Timbre from Sound Synthesis and High-level Control Perspectives

Abstract : Exploring the many surprising facets of timbre through sound manipulations has been a common practice among composers and instrument makers of all times. The digital era radically changed the approach to sounds thanks to the unlimited possibilities offered by computers that made it possible to investigate sounds without physical constraints. In this chapter we describe investigations on timbre based on the analysis by synthesis approach that consists in using digital synthesis algorithms to reproduce sounds and further modify the parameters of the algorithms to investigate their perceptual relevance. In the first part of the chapter timbre is investigated in a musical context. An examination of the sound quality of different wood species for xylophone making is first presented. Then the influence of instrumental control on timbre is described in the case of clarinet and cello performances. In the second part of the chapter, we mainly focus on the identification of sound morphologies, so called invariant sound structures responsible for the evocations induced by environmental sounds by relating basic signal descriptors and timbre descriptors to evocations in the case of car door noises, motor noises, solid objects, and their interactions.
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Sølvi Ystad, Mitsuko Aramaki, Richard Kronland-Martinet. Timbre from Sound Synthesis and High-level Control Perspectives. Kai Siedenburg; Charalampos Saitis; Stephen McAdams; Arthur N. Popper; Richard N. Fay. Timbre: Acoustics, Perception, and Cognition, 69, Springer Nature, pp.361-389, 2019, Springer Handbook of Auditory Research Series (SHAR), 978-3-030-14831-7. ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-14832-4_13⟩. ⟨hal-01766645⟩

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