Analysis tools and Results for a Subtractive Synthesis Modelling of the Irish Uilleann Pipes


Timoney, Joseph and ó Póil, Tomas and Lysaght, Thomas and Lazzarini, Victor and Voight, Robert (2012) Analysis tools and Results for a Subtractive Synthesis Modelling of the Irish Uilleann Pipes. In: Irish Sound Science and Technology Conference 2012, August 1-2 2012, Cork, Ireland.

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Abstract

This paper will examine the extraction of parameters from recordings of the Irish Uilleann pipes that will assist a synthesist using subtractive synthesis technology to reproduce the sound. The motivation was twofold: firstly, there has been no prior sound analysis work carried on the Irish Uilleann pipes, an instrument that is uniquely associated with Ireland. It is intended that this work will encourage greater interest in the relationship between this traditional instrument and the electronic music community. Secondly, the use of signal processing applied to parameter analysis for driving a subtractive synthesizer has received much less attention in the literature in comparison to other techniques such as FM. This paper would like to redress the balance in some way and also stimulate some interest in this topic, given the current popularity of digital subtractive synthesis. The paper will first explain the principles behind the instrument; it will describe the six elements of the Uilleann pipes instrument: the bag, bellows, chanter, drones, regulators and stock. The playing position will be described and their relation to the playing techniques will be mentioned. The process of recording individual notes from the Uilleann pipes was found not to be straightforward. These issues will be explained and the solutions highlighted. Ultimately the recording resulted in a series of notes that could be used in the following analysis. After giving an overview of the implementation of our digital subtractive synthesis engine, the development of signal processing algorithms to analyse the Uilleann pipes notes and extract the parameters to drive the synthesizer will be discussed. Good use is made of the ‘True Envelope’ spectral envelope model to obtain the initial characterisation of the sound. This can then be used to obtain the correct oscillator waveforms using an analysis-by-synthesis procedure. Spectral subtraction and LPC analysis is used then to find the filter parameters, assuming a State Variable digital filter. The Filter and Amplifier envelope parameters are lastly found using an automated procedure on the set of extracted envelope signal trajectories. This algorithm was applied to all the recorded Uilleann pipe samples and a statistical analysis carried out on the results. From the analysis the mode of the distributions could be used to determine which values most represented the set of Uilleann pipe sound parameters. Furthermore, the standard deviation too could be found. This indicated that level of variation of each particular parameter over the series of notes. From this, a final set of parameter values are proposed that when applied to a subtractive synthesizer engine parameters will most convincingly the Uilleann pipe sound. Listening test results are given to validate this. The paper ends with conclusions and some recommendations for future work.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Analysis tools; Subtractive Synthesis Modelling; Irish Uilleann Pipes;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > Music
Faculty of Science and Engineering > Computer Science
Item ID: 4106
Depositing User: Joseph Timoney
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2013 15:38
Refereed: Yes
URI:

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