Real Sound Synthesis for Interactive Applications (Anglais) Broché – 1 juillet 2002
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Code examples and sound files can be found at the book's website.
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Bien que le niveau global du livre corresponde à l'état de l'art actuel disponible en laboratoire, il reste accessible à toute personne possédant une maîtrise en sciences de l'ingénieur ou un niveau similaire.
En substance, ce sont d'abord les pré-requis en traitement du signal audio qui sont exposés. Avec humour mais rigueur didactique, la suite présente les procédés de synthèses qui constituent la palette sonore du musicien numérique : traitement de sources enregistrées, modèles spectraux, modèles physiques et algorithmes abstraits. Du concret vers l'abstrait. De la qualité naturelle mais inflexible de la musique concrète de Pierre Schaeffer et des samplers vers la souplesse intrinsèque mais toute mathématique de la synthèse FM de John Chowning et des premiers synthétiseurs Yamaha ou Casio. Entre les deux, on jouit d'un compromis entre qualité et flexibilité.Lire la suite ›
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If so, Perry Cook has written just the book you have been looking for. In 250 pages, Cook explains everything, from the basics of digital filtering to the major alternatives for generating sounds: additive and subtractive synthesis, FM synthesis, and -- the real focus of the book -- physical modeling. Not only that, the accompanying CD-ROM includes lots of sound examples and the Synthesis ToolKit -- a pretty much platform-independent set of C++ classes and algorithms for writing your own code.
Not everything is perfect. Just as the first version of any program contains some bugs, the first printing of any book that uses mathematics contains some errors. In particular, typos in Appendix A could be very frustrating if this is your first exposure to Fourier analysis. (You might want to check Cook's web site for a promised list of errata and code updates.) And don't let the fact that the book is short, attractively produced, very well organized, unusually clear, and entertainingly written lead you to believe that you can master it in a weekend. Although Cook tries his best to make the underlying mathematics unintimidating, there is no getting around the fact that there are some rather deep concepts from wave physics and signals-and-systems theory behind what he has to say.
The good news is that the effort is richly repaid. Not only will you be able to write programs that can generate controllable sounds in real time, but you will develop insight into how physical instruments produce their distinctive sounds, and you will understand the basics of both the standard and the most advanced techniques that have been developed to model them. Highly recommended.
The first section (chapters 1-3) defines digital audio, compression, wave synthesis, and simple filtering techniques. The chapters form the foundation for the later sections and define the common asset formats and techniques currently used in games. Cook emphases that key components of sound manipulation are the sampling rate and quantization of the source audio. The text demonstrates how sounds with higher sampling rates allow for greater manipulation with fewer artifacts but incur a greater computational cost.
The second section (chapters 4-8) introduces sound modeling through simplified physical systems, such as an ideal spring, and Fourier series equations. While an understanding of college physics and calculus is helpful (especially if you'd like to code these methods), the book doesn't require it or bog down in theory or mathematical proofs. (For those interested in the details, they are provided in the appendices). The concepts described in this section are critical in creating computer sound models that represent real world objects.
The last section (chapters 7-16) provides physics equations that allow for the simulation of real world instruments (string instruments, tubes, and multi-dimensional objects). Each chapter describes a different system based on Fourier construction, filtering, and physics-based equations. It's the heart of the book and most interesting. The background in the two previous sections is essential to fully grasp the concepts Cook defines here.
Throughout each chapter, Cook couples clear concise writing with a touch of humor and illustrative diagrams. Cook provides a good initial foundation as the topics covered gradually build in complexity. The clean organizational layout made it easy for me to refer back to previous sections when I felt the need. In many cases, however, I found the writing to be a little too condensed and wished for a paragraph describing a concept rather than the sentence provided. Cook does supply references at the end of each chapter for those readers seeking additional detail.
The book also includes a CD containing audio samples of the topics discussed throughout the book. While reading the book, it was useful to be able to hear the point or technique made in the text. The CD also contains Cook's sound synthesis toolkit and several examples of instruments highlighted in the last section.
Unfortunately in current development, real-time sound synthesis in games has a limited place. Due to the complex calculations of Fourier series, fast digital signal processor chips are required to simulate the audio effects without impacting the rest of the game. Minimally, filters and other simple routines outlined in the book can be written for target hardware to accomplish specialized effects but this is nothing radically new.
However, Cook's research in simulating audio is extremely exciting. During the calculation of an object's dynamic behavior (such as collision response, striking, falling, moving, etc.) a minimal additional amount of time can be spent to determine the audio effects. According to Cook's findings, this amount is generally less than 5% of the total time required to simulate an object's physical behavior. Admittedly, these calculations are on the order of minutes versus milliseconds but eventually Moore's Law will catch up and simplifications will allow unparalleled audio effects in conjunction with physical simulation.
Developers and sound designers interested in the math and physics of creating real-time sounds should pick up this book. Those interested in a fascinating look at the mechanisms of dynamically producing sound might also want to give it a read provided it's with the understanding that the direct applicability to games is at least few years away.
As a "digital-sound-artist" and someone who teaches this stuff at the university level, I highly recommend this book not only to those who want to learn about the most recent work going on in sound synthesis, but to those who want another perspective on more familiar topics (like the basics of PCM, fourier analysis, basic digital filtering, etc....).
Chapter 1 briefly establishing the fundamentals of digital audio, and includes an introduction to the basics of quantization, compression, and Pulse-Code Modulation (PCM) sampling. Chapter 2 investigates sound synthesis starting with wavetable synthesis. In chapter 3, digital filters are introduced. Included is a concise but clear introduction to Linear Time Invariant (LTI) systems, convolution, Finite Impulse Response (FIR) filters, Infinite Impulse Response (IIR) filters, and Z transforms. The chapter culminates in an introduction to the BiQuad filter.
Chapter 4, which deals with modal synthesis, acts as a stepping-stone to the frequency domain, leading to chapter 5's discussion of the Fourier Transform. This chapter examines Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), fast convolution, and Short Time Fourier Transform (STFT), and ends with examples of applications.
Chapters 6, 7, and 8 delve deeper into synthesis/analysis concepts such as Linear Predictive Coding (LPC), spectral modeling, additive/subtractive synthesis, noise signals, and inharmonicity, using the frequency domain techniques learned in previous chapters. You'll hardly turn a page without an accompanying picture or block diagram, a particularly valuable feature of this book.
Chapter 9 explores the physical modeling concepts of string vibrations and stiff bars. Modeling algorithms are introduced using basic physics perspectives centered around the familiar string, mass, and damper paradigms first introduced in chapter 4. Here again, rather than bombarding the reader with tons of equations, Mr. Cook explains ideas mainly through diagrams, sound examples, and block diagrams, which is very helpful for the software implementation of algorithms. The ready-to-compile C++ code for this section included on the CD-ROM provide models of a plucked string (Plucked.cpp), a mandolin (Mandolin.cpp), and a bowed string (Bowed.cpp).
In Chapter 11, Tubes and Air Cavities, the author introduces more models while leaving detailed mathematical derivations of equations for the appendix. He concludes chapter 11 with "Building and Blowing a Bottle Model", and includes code and sound examples, as usual. Going into chapter 12, more complex, higher dimensional models are introduced, with the traditional mass-spring model in the context of a meshed membrane starting off the chapter.
Chapter 13 introduces modeling and synthesizing particle interaction. Some of the topics covered include Formant Wave Functions (FOFs) for voice synthesis, single particle models, multi-particle systems, and statistical multi-particle systems such as a simple maraca model, implemented in less than 30 lines of C code with an accompanying block diagram.
Chapter 14 deals with the subtleties of exciting and controlling sound models. For example, Mr. Cook discusses the differences between exciting a string with a plectrum as opposed to using the fleshy part of the thumb. He also shows some fascinating effects of the striking conditions of the Tibetan prayer bowl, which exhibits very different spectra as a function of strike-direction while keeping strike-point constant. Other topics discussed include bowing, scraping, and frictional issues in synthesis. MIDI, OSC (Open Sound Control), and other standards for sound and multimedia control are also briefly examined.
Chapter 15 walks the reader through a complete system called PhOLISE (Physically Oriented Library of Interactive Sound Effects) that could possibly be applied to areas such as gaming, animation, and sound effects in film production. The five sections of the appendix go into greater detail regarding proofs, derivations, and properties of topics such as DFT properties, zero-padding, proof of fast convolution, and ideal string behaviors.
After you grasp the contents of this book, you might want to read "The Physics of Musical Instruments" and use some of Mr. Cook's techniques to synthesize the numerical models explained in that book.