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Title: Physical modelling sound synthes by digital waveguide extraction with application to computer games and virtual environments
Author: Mullan, E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 2357
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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While the first computer games synthesised all their sound effects, a desire for realism led to the use of sample playback when technology matured enough to allow it. However, current research points to many advantages of procedural audio, which is generated at run time using various synthesis techniques. A physical modelling branch of audio synthesis provides an intuitive link to an environment's virtual physical parameters. Some physical modelling techniques, primarily modal synthesis, have been used to synthesise audio in real-time in interactive virtual environments. This thesis presents a new technique called digital wave guide extraction which models the motion of a two dimensional membrane. The technique exploits the efficiency advantages of digital waveguides, which are commonly used to model one dimensional objects, by extracting harmonic subsets from the membrane's spectrum based on plane waves travelling in a single direction. The technique is shown to be mathematically equivalent to modal synthesis. A detailed method of implementation is provided, the output of which is shown to closely match that of modal synthesis in frequency content and amplitude envelope. A means of decreasing the computational complexity of the technique, while affecting minimal change to the synthesised sound, is proposed and justified. The saving can be applied to a varying degree which is useful in environments where objects can have different levels of perceptual importance and processing availability can vary due to factors unrelated to audio. Perceptual listening tests reveal that, without affecting any perceptual difference to the sound produced, computational complexity can be reduced by at least 72%, typically around 95% and often beyond 99%. Finally, the digital waveguide extraction technique has been linked to purely geometrical analysis of a membrane. This provides an alternative understanding of the technique and indicates potential for a new wave-based approach to modelling non- ideally shaped objects and rooms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available