LY01a-21 MIDI-Controlled FPGA-Based Digital Music Synthesizer




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LI, Chun Ming
May 13, 2022 2:25 pm

Same question from Xuanyu, is it a subtractive or additive synthesizer? How many oscillators are available in the system (I used 3xOSC in Fl studio to generate some sound so I think the hardware synthesizer also had a similar idea)?

WU, King Lam
May 13, 2022 3:04 pm
Reply to  LI, Chun Ming

Our synthesizer is a subtractive one, which means we are subtracting undesired components on the signal to simulate real instrument sound. Our FPGA synthesizer is a digital synthesizer that uses a Numerically-controlled oscillator(NCO) to generate 16-bits, 100MHz, discrete-valued waveform data. By using NCO and using Digital-to-Analog Converter, we are able to output sound to any speaker. The major advantage of our project is we do not require to connect a laptop after we configure the FPGA. It provides flexibility and a low-cost solution to any music beginner.

CAO, Xuanyu
May 13, 2022 2:16 pm

Besides piano, can it synthesize the music of other instrucments, say violin and cello?

WU, King Lam
May 13, 2022 2:49 pm
Reply to  CAO, Xuanyu

It definitely can synthesize other instruments’ sounds, the violin is one of them. For cello, we do not synthesize this instrument but it is possible to add one on the FPGA board by alternating the ADSR pattern and adding other filters to the sound.

Last edited 1 year ago by WU, King Lam
LAW, Ka Ching
May 13, 2022 2:56 pm
Reply to  CAO, Xuanyu

Yes. Take the violin sounds as example, we need to create an other ASDR module for violin. it is because the sound of violin is different from both the piano. The key difference between these instrument is the way they sustain their notes : in the piano, after the hammer strikes the string the sound vibrations die away, therefore there is a gradual decay in the envelope. With the flute, there is the sinusoid fluttering that was described in the above section. With the violin, for as long as the violinist holds the bow to the string, the violin will play without any change in volume (unless of course the violinist wants it to change the volume). Therefore, after the sharp attack phase, in the envelope of the violin there is a long sustain period. So like King Lam’s said, we can alternate the ADSR pattern and then synthesize more instruments.

Last edited 1 year ago by LAW, Ka Ching