Modalys: a Synthesizer for the Composer-Luthier-Performer


Francisco Iovino, Richard Dudas, René Caussé, Nicolas Misdariis, Richard Polfreman


The advent of digital sound synthesis has offered to the musical researcher the possibility of exploring the concept of musical instrument in its broader sense. One principal axis of interest of the IRCAM Musical Acoustics Team is the research on modelisation of musical instrument oscillation, the computer implementation of the models that arise, and the evaluation of the musical interest that the computer implementation may have. The program Modalys is the result of years of work in this direction: Modalys is an open environment where virtual acoustical instruments may be imagined, performed and manipulated. In this paper we present an overview of the ideas and results that make Modalys a powerful and particular tool used by computer musicians. The paper is split into several parts: a theoretical introduction to modal synthesis, a description of the synthesizer and its features, a discussion of its musical possibilities and a description of Modalyser, a graphical interface of Modalys intended for non-programmers.

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Published in:

  • IRCAM Internal article, Submitted for Publication

Where this paper has been cited:

• Dudas, Richard, “NVM – a Modular Real-Time Physical Modeling Synthesis System for MSP”, Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, 1998