Computational Design of Metallophone Contact Sounds

Gaurav Bharaj1    David I.W. Levin2    James Tompkin1    Yun Fei3    Hanspeter Pfister1    Wojciech Matusik4    Changxi Zheng3
1Harvard SEAS    2Disney Research    3Columbia University    4MIT CSAIL

ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH Asia 2015), 34(6)

Customized instrument. A set of optimized 2D water jet cut animals and 3D printed cups form a musical scale. Provided with a user-supplied 3D shape and target sound characteristics of the desired frequencies and their amplitudes, our method optimizes the geometry of the object to realize the desired sound

Abstract

Metallophones such as glockenspiels produce sounds in response to contact. Building these instruments is a complicated process, limiting their shapes to well-understood designs such as bars. We automatically optimize the shape of arbitrary 2D and 3D objects through deformation and perforation to produce sounds when struck which match user-supplied frequency and amplitude spectra. This optimization requires navigating a complex energy landscape, for which we develop Latin Complement Sampling to both speed up finding minima and provide probabilistic bounds on landscape exploration. Our method produces instruments which perform similarly to those that have been professionally-manufactured, while also expanding the scope of shape and sound that can be realized, e.g., single object chords. Furthermore, we can optimize sound spectra to create overtones and to dampen specific frequencies. Thus our technique allows even novices to design metallophones with unique sound and appearance.
(PDF)        (Supplementary)        (BIB)        (Fast-Forward)        (VIDEO)        (PPT)        (ACM)

Press

Article at phys.org
Article at 3ders.org
Article at ecnmag.com
Article at sciencecodex.com
Article at 3dprint.com
Article at inverse.com
Article at eurekalert.org
Video on youtube.com