly the coordination between the GUI and processing threads), having a plugin that hosts other plugins just makes things every worse.

We did rework the whole internal EigenD memory allocation for v2.0, which improved speed, memory usage and also got rid of some very rare corner-case bugs. At the same time we also streamlined a lot of the plugin cleanup logic and put artificial coordination in place to try to mitigate these plugin cleanup problems. So, EigenD 2 is a lot better in many aspects, but it sadly can't fix those problems I mention above for each and every plugin.

written by: BobThDog

Sun, 30 Jun 2013 10:47:33 +0100 BST

I will test with some other plugins and send you the crash dumps in another thread...

I must admit I have never had bidule crash another host though!

written by: BobThDog

Sun, 30 Jun 2013 10:57:16 +0100 BST

please see

First crash after a few minutes, Korg LegacyCell

written by: Bjoern

Wed, 3 Jul 2013 16:34:25 +0100 BST

On the issue of subscription: As there is a foundation being established, and certain 'assets' are being handed over, and may be open source, a subscription as such isn't really going to work any more.

I am sure this has been thought about, and perhaps even commented on elsewhere, but a better model IMHO would be to set up the foundation, with amply opportunities for the community to get involved through membership.

You might have some material benefits from membership, but even if you don't actually get anything material, it's an established model, and could work well. People get that a foundation needs to run somehow, and if people want to have a stake in how it's run, they can become members. You could also have different levels of membership (perhaps including organisational membership, and sponsoring membership) etc.

Also, if it's a foundation, people can take ownership, and may be (even) more inclined to contribute through looking after forums, organising events, offering skills etc. Sometimes people can't give money, but they can give time.

It's a plunge to move from subscription to membership, but it seems that the subscription model didn't really work. If it hasn't worked commercially, why would if run by a foundation? So I would say that the sooner a new model for contribution is available, the better. Ideally one would look to other open source communities, and try to learn from them what worked and what didn't.

A key thing is to see how strong the community is, and what may be possible. I am sure there are many Eigenharp users and supporters that would be happy to help organise some sort of launch event, and get things moving forward!

Just some thoughts!

written by: john

Wed, 3 Jul 2013 17:21:53 +0100 BST

Hi Bjoern

Thanks for your thoughts, it's all grist to the mill. I am contemplating several approaches at the moment, and a membership scheme of some kind is certainly possible. The current software sales model has actually done OK, it's bought in some cash it's just that software development is a very expensive activity (it's those darn programmers and the diet of caviar they live on), so it's never going to bring in enough to make it anywhere near break even in the near future without additional sources of funding. The real issue is less about whether or not we should have membership, or subscriptions, or just donations, it's really about how much that we can raise and the amount the community will contribute.

I am mildly cynical about quite how generous the overall community of musicians might be, having now worked in the industry on and off for thirty years. Many musicians are very generous and reasonable people(you know who you are, thankyou), but there are also a significant number who are not and will just, if its possible, take advantage of everyone else. They always have excellent reasons for behaving as they do (I am poor, I am a student, I already gave you some money two years ago etc, even as they buy another beer at the bar) I suspect that in reality there is little that can be done about such people and it's just a horrible thing that we have to live with, but the little Hitler in me would like to make them contribute somehow. Futile, I know. I have been somewhat burned by the large amount of moaning that erupted at us charging anything for software at all, it was not an edifying moment for the Eigenharp community and it was a little difficult for me (and other people here as well I suspect) to maintain full motivation for a while after that. I've got over it now :) but it was a challenge at the time.

The best idea I have so far is to enable people to contribute in various ways, financially and in terms of time, and to label them appropriately on our forums as such via some kind of status. There is great value to unforced contribution, and people can be very generous in such circumstances. A public acknowledgement of such generosity might be very worthwhile. Nothing is yet decided though, and the jury is out at present. Other open source models offer some guidelines, but they often have much larger user communities, which changes the dynamics considerably and does allow for a much larger percentage of 'free riders' than we can really survive with long term as a viable foundation.

My personal preference is for a completely GPL codebase, all open and freely downloadable. Whether or not people are prepared to contribute enough to make that possible every year is a big question and if people think that £50 is a large amount to contribute to that, as many seem to judging from comments I've seen from some and many of the reactions to our current commercial pricing, then we are probably not going to do terribly well as a foundation - our community is numbered in the thousands, not tens, hundreds of thousands or millions and everyone chipping in a couple of dollars isn't going to go very far as a consequence.

I'm interested to hear everyones thoughts on this, please keep 'em coming.


written by: BobThDog

Wed, 3 Jul 2013 17:36:40 +0100 BST

I am unfortunately one of the "I already gave you some money two years ago etc, even as they buy another beer at the bar who want to take advantage of everyone else"

I think one of the issues concerning the software upgrade cost is that when people buy a Hardware instrument they don't then expect to pay for software upgrades to it that even though they may add more functionality also contain bug fixes.

I cannot think of any other hardware instrument I have where upgrades have been charged.

If this subscription based model had of been made clear at the time of purchase then obviously things would be different but I don't seem to remember anything about it when I pre-ordered my Pico in 2009.

Since I got my Pico the software has never worked for me well, so I have an instrument that never works. This must make me selfish not to want to pay more to attempt to get it working?

written by: Bjoern

Wed, 3 Jul 2013 17:39:22 +0100 BST

Hi John,

Have you or somebody else run surveys to see what current eigenharp owners would like, and what people would be prepared to pay?

I guess one could also look at other membership schemes. E.g. music subscription or other regular donations. A "reasonable" monthly donation, times a community size of the order of thousands might provide some income for coordination and bringing in volunteers, e.g. volunteer programmers.

I don't know how other open source audio-visual applications are faring, and what sort of community engagement there is for those.


Please log in to join the discussions