Engineering and Natural Sciences

CENS Tech Report Series
Integer-Based Wavetable Synthesis for Low-Computational Embedded Systems
CENS-2012-02

Author(s):
Ben Wright and Somsak Sukittanon

Category:
Engineering

Abstract:
The evolution of digital music synthesis spans from tried-and-true frequency modulation to string modeling with neural networks. This project begins from a wavetable basis. The audio waveform was modeled as a superposition of formant sinusoids at various frequencies relative to the fundamental frequency. Piano sounds were reverse-engineered to derive a basis for the final formant structure, and used by to create a wavetable. The quality of reproduction hangs in a trade-off between rich notes and sampling frequency. For low- computational systems, this calls for an approach that avoids burdensome floating-point calculations. To speed up calculations while preserving resolution, floating-point math was avoided entirely--all numbers involved are integral. The method was built into the Laser Piano. Along its 12-foot length are 24 “keys,” each consisting of a laser aligned with a photoresistive sensor connected to 8-bit MCU. The synthesis is processed in the sensor array by four microcontrollers running a strictly synchronous wavetable synthesis algorithm. In the laser array is integrated a microcontroller that can toggle each laser, allowing the piano to play itself or limit playable keys.

Download the Document

Explore Our College

View an interactive brochure of our college.

View Brochure >

 

Internships

Internships are only available to students within three semesters of graduation (B.S.E.) who have not previously completed ENGR 313.

View Internships >

 

Technical Report Series

Technical reports available on this page are authored by Faculty, Staff, and Students of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

View technical report series >