LiveSPICE: a real time SPICE simulator for audio signals

By | March 12, 2014
LiveSPICE simulation

LiveSPICE simulation

LiveSPICE is a SPICE-like circuit simulation tool for processing live audio signals. The motivation for developing LiveSPICE is to help prototype guitar effects and amplifiers, without requiring constructing a physical circuit or waiting for an offline simulation to run to try it out. With LiveSPICE, you can design the circuit in an easy to use visual schematic editor, and simulate it using your real instruments as input signals and your speakers as the output, in real time.

The main website for downloads, documentation, and other information about LiveSPICE is www.livespice.org.

LiveSPICE is a tool that I've wanted for a while now. I couldn't find any existing SPICE simulators with this feature, and I thought this would be a really fun project. It proved to be a bit more difficult than I expected, I was stumped for nearly a full year on some of the numerical simulation issues. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but it now is quite usable and has a decent library of components to use.

There are not one, but two GitHub repos associated with this project:

  • LiveSPICE, the main repo for the project, and
  • ComputerAlgebra, the computer algebra system that LiveSPICE uses to find solutions to circuit systems and compile the solutions for good performance.

8 thoughts on “LiveSPICE: a real time SPICE simulator for audio signals

  1. jared

    hey, i just downloaded and played around with livespice! im really new to electronic curiuts in general, but your program is really amazing and handy! I really want to see it grow!!! if there is anything i can do to support this project, please let me know! send me and email or something! thanks!

    Reply
  2. hpf

    Hi,

    are there any way to add new model's (digital models) ?

    Possible "digital signal processing " with LiveSpice ?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Dillon Post author

      It's possible to add new models pretty easily if you are willing to write a little code. Here are all the existing models: https://github.com/dsharlet/LiveSPICE/tree/master/Circuit/Components

      However, digital models will not work very well. The circuit solver relies on analytically solving part of the circuit to be fast enough for real time, which is very difficult/impossible with digital models. Components themselves have to be defined by analytic expressions relating voltage to current, which doesn't map well to digital components.

      Reply
  3. Austin

    Hey Dillon, from what I am reading about LiveSpice it will be exactly what I am after. I installed in on my machine running Windows 8. Program opens fine and I can navigate around in it but as soon as I try to run a simulation the program crashes. I am using ASIO with an M Audio Fast Track Pro interface. At first I thought it might have to do with the Admin settings in Windows 8 (because they are ridiculous) but I gave full permission for the program to run and it didn't seem to help.
    If you have any ideas I am all ears! Thanks for offering such an awesome tool.

    Reply
    1. Dillon Post author

      Sorry to hear you are having trouble with it. Unfortunately, these audio interfaces have proven to be very difficult and finicky. Have you tried using ASIO4All (http://www.asio4all.com/) to see if that works? If it does, that might help me narrow down the problem.

      Reply
      1. Austin

        Thanks for the reply! I will check that out and let you know if I have any luck. Thanks again!

        Reply
  4. Mathias

    Hi Dillon, I think LiveSPICE is really a great software for customizing guitar FX. Unfortunately the software crashes after audio configuration when starting the test. This happened on my notebook (WIn 7 64bit) with native instruments Komplete Audio 6. I tried ASIO4ALL, but it's the same. Is it because of using 64 Bit system? Is there a guide to ASIO configuration anywhre? May be its a buffer size problem... any suggestions?

    Reply

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