Strings and saw waves

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hinterlands303
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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by hinterlands303 » Tue May 12, 2020 1:15 pm

cptnal wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 11:25 am
wuff_miggler wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:02 am
cptnal wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:46 am
very impressive cptnal!
no need for exacts - but if you can try - would love some more details regarding the patch. what do you mean by a difference patch in particular.

also - doubt the OP will mind if the goal is to get some sick strings! :D
Thank you, and sorry - my bad. I meant rate-of-change patch. It's described in the manual for the ADDAC215 (on whose panel it's marked "Difference") way better than I could...

http://www.addacsystem.com/contents/pro ... &H_A_1.pdf (page 5)
Are you using two ADDAC S&H modules for this - one for amplitude and another for pitch? I don't have the ADDAC215 but I should be able to patch this up with other modules even though it will take a bit more work.

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by jorg » Tue May 12, 2020 1:32 pm

If you're looking for an ensemble sound, look at AJH WaveSwarm.

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cptnal
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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by cptnal » Tue May 12, 2020 2:47 pm

hinterlands303 wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 1:15 pm
cptnal wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 11:25 am
wuff_miggler wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:02 am
cptnal wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:46 am
very impressive cptnal!
no need for exacts - but if you can try - would love some more details regarding the patch. what do you mean by a difference patch in particular.

also - doubt the OP will mind if the goal is to get some sick strings! :D
Thank you, and sorry - my bad. I meant rate-of-change patch. It's described in the manual for the ADDAC215 (on whose panel it's marked "Difference") way better than I could...

http://www.addacsystem.com/contents/pro ... &H_A_1.pdf (page 5)
Are you using two ADDAC S&H modules for this - one for amplitude and another for pitch? I don't have the ADDAC215 but I should be able to patch this up with other modules even though it will take a bit more work.
You only need one 215 for the rate of change patch but yes, it's such an amazeballs module I'm probably using both of mine in this patch. I often do. :party:

Edit: It's a Krell at heart. From my rusty memory I'm probably using one of the 215's S&H outputs for pitch.

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by wuff_miggler » Tue May 12, 2020 3:54 pm

^ haha - i pm'd paranormal patroller about that ADDAC module - saw him talking about it over at lines - and here you are explaining it here :P

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cptnal
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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by cptnal » Tue May 12, 2020 4:25 pm

wuff_miggler wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:54 pm
^ haha - i pm'd paranormal patroller about that ADDAC module - saw him talking about it over at lines - and here you are explaining it here :P
Yeah, I believe PP was involved in developing it. Amazing piece of work. Highly recommended.

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by wuff_miggler » Tue May 12, 2020 4:30 pm

addac do some crazy shit - i saw the muscle sensor module to and was like...*here we go again*
between theramin controllers, muscle sensing, ribbon controllers and breath control ...i am going to be swimming in expression :P

putting a red module in my black and silver set up does fuck with my OCD a bit :P

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by galanter2 » Tue May 12, 2020 7:13 pm

One more suggestion. If you really want to synthesize a timbre as close to a violin or viola etc…

Have on hand some string quartet or solo recordings, preferably classical and with as little studio enhancement as possible. Go back and forth between your developing patch and a recording of the real thing. And pick a specific instrument. Don't try to make a single patch that is a violin AND a viola AND a cello. Pick one, get a recording, and try to match it.

(This is why visual artists draw from life, or at least photos. Your visual or auditory memory isn't nearly as accurate as your eye and your ear.)

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by Dave Peck » Tue May 12, 2020 7:18 pm

The classic subtractive analog synth string sound doesn't require very complex or unusual patching. I created the "VA Strings" patch, with eight variations, in the Clavia G2 Modular's factory patch library. And that was done using a pretty plain vanilla patch with two or three oscs into a filter > VCA, with a couple of ADSRs and a few LFOs. One tip for getting the sound is to detune the oscs in different amounts and then modulate the pitch of each osc with a separate vibrato LFO, with each vibrato LFO running at a different rate. Using a pulse wave instead of a saw can work well, but pay attention to the pulse width setting and don't overdo the PWM depth. I've built patches like this with and without a fixed filter bank. The FFb can help, but depending on the settings it may just sound different, not necessarily better than without the FFB.

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by galanter2 » Tue May 12, 2020 7:18 pm

One more…

Pay attention to the range of the natural instruments. Single voice orchestral instruments tend to only extend 4 octaves or less. If you can get 3 good sounding octaves you've done well.

Here is a chart:

https://i.redd.it/z1p2g66cyf821.jpg

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by cyberdine » Tue May 12, 2020 7:40 pm

Thanks all! Enough ideas in here to keep me going for a while, even in lockdown.

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by KSS » Wed May 13, 2020 3:03 am

Love galanter2's last two posts. Yes. Instrument range. Oh how I wish this were shouted across the moutaintops. Everybody clamoring for modules covering 0-20kHz, and then wondering why it all sounds sterile. Designing the life right out to meet this mistaken goal.

@DavePeck Param EQ *much* better than FFB for modeling the instrument body.

@cyberdine. Adding the pulse in with the saw is not to use the "hollow sound" of a square-ish wave. It's to better approximate the base tone of a stringed instrument. Read my post again, andthen read DavePecks last post here. Tying those two together may make understanding it easier. Note especially his emphasis on relative levels, and the varied and multiple *low* level osc pitch modulation.

By doing this you are less reliant on delay and chorus type effects -outboard or not- to get the sound.

Loved 70's strings as much as anyone back then, but there's a reason they died off as better -more realistic- means became available.
What's less often understood is that their muddy nature -which grows old and hard on the ears- can be avoided with some of the advice in this thread.

Throwing "just a little" reverb, delay, chorus, FFB onto music is a cheap trick that almost always works in the short term, but doesn't age well.

Taking a Don Buchla, Alan Pearlman-Dennis Colin oscillator approach and marry it with a Bob Moog filter emphasis and amplitude approach for truly great results.
Do not mean it needs to be a moog filter. More about how the focus of these pioneers favored different emphasis.

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by mskala » Wed May 13, 2020 8:29 am

One important feature of strings that I haven't seen mentioned in the discussion yet is that the response of the instrument body is spiky and complicated. The bow on string does stick-and-slip, producing a waveform that can be simulated by a sawtooth, but then the air cavity in the instrument body responds to that like a filter - attenuating some frequencies more than others. This filter response isn't a simple smooth curve like we'd usually expect of a synth filter; it has a lot of narrow resonance peaks. It also doesn't track with pitch. See this article from the inimitable Synth Secrets series; about two thirds of the way down there are some pictures of the typical violin-body response spectrum: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... lin-family

To simulate that, ideally you might mix the outputs of several typical synth filters at different frequencies with significant resonance. Another idea might be to use a fixed filter bank or graphic equalizer; and a third, to try to do "waveguide" synthesis with a few short delay lines and feedback to create a spiky spectrum.

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Re: Strings and saw waves: resonance tuned to arpeggio

Post by ricko » Wed May 13, 2020 9:58 am

mskala wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 8:29 am
To simulate that, ideally you might mix the outputs of several typical synth filters at different frequencies with significant resonance. Another idea might be to use a fixed filter bank or graphic equalizer; and a third, to try to do "waveguide" synthesis with a few short delay lines and feedback to create a spiky spectrum.
And the tuning of the peaks seems important.

Recently I was looking at research the vocal-formant-range resonances of baroque-constructed violins (the main 4 after the lowest 2 resonances which relate to the instrument's body length and cavity size) looking at the notes represented by the resonances. You can see the resonant points in Table 1 of https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... Stradivari which is about a different subject.

What I see is that they have sharp resonances all tuned to an arpeggio:

- the Bortoli in modern pitch names B4, F#+6, D#7, A7 but at A=415 these would correspond to C6, G+6, E7, Bb7 ie C7.

- the 1727 A. Strad has resonances at modern c#5 f#+6 E7 A7 (at A=415 D5 G+6 F7 Bb7 ie Gm7).

- the 1744 O. Strad is slightly sharper than modern D5 G7 E7 Bb (Gm6)

In fact, you could almost say that the resonant peaks have a similar reinforcement effect as the sympathetic strings of, say, the viola d'amore (typically A, d, a, d', f♯', a', d" but sometimes just a diatonic scale, or tuned specifically for the pieces to be performed.)

You can see in the numbers that each of these resonances barely varies by a semitone each way for all the instruments, so each instrument will have sweet spots for different notes. But the values are not just random or regular/cyclic, but mixed intervals of 4ths, flat 5ths, 5ths, and extra sharp fifths. (And there are lots of spikey sub resonances even in this range.)

(I was looking at rejigging my Vox Humana board to allow this kind of slightly tunable resonance, because you need Q of over 10.)

Regards
Rick

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by VZvision » Wed May 13, 2020 11:50 am

trentpmcd wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 8:02 pm
One saw was also FMed with noise.
wuff_miggler wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 7:52 pm
*White noise - modulated with envelope follower (super important)
Curious to know a bit more on what the role of the noise is here?

Especially the idea of it being modulated with an Envelope Follower... always thought of an envelope follower as a way to detect and extract functions from audio wave-forms ... so would you route your post-processed audio of the string sound back into an envelope follower and then attenuate the noise with the extracted function?
Keltie wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 6:27 am
It will tension the string sharp, which is why a slight touch of pitch enveloping can work, at the start of a note.
This intrigued me as well. So if I'm understanding correctly ... there's the vibrato modelling the articulation of the playing of the fingerboard along the neck ... perhaps a bit of portamento to model it as fretless ... then the above pitch modulation to model the response from the interaction between the bow and the string ?

And then with the noise mentioned above, that would make for 4 different pitch modulations.

And once you start stacking Saws with pulses, would all four pitch modulators be routed to all the oscillators as well? Trentpmcd points to the noise only FM'ing one of the oscillators...

Am pretty new to the idea of deliberately modelling strings within Euro ... Am I thinking about this correctly or am I missing a piece of the puzzle?

Thanks to all for getting my neurons firing on this :tu:

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by Keltie » Wed May 13, 2020 12:41 pm

VZvision wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 11:50 am
trentpmcd wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 8:02 pm
One saw was also FMed with noise.
wuff_miggler wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 7:52 pm
*White noise - modulated with envelope follower (super important)
Curious to know a bit more on what the role of the noise is here?

Especially the idea of it being modulated with an Envelope Follower... always thought of an envelope follower as a way to detect and extract functions from audio wave-forms ... so would you route your post-processed audio of the string sound back into an envelope follower and then attenuate the noise with the extracted function?
Keltie wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 6:27 am
It will tension the string sharp, which is why a slight touch of pitch enveloping can work, at the start of a note.
This intrigued me as well. So if I'm understanding correctly ... there's the vibrato modelling the articulation of the playing of the fingerboard along the neck ... perhaps a bit of portamento to model it as fretless ... then the above pitch modulation to model the response from the interaction between the bow and the string ?

And then with the noise mentioned above, that would make for 4 different pitch modulations.

And once you start stacking Saws with pulses, would all four pitch modulators be routed to all the oscillators as well? Trentpmcd points to the noise only FM'ing one of the oscillators...

Am pretty new to the idea of deliberately modelling strings within Euro ... Am I thinking about this correctly or am I missing a piece of the puzzle?

Thanks to all for getting my neurons firing on this :tu:
I haven’t studied this in very great detail, but yes, all those modulations stack up and interact. Any modulation that is effecting pitch should I’d have thought, be routed to everything that is modelling the string. No doubt with different degrees of effect. For example, the pitch sweep modelling the tension under bowing would be related to velocity, but perhaps not in quite the same way as actual volume... filters or resonators modelling the body probably not modulated at all.(?)

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wuff_miggler
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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by wuff_miggler » Wed May 13, 2020 3:56 pm

VZvision wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 11:50 am
trentpmcd wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 8:02 pm
wuff_miggler wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 7:52 pm
*White noise - modulated with envelope follower (super important)
Curious to know a bit more on what the role of the noise is here?

Especially the idea of it being modulated with an Envelope Follower... always thought of an envelope follower as a way to detect and extract functions from audio wave-forms ... so would you route your post-processed audio of the string sound back into an envelope follower and then attenuate the noise with the extracted function?
Keltie wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 6:27 am
i have 2 outputs on my white noise module...a) coloured and b)a plain white noise.

ill address the envelope follower....the way im seting this up is a contact mic touching my Doepfer ribbon controller.

for 1) envelope follower is being fed envelope by a korg contact mic - clipped onto the ribbon somewhere. It opens and closes dependant on if i'm sliding my fingers or tapping...

for 2) noise to be mixed in constantly as part of the oscillator stack whenever there is output. (sounds without white noise added sound less realistic - there is a huge component of noise in all natural sounds.

i have a lot of modules still in transit - i'm yet to try this out properly. It works in theory.

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by 3hands » Wed May 13, 2020 4:05 pm

That’s are the threads that got me to sign up to muffwiggler.
Thanks so much for this! It’s nice to see a thread I don’t have to “worry about”.
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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by KSS » Wed May 13, 2020 8:16 pm

VZvision wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 11:50 am
perhaps a bit of portamento to model it as fretless ...
Typical portamento-glide wil be backwards or missing correct relationship. Expo = slow to start building as 'distance' is covered, ending quickly. Linear = constant change rate. Neither is what actually happens.

You need S-shaped transitions. Slow to begin the finger position change -inertia, then very quickly to the very near correct point on the fretboard -muscle/spatial memory, ending by small degree modification of finger position relatively slowly as ear-finger feedback loop engages to get correct pitch. Modulation at the destination 'covering' the final position seek. Increasing modulation if called for by the piece.

If going for a simpler version you'd want to start linear and finish expo. Backwards from typical synth expo glide.

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by KSS » Wed May 13, 2020 8:29 pm

wuff_miggler wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 3:56 pm
sounds without white noise added sound less realistic - there is a huge component of noise in all natural sounds.
:tu: One of the most important points made in this thread. But not only for Strings. Essential to 'natural' synthesis, and missing from too many patches and synths!

So important that when Alan Pearlman laid out the ARP2600, he made sure VCO2 and VCO3 had normaled connections to the noise generator. One for PWM , the other native FM of the Osc.

It's also why the goal of noise-free circuits has been a large backwards step in synth circuit design. It lays right next to sterile, harsh or other typical modern descriptions of cloned synths and new design modules.

Argue yes or no for importance of Johnson noise in circuits if you like, but the importance of the contribution of varying levels of random noise at various points in the circuit cannot be over-emphasized.

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by matcsat » Thu May 14, 2020 6:01 am

Hi,

maybe an useful information:
bow.jpg
Same note played, the arrows signs the bow direction.

Marco.
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wuff_miggler
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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by wuff_miggler » Thu May 14, 2020 6:12 am

i was going to mention half/full wave rectification as something to look at for something like this.

using something like doepfers offset/polarizer module could do this! bit hazy about the specifics - but thank you for posting!

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by tito_tunes » Thu May 21, 2020 1:59 pm

I disagree with the folks saying reverb is a cheap trick. I think of it as an essential building block of synthesis.

I've had surprisingly good results in Ableton, using an extremely simple saw patch (no filtering) and going into the stock reverb plugin. Turn the reverb full wet and then turn down the decay time and most of the other parameters until it doesn't sound reverby, just kind of chorused. You have to add back a lot of gain after this step. I guess it's sort of acting as an allpass filter. It's surprising how acoustic a naked saw sounds after this. Of course you need to play it like a string instrument to sell the illusion.
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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by tito_tunes » Thu May 21, 2020 2:18 pm

Here's my attempt at a string sound, based on Ian Fritz patch ideas for wind controllers
https://www.facebook.com/daniel.riera.5 ... _video_tab

Image
http://ijfritz.byethost4.com/sy_close.htm?i=1
danielriera.bandcamp.com

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by wuff_miggler » Thu May 21, 2020 3:53 pm

tito_tunes wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 2:18 pm
Here's my attempt at a string sound, based on Ian Fritz patch ideas for wind controllers
https://www.facebook.com/daniel.riera.5 ... _video_tab

Image
http://ijfritz.byethost4.com/sy_close.htm?i=1
super nice playing :-) i think you could get properly close with a few more ideas thrown in the patch - but: reverb + expression are huuge parts of it for sure.

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Re: Strings and saw waves

Post by JimY » Thu May 21, 2020 4:10 pm

https://soundcloud.com/ashdalestudio/arcoguitar1
I made a guitar pedal ages ago as per above link. Basically squares the input. High pass filtered. Rectified and envelope follower. No chorus added. Vibrato from fingers.
It sounds more brassy than strings, that because I breadboarded it listening thru a tiny guitar amp when it had a very convincing bowed string effect. Obviously I need to revisit with better EQ .
Last edited by JimY on Thu May 21, 2020 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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