Physiq has taken a long time to develop – made easier in some ways by not having a day job to go to, due to COVID-19 related issues!
It uses what is now an old technology, first developed by Stanford University and Yamaha. The ‘digital waveguide’ approach to making a synthesized sound is to set up a ‘virtual string’ and excite that string in some way to make it start resonating.
Physiq allows you to experiment with different excitations, or ‘articulations’, and control how the string behaves after it is struck, plucked, bowed, strummed, or bowed.
To make choosing articulations and strumming patterns easier, and give the option of more real time control, a PC/MAC controller app (CTRLR-based) is included with the oscillator.
Although technically Physiq will work on an NTS-1, it is designed for polyphonic use, so is more suited to Prologue and Minilogue XD.
For more details, and to hear Physiq in action then check out the details page.
7 thoughts on “Meet PHYSIQ – the physical modelling oscillator”
Does the oscillator come with presets when purchased ?
No it doesn’t I’m afraid, but there are only a handful of controls!
Also, any patch is tied to the user slot (not the actual oscillator), so patches would rely on everyone having the same oscillators in the same slots, which is not realistic. Shame it works like that, but that’s how they did it :/
I just spent all night designing the best plucks I’ve ever heard from the XD using Physiq. This is amazing. Total control over the sounds shape and color. This is a very appreciated gem that will be a permanent fixture in both of my XD’s. I sincerely hope you decide to develop more like this. Maybe wind models? (Sax, horn etc…) Thank you!
Hey Eric, thanks you for your feedback! Yes, Physiq has a lot going on under the hood to make it that versatile, even though there are only a handful of controls 🙂 It’s great to hear that you are getting good results with it.
I’ve just bought this oscillator, I’m having trouble understanding the manual and have no idea how to get the controller software to talk to my XD. The sounds in the video are incredible and I’d love to be able to recreate them. Could you create some tutorials or at least list some of your patch settings to help me understand how to create these awesome sounds. Thanks in advance.
The actual oscillator controls are pretty simple – articulation type controls the ‘tone’ – it’s actually the shape of the excitement for the string, so determines if it is a pluck, for example, that’s like pulling a string and letting go, whereas a ‘strike’ is a small square impulse – more like a piano hammer hitting a string. The ‘Shape’ control then stretches the excitation length, and has a dramatic impact on the basic tone.
The other oscillator controls are for controlling how that string decays over time – either through volume, high frequency damping, or tension.
To get sounds similar to the video, then you will want to add envelopes to your basic string tone. e.g. for a more percussive keys sound, you would add a fast attack, fast release envelope – either volume envelope, or filter envelope, or both. Unfortunately I don’t have the demo patches as the demo video was outsourced to a third party, but the above is primarily all that was used to create those sounds.
The controller software just outputs MIDI messages, so connect your device, and set the software to output MIDI to the Korg.
A bit of experimentation following that, and you should soon find the sounds you are looking for!
Awesome, Richard. Let the experimenation begin. Thanks that’s really helpful.