SHARC Timbre Database (Greg Sandell )

Subject: SHARC Timbre Database
From:    Greg Sandell  <sandell(at)EPUNIX.SUSX.AC.UK>
Date:    Mon, 22 May 1995 06:45:31 +0100

(My apologies if you receive this more than once due to membership on multiple lists.) This is an announcement for the SHARC TIMBRE DATABASE Written and maintained by Gregory J. Sandell sandell(at) Parmly Hearing Institute, Loyola University Release 0.921("beta"), May 1995 What is covered in this announcement: 1. What SHARC is, how to download it, where to get documentation 2. CHANGES in web and ftp addresses 3. New interactive plotting and audio features in SHARC's web page 4. Announcement of SHARCLIST, a distributed email list for updates and discussions of SHARC or timbre research in general. Note: If you have access to the World Wide Web: ...then you don't need to read this message any further. Connect to: WHAT IS SHARC? SHARC is a public domain database of musical timbre information by Gregory Sandell. It stands for "Sandell Harmonic Archive." People for whom this dataset may be useful are Acousticians, Psychoacousticians, researchers in Music Percepion and Cognition, researchers in Digital Signal Processing, Music Theorists, and Musicologists. Over 1300 different notes have been analysed. Complete chromatic runs from the standard playing range of essentially all the non-percussive instruments of the modern orchestra have been included; for example, individual analyses of 32 different oboe notes (the chromatic scale from the pitches a#3 to f6) are available. For each note, a short portion corresponding to the sustain or "steady state" portion of the tone was selected and analysed with a Fourier analysis. Each analysis consists of a list of amplitudes and phases for all the note's harmonics in the range 0-10,000 Hz. The source of the musical notes were the orchestral tones from the McGill University Master Samples (MUMS) Compact Discs. These are digital recordings of live musical performers. CHANGES SINCE THE LAST ANNOUNCEMENT Most importantly, the location of the database has changed from Sussex University in England to Loyola University in Chicago: Web URL: Anonymous ftp: There are now many visualizations and graphic analyses of the instruments in the database; these are available solely via WWW (see above for the URL). Currently there are analyses of spectral centroids, for individual and families of instruments; plots of longterm spectra, which make it possible to check for evidence of formants; plots of estimated loudness; and plots of ERB-rate excitation patterns. The most exciting new feature is the facility for plotting the spectrum for an individual instrument and note: this constructs a graphic image (in GIF format) "on-the-fly" which is sent directly to your web browser. Also available via WWW are soundfiles of individual instruments and notes. These are 1/2 second steady-state waveforms that are synthesized from the spectral data, generated "on-the-fly" and sent directly to your web browser. SHARCLIST, DISTRIBUTED EMAIL LIST A distributed email list called SHARCLIST is available. Please join this list if you want to hear further announcements about SHARC, including when there are changes in internet addresses for the Web or ftp sites. This keeps me from having to annoy people with periodic postings to USENET groups and distributed email lists. Also, SHARCLIST can be used for people to ask questions about sharc and hold discussions about its uses, or timbre research in general. To join, send email to listproc(at), and put the following line in the body of the email message: "subscribe sharclist name" supplying your first and last name in place of "name". Note: the command does not go on the subject line. You can put whatever you like on the subject line, but the list processor only pays attention to commands that are in the body of the email message. Once you are a member, you may post messages to the list, and everyone will receive those messages. Users can respond to your message, and others can participate in the dialogue. To post a message, simply send email to sharclist(at) HOW TO OBTAIN THE DATABASE The SHARC database itself is available only by ftp. Follow these steps if you are on a Unix machine; if you are on some other platform, adjust them as necessary or get a System Administrator to help you. * Go to the directory where you want to install SHARC. You will need about 9 free megabytes to perform the installation. Once finished, the archive will occupy 4.5 megabytes space. * ftp to * Enter user name "anonymous" and give your full email address as a password * Type "ascii" to set the transfer to ascii mode * Type "get README" * Type "binary" to set the transfer to binary mode * Type "get sharc.tar.Z" * When the file is finished transferring (it is about 0.8 megabytes large), leave ftp by typing "quit" * Type "uncompress sharc.tar.Z". The result of this is that sharc.tar.Z will be replaced by sharc.tar * Type "tar xf sharc.tar". This will put the archive in a directory called "sharc". * Dispose of the sharc.tar file (type "rm sharc.tar") to reclaim about 4.5 megabytes space. -- Gregory J. Sandell sandell(at) Parmly Hearing Institute,Loyola University,6525 N. Sheridan Rd Chicago IL 60626 USA phone: 01-312-508-3976 Fax: 312-508-2719 WWW:

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Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University