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Real Sound Synthesis for Interactive Applications [Paperback]

Perry R. Cook
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2002 1568811683 978-1568811680 Pap/Com
Virtual environments such as games and animated and "real" movies require realistic sound effects that can be integrated by computer synthesis. The book emphasizes physical modeling of sound and focuses on real-world interactive sound effects. It is intended for game developers, graphics programmers, developers of virtual reality systems and training simulators, and others who want to learn about computational sound. It is written at an introductory level with mathematical foundations provided in appendices.

Code examples and sound files can be found at the book's website.

Frequently Bought Together

Real Sound Synthesis for Interactive Applications + Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design
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Product details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press; Pap/Com edition (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568811683
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568811680
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 14.8 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 956,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Perry Cook is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department at Princeton University with a joint appointment in the Music Department. He helped to found Media Vision, Inc. and has consulted for many companies. His research focuses on sound synthesis by physical modeling and user interfaces for real-time control of sound and music.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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"If you're like most people, you haven't thought much about the digital synthesis of sound." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book about physical modelling 27 Jun 2005
By A Customer
it is a bit light on the maths but the source code on the cd
makes up for that. reminds me a bit of curtis roads's
computer music tutorial in that it introduces a lot of different
synthesis techniques without going into any with any depth.
good to have this book handy whilst loitering about on stanford's
ccrma website.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought for Audio Engineering Degree Studies 23 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this was for my son it was recommended by his lecturer and he found it really helpful for his studies.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a lot more than a cook book 30 Aug 2002
By Richard O. Duda - Published on
Are you a pretty good C++ programmer? Have you ever wanted to have your computer output sounds like footsteps or musical instruments that (a) sound real and (b) are continuously responsive to the user's control? Did you discover that it was basically impossible to do it by stitching together prerecorded samples, and you couldn't think of any other way to do it?
If so, Perry Cook has written just the book you have been looking for. In 250 pages, Cook explains everything, from the basics of digital filtering to the major alternatives for generating sounds: additive and subtractive synthesis, FM synthesis, and -- the real focus of the book -- physical modeling. Not only that, the accompanying CD-ROM includes lots of sound examples and the Synthesis ToolKit -- a pretty much platform-independent set of C++ classes and algorithms for writing your own code.
Not everything is perfect. Just as the first version of any program contains some bugs, the first printing of any book that uses mathematics contains some errors. In particular, typos in Appendix A could be very frustrating if this is your first exposure to Fourier analysis. (You might want to check Cook's web site for a promised list of errata and code updates.) And don't let the fact that the book is short, attractively produced, very well organized, unusually clear, and entertainingly written lead you to believe that you can master it in a weekend. Although Cook tries his best to make the underlying mathematics unintimidating, there is no getting around the fact that there are some rather deep concepts from wave physics and signals-and-systems theory behind what he has to say.
The good news is that the effort is richly repaid. Not only will you be able to write programs that can generate controllable sounds in real time, but you will develop insight into how physical instruments produce their distinctive sounds, and you will understand the basics of both the standard and the most advanced techniques that have been developed to model them. Highly recommended.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful long-term goal, but not with today's hardware 13 May 2004
By J. Jessup - Published on
"Real Sound Synthesis for Interactive Applications" by Perry R. Cook describes elementary and advanced techniques to simulate the audio components of dynamic systems using physics. While the book is not specifically directed toward game development, the application to game development is clear. The book's organization of the major themes covered is easily to follow through three sections that detail digital audio, sound modeling, and simulation of real world instruments. The book spans sixteen chapters and appendices totaling 248 pages.
The first section (chapters 1-3) defines digital audio, compression, wave synthesis, and simple filtering techniques. The chapters form the foundation for the later sections and define the common asset formats and techniques currently used in games. Cook emphases that key components of sound manipulation are the sampling rate and quantization of the source audio. The text demonstrates how sounds with higher sampling rates allow for greater manipulation with fewer artifacts but incur a greater computational cost.
The second section (chapters 4-8) introduces sound modeling through simplified physical systems, such as an ideal spring, and Fourier series equations. While an understanding of college physics and calculus is helpful (especially if you'd like to code these methods), the book doesn't require it or bog down in theory or mathematical proofs. (For those interested in the details, they are provided in the appendices). The concepts described in this section are critical in creating computer sound models that represent real world objects.
The last section (chapters 7-16) provides physics equations that allow for the simulation of real world instruments (string instruments, tubes, and multi-dimensional objects). Each chapter describes a different system based on Fourier construction, filtering, and physics-based equations. It's the heart of the book and most interesting. The background in the two previous sections is essential to fully grasp the concepts Cook defines here.
Throughout each chapter, Cook couples clear concise writing with a touch of humor and illustrative diagrams. Cook provides a good initial foundation as the topics covered gradually build in complexity. The clean organizational layout made it easy for me to refer back to previous sections when I felt the need. In many cases, however, I found the writing to be a little too condensed and wished for a paragraph describing a concept rather than the sentence provided. Cook does supply references at the end of each chapter for those readers seeking additional detail.
The book also includes a CD containing audio samples of the topics discussed throughout the book. While reading the book, it was useful to be able to hear the point or technique made in the text. The CD also contains Cook's sound synthesis toolkit and several examples of instruments highlighted in the last section.
Unfortunately in current development, real-time sound synthesis in games has a limited place. Due to the complex calculations of Fourier series, fast digital signal processor chips are required to simulate the audio effects without impacting the rest of the game. Minimally, filters and other simple routines outlined in the book can be written for target hardware to accomplish specialized effects but this is nothing radically new.
However, Cook's research in simulating audio is extremely exciting. During the calculation of an object's dynamic behavior (such as collision response, striking, falling, moving, etc.) a minimal additional amount of time can be spent to determine the audio effects. According to Cook's findings, this amount is generally less than 5% of the total time required to simulate an object's physical behavior. Admittedly, these calculations are on the order of minutes versus milliseconds but eventually Moore's Law will catch up and simplifications will allow unparalleled audio effects in conjunction with physical simulation.
Developers and sound designers interested in the math and physics of creating real-time sounds should pick up this book. Those interested in a fascinating look at the mechanisms of dynamically producing sound might also want to give it a read provided it's with the understanding that the direct applicability to games is at least few years away.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another digital music book.... 23 Aug 2002
By A Customer - Published on
This book is useful, enlightening, and fun. It covers many cutting-edge topics in lucid fashion, topics that can only be found otherwise in academic journals. The computer code (in the book and on the CD-ROM) is an invaluable resource for the ambitious reader, who can actually try out or modify the techniques. The CD-ROM also provides examples of these new techniques in action. Finally, the author's sense of humor comes through often (this is not a stiff, boring book!).
As a "digital-sound-artist" and someone who teaches this stuff at the university level, I highly recommend this book not only to those who want to learn about the most recent work going on in sound synthesis, but to those who want another perspective on more familiar topics (like the basics of PCM, fourier analysis, basic digital filtering, etc....).
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on an under-served subject 17 Feb 2006
By calvinnme - Published on
This is not a book that introduces and uses signal processing concepts for the sake of itself. Instead, the goal of the book is to create sounds, learn the tools and theory behind creating such sounds, and grasp the essentials of many sophisticated physical modeling concepts in particular. The book is quite thin, but don't let this fool you. The author chose to leave out quite a few details so that this did not turn into another 1000 page treatise on computer music. Thus some basic topics in signals, systems, and filter design are not fleshed out to their fullest extent. To this end, the book has an extensive reference section so that if you are unfamiliar with a particular physics or DSP topic, you can research it yourself.

Chapter 1 briefly establishing the fundamentals of digital audio, and includes an introduction to the basics of quantization, compression, and Pulse-Code Modulation (PCM) sampling. Chapter 2 investigates sound synthesis starting with wavetable synthesis. In chapter 3, digital filters are introduced. Included is a concise but clear introduction to Linear Time Invariant (LTI) systems, convolution, Finite Impulse Response (FIR) filters, Infinite Impulse Response (IIR) filters, and Z transforms. The chapter culminates in an introduction to the BiQuad filter.

Chapter 4, which deals with modal synthesis, acts as a stepping-stone to the frequency domain, leading to chapter 5's discussion of the Fourier Transform. This chapter examines Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), fast convolution, and Short Time Fourier Transform (STFT), and ends with examples of applications.

Chapters 6, 7, and 8 delve deeper into synthesis/analysis concepts such as Linear Predictive Coding (LPC), spectral modeling, additive/subtractive synthesis, noise signals, and inharmonicity, using the frequency domain techniques learned in previous chapters. You'll hardly turn a page without an accompanying picture or block diagram, a particularly valuable feature of this book.

Chapter 9 explores the physical modeling concepts of string vibrations and stiff bars. Modeling algorithms are introduced using basic physics perspectives centered around the familiar string, mass, and damper paradigms first introduced in chapter 4. Here again, rather than bombarding the reader with tons of equations, Mr. Cook explains ideas mainly through diagrams, sound examples, and block diagrams, which is very helpful for the software implementation of algorithms. The ready-to-compile C++ code for this section included on the CD-ROM provide models of a plucked string (Plucked.cpp), a mandolin (Mandolin.cpp), and a bowed string (Bowed.cpp).

In Chapter 11, Tubes and Air Cavities, the author introduces more models while leaving detailed mathematical derivations of equations for the appendix. He concludes chapter 11 with "Building and Blowing a Bottle Model", and includes code and sound examples, as usual. Going into chapter 12, more complex, higher dimensional models are introduced, with the traditional mass-spring model in the context of a meshed membrane starting off the chapter.

Chapter 13 introduces modeling and synthesizing particle interaction. Some of the topics covered include Formant Wave Functions (FOFs) for voice synthesis, single particle models, multi-particle systems, and statistical multi-particle systems such as a simple maraca model, implemented in less than 30 lines of C code with an accompanying block diagram.

Chapter 14 deals with the subtleties of exciting and controlling sound models. For example, Mr. Cook discusses the differences between exciting a string with a plectrum as opposed to using the fleshy part of the thumb. He also shows some fascinating effects of the striking conditions of the Tibetan prayer bowl, which exhibits very different spectra as a function of strike-direction while keeping strike-point constant. Other topics discussed include bowing, scraping, and frictional issues in synthesis. MIDI, OSC (Open Sound Control), and other standards for sound and multimedia control are also briefly examined.

Chapter 15 walks the reader through a complete system called PhOLISE (Physically Oriented Library of Interactive Sound Effects) that could possibly be applied to areas such as gaming, animation, and sound effects in film production. The five sections of the appendix go into greater detail regarding proofs, derivations, and properties of topics such as DFT properties, zero-padding, proof of fast convolution, and ideal string behaviors.

After you grasp the contents of this book, you might want to read "The Physics of Musical Instruments" and use some of Mr. Cook's techniques to synthesize the numerical models explained in that book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Sound Synthesis/a review 5 Jan 2007
By Chester Berry - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the best volumes I've come across in the field of sound synthesis on personal computers. Provides a solid introduction to this field for those who wish to create sound on a PC (as opposed to play back previously- recorded sound).
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