Real-Time Modal Synthesis of Crash Cymbals with Nonlinear Approximations, Using a GPU

Travis Skare; Jonathan Abel
DAFx-2019 - Birmingham
We apply modal synthesis to create a virtual collection of crash cymbals. Synthesizing each cymbal may require enough modes to stress a modern CPU, so a full drum set would certainly not be tractable in real-time. To work around this, we create a GPU-accelerated modal filterbank, with each individual set piece allocated over two thousand modes. This takes only a fraction of available GPU floating-point throughput. With CPU resources freed up, we explore methods to model the different instrument response in the linear/harmonic and non-linear/inharmonic regions that occur as more energy is present in a cymbal: a simple approach, yet one that preserves the parallelism of the problem, uses multisampling, and a more physically-based approach approximates modal coupling.