ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

2aMU2. Evaluation of transients through observations and simulations of bowed strings.

Xavier Boutillon

Lab. d'Acoust. Musicale, C.N.R.S.-Universite Paris 6, Case 161, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France

Despite their well-established importance on the perception of sound and their crucial role in music, transients are far less studied than steady-state regimes in musical instruments. How long a transient lasts is certainly a major question, among others: Is pitch variation noticeable? How different are transients from note to note, from one instrument to another? In order to investigate these questions, direct and reciprocal observations will be presented as well as various partial simulations: fully numerical simulations, tests with a computer-controlled bowing machine, simulations based on transfer functions. This variety of approaches is aimed at sorting out what could be attributed to the player, the bow, the string and the body of the instrument. The question of adequate signal processing or representation will be addressed and the relationship between the transient length and the quality of the instrument will be outlined. [Work supported in part by the French Ministry of Culture.]