The refreshingly independent Madrona Labs have followed up their impressive Aalto virtual modular synth with a truly novel sound-design instrument built on a similar architecture. Employing certain components familiar to Aalto users'"the sequencer, gate, envelopes and almost entirely modular patching system'"it's based on a combination of two fairly esoteric (and rarely-used) synthesis technologies.
Kaivo in action.
Physical modelling is nothing new: utilizing complex mathematical formulas to mimic the natural vibrations of strings or reeds and the acoustic properties of various resonating structures, I first remember it coming to market in the late 1990s with Korg's much-hyped Prophecy monosynth. Since then, computing power has developed exponentially, allowing for ever more realistic acoustic models. The foundation for Live's Electric, Tension and Collision devices (as developed by Applied Acoustics), physical modelling technology has found its way into plenty of music production'"yet never quite caught on as a 'go to'