Modeling and measurement of the sound production of flutes

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Dr. Rucz Péter
Department of Networked Systems and Services

Of the numerous types of musical instruments, thanks to its unique sound and wide vocal range, the flute is one of the most popular wind instruments. The willingness of composers and musicians to apply the flute entailed the demand to improve the instrument, and to digitally reproduce its sound. To make this possible, we need to describe the mechanism of sound production of the flute precisely.

In my thesis—by using the results of the literature on acoustic modelling of the flute—I implemented a software package, modelling the sound production mechanism of the instrument. The model is able to provide the acoustic parameters and sound of every conceivable flute. The simulation is based on the McIntyre Schumacher-Woodhouse model that represents the sound generation mechanism as the interaction of a linear resonator and a nonlinear excitation element. The implemented acoustic model treats the air column enclosed by the body of the instrument as a one-dimensional waveguide with distributed parameters, taking the effect of tone holes, radiation impedances and wall losses into account. The model of the excitation is based on recent publications discussing the dynamics of the air jet. The system of differential equations resulting from coupling the two model parts is solved by means of a numerical computer algorithm. I have compared the output of the simulation both with data published previously and results of own measurements.


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