Timbre has become a very important factor of music since the 20th century. Sound synthesis, which can create new timbres, has been an important engineering field since the early years of electroacoustic music.
The timbres created by newly born digital technologies such as granular synthesis and modulation, pitch shift, squeeze/stretch effect have had more impact than already-known analog technologies and these offer a new perspective of electroacoustic music.
In this presentation, a new concept of timbre, “structured timbre” is defined and introduced in detail. This is defined as timbre which has musically distinctive factors in it. This is so to say “musically distinctive features”, which loosely corresponds to, but is not as strict as distinctive features in phonetics. An example is a musical instrumental timbre with vibrato and timbral trills.
Natural sounds which attracts us, with structured timbre are introduced, and several outstanding structured timbre based synthesis technologies have been introduced. Those effects listed here are: 1) sound morphing, 2) sound hybridization and performance hybridization, and 3) sound collage. The natural sounds and these effects are compared and discuss common characteristics in detail.
Naotoshi Osaka received his M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Waseda University and received Ph.D. in engineering in 1994. He presented his piece in ICMC'93, '03, and '06. His music interest focuses on timbre synthesis from orchestral sound to computer generated sound. He has also organized computer music concerts, such as the NTT Computer Music Symposium I (1997) and II (2001). From 1996 to 2003 he led a computer music research group at NTT Communication Science Laboratories in Atsugi, Kanagawa. He is presently a professor of Tokyo Denki University. He is a president of Japanese Society for Sonic Arts (JSSA) in 2009.