Modal Audio Effects: A Carillon Case Study

Elliot Kermit Canfield-Dafilou, Kurt James Werner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)
295 Downloads (Pure)


Modal representations—decomposing the resonances of objects into their vibrational modes has historically been a powerful tool for studying and synthesizing the sounds of physical objects, but it also provides a flexible framework for abstract sound synthesis. In this paper, we demonstrate a variety of musically relevant ways to modify the model upon resynthesis employing a carillon model as a case study. Using a set of audio recordings of the sixty bells of the Robert and Ann Lurie Carillon recorded at the University of Michigan, we present a modal analysis of these recordings, in which we decompose the sound of each bell into a sum of decaying sinusoids. Each sinusoid is characterized by a modal frequency, exponential decay rate, and initial complex amplitude. This analysis yields insight into the timbre of each individual bell as well as the entire carillon as an ensemble. It also yields a powerful parametric synthesis model for reproducing bell sounds and bell-based audio effects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects
EditorsAlberto Torin, Brian Hamilton, Stefan Bilbao, Michael Newton
Place of PublicationEdinburgh, UK
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)2413-6689
Publication statusPublished - 05 Sep 2017
Event20th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects - University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 05 Sep 201709 Sep 2017
Conference number: 20


Conference20th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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