A Study of Control Methods for Percussive Sound Synthesis Based on Gans

António Ramires; Jordan Juras; Julian D. Parker; Xavier Serra
DAFx-2022 - Vienna
The process of creating drum sounds has seen significant evolution in the past decades. The development of analogue drum synthesizers, such as the TR-808, and modern sound design tools in Digital Audio Workstations led to a variety of drum timbres that defined entire musical genres. Recently, drum synthesis research has been revived with a new focus on training generative neural networks to create drum sounds. Different interfaces have previously been proposed to control the generative process, from low-level latent space navigation to high-level semantic feature parameterisation, but no comprehensive analysis has been presented to evaluate how each approach relates to the creative process. We aim to evaluate how different interfaces support creative control over drum generation by conducting a user study based on the Creative Support Index. We experiment with both a supervised method that decodes semantic latent space directions and an unsupervised Closed-Form Factorization approach from computer vision literature to parameterise the generation process and demonstrate that the latter is the preferred means to control a drum synthesizer based on the StyleGAN2 network architecture.