Working with Sculpture’s Objects

The objects are used to stimulate or otherwise affect the string in some way. The object parameters discussed in this section apply on a per-voice basis. You will note a number of parameter names followed by (morphable). This indicates that the parameters can be morphed between up to five morph points. More details can be found in Getting to Know Sculpture’s Morph Section.

Important: At least one object must be used to excite or disturb the string, because the string itself does not make any sound!

There are a number of different string excite/disturb/damp models available, such as blow, pluck, bow, and so on. These can radically alter the general timbre of the string’s attack phase, making it possible to create bowed or plucked flute and bell sounds, or guitars with a flute-like attack, for example.

Judicious use of the object parameters can deliver very accurate emulations of real-world instruments, or sounds that are altogether more other-worldly.

It is important to note that each additional disturb/damp object that is activated will affect the string. This will in turn alter the interaction of any other active object with the string, often resulting in a completely different character from your sound.

Obviously, changing the sonic character is the reason you would use a new object, but the pluck and blow object combination you chose may sound like fingernails on a blackboard, rather than the plucked pan flute you were going for—depending on other string settings.

Therefore, you need to pay special attention to the model type and strength of objects. You may find that the flavor of the excite object (Object 1), for example, has changed significantly—and you may need to adjust or change the parameters of all objects (and perhaps several string parameter values) after you introduce a new disturb/damp object (2 or 3).

Similarly, the selection of a different type of excite object will affect the disturb/damp objects—and the string itself—thereby changing the character of your sound.

Repositioning objects also changes the timbre of the string. If emulating a guitar, for example, changing an object position would be similar to picking or strumming a string at various spots along the fretboard.

Using Sculpture’s Object Parameters

The following parameters are used to excite, disturb, or dampen the string.

Figure. Object parameters showing Type menu.
  • On/Off buttons (1, 2, and 3): Enables/disables the respective object.
  • Gate Mode buttons: Determine when the object is active—in other words, when it disturbs or excites the string. You can choose from:
    • KeyOn: Between note on and note off.
    • Always: Between note on and the end of the release phase.
    • KeyOff: Triggered at note off, and remaining active until the voice is released.

    Note: Some object types, such as Gravity Strike, may retrigger the note when you release a key—when in Key On gate mode. If you encounter this artifact, try setting Gate mode to Always and/or reduce the Strength of the object.

  • Strength knob (morphable): Sets the intensity of the excitation/disturbance, depending on type. See the table below. A value of 0.0 effectively disables excitation/disturbance. In contrast to the On/Off button of each object, you can fade in the Strength parameter with modulation and/or morphing options.
  • Timbre slider (morphable): Determines the timbre (tonal color) of the chosen excitation/disturbance type. Zero (0.0) is the default value for the object. Positive values make the sound brighter, whereas negative values lead to a more mellow sound.
  • Variation slider (morphable): An additional timbre parameter, which is also type dependent. See the table below for details regarding its impact on the sound.
  • VeloSens slider (Objects 1 and 2 only): Excite objects are velocity sensitive, but this may not be appropriate for all sounds. This parameter, found at the bottom of Objects 1 and 2, allows you to reduce velocity sensitivity to 0.

    Note: An object is velocity sensitive only when a type that actively excites the string is selected. The Velocity Slider is available only for objects that are velocity sensitive.

    • Object 1 is velocity sensitive.

    • Object 2 can be both, depending on the chosen object type.

    • Object 3 is not velocity sensitive.

Sculpture Excite Table (Objects 1 and 2)

Before you examine the tables of object types and properties, it is important to note the following:

  • Object 1 can only make use of the excite types found in the first table.

  • Object 2 can make use of the types available in both tables.

  • Object 3 can only make use of the disturb/damp types found in the second table.

The following table lists all excite types available for Objects 1 and 2, and information about the controls available for each object type.

Strength controls
Timbre controls
Variation controls
A short impulse excitation
Impulse amplitude
Velocity dependence of width
Short excitation like a piano hammer or mallet
Hammer start speed (velocity dependent)
Hammer mass
Felt stiffness
Like hammer but with gravitation towards the string, leading to multiple hammer-string interactions and disturbed string vibrations
Hammer start speed
Felt stiffness
Finger or plectrum picking
Pickup force and speed
Force/speed ratio
Plectrum stiffness
Bowing of the string
Bow speed
Bow pressure
Slip stick characteristics
Bow Wide
Same as bow, but wider, resulting in a more mellow tone, especially suited for smooth bow position changes
Bow speed
Bow pressure
Slip stick characteristics
Noise injected into the string
Noise level
Noise bandwidth/cutoff frequency
Noise resonance
Blow into one end of the string (an air column, or tube). At various positions, starting from 0.0 (far left), move the blowing direction and position from along the string toward one end. The string is blown sideways at the chosen position.
Lip clearance
Blow pressure
External (available only for Object 2)
Feeds sidechain signal into string.
Cutoff frequency of lowpass filter being used to process sidechain signal
Width (size) of the string area being affected by the side-chained signal

Sculpture Disturb and Damp Table (Objects 2 and 3)

The following table lists all disturb/damp types available for Objects 2 and 3.

Strength controls
Timbre controls
Variation controls
A disturb object that is placed at a fixed distance from the string’s resting position.
The hardness of the object
The distance from the resting position.
  • Negative values:  Push the string away from the resting position.

  • Positive values:  String is unaffected when in the resting position.

Controls width.
  • Negative values:  Only a small section of the string is affected

  • Positive values:  A broader section of the string is affected

Disturb 2-Sided
Somewhat like a ring placed around the string, which limits the string’s vibration in all directions.
The hardness of the ring
The clearance of the ring (the distance between the ring and string)
  • Negative values:  The sides of the damping ring overlap, influencing the string if any movement occurs.

  • Positive values:  There is an amount of clearance inside the ring. The string will be influenced only if moved sufficiently to actually touch the ring.

No effect
Emulates a loose object lying or bouncing on, and interacting with, the vibrating string. This is very random by nature and can’t be synchronized.
Controls the gravity constant for the object lying/bouncing on the string.
The stiffness of the object
The damping of the object
A boundary that limits and reflects string movement. This is much like a fingerboard that limits string movement when the string is plucked very firmly.
The distance from the boundary center position to the string’s resting position
The slope (steepness) of the boundary. A value of 0.0 places the boundary parallel to the string. Other values will position the boundary closer to the string on one end and farther away on the other.
The amount of reflection at the boundary limits
Used to model an additional mass attached to the string. This can lead to inharmonic sounds, and very interesting results, if the position of this mass is modulated along the string.
The mass size/weight
No effect
No effect
Localized damper, which is useful for soft damping.
The intensity of the damping
The damping characteristics
The width of the damped string section