Neural Modelling of Time-Varying Effects

Alec Wright; Vesa Välimäki
DAFx-2020 - Vienna (virtual)
This paper proposes a grey-box neural network based approach to modelling LFO modulated time-varying effects. The neural network model receives both the unprocessed audio, as well as the LFO signal, as input. This allows complete control over the model’s LFO frequency and shape. The neural networks are trained using guitar audio, which has to be processed by the target effect and also annotated with the predicted LFO signal before training. A measurement signal based on regularly spaced chirps was used to accurately predict the LFO signal. The model architecture has been previously shown to be capable of running in real-time on a modern desktop computer, whilst using relatively little processing power. We validate our approach creating models of both a phaser and a flanger effects pedal, and theoretically it can be applied to any LFO modulated time-varying effect. In the best case, an errorto-signal ratio of 1.3% is achieved when modelling a flanger pedal, and previous work has shown that this corresponds to the model being nearly indistinguishable from the target device.