Analog modeling synthesizer

An analog modeling synthesizer is a synthesizer that generates the sounds of traditional analog synthesizers using DSP components and software algorithms. Analog modeling synthesizers simulate the behavior of the original electric and electronic circuitry in order to digitally replicate their tone.

This method of synthesis is also referred to as Virtual Analog or VA. Analog modeling synthesizers can be more reliable than their true analog counterparts since the oscillator pitch is ultimately maintained by a digital clock, and the digital hardware is typically less susceptible to temperature changes.

While analog synthesizers need an oscillator circuit for each voice of polyphony, analog modeling synthesizers don't face this problem. This means that many of them, especially the more modern models, can produce as many polyphonic voices as the CPU on which they run can handle.

Modeling synths also provide patch storage capabilities and MIDI support not found on most true analog instruments. Analog modeling synthesizers that run entirely within a host computer operating system are typically referred to as analog software synthesizers.

The term was not used until the 1990s when the Nord Lead came out.[1]

Examples of VA synthesizers include:


  1. ^ Sound to sense, sense to sound: a state of the art in sound and music computing. Logos Verlag Berlin GmbH. 2008. ISBN 978-3-8325-1600-0. "[...]virtual analog synthesis. This term became popular when the Nord Lead 1 synthesizer was introduced in to the market"