Efficient Snare-Drum Model for Acoustic Interfaces With Piezoelectric Sensors

Philipp Schmalfuß; Max Neupert; Björn Kessler
DAFx-2020 - Vienna (virtual)
This paper describes a computationally efficient synthesis model for snare drum sounds. Its parameters can be modulated at audio rate while being played. The input to the model is an acoustic excitation signal which carries spectral information to color the output sound. This makes it suitable for acoustic interfaces – devices which provide excitation signal and control data simultaneously. The presented synthesis model builds up on work done by Miller Puckette and processes audio input from a piezoelectric microphone into a nonlinear reverberator. This paper details a strikingly simple but novel approach on how to make use of the momentary DC offset generated by piezoelectric microphones when pressed to simulate the changes in drumhead tension. This technique is especially of interest for interfaces without pressure sensing capabilities. In the design process we pursued an experimental approach rather than a purely mathematical. Implementations of the synthesis model are provided for Pure Data and FAUST as open source.