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Physical Modeling synths. More than just emulation?

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion

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DSmolken
KVRist
 
377 posts since 20 Sep, 2013, from Poland

Postby DSmolken; Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:58 am Re: Physical Modeling synths. More than just emulation?

Great picture, yeah. I really do like the idea of physically modeling acoustic instruments which are possible but just too damn inconvenient due to size or cost. Size doesn't mean too big, either. How about a really really tiny mandolin to layer with synth plucks? Like this, but even smaller.

Image

Or a violin with a top so thin and light it would break, but we can simulate how it would sound if it didn't break.

Also, I like editing and layering samples of bowed strings, then resynthesizing them and passing them through typical subtractive synth filters/effects. It's kind of like emulating an impossible subtractive synth with double basses for resonators. It'd be real nice to be using physical models instead of resynthesis.

These are the kinds of things I'd like to try someday. Somewhat removed from the physical limitations of real instruments I actually have access to, but not totally out there.
yemski
KVRist
 
446 posts since 1 Apr, 2004, from London

Postby yemski; Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:25 am Re: Physical Modeling synths. More than just emulation?

Xenos wrote:I've thought for a while that pure physical modeling synthesis is capable of so much more than just emulating real instruments. Wasn't the Hartmann Neuron hardware synth supposed to be an expansion on that concept?

Wouldn't it be cool if a dev took the core physical modeling concept and abandoned the idea of emulation altogether, coupled with an efficient, streamlined workflow? Sure, Tassman is quite capable, but it's a bear to use (just my own opinion).

I really like inherent cold, rough sound you get from physical modeling when you deviate from trying to make the same old guitars and violins. It's unique. Definitely distinctive from VA, FM, granular or additive. IMHO, to really use physical modeling as a form of abstract synthesis would require access to more advanced and specific parameters than what is typically offered in a PM synth.

Take a selection of different exciters - hammer, membrane, plucked string, bowed string, brass mouthpiece, reed mouthpiece, flute mouthpiece, and the typical synth waveforms + noise. Run them through a wide selection of resonators, which are then run through some analog style filters, plus effects at the end. Here's where it gets cool: How about modulating the SIZE of the chosen resonator and the MATERIAL model with LFOs, envelopes, modwheel, etc.? How about being able to modulate some of the exciter parameters? Maybe have 2 layers of exciter --> resonator --> output instead of one, plus a 2nd filter for much more sonic possibilities. You could have one layer with a typical saw waveform giving a steady tone (run through modulating resonators for interesting flange-like effects), and another layer an octave higher using a bowed waveform for a dirty, scraping pad sound. Have each layer run through its own filter. Add a delay at the end, set to a high feedback setting, and have the delay speed modulated by an LFO at a low setting. Should be able to get some interesting, metallic, moving soundscapes that way.


Xenos could you give me a reply on those two pm's I sent you.Especially the one regarding Blade.Thanks Yemski.
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MillerSam
KVRist
 
494 posts since 21 Dec, 2012

Postby MillerSam; Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:43 am Re: Physical Modeling synths. More than just emulation?

AAS has written on their website that they work on a new String Studio Version 2 ;) (in answers of questions of users)

Working on the final details. No official release date yet but we are going as quickly as possible
Last edited by MillerSam on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gamma-UT
KVRAF
 
2516 posts since 8 Jun, 2009, from UK

Postby Gamma-UT; Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:46 am Re: Physical Modeling synths. More than just emulation?

Xenos wrote:Here's where it gets cool: How about modulating the SIZE of the chosen resonator and the MATERIAL model with LFOs, envelopes, modwheel, etc.? How about being able to modulate some of the exciter parameters? Maybe have 2 layers of exciter --> resonator --> output instead of one, plus a 2nd filter for much more sonic possibilities. You could have one layer with a typical saw waveform giving a steady tone (run through modulating resonators for interesting flange-like effects), and another layer an octave higher using a bowed waveform for a dirty, scraping pad sound. Have each layer run through its own filter. Add a delay at the end, set to a high feedback setting, and have the delay speed modulated by an LFO at a low setting. Should be able to get some interesting, metallic, moving soundscapes that way.


Going back to the original post, some of those things you can't change without artefacts, such as actual resonator dimensions. Chromaphone lets you alter the width of a pipe, which I imagine is easier to pull off without introducing clicks, and it's handy for crazy whale noises. But Absynth, for example, doesn't cater for changing resonator size in real time without clicks. Kaivo seems to have resonator sizes baked into preset models. However, what you can do in these, as well as Sculpture etc, is alter the pickup position. Material also seems to lend itself to LFOs and controllers as it seems to be mainly a damping function.

One thing I've found though is that with these manipulations you don't tend to get otherworldly sounds but the sounds of objects that might exist in the real world. Good old-fashioned subtractive and additive synthesis seem to be better suited for those. But, having said that, what is good about using physical analogues is that it puts more emphasis on using articulations. One of the neat models in Harm Visser's library for Tassman is a hammered dulcimer that you 'scrape' with the mod wheel. It works beautifully. Now, imagine that kind of articulation on something that sounds much more synthetic.
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zerocrossing
KVRAF
 
7172 posts since 26 Jun, 2006, from San Francisco Bay Area

Postby zerocrossing; Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:48 am Re: Physical Modeling synths. More than just emulation?

Has xoxos' synths been mentioned yet? Lot's of fun stuff there:

http://www.xoxos.net/
Zerocrossing Media
http://www.zerocrossing.net
4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~
Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
 
3819 posts since 12 May, 2008

Postby Echoes in the Attic; Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:31 am Re: Physical Modeling synths. More than just emulation?

ThomasHelzle wrote:Yeah, I agree. It's just that I am no longer able to read the StringStudio GUI. I only hope they don't continue this and what they did with Ultra Analog 2.
In the age of high-resolution displays, those microscopic GUIs are ridiculous.


I agree. Looking forward to String Studio 2. It could use a new GUI and hopefully they go similar to Chromaphone, which is nice, and not like Ultra Analog 2, which has too small a GUI with too many tabs and still small text.
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zerocrossing
KVRAF
 
7172 posts since 26 Jun, 2006, from San Francisco Bay Area

Postby zerocrossing; Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:40 am Re: Physical Modeling synths. More than just emulation?

BasariStudios wrote:Lol, people still use Tassman? This was designed for Windoze 98.


I do. I got it on their $99 sale and frankly I don't care when it was coded, it rocks in many ways. Like I said, if only they'd fix some of the bugs... :pray:

... and yeah, I'll also make a plea (I've done this privately to AAS but...) for a Tassman 5. I'd buy it in a heartbeat if they fixed the bugs, updated the UI and maybe added a few cool modules. I have little hope though. I was shocked at how bad Ultra Analog 2 was. It was like they didn't even try. "Look! We added some multi-effects!" :roll: How about something useful like a modern mod matrix?
Zerocrossing Media
http://www.zerocrossing.net
4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~
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BasariStudios
KVRist
 
409 posts since 25 Sep, 2011, from New York

Postby BasariStudios; Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:42 am Re: Physical Modeling synths. More than just emulation?

Lol, Ultra Analog 1 and 2 completely SUCK!!! There is no question about it. I like Tassman a lot but that thing is one of the most unstable piece of software. Yes, it sounds good but design for Windoze 98 or even 95 won't work for me. If there was Tassman 5 for Win7 x64 and up i'd buy it in a bit.
http://www.basaristudios.com
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