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Emulating noise/artifacts from woodwind instruments
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Author:  motown83 [ Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Emulating noise/artifacts from woodwind instruments

Hi,

Does anyone know of ways to digitally emulate the noise/artifacts from various woodwind instruments?

Thanks.

Author:  Anomylous [ Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Emulating noise/artifacts from woodwind instruments

Step 1: Set up an audio editing program such as Audacity.
Step 2: Find someone who can play the woodwind in question. You'll need an expert ear to assist you in this project.
Step 3: Plug a microphone into your computer (you may need additional equipment depending on the mic).
Step 4: Hand your expert the desired woodwind instrument and tell them what to play.
Step 5: Hit Record.

But in all seriousness, I've never heard a synthesized flute that I couldn't immediately tell was fake, though if you're talking clarinet or oboe you might be able to get away with it. You could probably do something by modulating white noise to simulate breaths etc., but it'd probably be quicker and easier to find someone who could play the instrument in question.

You should definitely get the opinion of someone who knows more about this than I do, though.

Author:  MTGuru [ Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Emulating noise/artifacts from woodwind instruments

Anomylous, I think you misunderstood the question. The OP is asking about artifacts such as key clicks and reed noise, not the tone of the instrument itself.

For keyed winds - e.g. sax, clarinet, silver flute, oboe, etc. - I'd guess sampling is the best and most realistic approach. For example, sample each key or finger-down noise for each note, then edit that into the attack-sensitive onset contour for the the note. It's not quite as simple as that, though. Key behavior of a note will differ depending on the note/fingering you're coming from and the one you're going to. Some keys close a vent, others open a vent. And clarinet, which overblows the 12th, requires different key-note mappings in each register. But for some applications, perhaps a generic key-down noise might be realistic enough.

I guess one could do the same with key-up artifacts and note cut-offs as well.

My Roland FR-18 digital accordion has level-programmable valve clatter that can be added to the built-in sounds. It's fairly effective in de-robotizing the sound. But this is a more straightforward case, because you're mapping button movements to their actual corresponding button noises, not a keyboard key press to a woodwind key. And each button noise is essentially the same.

Author:  Anomylous [ Wed Nov 13, 2013 11:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Emulating noise/artifacts from woodwind instruments

MTGuru wrote:
Anomylous, I think you misunderstood the question. The OP is asking about artifacts such as key clicks and reed noise, not the tone of the instrument itself.


Yes, I'm aware of that. I was trying to a) make a joke - apologies if it was annoying or in bad taste - and b) point out that making key-clicks, reed noise, player-breathing noise, etc., might be more trouble than it's worth when compared to just recording a live instrument. That all depends on OP's situation, though. Maybe he's in some remote part of Alaska and can't possibly find someone who plays bass clarinet, xaphoon, English horn, shawm, or contrabass flute.

Author:  MTGuru [ Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Emulating noise/artifacts from woodwind instruments

If the OP's goal is to synthesize, not sample, the artifacts, I agree. Depends on the meaning of "emulate".

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