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Re: Thoughts and questions on the API from a modular synth point of view

From: Chris Wilson <cwilso@google.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2012 10:42:42 -0700
Message-ID: <CAJK2wqVrDfgxeHLbj_7vNGhCjPqRicWBG0xSW2OHhAQHKUYFjg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Joseph Berkovitz <joe@noteflight.com>
Cc: Peter van der Noord <peterdunord@gmail.com>, "public-audio@w3.org" <public-audio@w3.org>
Yup.  To me, that's just a sample-playback synthesizer, but then, I'm not
in anyone's marketing department.  :)

Chris has said several times that we should look at providing a more
detailed sample-playback system in the future.  You really need to support
a release sample portion as well - not just the attack and loop portions
you mention - and I'd personally say we need to handle multi-sampling
across pitch also.  Even my now-venerable Kurzweil K2000 (which I purchased
in 1993) claimed to transition through the multisamples as it portamentoed
from note to note.  (Can't remember if it claimed to do that for pitch bend
also.)  That said, the basic AudioBufferSourceNode we have today is very
useful, and its light weight makes it ideal for gaming purposes, et al.  I
think we would want to add a more complex sample playback node, not change
the current one.

-C

On Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 10:30 AM, Joseph Berkovitz <joe@noteflight.com>wrote:

>
> Unfortunately, this term got confused with a single-cycle-table-lookup
> sample playback in the early nineties.  Although wavetable synthesis will
> frequently pre-compute the waveform from the harmonic series coefficients
> and play back a looped single cycle sample, that's not the point.
>
> If you want to have an oscillator that plays from a buffer, a la a
> single-cycle sample playback engine, it's quite easy - just create a
> buffer, put a single cycle in it, and use an AudioBufferSourceNode to loop
> that cycle.
>
>
> With respect to the term "wavetable", I want to add that this term today
> is often applied to commercial sampled-instrument engines such as Native
> Instruments' Kontakt.
>
> In these "wavetable" synths, there is far more than a single cycle of a
> waveform present.  Typically the sample consists of a "leader" capturing
> the unique sound of the instrument's attack, and then an internal loop that
> encompasses multiple waveform cycles (how many depends on the nature of the
> instrument).  These internal loops necessarily have both start and end
> points internal to the sample, hence the need for such a feature in the Web
> Audio API. The current "loop-the-entire-sample" flag is not useful at all
> in these scenarios.
>
> ... .  .    .       Joe
>
> *Joe Berkovitz*
> President
>
> *Noteflight LLC*
> 84 Hamilton St, Cambridge, MA 02139
> phone: +1 978 314 6271
> www.noteflight.com
>
>
Received on Monday, 16 July 2012 17:43:12 GMT

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