1 Feb 2003 forrest   » (Journeyer)

xing nian hao

I hope the Year of the Sheep will bring us all prosperity. In this crowd, I'm sure it will, because our free software wealth will increase and never decrease.

sound synthesis

Back when I was in high school, my friend Harry played a sustained piano chord at the end of an improvisation which, as it slowly decayed, gave way to an incredibly rich tapestry of beat frequencies. When I tried much later to reproduce this sort of sound, I realized that it must have been a unique artifact of the imperfect tuning of that particular piano -- I was never able to coax a well-tuned instrument to weave such a complex fabric.

The memory that fateful chord planted a seed in my mind which grew into the idea that an entire composition could be made of changing timbres; beat frequencies syncopated through clever synthesis techniques could effectively be rhythm and melody.

I've finally gotten around to following up on this a bit, and I'm looking at various sound synthesis packages. I had played with it a little before in CSound but I ended up writing perl to generate the complex .orc files I wanted to experiment with. It was just too clunky; not the right tool for my job.

So, I've been poking around the Linux Sound Pages looking at other synthesis packages to see if I can find anything more suited to my purposes.

I was quite impressed with the sound samples and web page for Tao but the latest version is labled 1.0-beta-30Apr2000 and sadly won't compile on my Debian "sid" box. I'm guessing this is due to some differences in g++ 3.x, but it errors out on a .yy file.

I wrote the author to see if he was still active with it, but have yet to receive a response. I guess the next thing to do is to make it work and send him a patch.

There are some other programs I'm looking at, but I've blathered on enough already.

If anyone has a suggestion about a sound synthesis program I should investigate, I'd be interested to hear it.

Latest blog entries     Older blog entries

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!