Spring Waves brings a set of Physical behaviour modelling algorithms to the Tiptop Audio zDSP Voltage Controlled Signal Processor. It dives deep into the experimental digital sound design techniques known as Waveguide Synthesis: a 1998 patent of Stanford University developed by Julius 0. Smith III – a step forward from Karplus-Strong techniques. In addition to that are two Spring models making real Newtonian physics calculation at sample rate.
The principle behind these algorithms is basically a mathematical feedback formula excited by external signals which self oscillates as a damped tone. The type and harmonic content of the external signals these algorithms can react to is extremely wide and so are the tones that they can impart to a sound.
The card contains six Karplus- Strong and two Spring models. When fed with an external pulse or bursts of noise they self-oscillate creating synthetic sounds similar to glass, spring, bell and variety of string tones. When structured sounds like high pitched FM tones, drones, drum sounds and vocals pass through they get a harmonized type effect, often in a very unexpected way. This card is anything but standard as it takes the natural ‘springy’ artefact of digital audio, and, instead of fighting to eliminate it, actually makes use of it as a new source of sound inside the modular.
The audio input is used either to “move” the point where one side of the spring is attached, or as force directly applied to the moving mass on the other side. The audio output is direct- ly provided by the motion of the moving mass.