Kaivo – new semi-modular software synthesizer
Madrona Labs has released Kaivo, a semi-modular software synthesizer that combines two ways of making sound: granular synthesis and physical modeling.
Developer Randy Jones says:
“Today we release Kaivo, our new software synthesizer. ‘Kaivo’ is Finnish for ‘well,’ as in, a deep well of sounds, and I’ve been working on deepening that well over the last month or so. Kaivo’s models include metal, nylon and gut strings, different sizes of chimes and springs (yes, springs), wooden instrument bodies, membranes and metal plates. ”
Kaivo brings ‘some of the latest academic research in physical modeling to a patchable package for the first time.’ Mathematically speaking, its finite difference time domain (FDTD) models let the player affect the internal vibrations inside the instrument at any point. This allows for a fine degree of realistic detail, like the bridge rattles on a “gut string” model, for example. Developers say Kaivo is also designed to apply this subtlety to more abstract creations.
Every time a model is triggered, it makes a slightly different sound due to the initial conditions when the sound starts. This subtle variety can quickly give a very lifelike quality to sounds that would be tedious to recreate with sampling. Kaivo has eight different types of tuned resonators, including strings, chimes and springs, each with its own complex response to sound. As for instrument bodies, there are four, including two wooden body models, a metal plate, and a frame drum—all true 2D models.