Physical modelling drums

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
payt69
KVRist
207 posts since 4 Mar, 2007

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:50 am

Hi all!

I've been wondering for a while why there don't seem to be any plugins that use physical modelling to achieve highly customizable acoustic drums (i'm a bit sick of the 808-909 clones). I know the roland use this in a system called 'cosm' to generate the sounds of the kicks, toms and snares on their TD series of electronic drumkits (the more expensive ones at least).

In my opinion it should be possible to do it in a VST plug as well. I'm sure it'd be hugely popular, since, if done right, it could pretty much replace those rediculously huge libraries of sampled drumkits (like BFD, DFH, EZ drum, etc).

So i'm wondering: what's the problem? Are there no proper models for drums yet? Does it take too much processing power?

Will we ever see a proper physically modelled drumkit in VST form?

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Muzik 4 Machines
KVRAF
7823 posts since 6 Oct, 2003 from Quebec

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:57 am

didnt attack did that
and taasman?
Image

payt69
KVRist

Topic Starter

207 posts since 4 Mar, 2007

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:09 am

Nope, attack uses some kind of analog modelling and aa bit of FM if i remember correctly.

Tassman does use some physical modelling, but extremely limited. IT does create some nice simple bonga-like stuff, but nothing like a good snare or kickdrum.

In fact i did find a plugin that does use some PM, but also to just a small extend; it still sounds like analog drums, albeit a bit more advanced.

http://araldfx.com/dks/?PHPSESSID=ed221 ... 8062fddb2e

beej
KVRAF
4229 posts since 9 Apr, 2003 from Right here, in front of my computer...

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:50 am

V-Drums are not physically modelled, even though that was kind of how they were marketed, at least initially.

They are samples (a lot came from Eric Persing), with some DSP effects on top to simulate changing shell depths, tunings and so on.

I think some real PM acoustic drums will come along eventually, but it seems to be a complex challenge, otherwise someone would have done it (properly) already...
Image

Jeremy_NSL
KVRAF
2978 posts since 24 Apr, 2003 from Canada

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:58 am

There are PM drums in the machindrum, but its hard to say from the mp3 demos how useful they are. Anyone with a machinedrum want to record a few MP3s of the PM stuff?

Meloday
KVRian
1306 posts since 11 Jun, 2004 from dublin

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:59 am

xoxos has some cool pm percussive stuff-- surface is fantastic.

http://www.xoxos.net/

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Xenox.AFL
KVRian
1165 posts since 14 Oct, 2002 from Germany

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:17 pm

Check out Cerebrum or something like that from Psychic Modulation, it's a VST using the Synthesis, i never checked out the Demo because I am a Mac User... ;)

Frank
Voice, sample and factory content developer Particular-Sound / Facebook / Soundcloud

payt69
KVRist

Topic Starter

207 posts since 4 Mar, 2007

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:29 pm

Thanks for the tips Meloday and Xenox, i will check those out :)

CinningBao
KVRAF
2086 posts since 15 Apr, 2004 from Capital City, UK

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:23 pm

i've managed to get some incredible kiks out of tassman
(mallet->membrane->tube->membrane) - if you've got it, you should try it.
getting the gentle rustle of the snares against the lower skin is a little harder though, i've spent years looking for this and nothing comes close.
however, i bought the HarmVisser Reaktor set and the kik in there (i just checked) is pretty damn good - nice and dry. but still the snare doesn't crack like a real snare.

hihat's have yet to be realistically modelled because, from what i understand, the complicated nature of an excitation across the cymbal surface (much like a stone thrown on a pond) requires 3Dimensional waveguides (and they sound way cool) but are not yet implmentable in todays technology as they would require many thousands of delays lines for anywhere near a reasonable cymbal model.
this page repeats the difficulty of physically modelling snares and cymbals but describes alternative methods using nordModular:
http://www.cim.mcgill.ca/~clark/nordmod ... ssion.html

DKS can generate some pretty convincing drum noises as it has a drum 'shell' model through which you can pass the subtractive/fm/pm sound - it's not bad, but you won't get real snares or cymbals out of it!
don't pass by the free stuff - xoxos' surface is a damn good .. surface :) and though his hihat things utopia and dystopia are cool, again, they aren't physical models.

like i say, i've been looking for this around five years, and as yet, we just aren't there. best current alternatives are things like the sampled based ones you mentioned, though i'd look at one's which don't produce the machine-gun effect on close-retriggers - AddictiveDrums doesn't suffer from this (i've got the demo and i've very close to buying it as my first big sampled based drumkits library thing.

oops, didn't mean to write that much! hope you found something useful there though, other than the sad thought the we shouldn't be expecting excellent realistic physically modelled drums anytime soon. :(

payt69
KVRist

Topic Starter

207 posts since 4 Mar, 2007

Post Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:54 am

Thanks CinningBao, i've had a look at the site of addictivedrums, and it really seems to be an interesting lugin. If the online demo's are anything to go by, i think i like it's sound a lot better than BFD or EZdrum. I might check it out a bit more :)

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pdxindy
KVRAF
20924 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:47 am

Muzik 4 Machines wrote:didnt attack did that
and taasman?
you can get great kick drum with Tassman, and lots of percussion and other drum sounds. I have yet to see a model of a cymbal that is realistic. Incredibly complex.

MadBrain
KVRian
989 posts since 1 Dec, 2004

Post Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:36 am

Modelling most membranes and "solid object" percussions (cowbells, claves, guiros, etc...) is possible by using so called "modal synthesis", which means using a an impulse passed through a set of parallel bandpass filters, one for each of the object's resonances. You usually need at least 10-20 "modes" (ie 10-20 bandpasses). A large part of the complexity is getting the right frequency, decay and volume settings for each mode (harder than it sounds like). Because of frequency range limitations of instruments and your ears, it's usually possible to simulate every important mode.

There are algorithms to compute modes from 2d or 3d shapes, but things aren't that simple: the modes often stray from theorical predictions, especially for membranes, because the air has a large effect on the tuning of the modes. Kettle drums, for instance, are built in a special shape to take advantage of this, to get the modes more in tune. Kicks, snares and toms inversely have more inharmonic modes than a simple membrane would have, in part because they have two membranes: the air inside the drum couples them together, and the net result is that each mode is separated into two detuned modes because of the action of air, which is good for sound but makes calculating the modes from theorical models rather hard.

Snares have a special difficulty: you have to simulate the brushes. I've tried doing this by hooking the modal output to an enveloppe follower (abs() then 15hz lowpass), then using this as the volume for bandpassed noise, then feedbacking the noise back into the bandpass set (watch out the feedback amount though!). This gives something about like this: http://pages.infinit.net/boulam/modal_snare.mp3.

Cymbals are an other story, though, because they are quite non-linear. In general, the louder you play it, the more non-linear it is. If you play a cymbal very softly, you should be able to get an idea of how it would sound if it was linear (and about how close you could hope to get with only modal synthesis). Of course, the "sizzle" (ie non-linearity) is essential to the sound. Afaik, the best attempts yet use 2d waveguides and some form of non-linearity (probably delay line length auto-variation, or filter auto-variation, or something like that). Hihats of course worsen the problem even more because they're doubly non-linear (because of the mechanics of the two cymbals in contact).

So in short, yes, you're eventually going to see physical models that will be able to do most percussions, except cymbals. It's just that, right now, modal synthesis isn't very widely known, thus, few people know how to make physical modelled drum synths. I expect this situation to change slowly...
Last edited by MadBrain on Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

adl
KVRian
1331 posts since 26 Jun, 2005

Post Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:37 am

http://www.bostreammail.net/ers/ersdrums.html
This one says "All sounds are calculated in "real time", no samples are used."

That what you mean?

Hm, a bit crappy Demo :?

I use Drumatic
http://www.e-phonic.com/plugins/drumatic3.php
proud to produce warezless!
my Trap beatz:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4J14A ... -FzS9TNa2w

adl
KVRian
1331 posts since 26 Jun, 2005

Post Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:41 am

Ahh sorry, didn't see you are after "acoustic" sound.
proud to produce warezless!
my Trap beatz:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4J14A ... -FzS9TNa2w

lung
KVRist
331 posts since 23 Apr, 2003

Post Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:28 pm

AraldFX DSK Pro uses physical modelling to enhance electronic drum sounds. Liqih/NUSofting's synths like Marimka are also physically modelled. Not the traditional drum kit though. Cheers

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