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More General Quasi-Periodic Synthesis

Figure 9.56: More general table-excited filtered-delay loop [440].

Figure 9.56 illustrates a more general version of the table-excited, filtered delay loop synthesis system [440]. The generalizations help to obtain a wider class of timbres. The multiple excitations summed together through time-varying gains provide for timbral evolution of the tone. For example, a violin can transform smoothly into a cello, or the bow can move smoothly toward the bridge by interpolating among two or more tables. Alternatively, the tables may contain ``principal components'' which can be scaled and added together to approximate a wider variety of excitation timbres. An excellent review of multiple wavetable synthesis appears in [199]. The nonlinearity is useful for obtaining distortion guitar sounds and other interesting evolving timbres [387]. Finally, the ``attack signal'' path around the string has been found to be useful for reducing the cost of implementation: the highest frequency components of a struck string, say, tend to emanate immediately from the string to the resonator with very little reflection back into the string (or pipe, in the case of wind instrument simulation). Injecting them into the delay loop increases the burden on the loop filter to quickly filter them out. Bypassing the delay loop altogether alleviates requirements on the loop filter and even allows the filtered delay loop to operate at a lower sampling rate; in this case, a signal interpolator would appear between the string output and the summer which adds in the scaled attack signal in Fig. 9.56. For example, it was found that the low E of an electric guitar (Gibson Les Paul) can be synthesized quite well using a filtered delay loop running at a sampling rate of 3 kHz. (The pickups do not pick up much energy above 1.5 kHz.) Similar savings can be obtained for any instrument having a high-frequency content which decays much more quickly than its low-frequency content.
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