Hardware Physical Modelling


I haven’t played with Aalto much but I really enjoy Kaivo. Looks like the waveguide/delay module is just a super fast delay line with a peaking filter?

I almost got a CG Products delay before I decided to go for a d0 instead, and I use it in a similar fashion to the Aalto module sometimes. The 1022 sounds lovely but the shortest delay possible is around 1.3 ms which in pitch terms falls around F1. d0 is an interpolating delay (capable of delay times smaller than its sample-rate) like the one in Aalto and goes down to 2 micro seconds which equates to around a D#8, so a much wider range. I tend to use mine for physical modeling, but I’ll run oscillators through it and use it as a phaser or comb filter or just an indescribable tone shaper as well. There’s so much you can do with a super-short delay in a modular system.

The Doepfer BBD’s are really noisy, also needing external filters, but they seem to always have a lofi edge to my ears, even when filtered, which is great if you’re into that sound.


According to Schneider’s it’s 1.3ms or 760Hz without CV but will go faster than that with it. From the demos it sure sounds like it’s getting considerably higher.

From my experiments with Aalto it can’t seem to self-oscillate above 2Khz without getting overwhelmed with a weird resonance down around 200Hz. I typically use it with its base frequency switch in the 110-880 range, so the 1022’s range should be fine for me :slight_smile:

The d0 is kind of unobtanium at this point – last used price I saw was $500. And I’m not too comfortable with some of what I’ve read about the user experience on it.


Ah, okay I had just assumed the CV could lengthen delay time beyond its innate scale but not shorten it. All of CG Products modules look super cool, I’d love to try out the Peak and Hold especially.


Good thread loving reading through this! I’m really into physical modeling and Karplus strong. Also weird delays that do it as well, kinda wish I didn’t ditch the echophon but loving the DLD


Not sure if you folks have seen this

I still haven’t heard any hardware which matches the VL1 or VL1m


That thing sounds great! Pricey though :flushed:


Reading about the VL1 and possible alternatives led me down a rabbit hole that ended here: https://www.emusician.com/gear/harm-visser

But Harm Visser’s site is down. Anybody know if his Reaktor ensembles can still be found anywhere?


similarly would love any and all information about SOFTWARE physical modeling; I’ve been curious about it for a while.

Maybe eventually I’ll brush up my reading-C chops up to the point where I can take a look at Rings’ code…


20 characters of plus one!


Chet Singer’s ensembles seem like another interesting Reaktor option.

From the Max side of the world:


Software Physical Modeling

This is just my personal opinion based on investigations I’ve had to do for projects. I’m also biased because my need for physical modelling has been in the context of composition for games where I’m looking to emulate as close to a physical instrument as possible but with a bit of an ‘otherworldly’ quality.

The best I’ve found in the software realm has been AAS Chromaphone 2. It’s really spectacular and allows for amazing sounds. I can’t count the number of different software instruments I’ve tried but it’s mostly been disappointment. That includes Kaivo, which I found to really impractical and wasn’t into what I was producing from it!


oh sorry, I didn’t mean that as a criticism of the topic at all, just wanted to see if @jasonw22 had any other leads, since I probably have plenty of hardware already :sweat_smile:


Ditto the Chromaphone 2 endorsement. AAS’s plugins are all great examples of physical modeling in software.


+1 Chromaphone 2 (and actually AAS’s stuff in Ableton)

I love MI Elements and Rings… in both hardware and software form.
(Software forms: VCVRack, PureData , others?)

@jasonw22 I think the harm-visser stuff has been gone for a while.

Supercollider I think has some interesting stuff in this area too…


I’m kinda surprised nobody has 'em stashed somewhere. seems like it was a lot of work.


When I saw the title of the thread the first thing I thought of was analog computers that model a system of diff. eqs with another physical system that’s easier to manipulate—faster, smaller or what have you. Because otherwise, everything is software!

Someone brought up the Aalto waveguide. You could do an analog hardware version of this, but it might be tricky. A saturation in the loop allows feedback to not blow up, and is responsible for the harmonics generated. It’s asymmetrical around 0 in a very specific way that would not be straightforward to construct as a stable analog circuit. With this and a very high quality digital delay you’d have a really fun waveguide module though so it might be worth doing.


How about some Madrona labs eurorack modules @randy ?
(Once the Soundplane one is done of course :))


This image is circulating as potentially a new Korg Volca. Looks cool if real (but could be fake)


I’m not really into Eurorack in general. The Soundplane module adds a bunch of value to that instrument for a lot of folks though so it seems important.


I have been mostly using Ableton collision and tension + steam pipe2 in Reaktor and I can really recommend all of them. But to be honest I am not looking for the most realistic simulations, just things that can’t be done (or are hard to achieve) using subtractive synthesis/fm. I had a lot of fun just modulating various parameters using midi CC and getting various otherwordly sounds.

And about hardware physical modeling it hasn’t been mentioned here but Elektron Machinedrum has 6 physical modelling instruments. I would say that they sound rather weak when you would compare them to real drums but again a lot can be achieved by modulating parameters etc.
New volca will use physical modelling http://cdm.link/app/uploads/2018/12/vdrum.png I hope it is not a fake, and that it will have all parameters available to be controlled through midi/osc. (EDIT: just noticed that DMR posted this two posts earlier, sorry for posting same image twice in topic)