Music 256a/CS 476a | Fall 2016

Lecture 5: Sound Synthesis Basics

Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics
Stanford University

Back to the starter code of HW1: preventing clicking when updating parameters

y(n) = (1-p)*x(n) + p*y(n-1)

Unity-dc-gain one-pole lowpass where p is the pole.

A pole close to 1 (e.g. 0.999) will implement a lowpass filter and will "smooth" any control signal.

Percussive Sounds vs. Sound Textures: Amplitude Envelope

"ADSR" Envelope

Fourier Series and Additive Synthesis

Simple, versatile but hard to control...

Special case: sound "resynthesis"

Amplitude Modulation (AM)

Frequency Modulation Synthesis (FM)

And if you're curious, here's more

Waveshaping Synthesis

Subtractive Synthesis

Granular Synthesis

A "homemade" example: Chris Carlson's Borderland

No JUCE example, but it should be easy to make one starting from this tutorial

Physical Modeling Synthesis

Commercial Examples



Yamaha VL1

Physical Modeling Synthesis

Karplus-Strong Algorithm

Vocal Synthesis

  • Source/Filter Model
  • FOF ("Fonction d'ondes formantiques" - Formant Synthesis)
  • Linear Predictive Coding (LPC)
  • Sample based or hybrid (e.g. Vocaloid)

FOF example: IRCAM's Queen of the Night

Sampling Synthesis

The Synthesis Tool-Kit (STK)