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TOPIC: How to emulate various instruments?

How to emulate various instruments? 6 years 2 weeks ago #203

Hi,

I'm want emulate various instruments like piano, harpsichord, oboe, cello, and trumpet. Is there a guide somewhere that describes the components of these sounds? I've browsed through various chiptune and AY-3-8910 sites but have not found anything. They all seem to assume this knowledge.

I assume it's a matter of selecting the right wave form, adding in some noise (for woodwinds) and so on. Some sort of guide would cut down on the rather random experimentation.

Thanks, Jurgen
Last Edit: 5 years 7 months ago by administrator.
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Re: How to emulate various instruments? 6 years 2 weeks ago #205

There are some basic guidelines on how the waveforms model the timbre of instruments in the Babblebot datasheet. Here is some basic information from there:

The sinusoidal wave, or sine wave for short, is a very smooth waveform typical of flute and whistle sounds. A very smooth waveform typical of flute and whistle sounds.

A triangle wave looks a bit like a sine wave with straight lines. It
slowly falls then slowly rises, making it look like a zigzag shape. Only odd harmonics are present in the triangle wave. The amplitude of each harmonic, however, is 1/n^2. This causes the higher harmonics to be much quieter than they are in a square wave. For this reason, the triangle wave can be a good starting point for emulating bass instruments.

A swatooth wave is a very sharp waveform typical of trumpet-like sounds. As its name suggests, the sawtooth wave resembles the teeth of a saw. It rises quickly and slowly falls. It includes all harmonics. This means it includes the fundamental harmonic, and another sine wave at twice its speed, and another at three times its speed, and so on. The second sine wave is half as loud, as well as twice as fast. The third one is a third as loud, as well as three times the speed.

In addition to the tonal quality the amplitude envelope has a lot to do with the characteristic of the sound as well. For instance a plucked instrument generally has a fast attack, moderate decay, and a long release. Instruments such as an organ have fast attack and release and no decay.

Another way to enhance tonal quality is to use multiple voices at harmonic frequencies; for example you might have an instrument play a C3 and E3 together to provide more depth.

This is of course just a starting point, but might give you something to consider.
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