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An Interactive System for Visualizing and Manipulating Spectral Data

Title An Interactive System for Visualizing and Manipulating Spectral Data
Publication Type Master Thesis
Year of Publication 2009
Authors Eakin, R. T.
preprint/postprint document static/media/Eakin-Rich-Master-thesis-2009.pdf
Abstract Current techniques for sound analysis and synthesis make powerful tools for designingnew music instruments. Yet, the tools for investigating the possibility ofcreating new sounds from existing ones are rarely interactive by design, commonlygeared towards either scienti c or commercial applications. As music instrumentsneed to be interactive in order to allow for expression, it is dicult to expand theusability of these powerful tools in new directions.
A unique and exciting method is introduced within this thesis for exploring spectradata created through the well-known and powerful analysis/synthesis methodsknown as SMS (Spectral Modeling Synthesis). The system is designed to be as interactiveas can be, exposing many low level parameters within an environment thatcan be manipulated in real-time. The main reason why this system is unique is thatarbitrary time/frame speci cation is inde nitaly allowed. Modi cations are thenperformed on some or all of the data in any number of ways, while not requiringa large analysis le to create realistic and interesting sounds. In order to makethis type of sound navigation intuitive, a real-time graphical interface is designedas a method of visualizing the sound's features. Within this system, one can usea variety of types of sounds as material for a new music instrument, whether thechosen sample is short, long, simple, or complex.
This thesis suggests a new system for researching music instrument design, based onspectral data through real-time, interactive experimentation. A prototype instrumentand experimental variations are designed as proof of concept of the exploratorynature of this system. Preliminary modi cations are implemented and tested, lendinginsight into which methods seem valuable within a musical context.