Giorgio Sancristoforo's "Substantia" physical modeling synth

Been working here and there with Giorgio’s software for many years now - so many great pieces of software.

One I’d really like to mention, because of how it can be used with Renoise is the “Substantia” physical modeling synth for those of you who work on Macs, which can be found here:

The reason I bring it up is because it has offered me a way to construct sounds that I can’t design within Renoise itself, and also reminded me of a way to combine both physically modeled sound samples AND Renoise’s built in synth to be a combination of a physical model and a tone generator.

What’s especially nice about Substantia is that it’s not your typical physical models. It’s based on various resonators and an amazing array of materials. Maybe you want a pentagonal bowl made of tin, or a wire rack made of nylon. You’ll get some beautiful results out of this software which can be exported and turned into the ‘attack’ portion of your sound, or if you’ve really got the moxy, you can turn them into pads and other sounds. Heck, you can use other samples to modulate the sounds via transients or with contact mics.

For those who desire to move into an electroacoustic direction, but do not want to strum a guitar or or pluck a harp, or play the piano in your living room, this software will really provide an interesting array of simulated sounds. Sounds that I’ve never heard created by other synths.


How have I never heard of these plugins?! Thank you for sharing this!

In your experience, do all these plugins work well in Renoise?

Hi there, Jesse!

Not a plugin - that’s the downside. It’s a sample generator/instrument. Standalone. That being said, I don’ t mind, I can get my full concentration on the sound I’m looking for.

I like stand-alone software, too. Sadly, I got excited before seeing that only one of them is Windows compatible. Guess I’ll be forced to only buy one. Any comments on BERNA 2? Sounds right up my alley.

Berna’s pretty neat, but it really is limited in what it can produce - very rudimentary earlier electronic music styles. Not a bad software, but think more along the lines of ambient and clock-y music. It’s a small electronic music studio!

If you’re still interested in some pretty decent physical modeling, check out VCV Rack, which is free, and there are some modules (also free) that do some pretty decent synthesis. I use it sometimes to generate waveforms for use in Renoise. Just depends on what you’re in the mood for :slight_smile:

1 Like

Nice. Based on the description sounds like it could get Pierre Schaefer or maybe Hugh Le Caine style sounds. Right up my alley.

I’ve tried VCV Rack, but it didn’t play nice with my setup at the time. Should really try it on my new hardware. (Seemed to be a GFX driver conflict when I tried it last time.)

1 Like