Synthesis ⇝ Physical Modeling Synthesis

Physical modeling (PM) synthesis is the simulation of acoustic instruments using a digital signal processor. It is also commonly called virtual acoustic synthesis.

Instruments commonly simulated with physical modeling are strings, woodwinds, brass, and reeds.

A number of synthesizers have been released that use virtual acoustic and PM synthesis. Here is a partial list.


Yamaha's VL1 released in 1993 was the first commercially-available virtual acoustic synthesizer. It was quickly followed by the VL7, which was a less powerful version.

They were followed a few years later by the VL70-m and the EX series (EX5, EX7, and EX5R).

Yamaha's virtual acoustic engine was then incorporated into the PLG100VL and PLG150 expansion boards that could be used in a large variety of synthesizer models, including some S-series models, the CS6R and CS6X, and the Motif line.


The Korg Prophecy included physical modeling of string, reed, and brass sounds. These capabilities were incorporated into the Z1 series of synths and later became the EXB-MOSS plugin board available for the Triton series.


The Alesis Fusion included virtual acoustic synthesis as one of its sound generation methods and supported wind and reed instrument simulation.