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 Forum index » Clavia Nord Modular » G2 Patches - Completed » Acoustic
A moody/woody flute
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Rob



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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 12:41 pm    Post subject: A moody/woody flute Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

To add to the collection of flute models, here is my favourite model.

It plays with CC#2.

Note my trick to use an allpass filter in the feedback loop to add smoother vibrato and a touch of initial bend without nasty delayline modulation artifacts.

Have fun,
/Rob


SanPedroFlute.pch2
 Description:
A moody/woody flute physical model that can be played with a breath controller (CC#2).

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 Filename:  SanPedroFlute.pch2
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A nice one, Rob. The Beatles could have used it instead of the Mellotron for the flute intoduction to Strawberry Fields Forever.


strawberries.mp3
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Strawberries...

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Rob



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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ooh, you mean the Prefab Four? Totally forgot about those.

And that song you posted, isn't that from that movie; the Tragical History Tour? Remember Cheese and Unions, though. At least I think I do...

Never really understood why they play that music in elevators, makes one want to jump to go down again. Not very healthy, me thinks.
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selvmarcus



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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just stumbled across The Reference.

Yamaha VL-1, Physical Modeling Synth from (Edit) 1991.
http://www.patchmanmusic.com/AudioDemos/VL1V1.mp3

(via Matrixsynth)

My question would be, wether something like this could be done on G2.
If not, what modules are possibly missing?
Or even processing power, dedicated chips used for the Yamaha?

/Marcus

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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Check out this: http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-11418.html
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2006 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Mh, I play Shakuhachi (Japanese meditative flute) and I must say the
only time in life I heard something coming close was on the VL-1.
And still the wood was something else.

Maybe I should try with full controllers, I have only an engine and so
I might miss a lot of what may make these sounds coming alive...

I was very, very impressed again with these mp3 of the VL-1.

Rob, can you comment?

Edit:
About 1000 parameters in the basic model.

http://www.windsynth.org/iwsa_labs/patch_programming/prog_techniques/VL1_Guide/


/Marcus

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

selvmarcus wrote:
Rob, can you comment?
/Marcus


Uuh, I don't know. It has always seemed strange to me that one would want to make an exact emulation of an acoustic instrument other than for scientific research purposes. Simply as it is much easier, cheaper and more fun to play the realworld acoustic originals. The power of physical modelling (if there is any) might better be put into the modelling of instruments that could not really exist in reality.

Funny thing is that the closer Yamaha got to the original acoustic instrument sounds (and the VL1 is closest), the more the synths are criticized, but in a subtle way. The criticism is simply that everyone is applauding the instrument, but sales were minimal. For a manufacturer that is the most devastating sort of criticism one can get. For Yamaha the VL-series was meant to be the next success after and an improvement over the DX-series, which is by far the best selling synth-line ever. So why did it go that way?

Physical modelling, when used to replace acoustic instruments is dangerously close to alchemy, where some dude tries to synthesize gold from cheaper materials. No matter how close the dude gets his results to look like gold, it is never like the real thing. What the alchemists forgot is that value is an attribute assigned to a good and not intrinsically present in an absolute measure. E.g. gold has some nice properties, like it doesn't rust and is soft and pliable. Some 2500 years ago it was easier for a metal worker to make a golden crown for any selfappointed king than to make that king an iron sword that would last a battle. Gold is also very suitable to stuff in a tooth. But goldplated plugs do not really make your car sound system sound better or different. The only reason why gold is so highly valued is because it used to be the material the symbols of power were made of. And those who had power made sure the metal would not be available for the masses in big quantities without having to pay a big price. Most of the gold on the planet is still stored in Fort Knox-type facilities. There are other materials with equally useful properties, materials that are valued less. And no matter how hard the alchemists tried to synthesize real gold, nothing they created was ever accepted as a substitute for the real thing (by those who know the real thing). Today it has become uncommon to bow for a guy wearing a golden crown, let alone to bow for a guy wearing a crown of fake gold.

What happens with physical modelling is not that different as this fake gold thingy, my prediction is that the closer and more accurate the emulation of a Selmer Mark VI the more a player of a real Selmer Mark VI will notice that it is close, but it is not the real thing. Of course it will miss the feel of holding the instrument in your hands and feel it vibrate when being played. But lets concentrate on the sound only. The whole point of physical modelling is to create a virtual system that exhibits a certain behavior, and in this way should resemble a real-world object that also exhibits a certain behavior. Real world objects are not exact instances of each other, instead there are many minute details that differ and that will cause different behavior on the same stimuli. E.g. one Selmer Mark VI might have a slightly leaky valve. The player will know as he hears it, but more so as it slightly changes the behavior and the way it is best played according to the feel of the musician. Another Selmer Mark VI might not have this leaky valve but might be dented and thus has different behavior and probably asks for a slightly different style of playing. And there is much more, in fact each single instrument has its own peculiarities. This simply means that whatever one can do with a physical model of an existing realworld instrument will always be a very limited and static subset of the real instrument, and emulate only few of the most obvious and 'rude' properties and very little of the many subtleties of the realworld acoustic instrument. That is a fact that every windcontroller player will have to live with. And when played with a keyboard one easily seems to get that 'mellotron' effect that Mosc so subtly brought to our attention.

All one can do with physical models that emulate existing acoustic instruments is to do the Turing test. The release of the VL1 was much like a Turing test, and no matter how impressive the sounds, it failed the test as the VL-series did not at all do commercially like the DX-series, for 'reasons obscure'.

I predict that, no matter how elaborate any attempt to do physical modelling on the G2 or any other system with whatever kind of computational resources, emulating real world acoustic instruments will eventually fail the Turing test. Luckily for the consumer and the musician there is a high level of 'don't care' involved in music, it doesn't matter much how it sounds as long as it swings.

The thing is that when a synth pretends to be a synth it definitely does have its own right of existence, but when it pretends to be something else it turns out it is neither flesh nor fish (as the Dutch say). The same goes for a flute, flutes are very bad in emulating typical synth sounds, no matter how much bamboo is used in a flute.

Now, I can rant on much longer, but I won't. In fact, I have worked with physical modelling techniques since 1983 and wrote a lot of my own software for my own purposes, software based on several modelling paradigms. Forgetting about emulating the real world and creating a new virtual world using physical modelling techniques is an exiting and rewarding enterprise. But eventually it will become the only thing it can be; a new type of object added to the real world and not a replacement for an existing object. It will have its own peculiarities and behavior. It can refer to the character of other objects, but it can not take the place of those other objects. One can play 'shakuhachi flute' with a shakuhachi flute and play 'synth' with a synth and a windcontroller. But to play 'shakuhachi flute' with a synth and a windcontroller seems as pointless an enterprise as trying to realistically play 'synth' with a shakuhachi flute.

Of course the views expressed here are personal and not necessarily the views of the people that run and visit this forum or the companies mentioned. Very Happy

Have fun,
/Rob
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I agree with Rob on this.

Another thought:

Some of the "early" instruments, like a shakuhachi flute and Tibetian chant singing have both a sound and an effect on the performer. In the case of the chant, I think the act of singing causes the singer's consciousness to change. This is because of breath control, the physical exursion and modification of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. The same thing happens when you play a shakuhachi. Novice players get light headed, experienced players transcend.

Even if you could perfectly synthesize the sound of some of these instruments, their art involves the physical effects on the performer. Drummers know that electronic drums are excellent at recreating the sound, but they still prefer to play a real physical drum you can see and touch because the experience of playing it is different.

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uh, great, a lot of inspiring thought-food here!
Thanks, Rob!

I will read in depth and reply but it may take some time.

Quote:
All one can do with physical models that emulate existing acoustic instruments is to do the Turing test. The release of the VL1 was much like a Turing test, and no matter how impressive the sounds, it failed the test as the VL-series did not at all do commercially like the DX-series, for 'reasons obscure'.


Well, even it was a revolutionary concept, it was very expensive, and the cheap model (VL70m) didn´t perform good enough (sound quality lower and not edible). Like the GS1 oder GS2 the early FM-monsters didn´t sell too well, and it was the DX7 that made it (not cheaper DX9 or DX21) because price and (revolutionary) sound quality/concept was right.

Too elitist approach here, in my opinion.

May be it was 10 years to early? DSP-Power is much cheaper now, so they could just do a reasonably priced relaunch, or with more support for editing the models, I could imagine some neural network stuff for reducing parameter count (automatic feature extraction by self-organizing maps).

When you build a physical instrument you have something like a zillion parameters. 1000 is nothing compared to this but may form a useful abstraction. 10 or 30 parameters for a physical model are too few in my opinion and this is the situation here on G2.

My point is not that the goal is perfect emulation. It´s the... depth that is possible with a model, the subtle nuances, the "polygon count" maybe.

I could probably say better but not now, not yet.


Thanks again for your comments.

/Marcus

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

@Howard:

That´s why I started with acoustic instruments again after years of computer music. Too much technical stuff, the music is only in the background.

With physical bodies, we have a "broadband" connection already Smile

Because we got a body, we can identify best.

That would go for a more effect-based, realtime analysis/resynthesis approach with physically played and picked up bodies more than the modeling approach (like with vocoders...).


/Marcus

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, there's a time and place for both. Personally, I've come to relate well to knobs, mod wheels and such. The Clavia pitch stick is an outstanding interface for my body. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
The Clavia pitch stick is an outstanding interface for my body. Very Happy


Is that stick called Sigmund? Shocked

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

the beauty of physical modeling for me has always been the creation of sounds that sound organic but not exactly real. I used to have a Yamaha MU100R and I still own a VL70m. I have always liked the expressiveness of PM using controllers like breath etc.
check my song Lullaby for an example.

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Mabe I was too fast with some comments...

VL70-m seems to be exactly one voice/element of VL-1 (duophonic) and cheaper effects-unit. But maybe that´s what made the difference in perceived sound quality? After playing with VL-1 (great!) I heard somewhere a demo of VL70-m and said nee! I don´t go for the "downsized" version...

Also with the mp3 listed above, I think the reverb sound is excellent.

To sophistication of the physical model:

Here on G2 we can patch freely while VL-1/VL70-m is fixed architecture but with many more parameters, about 4 KBytes of parameters for a single patch. They use a basic saxophone (single reed) model also for flute, trompet etc. sounds.

And it´s in fine tuning these, which is could be long process, which gives excellent results. (I think not only for natural sound emulation but also for new high-quality synthetic sounds)

So how do they compare?

Fast guessing: Maybe G2 needs more (128 or so) variation slots and much more time would be spend on fine tuning parameters rather than on probing different architectures with better results? So you would continually improve you knowledge about some specific architecture like with analog (non-modular) synth or acoustic instruments. Maybe that´s more natural than "patching things up differently all the time"?

If we had user-definable modules (or templates) that would also benefit for this.


/Marcus

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Uuh, I don't know. It has always seemed strange to me that one would want to make an exact emulation of an acoustic instrument other than for scientific research purposes. Simply as it is much easier, cheaper and more fun to play the realworld acoustic originals.


If I´m a keyboarder and like to play i.e. a realistic flute sound and can use a breathcontroller, why not? It may take years of study to get a certain sound quality in performance. Of course also with more variations and expression, but... And cheaper? A good shakuhachi is maybe something like 500$ even if I got mine for something like 120$, meant for beginners but still I really love its sound. So if one just likes to play a sound very close to it, with some expression also and got a G2 already... would be nice, no?

And also, with algorithmic control or sequencer, or even keyboard, I can then play music I cannot play with the "physical version". Faster, impossible finger movements and so on.

Quote:
The power of physical modelling (if there is any) might better be put into the modelling of instruments that could not really exist in reality.


You sound disappointed here. You did years of study with physical models and you don´t know if they got any power? For me, this VL-1 I played 10 years ago felt like one of the most powerful synth in the world. I thought, if it can sound that realistic, it can probably sound any way I like it to sound.
That was unrealistic, yes. But it still got power, because I loved the sound I was producing with it, I mean the music, when melodies were rushing out of my soul, it opened my heart, I was flying, forgetting about my limitations and bad sex habits Smile This is why I do music, and this is the power it has.

More to come later...

/Marcus

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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

People are buying an instrument (or a recording, one can consider this as a simple instrument, too) if two or three things meet: They enjoy playing it and it´s cool for them to own it. And they can afford it. For professional musician, there comes the "can I do better money with it?" question. But I wouldn´t take this as something like a "Turing Test".

This test is a scientific, artificial experimental setup. You only have a typewriter connection to judge if some entity on the other side is a human or computer. Turing predicted a machine that would pass his test will need a couple of 100KBytes at least!

So how would you setup this test?

You probably let a composer write a score over a typewriter Smile and let it perform

A: By an excellent well-educated traditional player with a first class instrument.

B: By a synthesizer (probably a super-computer) physical modelling this instrument while reading the score.

C: By a trained person playing the same PM synth with i.e special wind controllers...

I am sure, B wouldn´t pass. I am not so sure about C when you would allow a time of maybe a couple of month for a team of leading experts both in the modeling and music fields (you included), virtually unlimited processing resources (like new Sony Playstation with Cell processor Smile)... for designing the emulation.


In classical music, performance is very important, more important than recordings. There are many preserved traditions and a lot of well-educated performers, critics, composers and audience. It is much harder to penetrate this small society on it´s own with something new, than the entertainment or experimental avant-garde or pop area.

It´s probably a matter of the interface. You cannot play a VL-1 in an orchestra for several other reasons: Amplification needed, precise articulation/ expressivness missing, dynamics too low probably and it looks strange, too. It´s like an alien at the dinner table.

Also to judge a scientific or artistic achivment by it´s commercial success is not possible. There are many examples for this. Sometimes it takes 100 years or longer until recognition by the general public or even the "experts" in its field. And some men on the moon doesn´t sell too well either, ... uh yeah, that´s why they stopped doing it Smile




More to come.

/Marcus

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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think PM failed commercially because, as Marcus pointed out, there are 100’s of parameters. A small change to any one can make your shakuhachi go silent, or explode, or turn into something unpleasant or uninteresting.
There is some excellent PM work being done and posted here and I think there is still much to be explored and discovered for those with the patience.
I remember when Yamaha PM first came out, I joked to a friend who worked at Roland, that it created the most hauntingly realistic cheesy sounds ever.
Somehow the PM stuff on the G2 sounds bigger, but then FM sounds better on a G2 than a DX7 as well. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

IMO a wind controller is just great. It is completely irrelevant that it doesn´t really contribute to making a flute preset on a polka board sound like the real thing. Renting a string section with skilled players is also a seriously bad move if what you really need is an Elka String Ensemble. A real flute is also a stunningly bad substitution for a refurbished M-400 with a brand new tapebank with that wonderful flute sound.

Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Regarding quality of PM on G2, I couldn´t play quite a few of posted patches on my engine, they just kept being silent Sad What I heard didn´t convince me like the VL-1 did. This may be personal, and partly due to the quality reverb there and (more probable) to the extensive fine-tuning and over long time aquainted knowledge about synthesis on this special PM architecture/patch. Like I got tons of interesting sounds with the patch mutator of some of the patches posted here in the forums. But how to save them in an organized way? Ok, I figured I can use CopyToParameters when I select all modules, so I can save several versions of a patch and still move variations around as needed....

Edit: I would compare a patch with a species in evolution and a variation with a certain individual. New species are created rarely and there is probably good reason for it. One may be evolution was speeded up by sexual reproduction, so it combines now forms from two individuals using extra conditions (choice of partner), cultural, survival considerations ....
Therefor they have to be comparable, so more similar, forming a species.
Also (like with synth) to exchange strategies, culture, you need a common base, (user group). (early ideas, sorry if fuzzy).


I will have a look and compare PM architectures and possibilities on the G2 with the VL-1 and then write some more informed about it...

What about fractional delay lines (sub-sample resolution), is this called StringOscillator here?

/Marcus

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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I apologize, this discussion is not related to Rob´s patch and should have been started in general forum. I hope I can do better next time.

/Marcus

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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Accidents happen. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

selvmarcus wrote:
Regarding quality of PM on G2, I couldn´t play quite a few of posted patches on my engine, they just kept being silent Sad

If any of them are mine, I'll be happy to hep figure out why. Some of them require breath pressure on CC#2, but the more recent ones don't.

selvmarcus wrote:

What about fractional delay lines (sub-sample resolution), is this called StringOscillator here?

All of the G2 delay lines (basic delays, comb filter, and string oscillator) appear to support fractional delays.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:14 am    Post subject: G2 Physical modeling flute example Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Physical modelling, when used to replace acoustic instruments is dangerously close to alchemy, where some dude tries to synthesize gold from cheaper materials. No matter how close the dude gets his results to look like gold, it is never like the real thing. What the alchemists forgot is that value is an attribute assigned to a good and not intrinsically present in an absolute measure. E.g. gold has some nice properties, like it doesn't rust and is soft and pliable.


I think the real problem with physical modeling so far is that it has
focused too much on getting the sound of acoustic instruments,
and not enough on getting the expressiveness of acoustic instruments.

As an example, here's an mp3 of a flute patch I created on the G2.
The main thing about it isn't that it sounds like a real flute (although
it's pretty close) but that it jumps through the harmonic series in
response to increased pressure exactly the way a flute does.

I play keyboards much better than I play flute, so I can be way
more expressive with this than with my shakuhachi.

Also, even the best human flute players cannot sustain an even tone
higher than about the 4th harmonic (2 octaves above the flute
fundamental) but this thing can play even sustained tones at
arbitrarily high harmonics. In the middle of this mp3 I play a passage
on sustained 9th & 11th harmonics just to throw in something that
is impossible for human flute players.

I'm not quite ready to share this one yet, I'm keeping it as a secret
weapon for now. However, it definitely is possible to do stuff like this
with the G2.


G2HarmonicFlute.mp3
 Description:

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 Filename:  G2HarmonicFlute.mp3
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Rob



Joined: Mar 29, 2004
Posts: 580
Location: The Hague/Netherlands/EC
G2 patch files: 109

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:40 am    Post subject: Re: G2 Physical modeling flute example Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Robby wrote:
As an example, here's an mp3 of a flute patch I created on the G2.


Quite nice!

And imho a good example to support my statement that PM is more interesting in doing what a player/acoustic instrument combination cannot do physically, opposed to only emulating what they can do. And PM creates a whole new world here to explore, a pretty interesting world. Uh, this is my personal opinion meant to stimulate only myself to explore beyond what is now considered state of the art, not in technique but in creativity.
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Blue Hell
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Joined: Apr 03, 2004
Posts: 20681
Location: The Netherlands, Enschede
Audio files: 156
G2 patch files: 318

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:35 pm    Post subject: Re: G2 Physical modeling flute example Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Rob wrote:

Quite nice!


Second that !

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