TitlePrototyping and Interpolation of Multiple Music Timbres Using Principal Component-Based Synthesis
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsSandell, GJ, Martens, WL
Conference NameInternational Computer Music Conference
PublisherInternational Computer Music Association
Conference LocationSan Jose, CA

Principal Component Analaysis (PCA) has been shown to be an effective technique for representing the complexity of time-variant musical tones efficiently. We explore here a novel application of PCA to Phase Vocoder Analysis (PVA) datasets that yields both common and distinct patterns of spectral evolution for groups of instrument tones. A prototypical timbre is synthesized for the group from the spectrotemporal patterns common to the group’s members. Interpolation is accomplished by applying to the prototype the spectrotemporal patterns that distinguish between members. We also introduce a variable-duration temporal partitioning technique for preprocessing the PVA datasets that reduces their size by roughly a factor of 8 while retaining high temporal resolution for perceptually critical portions (attack and decay). This downsampling improves the sensitivity of the PCA to important details of the PVA data, and produces more natural-sounding attack and decay transients when resynthesizing at a variety of durations.