Procedural Audio

From Notebook
Jump to: navigation, search

Class Notes

Procedural audio = Sound as a process, building synthetic models. Creating engines which reproduce the physics of events that create sounds.

Idiophonic - any struct, rigid body, eg drum, piano, etc. there is only decay … no attack really

Attenuator - a divisor to reduce audio signal.

Noise != All frequencies mixed together at equal levels. This is a common misconception. Over a period of time each frequency is represented equally but one short snippet of noise is not the same as another short snippet of noise.

How do we work with sound

Different layers built on top of each other



-map performance parameters (affordances) eg when playing the violin, these would be the pressure of the bow, velocity, angle of play . Behaviour is the mapping of the performers mind on the instrument.


Signature processes eg. slip stick model. How do things actually interact

Methods DSP

eg fm synthesis, waveshaping, granular, subtractive, additive, physical modelling(wave guides etc)


how do we get the sound Max msp, csound, analog, pd, chuck, supercollider, recording(creative sound montage layering), physical

Philosophy of sound

Sound = change.

A branch of dynamics, no sound without a change in equilibrium intersection of interdisciplinary thoughts.

DSP <-> Physics<-> Psychology <-> philosophy <-> dsp

philosophy doesn't give answers, instead provides a framework


  • theory and techniques - miller puckett
  • the computer music tutorial - curtis roads
  • micro sound - curtis roads
  • computer sound design - eduardo miranda
  • computer music - dodge jerse
  • computer music - f r moore
  • audio programming - v lazarrine boolanger
  • thinking in sound - mcAdams warren and bregman
  • Auditory neuroscience - nelken schnup king
  • sound design - sonnenschein
  • audiovision - m chion
  • sonic interaction design - stefania seffarin , d. rochesso

husseslers philosophy of things interacting.

check SciHub

  • Denis Gabor - acoustical quantum theory of hearing.

Class exercises

not all.

A waaay better reference for all the sounds (and understanding pd + a lot more) is Andy's book Designing sound. Scribd link.

Basic doom tone

A low rumble used for representing a lot of dark ominous situations. This is the base for creating fire sounds.

Doom tone.png


3 layers

  • low rumble
  • crackle
  • hiss of escaping gasses

Crackle patch


Hissing patch



Wind itself doesn't have a sound. It creates sounds based on what it is hitting in it's environment. Wind of same speed through a forest sounds different from an urban space without trees.

Wind with interaction of changing the speed. Patch and whistle sub patch

Wind whistle.png


Thunder has 3 distinct sound events happening. First we hear is the head, followed by body and tail. The delay of the tail depends on the distance.

Thunder patches and subpatches (in clockwise order)


Music day, Drum Machine

Drum machine with its sub patches

Drum machine.png

We also looked at a lot of other sounds like machines, automobiles, animals etc. all of which can be found in Andy's book.

Final project