Waveguide modelling of coupled strings

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Dr. Fiala Péter
Department of Networked Systems and Services

Creating musical sounds is one of the basic aspirations of people. A common method of sound production is to use stringed instruments.

One of the key determinants of the produced sound are the physical characteristics of the string, the excitation mode (striking, picking, using a bow), and the characteristics of the soundboard that provides termination and coupling for the strings. The different tones are based on these parameters, so we need different strings, termination to achieve diverse tones.

It has always been a need to be able to create many different sounds using only one instrument, which led to stringed instruments like the guitar or the piano that has more than one string.

But – of course – physical size limits occurred.

Sound synthesis came as a solution: to be able to create the sound without the presence of the real vibrating system.

Beside the traditional sound synthesis methods in which we try to simulate the tone itself, physical-based models are becoming more common. This means that you are modeling the vibrations of the sound, based on the unequivocal relations between the physical parameters of the string and the vibration, and the sound itself.

The most widely used physical model-based synthesis of the string is called waveguide model.

Using this method, in my thesis I describe the realization of modeling the vibrations of strings in a coupled system, excited by striking, so e.g. the sound of piano strings can be synthesized.


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