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Have VST instruments hit a wall?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #91
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by creativespiral View Post
I don't think its just a buzzword. In terms of digital modeling of classic synths (and acoustic instruments), its the key to the next generation of VSTs and digital synths.
It's a buzzword in the sense that a DSP (or a sufficient number of them) can do what an FPGA does.

They're all Turing machines. You can implement the calculations on the CPU in a Commodore 64 and wait 1 year for a waveform to be rendered, but that waveform will be identical to one that's rendered in an FPGA in a fraction of a millisecond.

What makes it different is that because you're not having to bother about filters, envelopes, effects and other stuff, you can throw all that computational energy at rendering some really good waveforms. All you need are as many D/A converters as you have voices so that you can run each pair of oscillators through a filter and amplifier chain.

All the whining about "but it's a virtual filter!" gets immediately suppressed because they're using actual analog filters. Then the only whining will be about software modulation speeds, but as shown repeatedly this is an issue with knowledge and understanding of modeling - not of sub-millisecond speed that requires analog stuff. In fact, getting those numbers with analog without implementing "fast" and "slow" modes for envelope stages is really hard.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #92
Gear Maniac
 
PorchBass's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
My not so powerful CPU goes up to 125W and can run several instances of some of the best VA plugins.
Compare it with Moog One 16 power consumption someone measured here on GS.

Found it:
A 125w cpu doesn't mean a 125w computer system... I bet there's at least a 400w psu in your case.

Plus the moog one 16 is an extreme example. I get your point but what kind of pc would outperform a moog? Is it possible?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #93
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
It's a buzzword in the sense that a DSP (or a sufficient number of them) can do what an FPGA does.

They're all Turing machines. You can implement the calculations on the CPU in a Commodore 64 and wait 1 year for a waveform to be rendered, but that waveform will be identical to one that's rendered in an FPGA in a fraction of a millisecond.

What makes it different is that because you're not having to bother about filters, envelopes, effects and other stuff, you can throw all that computational energy at rendering some really good waveforms. All you need are as many D/A converters as you have voices so that you can run each pair of oscillators through a filter and amplifier chain.

All the whining about "but it's a virtual filter!" gets immediately suppressed because they're using actual analog filters. Then the only whining will be about software modulation speeds, but as shown repeatedly this is an issue with knowledge and understanding of modeling - not of sub-millisecond speed that requires analog stuff. In fact, getting those numbers with analog without implementing "fast" and "slow" modes for envelope stages is really hard.
Yeah, you can technically model down to base components and electrical impulses with modern DSP, but as you say, its not practical with that type of system... modeling a poly synth down to the component level wouldn't work on a majority of user systems, and so its just not done.

But FPGAs are designed to model low level circuitry... that's what Verilog/HDL is all about. Once synth companies / vst developers start really embracing FPGAs for the entire audio path, it will lead to extremely detailed models of every classic VCO, VCF and VCA circuit and ability to model in all the tiny electrical tolerance variations, voltage instability, sag, and other peculiarities that give the classic synths their "character". DSP is great for controlling the big-picture stuff, but FPGA will lead to digital models that are indecipherable from analog... and in turn, that should lead to new innovations as well (and ability to "mix-and-match" virtual electrical components on the fly)

On another note: One of the main reasons for the great sound character of uHe Diva and SonicProjects OPX is that they are modeling voice-by-voice offsets to oscillators/filters. Earlier this year, I recorded hundreds of samples from multiple classic synths - OBX, OBXA, SEM4, Prophet 5, Prophet 10, Jupiter 4, Jupiter 8, PolySix, CS-80 and others... and did a bunch of voice by voice analysis and wrote up a paper on the subject here: http://www.VoiceComponentModeling.com

I found that you can actually pull off Voice Modeling with some modern synths... P08/Rev2 (through gated sequencer), Deepmind (through voice number source) can accomplish it to some degree. Also, Massive X includes a VR (voice-random) mod source, that can be used. It's one easy way to approximate the imperfections of classic analog synths and acoustic ensembles... better than using slop or lfos, which introduce an artificial motion. The Reaktor synth I'm building will have a dedicated voice modeling implementation.
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