Ever wanted to hear what connected strings and plates sound like?

Physical Audio Releases Modus: A Physical Modelling Synth

Ever wanted to hear what connected strings and plates sound like?

Portrait of musicmanta author Christof Baer with blue tint in circular shape
Christof Baer
last updated this article on 
July 12, 2023
 and first floated it on 
July 11, 2023
Physical Audio Modus

Clarity Commitment

Tell me more

Have not yet used this product

Estimated read time: X minutes

Let's Get Physical

Physical Audio, a company with roots in academic research, has announced the release of Modus, a physical modelling synth.

Modus is a physical modelling synth that allows users to generate sound from combinations of strings and plates. These elements can be interconnected via springs or rattles, creating a unique sonic environment. While there are other physical modelling plugins available, such as Newfangled Audio's Generate and AAS's Chromaphone, Modus stands out with its unique configuration of interconnected bars, strings, and plates.

Key Features of Modus

Modus comes with over 120 presets and offers a wide range of editing options. Users can customize the type of pluck or strike driving the model, with oscillator options to drive plates and pluck shaping for strings. It also features a multi-strike mode for repeated hits, dual LFOs, high and low shelf EQs, and a signal mixer.

The synth includes effects from a low-pass ladder filter, Drive, Delay, and Reverb. It is fully MPE-compatible and available in VST3, Audio Units, and AAX formats for both Intel and Apple Silicon.

For those interested in hearing what Modus can do, Italian synthesist and composer Gadi Sassoon has created a set of demo tracks made exclusively using Modus, available on SoundCloud.

About Physical Audio

Physical Audio grew out of a 5-year research project at the University of Edinburgh. The NESS project (Next Generation Sound Synthesis) examined new algorithms for digital synthesis of acoustic systems, specifically using direct numerical methods such as finite-difference time-domain schemes. After his PhD with the NESS project and postdoctoral work, Dr Craig J. Webb began experimenting with real-time systems and by 2018, the first plugins were born.

Our View

We applaud the extent of innovation in Modus, which stems from years of research. This certainly is not another subtractive synthesizer emulation. The question is who the plugin is designed for then. Due to its unique character and engine, we anticipate that Modus will be most interesting to sound designers, experimental musicians, and media composers.

As with any new product, its effectiveness and impact will become clearer as it is adopted and used within the music production industry. It certainly promises to be a unique tool for sound production and manipulation.

Physical Audio offers a demo mode for all their plugins, including Modus. In demo mode, users cannot save new presets and there is a short noise burst every minute. This allows potential users to test out the product before making a purchase.


    Physical Audio Modus

    • Introductory sale price: £59 / $69 / €60 (plus tax) until August 22nd
    • Regular price: £99 / $119 / €100 (plus tax).


    Audio Demos


    Physical Audio Modus: Overview

    Get in-depth reviews, fresh news, fun tutorials, top deals, and the latest sales to your inbox. When you sign up, you will be sent "Ray 1", a free 130 MB sample pack from musicmanta, with over 60 loops and one shots (previously published by Noiiz).

    Thank you! Your submission has been received!
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.