Physical model of a string (simulates newtonian forces in beads of a string)

(37 Votes)
0.4 (Updated 18 years ago)
October 28, 2003
Reaktor 5 or lower


Most so-called string modelling ensembles use delays (with delay time modified by pitch). This ensemble calculates the actual newtonian forces at 40 points on a virtual string for each sample.

The good news is that this gives a lot of advantages (e.g. being able to damp only parts of the string, and also being able place pickups all over the string). The bad news is that it eats a lot of resources; i get 8 voices for 75% processor time on a P4 2ghz.

Other news is that it dosn't always sound like a string:). But it does produce some interesting and rich sounds. It's it notably responsive for how you pluck/bow the string and where on the string you pluck/bow it.

It also features a feedback system that feeds the combined output back into the strings. The practical value of this is that you can play a chord and hear new harmonics form by themselves. Guitar players might notice that this is similar to plucking a string, damping it, and then still being able to hear the other 5 strings vibrate in related harmonics. The impractical value of this is that you can get loud self sustained feedbacks if you're not careful.

As a bonus, I've included a StringReverb. Instead of plucking or bowing the string, you feed a mono input to the string. It sounds more like playing a gig inside a metallic tube, however.

There's lots of room for improvement on this instrument. Feel free to experiment with it (and please send me a note if you come up with something interesting)


Dark Smith
2 years ago
Thanks for the share.
Andrew Dauphinais
3 years ago
Computers may not have been able to handle this wonderful ensemble in 2003, but this is an incredibly cool project. No issues on a modern machine.
Christian Renz
17 years ago
Hmm... can't get this to output any sound at all...
Tobias Wagner
18 years ago
I wished I had a Mac fast enough to say something about the sound (G4 DP400). So far I guess, it requires massive computing power. Is it possible to optimize the math?
Anders Anders Straadt
18 years ago
thanks for the replies. i'm sorry it dosn't work well on your macs. the only real difference between v0.3 and v0.4 is that v0.4 is setup with a higher initial number of voices (and v0.4 also has one more preset IIRC), so try lowering the polyphony if you get processor overloads. i'm not planning new versions, since this was just kind of a testbed. instead i'm considering programming a much more comprehensive VST instrument using the same basic principles.
Colin-Patrick Charles
18 years ago
Anders, this is pretty ambitious stuff. The 0.3 version (and not .4) works on my mac, tho it eats a chunkload of cpu. I've gotten some most interesting sounds out of it. Hope to see a newer version that eats less cpu so it can be used with effects. peace
listed as demo user
18 years ago
GG.G SakabeaT
18 years ago
cant play the 0.4 version (cpu overload)(pc athlon1900+,xp pro,),dont know why....but the 0.3 version is working fine...
Alistair May
18 years ago
Kevin Hopper
18 years ago
Sorry, doesn't work on Mac G4 665 on any level. Pity, because the description was interesting.
Kevin Hopper
18 years ago
Andrew Cohen
18 years ago
Doesn't work on my Mac: Processor overload on a dual 1.25/OS9 @44.1k. At 22k, loud digital explosions when changing patches, but nothing else. Can someone figure out what's wrong?
Stefan Chowdhury
18 years ago
quiet ok for a "string" instrument, but to me nothing really new. unfortunately no strings again. i could need some. works on pc.
Stefan Chowdhury
18 years ago
Kimmo Kivelä
18 years ago
OS X 10.2.8. I get sound out with 22 khz, but shoots audio out and some of the snapshots are just dead.
Shaw Cunningham
18 years ago
Crashes my system (G4 dual 800 MHz, 1.25G RAM, Panther) haven't tried a second time... anyone else having trouble with this on a Mac -- specifically the new Panther OS ????
Phil Durrant
18 years ago
i would love to be able to use this but i get a processor overload no matter how low i have the sample rate even with just 1 voice. (g3 500Mhz powerbook)....ah well....