circuit simulation

Discussion in 'REAKTOR' started by ashwaganda, Nov 25, 2008.

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  1. ashwaganda

    ashwaganda Forum Member

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    does anyone in the forum know of an application that enables you to build virtual circuits from the ground up (using virtual resistors, capacitors, etc.) to create instruments? there are plenty of circuit simulation programs out there ... but i don't know of any that generate sound.

    :)
     
  2. ashwaganda

    ashwaganda Forum Member

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    what i'm thinking: if you want to get a virtual analog sound as close as possible to a real analog sound, working with virtual electronic components (resistors, capacitors, inductors, etc.) might be the way to go.

    i think it would be possible to create a set of realistic electronic components in reaktor core and/or primary. you wouldn't need very many to enable users to build simple sound generation devices. could be really fun! (instructive too.)
     
  3. wuntun

    wuntun NI Product Owner

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    Hmmm, sounds interesting. I know almost nothing about programming, but it seems to me that to get the full benefit of this analog approach would mean modelling all the non-linearities of each component. Wouldnt that be complex and computationally expensive? Maybe also awesomely awesome...
     
  4. KKivela

    KKivela NI Product Owner

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  5. ashwaganda

    ashwaganda Forum Member

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    yes. the sound would depend on the "wrongness" of the components. :)
    ---
    thanks for the link to what looks like a good program!
     
  6. wuntun

    wuntun NI Product Owner

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  7. ZooTooK

    ZooTooK NI Product Owner

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    Rick, could you explore a bit what you want to achieve?
     
  8. ashwaganda

    ashwaganda Forum Member

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    :)

    first, i'm renewing my familiarity with electronic circuits, haven't really gone there since my childhood heathkit, allied radio, and lafayette days. as a musician, it naturally interests to me to make sound with the circuits i'm building.

    second, i would like to test out the hypothesis that using virtual electronic components in a virtual circuit could generate a more real analog sound.
     
  9. Horuschild

    Horuschild NI Product Owner

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    I believe such things have been discussed by developers in the KVR forums. It seems the general consensus is that it would not be CPU wise nor is sensible as the nature of it is completely different.

    None the less I am more then attracted to the idea for producing certain circuit bent behaviors. It was my intention to do that with the guitar stuff I made but I did give up and went in a direction that just achieved the sound I was looking for. Even with programs such as Revalver that claim to give the user accesses to a simulation to the flow of current to the tubes and adjust the manner in which this is handled seems to be nothing more then a complex algorithm for adjusting BP filtering.
     
  10. wuntun

    wuntun NI Product Owner

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    what is the relationship of Arturia's 'total analogue emulation' to this? Is it just marketing hype, or something else...?
     
  11. ZooTooK

    ZooTooK NI Product Owner

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    In the quest for finding the analog grail I think it's more important to understand what imperfections an oscillator or a filter has and emulating that on the Reaktor modules than trying to build oscillators from ground up based on ciruit components. Analyzing real circuits would help though to understand what imperfections to emulate.

    My findings are that by modulate the amplitude AND frequency both at LFO rate (<1 Hz) and at audio rate (>60Hz), in a controlled random manor is adding some analog feel.

    Studing wav files give you some clues - but not just one single cycle. It's the difference between a series of cycles that makes it analog. "You can never step into the same river twice" by Heraclitus is the key IMHO.

    As you, Rick are the man defining the word "random" in the Reaktor world I'm sure you'll think of something...;)
     
  12. CList

    CList Moderator

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    3,299
    Hola all,

    IMHO, the problem is that at the end of the day you're dealing with digital and it will always be digital. Whether it's vinyl vs digital, film vs digital, or circuits vs digital. The inherent "problem"* with digital which makes it a bad substitute for analog is that at some point everything gets quantized. If you're running an analog circuit simulation on a pc - you're still processing quantized samples and sending them to a DAC. Even the circuit simulator is simulating based on samples of real-world voltages. You might as well record reaktor to an over-saturated reel-to-reel and then play it back in to your PC to get some "analog warmth" for the sound.

    All of the overhead of doing circuit mathematics to do something as trivial as, e.g., a VCA would be a huge waste of processing power for a nearly imperceptible change in the sound.

    If you really *have to have* an analog sound, I think your time would be better served by learning some electronics and just soldering together a few circuits. The digital simulation of them will never sound the same any more than a CD will sound like vinyl, and meanwhile you'll spend a lot of time on digitally simulating analog things when you could be focusing on the things that digital does well and taking advantage of them, and focusing on the things analog does well and taking advantage of them. While it might be neat to try and do digital things with analog circuits (a bucket-brigade analog delay for example), the less-than stellar performance limitations of such devices (again IMO) make them more annoying than useful. I could throw a little resampling on a delay in reaktor and maybe mix in some amplified noise from an unplugged mic input and it'd sound about the same as the analog delay I built.

    ...Conversely, trying to simulate the mechanics of analog in digital as a means to achieving an analog sound doesn't really cut it. It's better to simply try and simulate the end result using digital methods rather than trying to simulate the mechanics.

    I hate to be discouraging, but I'm just trying to give my perspective as someone who's;
    - built a lot of analog synths
    - played with a few circuit simulators
    - played a bit with porting analog circuit concepts to reaktor (the 909 kick drum e.g.)

    Cheers,
    CList



    * (I say problem in quotes because I think digital is just fine from the end user perspective - look at the headphones most people listen to music with!, it's the artist or creator who tends to be the one who has a problem with it these days)
     
  13. CList

    CList Moderator

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    ...note that I now realize ZooTooK said a lot of what I was trying a lot more succinctly!
     
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