A Mechanical Mapping Model for Real-time Control of a Complex Physical Modelling Synthesis Engine with a Simple Gesture

Fiona Keenan; Sandra Pauletto
DAFx-2017 - Edinburgh
This paper describes the design and control of a digital synthesis engine developed to imitate the sound of an acoustic wind machine, a historical theatre sound effect first designed in the nineteenth century. This work is part of an exploration of the potential of historical theatre sound effects as a resource for Sonic Interaction Design (SID). The synthesis engine is based on a physical model of friction and is programmed using the Sound Designer’s Toolkit (SDT) suite of physical modelling objects in Max/MSP. The program is controlled in real-time with a single stream of rotation data from a rotary encoder and Arduino, with complexity achieved through a mapping strategy that recreates the mechanical process at the heart of the acoustic wind machine’s sound production. The system is outlined, along with a discussion of the possible application of this approach to the modeling of other historical theatre sound effects.