A physical modeling synthesizer/effects processor

(155 Votes)
2.0 (Updated 12 years ago)
April 06, 2006
Reaktor 5 or lower


This is a modification of Gabriel Mulzer's modal synthesizer, uploaded by request.

Modal synthesis is a method using bands to create sounds something like those produced by bar percussion instruments, although the method can be generalized to dozens of other sounds.

I made several modifications to make this instrument (relatively) easy to understand, easy to program, and easy to customize. It can receive audio in information or use samples so you can customize the excitation source completely. For example, if you run drum loops through it, you can make them sound like bells and gongs, which is pretty cool if you ask me.

Any suggestions or comments for improvement would be greatly appreciated.

The latest upload now includes another instrument that is a lot like the bwonngg, except it uses additive sinewave synthesis rather that bands. It's interesting as a comparison, and is also good for bell-like sounds.


Christian Huygen
3 years ago
This is glorious. Thanks David Coffin for repackaging it with some other stuff - I just had to come pay my respects. Christian Huygen, July 30, 2016
Ron James
12 years ago
Its pretty cool. Fairly easy to manipulate. I got it to make an accellerating helicopter blade sound but it will not bounce out of Logic (latest version of Logic, Reactor). When I go to bounce, realtime or offline, it begins to skip. I am using tempo accelleration in Logic, It works fine until a bounce, then it skips and it continues skipping until you reinstantiate it.
12 years ago
woah - this is lovely. the tuning options are fantastic! organic and beautiful. it's definitely on a par with the HV modules!
ant stewart
13 years ago
struggling a bit with the volume levels and preset eight clicks.
N Marsh
13 years ago
Thanks very much! love it. those articles sound interesting where can I find them?
John Kammeyer-Mueller
13 years ago
Make sure you push play to start the arpeggiator if you're not getting any sound. It does work on OSX. And Stephen, thanks for the references. That bowed string you set up with Gabriel is really great (I downloaded it from the discussion boards). As Gabriel mentioned to me and you surely noticed if you looked under the hood, this currently is only a banded synth because there aren't formal waveguides implemented in the process (except in the resonator). I'm looking to work on that component soon for more rubbed or bowed metal sounds. More to come!
John Stainton
13 years ago
No Sound on OSX?
Red Wierenga
13 years ago
Another interesting read is Perry Cook's Real Sound Synthesis for Interactive Applications. It's less academic than many of those articles, which on one hand is nice because it makes the different physical models easy to understand, although sometimes it'd be nice to explore things a little deeper. This is an area I'm very interested in, so I'm eager to see what you're able to develop.
Red Wierenga
13 years ago
Nice. Since you mentioned those articles, I'm sure you've read about banded waveguides. These would allow you to simply choose which excitation mechanism to use, the current striking mechanism, or to give an obvious example, bowing. Search the forum for bowed string synthesis. Gabriel and I worked on a bowed string model. You could take the bow-string interaction portion of the model and insert it into a banded waveguide model.
John Kammeyer-Mueller
13 years ago
thanks all for the comments. although i should emphasize once again that the "core" of this synth is based very heavily on a cell designed by gabriel mulzer, so he really should receive the lion's share of the credit for doing the physical modeling in reaktor. gabriel also pointed me toward academic articles (mostly by georg essl and perry cook) that i used as source material to implement a simple four-controller technique for modifying the waveguides. what would be really outstanding is developing ideas for how to change the excitation mechanism to be more like "rubbing" than the current "struck" percussive sound.
daniel battaglia
13 years ago
very cool johann, i think this is really fantastic. physical models in Reaktor - its cool to know they can be done beyond just the karplus-strong string thing. keep up the good work!
Zip Boterbloem
13 years ago
Microtonal scales included... Excellent!
13 years ago
Your GUI has a special color, I love olive.