ISCA Tutorial and Research Workshop on Statistical and Perceptual Audio Processing

ICC Jeju, Korea
October 3, 2004

Representation and Classification of the Timbre Space of a Single Musical Instrument

Hugo de Paula, Hani Yehia, Mauricio A. Loureiro

CEFALA - Center for Research on Speech, Acoustics Language and Music, UFMG, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

In order to map the spectral characteristics of the great variety of sounds a musical instrument may produce, different notes were performed and sampled in several intensity levels across the whole extension of a clarinet. Amplitude and frequency time-varying curves of partials were measured by Discrete Fourier Transform. A limited set of orthogonal spectral bases was derived by Principal Component Analysis techniques. These bases defined spectral sub-spaces capable of representing all tested sounds, which were validated by auditory tests. Sub-spaces involving larger groups of notes were used to compare the sounds according to the distance metrics of the representation. A clustering algorithm was used to infer timbre classes. Preliminary tests with resynthesized sounds with normalized pitch showed a clear relation between the perceived timbre and the cluster label to which the notes were assigned.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Paula, Hugo de / Yehia, Hani / Loureiro, Mauricio A. (2004): "Representation and classification of the timbre space of a single musical instrument", In SAPA-2004, paper 86.