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Sampling vs. Physical Modelling Synthesis

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  • Sampling vs. Physical Modelling Synthesis

    What is the difference? And what are the advantages/disadvantages of one over the other? Which one provides a better emulation of real acoustic instruments such as pianos, wind instruments, strings, drums, etc?

    Thanks a lot
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  • #2
    What is the difference? And what are the advantages/disadvantages of one over the other? Which one provides a better emulation of real acoustic instruments such as pianos, wind instruments, strings, drums, etc?

    Thanks a lot


    Sampling is pretending to be able to play an instrument you shouldn't touch.

    That's why all the workstation boards use samples. They are boards for pretenders.

    PM on the other hand is creative and you can actually make an instrument out of it instead of a rompler.

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    • #3
      Sampling - a static picture of a sound. Physical modeling - a freaking holodeck from Star Trek in comparison.


      PM can produce all the nuances of the instrument that are very hard or impossible to get right with just samples. Hopefully I've made a clear cut difference here.
      If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

      Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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      • #4
        Samples are recordings of an actual instrument. To imitate the changing number of overtones based on things like the force used to blow/strike the instrument, they can switch other samples in, apply a dynamic filter, or do other tricks to achieve accurate tonal variety.

        Physical modelling seeks to describe the behavior of the instrument in mathematical models and compute the output in real time. Advantages are much more sensitive variation to performer input. Disadvantages are that the basic tone of a complex instrument like piano is harder to describe in a physical model than just recording a sample.

        Modelling is the way of the future, samples are going to eventually be used only for recording/playback of phrases and other found sounds. Right now, modelling is used on all the best Hammond organ emulations (VB-3, KeyB), and for acoustic piano you have Pianoteq, which is completely modelled and arguably the most responsive piano out there. While something like Ivory sounds more like a particular Steinway or Yamaha piano, something like Pianoteq can sound like a Steinaha or even a Bosenway.

        Modelling instruments require lower memory than sampled, and generally require higher CPU.

        Many instruments from major manufacturers like Nord, Roland, and Yamaha use a hybrid approach - samples for the main sound and modelling to add extra components like soundboard resonance.
        Moe---It puts the SINES in the basket, or else it gets the hose again.http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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        • #5
          That's why all the workstation boards use samples. They are boards for pretenders.




          My VCAs go to 11

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          • #6
            Sampling is for the simply sane. Physical modeling is for demented players and programmers. Mate_stubb pretty much nailed it. Mathematical models of everything from lips, tongues, larynxes, bows, etc ad infintum. That's a lot of math but the results can be astounding and far beyond imitative into the realm of that holodeck. Try bowing a bell with a sample.

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            • #7
              Sampling captures, accurately, the tonal qualities of another instrument in its least dynamic stages. Some of that dynamism can be recreated with multisampling and, in recent years, the complexity of multisampling leaves very little of the original instrument's performative nuances without representation.

              The most effective approach these days is a mix of sampling with, basically, whatever you call it, physical modelling of the microarticulations that occur primarily during the attack stage of a sound's envelope, where the most dynamic and timbral variation is occurring in the greatest range. That dynamism can be represented more effectively with modelling, and then that modelling can blend into the sampled part of the sound, so you get the best of both worlds.

              This multiple approach is something that, say, Roland has been evolving since the advent of the D-50.
              A Gadibus usque ad Auroram

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              • #8
                its easy to explain how physical modelling works but kind of hard to describe what it sounds like. i think the real beauty of pm is being able to take a normal sound and kinda warp it.

                in this example he makes a flute sound turn into marbles around 20. the rest of the tutorial shows kinda how sculpture works but more importantly what it sounds like



                the downfall imo of many sample libraries is they just get insanely large like the symphonic cube at 550 gb. but for realistic sounding stuff i'd stick with them personally.

                in the not-so-distant future and with a really powerful computer something like pianoteq run through something like acustica nebula3 on steroids might achieve the sweet tones associated with scarbee, goldbaby, etc

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                • #9
                  I got this tip from Trifonic. He did a video on this AU plugin suite from Michael Norris called Soundmagic Spectral that does real-time spectral processing of sound by FFT. These are some fantastic AU plugins IMO, and they're free!

                  http://www.michaelnorris.info/software/soundmagic-spectral.html

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                  • #10
                    A massive synth pad was created from that Bach sequence. Damn! I love pads!

                    About Pianoteq: for something that is not sampled, it sounds extraordinary to my ears. I think it surpasses many, if not all of the ROMpler pianos I have heard.

                    Thank you to each and everyone for your replies
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                    You left your ISO on Auto. That's a no-no.
                    Click here to search HC forums.
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                    • #11
                      Pianoteq definitely surpasses just about all rompler pianos I've tried in projection, tonal and timbral detail, decay richness and length, sympathetic resonance, velocity response, and pedalling techniques.
                      If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

                      Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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                      • #12
                        Pianoteq definitely surpasses just about all rompler pianos I've tried in projection, tonal and timbral detail, decay richness and length, sympathetic resonance, velocity response, and pedalling techniques.


                        Ah, we have the same qualitative taste in pianos

                        But how was that piano created? from scratch using very complex mathematical formulas and algorithms to create the sound of an acoustic piano or was there a basic audio source they started with?

                        Also, when one tweaks a given patch/waveform on a synth to try to make it sound like a certain instrument or to create a brand-new one, is that patch/waveform being physically modelled?
                        Shoemakers wear the worst shoes.
                        You left your ISO on Auto. That's a no-no.
                        Click here to search HC forums.
                        SoundClick
                        SoundCloud
                        YouTube

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                        • #13
                          Modartt analyses the samples at various pitch and velocity ranges, then boils that down to differential equations (=mathematical model of the sound creating process), then creates the algorithms which are supposed to solve the equations in fastest possible time (=realtime). Not the easiest job in the world, but the creator of Pianoteq has a Ph.D in applied mathematics, AND a history as a piano tuner of a vast amount of different pianos

                          Regarding your second question, nope, that wouldn't be physical modelling, unless you're using noise and/or impulse waveforms through one or more comb filters. That's Karplus-Strong physical modelling, then.
                          If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

                          Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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                          • #14
                            Damn! I love pads!


                            You're not the only one. I'm also a big fan of Sculpture, as is Trifonic. It's great for creating bizarre pads by tweaking physical modeling parameters beyond what's usually considered normal.

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                            • #15
                              Something about modeled is that you don't need time for the samples to load. If I'm playing Pianoteq (yes I'm one of those) and change to another piano or instrument (i.e. vibes) the change is instant.
                              Hi Mom!

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