I’m still looking for scientist and engineer types who could make use of National Instruments LabVIEW for sound synthesis (I know they’re out there). The superb MAKE: Blog passed along that info, and got something else: synthesis using circuit simulation software.

A reader on MAKE: Blog is apparently simulating sound synthesis circuits using University of California Berkeley’s SPICE program, which awkwardly stands for Simulation Program Integrated Circuits Especially. See the SPICE documentation for more, or a related project called Ngspice. Pictured: Ngspice running on Windows, though you can compile this stuff for Mac, your spare Solaris box, whatever. (That SPARCstation in your garage has been looking for something useful to do, right?)

Hmmm . . . producing sound in circuit simulation software? Sounds like a great way to test your homebrew synthesis circuits before you build them. But now that we’re treading extremely geeky waters, drop me a line and let me know if any of this means anything to your work. Or if you’ve got an applicable Spice Girls joke.

  • m15a

    i've considered the possibility of using spice or even circuitmaker (which apparently isn't being developed or changed its name or something . . used to be a free student version. not sure anymore). but being that i don't have access to this software anymore and, more importantly, circuit design is one of the aspects of electrical engineering i suck at, i'm going to leave that work to someone else.

    something more my speed and at least almost as nerdy is using matlab for music and or composition. an interesting toolbox i just found out about this weekend:

    a toolbox for matlab with functions for loading and saving midi files, along with a great deal of analysis.

  • Mike Page

    I would love to know more about this, I am interested in creating a VST or RTAs plug-in with a GUI, for simulated analog circuit designs within a sequencer. Similar to NI Reaktor or Max/Msp, but for circuits.

    Does this sound realistic?

  • This would be great alongside some sort of physical modeling synthesizer (simulate input from a piezo contact mic, etc).