What's new

Developers of Physical Modeling Orchestral Instruments

d.healey

Music Monkey
I'm sorry, but as someone who has spent >$1000 on SM instruments over the past 10 years, they're not comparable to the real thing. It's not the lack of a player, it's not the lack of room sound, it's the instrument. They've had 10 years to get better.
... I try to use them in production and end up just swapping the instrument with a sample library..
SM instruments are not physically modelled, they are samples.

Same goes for my Model Brass library that I saw someone mention earlier in the thread.
 

robgb

I was young once
$1000 on SM instruments over the past 10 years, they're not comparable to the real thing.
As the owner of several Audio Modeling instruments, I disagree. They sound far more realistic than any other libraries I own. But there IS a huge learning curve. They aren't easy to play convincingly. If all you're doing is doodling around trying to get sounds out of them you're bound to be frustrated. You have to play with subtlety and expression and it takes a considerable amount of time to get it right. Almost like learning to play a physical instrument.
 

d.healey

Music Monkey
? It's a hybrid technology, not a sample library.
It's a sample library, Kontakt isn't capable of anything else. They do a few unusual things though: all their samples were recorded in an anechoic chamber so that they could phase align each dynamic layer to get chorus and phase free crossfades. They use some techniques that model real instruments to create performance elements like legato, vibrato, glides etc. Which is why they call is sample modelling I guess. I did similar things with Model Brass but I didn't use phase alignment or an anechoic chamber.

As the owner of several Audio Modeling instruments, I disagree.
Audio modelling != sample modelling.
 

Rilla

New Member
I'm sorry, but as someone who has spent >$1000 on SM instruments over the past 10 years, they're not comparable to the real thing. It's not the lack of a player, it's not the lack of room sound, it's the instrument. They've had 10 years to get better.

Time and time again, I've bought those instruments thinking exactly the same as you do, and time and time again, I try to use them in production and end up just swapping the instrument with a sample library.


Talking with musicians helps (mainly on the player simulation side of things), but there are so many areas where musicians just don't know what's going on either. You get to a point where you just hear criticisms like "it sounds too much like a sine wave, it's too pure", which is correct, but says nothing about what the solution(s) to that might be.
I wholeheartedly disagree. But to each his own.
 

Rilla

New Member
As the owner of several Audio Modeling instruments, I disagree. They sound far more realistic than any other libraries I own. But there IS a huge learning curve. They aren't easy to play convincingly. If all you're doing is doodling around trying to get sounds out of them you're bound to be frustrated. You have to play with subtlety and expression and it takes a considerable amount of time to get it right. Almost like learning to play a physical instrument.
It IS like learning to play a physical instrument, if you want it to sing.

When I get some time and some bread (need to buy a few more instruments) I will demonstrate and breakdown why the SM stuff is so close to the real thing.
 

Vardaro

Active Member
The AM winds are sample based, albeit differently from SM's brass; only the strings are purely modeled. Which is a pity. They sound good, but not real to a string player. I want to make mockups that sound like me, ...but better!
 

leogardini

Senior Member
AM winds are part of my template and I use them on several occasions but I still wondering if there is any convincing demo from the people that say they sound realistic.
 
Last edited:

Rilla

New Member
The AM winds are sample based, albeit differently from SM's brass; only the strings are purely modeled. Which is a pity. They sound good, but not real to a string player. I want to make mockups that sound like me, ...but better!
I understand your viewpoint. I think sample based is a significant aspect of realism. That's why I can't wait to see what SM Strings & Ensembles are gonna be like.
 

Daryl

Senior Member
AM winds are part of my template and I use them on several occasions but I still wondering if there is any convincing demo from the people that say they sound realistic.
It lots of ways they do sound realistic, but not necessarily as good as the best"real". Having said that, I have been unable to get anything good out of the Flutes in an orchestral setting.
 

robgb

I was young once
They sound good, but not real to a string player.
Come on, now. Does any library, sampled or modeled, sound real to people who play the real instruments? Do orchestral libraries sound real to members of an orchestra? I would guess that the answer is a resounding no.

But I can guarantee you that the AM solo strings sound real to some people. A couple years back someone here did a blind comparison test between real solo violins and several different sample libraries, including AM, and AM was often mistaken for one of the "real" clips.
 

I like music

Senior Member
Come on, now. Does any library, sampled or modeled, sound real to people who play the real instruments? Do orchestral libraries sound real to members of an orchestra? I would guess that the answer is a resounding no.

But I can guarantee you that the AM solo strings sound real to some people. A couple years back someone here did a blind comparison test between real solo violins and several different sample libraries, including AM, and AM was often mistaken for one of the "real" clips.
BTW random question (or maybe not random) but did AM strings' IRs (or the sound/tone) change dramatically in the last couple of years? I'm sure they sound very different to what I heard on some vids a few years ago. Maybe I'm imagining it or maybe it was to do with the whole AM/SM thing?
 

pmcrockett

Senior Member
BTW random question (or maybe not random) but did AM strings' IRs (or the sound/tone) change dramatically in the last couple of years? I'm sure they sound very different to what I heard on some vids a few years ago. Maybe I'm imagining it or maybe it was to do with the whole AM/SM thing?
Yes, the IRs changed when AM split with SM.
 

David Cuny

Where did all this grey hair come from?
There is also Synful - http://synful.com/. Though it does use a different synthesis approach.
I'm not sure that Synful counts as physical modeling. In fact, their website explicitly says "Synful Orchestra is not a physical modeling synthesizer."

My understanding is that Synful uses a sine wave+noise model for reconstructing the original signal. This allows it to compress the audio database, and seamlessly crossfade between samples, dynamically changing the output in response to CC information.

Similarly, Sample Modeling doesn't tout their product as physically modeled, but that they use knowledge of the physical instrument to "minimize the differences between the real phrases and those played by the virtual instrument." Given the underlying method for creating audio is phase-aligned samples, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable calling SM an example of physical modeling without some qualification.

On the other hand, the SWAM strings are physically modeled using waveguide synthesis, equations to describe bow/string interactions, and so on.

That's not a judgement on the quality of the sound at all, just on the use of the term physical modeling.
 

shawnsingh

Active Member
On the other hand, if those instruments are still using physical models to enhance what can be done with samples, then there's still an aspect of physical modeling even if the sounds are not purely synthesized from scratch. So in that sense it would still be fair to call many of them as "virtual instruments that use physical modeling".
 

I like music

Senior Member
Yes, the IRs changed when AM split with SM.
Ah, so I wasn't imagining it. Do we know if the general opinion was that they were better or worse since the split? I had a feeling that what I had on my machine was radically different (and not as good sounding) to what I had seen of the instruments before the split (at that point I didn't own them).
 

Saxer

Senior Member
Ah, so I wasn't imagining it. Do we know if the general opinion was that they were better or worse since the split? I had a feeling that what I had on my machine was radically different (and not as good sounding) to what I had seen of the instruments before the split (at that point I didn't own them).
I didn't notice much of a quality difference. Meanwhile they had an update where they added or replaced IRs. I didn't install it up to now so I can't compare. What I'm missing in the AM strings is the noise part. The more AM strings dive into a full orchestral arrangement the better they sound. The closer and quieter the more synthetic comes trough. I made some ensembles out of AM strings and they are extremely playable. But for the noise part I layered a Spitfire library on top.
 
Top Bottom