Real-Time Modal Synthesis of Nonlinearly Interconnected Networks

Michele Ducceschi; Stefan Bilbao; Craig Webb
DAFx-2023 - Copenhagen
Modal methods are a long-established approach to physical modeling sound synthesis. Projecting the equation of motion of a linear, time-invariant system onto a basis of eigenfunctions yields a set of independent forced, lossy oscillators, which may be simulated efficiently and accurately by means of standard time-stepping methods. Extensions of modal techniques to nonlinear problems are possible, though often requiring the solution of densely coupled nonlinear time-dependent equations. Here, an application of recent results in numerical simulation design is employed, in which the nonlinear energy is first quadratised via a convenient auxiliary variable. The resulting equations may be updated in time explicitly, thus avoiding the need for expensive iterative solvers, dense linear system solutions, or matrix inversions. The case of a network of interconnected distributed elements is detailed, along with a real-time implementation as an audio plugin.