A Modal-Based Real-Time Piano Synthesizer - Sound Examples
This is the homepage of the paper

Balázs Bank, Stefano Zambon, and Federico Fontana "A Modal-Based Real-Time Piano Synthesizer,'' IEEE Trans. on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, Special Issue on Virtual Analog Audio Effects and Musical Instruments, vol. 18, iss. 4, pp. 809-821, May 2010.


This paper presents a real-time piano synthesizer where both the transverse and longitudinal motion of the string is modeled by modal synthesis, resulting in a coherent and highly parallel model structure. The paper applies recent developments in piano modeling and focuses on the issues related to practical implementation (e.g., numerical stability, aliasing, and efficiency). A strong emphasis is given to modeling nonlinear string vibrations, and a new variation of earlier synthesis techniques is proposed which is particularly well suited for modal synthesis. For soundboard modeling, the possibilities of using FFT-based fast convolution and parallel second-order filters are discussed. Additionally, the paper describes the details of the software implementation and discusses the computational complexity of each model block. The piano model runs on current computer hardware with full polyphony.

Sound examples

A few musical examples (short extracts) are presented with different parameter settings. The examples were generated by playing MIDI files in real-time.

Grand piano
Chopin: Prelude op.28 n.15 in D flat major. Model parameters corresponding to a grand piano.

Mozart: Sonata KV 311 in D major. The difference from the "Grand piano" parameter settings is lower string mass, higher inharmonicity, and a different soundboard response.

Honkytonk piano
A blues tune. The difference from the "Grand piano" parameter settings is higher string detuning and inharmonicity, and lower hammer hardness.

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Last modified: 10.05.2010