Numerical Sound Synthesis: Finite Difference Schemes and Simulation in Musical Acoustics

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John Wiley & Sons, Sep 3, 2009 - Computers - 456 pages
Digital sound synthesis has long been approached using standard digital filtering techniques. Newer synthesis strategies, however, make use of physical descriptions of musical instruments, and allow for much more realistic and complex sound production and thereby synthesis becomes a problem of simulation.

This book has a special focus on time domain finite difference methods presented within an audio framework. It covers time series and difference operators, and basic tools for the construction and analysis of finite difference schemes, including frequency-domain and energy-based methods, with special attention paid to problems inherent to sound synthesis. Various basic lumped systems and excitation mechanisms are covered, followed by a look at the 1D wave equation, linear bar and string vibration, acoustic tube modelling, and linear membrane and plate vibration. Various advanced topics, such as the nonlinear vibration of strings and plates, are given an elaborate treatment.

Key features:

  • Includes a historical overview of digital sound synthesis techniques, highlighting the links between the various physical modelling methodologies.
  • A pedagogical presentation containing over 150 problems and programming exercises, and numerous figures and diagrams, and code fragments in the MATLABŪ programming language helps the reader with limited experience of numerical methods reach an understanding of this subject.
  • Offers a complete treatment of all of the major families of musical instruments, including certain audio effects.

Numerical Sound Synthesis is suitable for audio and software engineers, and researchers in digital audio, sound synthesis and more general musical acoustics. Graduate students in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or computer science, working on the more technical side of digital audio and sound synthesis, will also find this book of interest.

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About the author (2009)

Stefan Bilbao, School of Arts, Culture and Environment, University of Edinburgh, UK
Dr Stefan Bilbao is currently a Lecturer of Music at the University of Edinburgh, specializing in sound synthesis based on physical models of musical instruments, with a particular focus on the intersection between digital filtering techniques and numerical simulation methods. He has been involved in computer music research since 1992, working firstly at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique Musicale (IRCAM) under a joint fellowship with Harvard University, then at the Space, Telecommunications and Radioscience Laboratory (STAR Lab). Dr Bilbao then moved UK to take a post as a Lecturer at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) at the Queens University, Belfast, and in 2005, at the School of Arts, Culture and Environment at the University of Edinburgh. He is now undertaking a project supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council UK for the development of new numerical techniques for sound synthesis. He teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate courses on musical acoustics, DSP, and musical applications of Fourier theory and has written over 10 published journal articles, 30 conference papers and the book Wave and Scattering Methods for Numerical Simulation for Wiley, published in 2004.

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