Synthesizing bird calls

Information and discussion about the Evolver family of instruments, including the Desktop Evolver, the Poly Evolver rack and keyboard, and the Mono Evolver Keyboard.

Synthesizing bird calls

Postby dslsynth » Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:35 pm

I found this rather evolved description on synthesizing bird calls a while back:
http://www.obiwannabe.co.uk/tutorials/h ... birds.html

But I never quite figured out how to map it onto the Evolver voice architecture. So I wonder if someone in here could help with some ideas on how it can be done?

Thanks in advance!

:-)
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Re: Synthesizing bird calls

Postby chysn » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:49 am

I don't really understand the diagrams for CSound, but the description doesn't sound too promising: two oscillators where frequency and amplitude are controlled, with one of those controlling a third oscillator's frequency and another controlling the third oscillator's amplitude. Even though the Evolver has four oscillators, it doesn't seem to have that much routing flexibility to work with that model. It's like you'd need to remodel the bird in an entirely different way.
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Re: Synthesizing bird calls

Postby dslsynth » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:27 am

Soundquest on the DSI forum did post a track in which bird sounds was synthesized (on a Dark Energy if I remember correctly) with some convincing bird sounds around 1:40:
https://soundcloud.com/wavescape-1/look-up

So its possible. And yes those Pure Data diagrams are not easy to read for outsiders.

Still hoping for some advice! ;-)
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Re: Synthesizing bird calls

Postby Strange Quark Star » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:59 pm

Very interesting article, nice find!

I don't have an Evolver, but it seems that there is no direct amplitude modulation of oscillators possible? Without AM I don't easily see a way to translate these PD patches, unfortunately… but it should be a relative breeze on the P 12 / P 2 with their 4 FM/AM capable oscillators and huge modulation matrix!

Pure Data is really quite simple (and relatively easy to learn, I recommend you to try it!), these patches look much more complicated than they really are because of these dollar sign arguments.
I'd love to build a Prophet 12 patch according to these diagrams, but I'd have to spend a lot of time at the not-too-local music store with their slightly malfunctioning P 12 on display :(
Maybe I'll get the P2 instead of the Sub 37 after all!
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Re: Synthesizing bird calls

Postby dslsynth » Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:14 pm

Thanks a lot for the reply, Strange Quark Star. Yeah its probably not as complex once one carefully reads the article and diagrams. Especially if one is good at sound design (which is certainly not the case with me). Also some of the oscillators in the description is probably best modelled as LFOs as they are of lower frequency which makes the modulation paths more likely to be mappable unto a DSI voice architecture such as the Evolver.

If amplitude modulation can be modelled as a LFO to the oscillator level then the Evolvers have AM as well. The analog oscillators on the Curtis chip have only a cross fader not individual volume control. However the Evolvers use only one of these oscillators and hence the cross fader can be used as a volume control (from what I understand from an old forum Chris explanation). So the Evolver have four oscillators which each have a level control similar to Prophet 12 and Pro2.
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Re: Synthesizing bird calls

Postby Strange Quark Star » Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:29 pm

Hm, I did not know about the oscillator volume control of the Evolvers! Maybe I'll open up PD again today and mess around with the supplied files to get to a more readable/adaptable diagram…
I only had a cursory glance at the diagrams and for some reason did not think of LFOs as possible oscillators :? Perhaps an Evolver implementation turns out to be quite easy, at least of the simpler CSound patch that requires less envelopes.
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Re: Synthesizing bird calls

Postby dslsynth » Sat Jul 05, 2014 3:49 pm

Thanks a lot! I reread most of the article again. At some point one just have to start experimenting but I have not really reached that point yet.
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Re: Synthesizing bird calls

Postby Strange Quark Star » Sat Jul 05, 2014 6:39 pm

OK, it really is very simple to get this bird call functionality to our DSI synthesizers!

The important part described in the CSound program, the PD patch just adds more flexibility and a graphical interface.

What you need is one oscillator, two LFO's and at least one envelope. One LFO to modulate the oscillator's frequency, the other for amplitude modulation. Envelopes control the LFOs' frequencies and modulation depths. All oscillators are sine waves in both CSound and PD, but we can use triangles.

On my P '08 I set oscillator 2 to OFF, thereby enabling OSC MIX to effectively control oscillator 1's amplitude. LFO 1 then controls OSC MIX, LFO 2 the frequency of oscillator 1. Try around some settings for frequency and mod depth parameters and you get an almost convincing static bird sound!
Then I set envelope 3 up to control LFO 1's frequency and envelope 2 (filter env) for LFO 2's frequency. The basic CSound program uses just one linear decay to control both LFO's frequencies, so you can try that out before you add complex movements to both LFO's.

Two very quick examples follow; I also used the VCA evelope (for its normal purpose) and key velocity to affect LFO ALL INT.
Attachments
bird examples.zip
(1.38 MiB) Downloaded 168 times
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Re: Synthesizing bird calls

Postby dslsynth » Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:23 pm

Oh wow! Thanks a thousand, Strange Quark Star! Your explanation makes lots of sense and allows for experimentation with more complex sounds very easily. I am very greatful for your help! Thanks again! :-)
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