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The Quilcom SIM-PF: Have tinkle on me!

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The Quilcom SIM-PF: Have tinkle on me!

Postby Spogg » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:46 pm

The Quilcom SIM-PF was the result of a challenge I set myself to create a Pianoforte simulation using FlowStone, but without using samples of a real piano.

I don’t expect anyone to be as impressed with the sound as they would with a professional multisampled instrument, but it doesn’t take up gigabytes of HD space and take ages to load or need lots of RAM etc. I’m quite sure there’ll be valid criticism of the sound etc, but please keep in mind this is a synthesiser, not a sampler! As such, you have a lot of parameter and sound control to shape what you want and a few presets demonstrate what happens when you make more extreme settings.

As well as operating instructions, I go into the technical details in the User Guide, so I won’t repeat them here. But I should maybe mention that I again make use of what I call Phase Scrambling, which I still haven’t found mention of anywhere as a method to reduce that flanging sound with detuning applied.
There are also links to background information on Piano synthesis.

One thing I really appreciate about FlowStone is the freedom it gives to make plugins to simulate real instruments or types of instruments. In my opinion there’s no ready-made general purpose synth available that could make this kind of dedicated in-depth configuration, and many modular systems are confined by what the developers decided would be useful.

Here’s my YouTube video:

https://youtu.be/MF4VROg9Hfg

The download incudes the schematic (3.06), 32 and 64 bit plugins, the User Guide and other stuff:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bctzxxnbn46p1 ... 2.zip?dl=0

EDIT The above link is now for the bug-fixed version, v.1.002. Denormals fixed for the Sympathiser in C-VERB mode.

Enjoy having a tinkle!

Cheers

Spogg
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Re: The Quilcom SIM-PF: Have tinkle on me!

Postby trogluddite » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:37 pm

That's a very creditable simulation, Spogg - it would beat hands-down the GM-MIDI sounds which were my first introduction to "virtual pianos". Even my quite expensive and top-of-the-range (at the time) Yamaha MU100R sound-module has far more "artifical" sounding pianos (I only keep it for the brass/woodwind sounds of its virtual-modelling daughter-board, which it does do very well).

Personally, I never worried too much about super-accurate synthesis of "real" instruments - I just want something that fits the "slot" in the mix that the real instrument might and has the same range of expressiveness; which this certainly does, since even for the real intrument, velocity and sustain are all you get (unless you get into all that avante-garde "prepared piano" stuff - which you might say SIM-PF also does in it's own way!)

No doubt there were folks who were disappointed that the first electric pianos didn't sound much like their acoustic inspiration - but it hasn't stopped them from becoming classic sounds in their own right!
All schematics/modules I post are free for all to use - but a credit is always polite!
Don't stagnate, mutate to create!
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Re: The Quilcom SIM-PF: Have tinkle on me!

Postby k brown » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:23 pm

I look forward to auditioning this - the first inkling I had that such was possible was when I tried to replicate the Acoustic Piano presets from the original patch sheets, for my Sequential T8 emulation; there were about half an octave of notes in the range that were surprisingly realistic, and with just a two-osc subtractive using a mix of a synced osc with the un-syc'd one.
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Re: The Quilcom SIM-PF: Have tinkle on me!

Postby tulamide » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:04 pm

This my friend is the best GUI work so far! I saw the video and my heart began to beat faster. It's almost like a father being proud of his child's work!

It's tidy, clearly structured, follows strictly the top-down direction layout-wise and keeps it toned-down color-wise. You get so much better each time! Great work!

The synth itself produces a sound color that is intriguing: Not quite a grand piano, not quite an e-piano. Very interesting sound. The only thing I am missing is a post-eq, pre-reverb fx section with phaser, chorus and guitar amp(or distortion) - it would add tremendously to generating the vibe of the 60s-70s Rhodes or Wurlitzer jazz rock sound.
If you feel like gifting: https://paypal.me/tulamide
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Re: The Quilcom SIM-PF: Have tinkle on me!

Postby k brown » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:47 pm

Agree with tula - much improved visual flow and module labeling.

BUT, it won't open on my machine - which is maybe too old? The .dll works fine, I just can't open the schematic. Bowed Piano - LOVE it!
I might suggest a global velocity sensitivity control, though. Played with a non-velo keyboard Bowed Piano has a distinctly non-bowed attack. The Touch selectors don't really address this.

Interesting that you should release this just now - I've been curious about making my projects react to MIDI sustain pedals. I know most synth users these days are not keyboardists, but sequencer pilots - however I did just encounter a comment on a music forum that one person said whenever they audition a vst that doesn't respond to sustain pedal, it goes immediately into the trash! Am I correct in assuming the way most synths react to footpedal sustain is that it 'sticks' the note on even after a key is released (nothing to do with EG sustain)? Then the EG goes to it's Release stage after the pedal is lifted (in other words, really a 'latch' function)? If so how, would this be done in FS? Or is MIDI sustain done entirely within the host/DAW, and not the plugin itself?

For that matter, we should probably also always provide for footswitch Porta On/Off.
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Re: The Quilcom SIM-PF: Have tinkle on me!

Postby k brown » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:10 am

I just did a search and found trogg's MIDI Helpers - should do the trick; I think we should all have this in our projects, I think it's very much an expected feature in synths now.
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Re: The Quilcom SIM-PF: Have tinkle on me!

Postby Spogg » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:16 am

Guys, thank you so much for the nice feedback! :D

@tulamide
Thank you Daddy! :lol:

I did think about adding more fx but decided that a producer would most likely have their favourites to use for the piano sound sculpting they had in mind. So I focused on the piano sound itself.

However, my next one will be the SIM-TINE which will aim to simulate the classic e-piano, and I intend to add more fx to that. I’m just at the stage of reading up on the sound production technique and it’s fascinating (and will be a challenge to synthesise, so that’s good!).

@Kevin
I’m puzzled why it won’t open on your PC. It was made with 3.06 so what happens when you try? Did you open FS first, and then load the schematic? Sometimes that works.

I must say I never thought about keyboards without velocity, which is why the bowed piano won’t sound good. It reduces Attack time with higher velocities, and if the velocity parameter is fixed at maximum the Attack will be very much shortened. But I would add that it’s a piano simulator and that instrument is supposed to be expressive only via velocity!

You’re on the right track with the foot pedal sustain. The MIDI sustain message is processed by the FS MIDI-Voice system, so that any notes pressed when the pedal happens are held as note ON. The envelope will then progress to the sustain level and only go to the release stage when the sustain OFF message is received. For an acoustic piano envelope, the sustain level is set to zero with a long decay time. When the note is released, or the sustain OFF message is received, the envelope will go to the release slope calculation code, from wherever the envelope value is at the time. For a piano, a pretty fast release (damper action) is needed. So it’s all done in FS and you don’t have to change anything in your synths!

Cheers

Spogg
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Re: The Quilcom SIM-PF: Have tinkle on me!

Postby k brown » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:27 am

Wait - so MIDI Sustain is built into the stock MIDI Voice prim? - trogg's MIDI Helper module isn't needed for that?
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Re: The Quilcom SIM-PF: Have tinkle on me!

Postby Spogg » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:28 am

Yes! It's handled by the stock MIDI prims.

Cheers

Spogg
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Re: The Quilcom SIM-PF: Have tinkle on me!

Postby k brown » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:31 am

And it doesn't need any of it's inputs set up a certain way? Now I'm really embarrassed!
Last edited by k brown on Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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