In these cases, instead of trying to build every feature into a single box, I would recommend breaking everything down and focusing on the various elements.
For a number of reasons this can be more rewarding. For one, it seems to me that part of the thrill of this software is not the attempt to pass a blind emulation taste test, so to speak. Rather, by tinkering with the details it is possible to get “closer” to the threshold characteristics – the interesting ranges within the significant behaviours that are worth exploring.
Consider the following thread that begins with a conversation about envelope followers. The thread meanders but it also evolves. Some other modules appear and what not. The envelope follower is one piece.
Again, I would suggest hooking up a few Audulus parts together that match the KV100 Block diagram you posted. Once the path is made, the aim would be to locate the sweet spot ranges created by each part and among the parts. Once a few chains have been successfully achieved in isolation thereby producing interesting effects, the chains themselves could be wired together…
I can’t help but see Audulus as akin to some dense, difficult book that one has heard is worth labouring to understand but can’t be understood without stumbling around for a while, cherishing any small bits of insight that might emerge.
My post is a bit confusing. To be clear, the idea is not to try to emulate the KV-100. Instead, the aim would be to choose parts that perform together to reach “threshold characteristics” similar to the characteristics of certain signal paths in the KV-100.
Here’s the scenario I didn’t have in mind: “Hey Bob, instead of spending a bunch of money on a guitar pedal, I bought this software that I can use to not only build the same pedal but also a bunch of other expensive ones. After all, only some analog nerd could pick out a minor difference.”
Here’s the alternative I was going for: “Hey Bob, I bought this software thinking I could model some distortion pedals but I realized that there is a whole world of mathematical concepts that are much more interesting than getting a portable cheap alternative to the real pedals. The thing is, I don’t know much at all about differential equations but it doesn’t matter because I can work with the software at any level. Really, the interesting part is that it is modular, so I can mix and match different parts of signal chains. Still, once in a while it’s fun to dive a little deeper and tinker with the inner workings that give me a sense of how the math works by way of visual logic. But don’t worry Bob, no one needs to know any of this if they don’t want to. I suppose it’s a good way to get into modular synthesis without spending $3000 on a Eurorack that’s still fairly limited.”
I think that KV-100 pedal is cool and I too would like to know a bit more. I’m not an engineer or coder, just someone chasing interesting sounds.
I’d start the process looking at:
preamp1 and drivers: distortion algos here – tanh is used all over the place in Audulus, you could try (overdriving) that or even sine shaping / wavefolding to get started, or some of the other distortion formulas from dsp world. Also might try a bit of feedback in the formula to make it really grungy (unit delay?).
preamp2: ring modulation+filter – this part is easy – dry+distorted signal, multiply a (carrier) oscillator by your (modulator) signal + filter. I might use a crossfader or something to push it down in the mix.
pulser/VCO: I don’t get this part on first viewing – what are the waveforms, how is freq derived for these and how do they shape the sound/incoming waveform? What other pedals use this kind of thing?)
envelope follower modulating filter cutoff: a big part of the signature sound imho.
I appreciate @futureaztec’s POV on “informed modeling” vs. “physical modeling”. I might say chase a limited set of the sounds you like in the pedal and leave the rest.