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Realtime GPU Audio

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the see-with-your-ears dept.

Media 157

CowboyRobot writes "Two researchers at San Francisco State University has successfully implemented hardware acceleration for realtime audio using graphics processing units (GPUs). 'Suppose you are simulating a metallic plate to generate gong or cymbal-like sounds. By changing the surface area for the same object, you can generate sound corresponding to cymbals or gongs of different sizes. Using the same model, you may also vary the way in which you excite the metallic plate — to generate sounds that result from hitting the plate with a soft mallet, a hard drumstick, or from bowing. By changing these parameters, you may even simulate nonexistent materials or physically impossible geometries or excitation methods. There are various approaches to physical modeling sound synthesis. One such approach, studied extensively by Stefan Bilbao, uses the finite difference approximation to simulate the vibrations of plates and membranes. The finite difference simulation produces realistic and dynamic sounds (examples can be found here). Realtime finite difference-based simulations of large models are typically too computationally-intensive to run on CPUs. In our work, we have implemented finite difference simulations in realtime on GPUs.'"

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157 comments

Oh the possibilities! (4, Interesting)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year ago | (#43688461)

What does it sound like when you strike a neutered cat with graphene carrots of varying length?

Re:Oh the possibilities! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688701)

You had to wait for a computer model to find this out? I guess the music scene in your town is pretty boring.

Re: Oh the possibilities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688793)

Clearly you live in Austin...

Re:Oh the possibilities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688955)

What does it sound like when you strike a neutered cat with graphene carrots of varying length?

my cat will always have the honour of carrying his cajones.
hows about i strike u with iron carrots of varying lengths?

Re:Oh the possibilities! (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43689445)

my cat will always have the honour of carrying his cajones.

I had a pair of earrings made out of my cat's cojones and gave them to my wife for her birthday.

I'm hoping to distract her from doing the same with mine.

Re:Oh the possibilities! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689039)

What does it sound like when you strike a neutered cat with graphene carrots of varying length?

You'd do that for me? OOoh you naughty boy, I'm getting so ... hot.

Re:Oh the possibilities! (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#43689251)

I can tell you that if the cat wasn't neutered, it would sound like a trip to the hospital.

Since it is on a GPU... (2)

4wdloop (1031398) | about a year ago | (#43689265)

...perhaps it would be easier to visualize it? The frame buffer is just one bit-throw away...

First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688463)

First post!

Now that this is out of the way, you carry on with actual comments about the topic.

Re:First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688505)

Perhaps you should go drown yourself in a well. You got SP'ed, man.
 
FR2SP!!!!!!

RESONANCE FREQUENCY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688477)

It is not RESONANT frequency. It is RESONANCE frequency. When will you people LEARRRNNNN???????///slash

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688573)

When will you people LEARRRNNNN???????

Maybe when there is something to learn? Both forms are in common use, including physics textbooks and papers.

resonant frequency n. Physics a frequency at which resonance (of any kind) takes place.
1897 L. Bell Electric Power Transmission x. 393 When the [electrical] oscillations are strongly damped by the presence of iron, the total resonant rise is considerably diminished, but it varies less rapidly as the resonant frequency is departed from.
1934 J. P. Den Hartog Mech. Vibrations ii. 52 The forced frequency coincides exactly with the natural frequency... This important phenomenon is known as ‘resonance’, and the natural frequency is sometimes called also the ‘resonant frequency’.
2001 S. Hawking Universe in Nutshell ii. 52 (caption) Just like the strings on a violin, the strings in string theory support certain vibrational patterns, or resonant frequencies, whose wavelengths fit precisely between the two ends.

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688665)

Dear moron,

Established use of incorrect terminology does not imply that the incorrect terminology is correct.

Yours,
A Nobel laureate

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (1)

versificator (2031720) | about a year ago | (#43688705)

perfect example - the popular use of the term 'iPod' to refer to all MP3 players, regardless of their lack of affiliation with Apple.

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689321)

That's like comparing baseball bats to outer space. iPod is not incorrect terminology. The use of iPod to mean an MP3 player, Xerox to photocopy, and the like is "genericizaiton." Frequencies don't resonate, so it just makes you sound stupid.

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43688753)

Dear anonymous moron,

Established use of a term is what gives it definition. That's how language works. if we decided that "cow" is a small bird that's delicious, then that's what a cow would be.

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year ago | (#43688959)

To be fair though. I don't care how many people tell me it is legitimate.

If you try to "Aks" me a question I judge them an idiot. Period.

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43688789)

Dear Nobel Laureate,
I'm guessing you got your "Nobel" in Economics? Because you're clearly completely delusional about how the real world works, and consider your "correct" definitions to establish the basis for all truth. Here's a clue: language is created by the people who use it. When a huge number of published physicists use a phrase in countless papers and textbooks, it is by virtue of that widespread use "correct" regardless of any other syntactical, etymological, or semantic arguments.

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689235)

Dear ball licker,

If you had received a private education, you would understand that a frequency cannot resonate. Frequency is an abstract measurement. However, a frequency can exist where resonance occurs.

I deem you not worthy of licking my balls, but my girlfriend offers you to lick her ovaries instead.

Cheers,
The educated
(captcha: sincere)

Re: RESONANCE FREQUENCY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689505)

You fucking moron. Resonate frequency refers to the natural frequency of which an object resonates. Not some frequency that resonates. The commonly used textbook definition of resonate frequency is defined as such, not by some arbitrary meaning ascribed by you.

If I call some device that opens letters a beansplitter and it becomes common use even though its name implies something else does not mean the word is wrong. They are just some sounds that common use gives a meaning, this is how language works.

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43689565)

Dear ball profferer,
I'm glad to hear your GF enjoyed my performance enough to want me back for more. By the way, you should spend more time listening to her and learning how her body works --- you might find out that "ovaries" aren't the part you lick.
Anyway, I'm perfectly happy with my education (public elementary and high school, followed by private college and gradschool), which puts me on the side of this terminological issue with Feynman, Hawking, and the Oxford English Dictionary. Perhaps with a more highly privatized education, I would instead side with the ranks of "the educated" internet AC trolls --- but such is life.

Re: RESONANCE FREQUENCY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689259)

Yes, like the referer in HTML.

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (4, Informative)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about a year ago | (#43688865)

I'm an Engineer, and this is the first time in my life I've heard "Resonance" and "Frequency" in that order.

I studied that stuff for a while. Had some tests on it. Read some books on it. Look into it at work.

I'm also a bit of a musician.

I'm not saying you're incorrect -- I've just never heard that phrase before.

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#43689415)

It is not RESONANT frequency. It is RESONANCE frequency. When will you people LEARRRNNNN???????///slash

I've never seen that in a text. The CRC/IEEE Electrical Engineering Handbook uses the term "resonant frequency". Some math texts refer to it as "natural frequency," particularly when a mechanical system is being modeled -- like the traditional mass-on-a-spring thing. Musicians use "fundamental" (or "fundamental frequency"), but what's a couple "pi"s between friends?

Now if you'd go crack down on "damp" versus "dampen," I could totally get behind that.

Re:RESONANCE FREQUENCY (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#43689619)

[Damp vs dampen (vs moisten)]

Look, I LIKE my sonic disturbances to come with a little added moisture, ok? Is that so wrong?!

Same with my inertia! Dry inertia is just erosive as hell, and very uncomfortable!

I don't *care* that those are both things that fudamentally cannot be made moist. I want to dampen them anyway!

(Lol!)

first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688501)

:)

Re:first (2, Funny)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year ago | (#43688607)

Looks like you need some GPU acceleration to handle realtime first posting.

Re:first (1)

Arkh89 (2870391) | about a year ago | (#43688771)

GPU : Graphics Processing Unit lvl 17 evolves to Generic Processing Unit.
(re-)Choose your specialization :
- Audio Processing Unit (APU)
- Stocks Processing Unit (SPU)
- First Post Unit (FPU)

Finally (3, Insightful)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#43688509)

Something to do with all those GPUs when ASIC mining of Bitcoin takes over. It's going to get noisy.

Re:Finally (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688941)

They've already got GPU accelerated noise makers, but all they do is repeat "litecoin litecoin litecoin"!

impossible! (4, Funny)

zlives (2009072) | about a year ago | (#43688541)

" simulate nonexistent materials or physically impossible geometries"
the sound of one hand clapping

Re:impossible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688621)

I, and many others, can clap with one hand.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=one%20hand%20clapping

Re:impossible! (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#43688631)

Actually, I can make a clap with only one hand (and nothing else but that hand.), it's just kinda faint.

Certainly not impossible.

Re:impossible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689069)

Actually, I can make a clap with only one hand (and nothing else but that hand.), it's just kinda faint.

Certainly not impossible.

too bad while the sound might be somewhat similar(but fainter) clapping needs two hands(or two objects of some kind)..

Re:impossible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689205)

Actually, I can make a clap with only one hand (and nothing else but that hand.), it's just kinda faint.

Certainly not impossible.

too bad while the sound might be somewhat similar(but fainter) clapping needs two hands(or two objects of some kind)..

Like fingers striking a palm?

Re:impossible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689357)

You need to read up on the definition of "object" some time. Fingers clapping against a palm certainly qualifies as two (or more) objects clapping. So is one atom clapping against another atom.

The part that matters for the act of clapping is that they can produce kinetic energy in different vectors, converting that energy to sound when they are prevented from moving further. Fingers to palm does exactly that.

Re:impossible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689483)

The sound of hand to gland clapping.

Mac Only? (1)

DadLeopard (1290796) | about a year ago | (#43688553)

Might be interesting to me, if it was ported to Linux and could use AMD GPUs! Mac and Nvidia,no way!

Re:Mac Only? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688721)

Nobody cares about you.

Or your opinion.

Re:Mac Only? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688863)

This just in: paper author commits suicide now that slashdot poster not interested in his life's work.

Re:Mac Only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688965)

Or at least put this into some VST-instruments. Sure those are typically .dll files, but with WINE and software like LMMS there isn't much that keeps it from being platform agnostic.

Re:Mac Only? (2)

rayharris (1571543) | about a year ago | (#43689349)

You do realize this is research and not a product, don't you? As in, hey look what we discovered we can do!

If you want it ported to Linux using AMD GPUs, request the source code (since that's the only way it's provided) and port it yourself.

Yawn (1, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year ago | (#43688557)

Yeah, you can do computationally heavy things in a GPU. We've done that for years. All this is saying is that some audio signal processing tasks are computationally heavy.

Re:Yawn (4, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43688633)

I think what's most important is now we have the mathematical models in place that allow us to simulate convincing sounds rather than "sample and include". For the creative types, this will save a ton of effort and money. It also has implications for games, e.g. with the given environment model, be able to produce convincing sounds in real-time rather than taking sound samples mixing them with reverb, attenuation, positioning, etc.

Re:Yawn (3, Insightful)

asliarun (636603) | about a year ago | (#43689217)

I think what's most important is now we have the mathematical models in place that allow us to simulate convincing sounds rather than "sample and include". For the creative types, this will save a ton of effort and money. It also has implications for games, e.g. with the given environment model, be able to produce convincing sounds in real-time rather than taking sound samples mixing them with reverb, attenuation, positioning, etc.

Yes, absolutely! I see it as analogous to vector graphics vs bitmapped graphics. Vector audio is THE holy grail of accurate sound reproduction.

If these guys can pull this off, it will be the literal (digital) equivalent of having your own live performance - every time! You will have software based models of various instruments that will play music for you by playing their respective instruments for you real-time. The possibilities of this are actually astounding. You would record or store music not as digital samples (lossy, lossless, notwithstanding) but in terms of *how* each instrument is played. You have now turned the problem on its head - you are constrained by the accuracy of your software/mathematical model of each instrument, and by how well you are able to control it to become more nuanced. At a hardware level, if you assume infinite processing power, the challenge would be to accurately play these software instruments. You could again take a completely different approach - you could for example have an array of speakers where each speaker is dedicated to playing a specific instrument, and all the speakers are fed separate audio signals.

Contrast this to the currently audio setup - which would be a 2.0 or 2.1 or 5.1 or 7.1 stereo/HT setup - where each speaker tries (and fails) to accurately reproduce the entire audible frequency spectrum, or you have a mish-mash setup where different speakers divvy up the frequency spectrum between themselves (think sub-woofer and satellite speakers) so they can do a marginally better half-assed job.

If you look at the entire chain in a traditional setup, you have the speaker driver's mechanicals, the speaker crossover electronics, the speaker wire, the power amp, the pre-amp, the DAC, the player, the source audio signal (mp3, flac, redbook CD etc.), the recording mike, and the recording room - all of these links in the chain distort the music in their own way.

What I mentioned above is only my interpretation of how this technique can be used -there are a huge number of other possibilities - software defined objects, such as in games, can now have their own (genuine) sound, and that will sound different depending on how you interact with them. You could also have virtual instruments, unconstrained by the laws of physics, define their own physics and their own unique sound. You could even program room acoustics and have the instruments play sounds as if it was being played in open space, a large hall, a studio, on a beach etc.

Sigh.

Re:Yawn (4, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#43688669)

Actually I think this is pretty cool. It's always bothered me how repetitive sounds can get in games, it would be a neat trick if you could model object's for sound the way you model them for graphics. Each door, window, rock, etc, could have a subtly different sound from the one next to it. I'm sure they're not to that point now, but they are spelling out the possibilities.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688835)

Just what we need, $500 sound cards which require a 1K watt power supply to go along with the $500 video card with another 1K watt power supply!

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688841)

"subtly different" is easy - just apply a simple distortion to the sound such as speed or pitch (we've had it for decades).

This tech goes way beyond that.

Re:Yawn (2)

loftarasa (1066016) | about a year ago | (#43688861)

Now that definitely sounds like the most interesting application of this technology. Organic-sounding-artificially-made sound effects.

Re:Yawn (4, Insightful)

Instine (963303) | about a year ago | (#43688885)

I'm also excited by this. Especially as to what this could mean for Text to Speech. Generating more organically modeled TTS could really push it out of the uncanny valley. Currently if you ask a tts engine to say a word or phoneme, it is identical to the last time it was made. What if it were generated in realtime with the same variances as a human voice.

Surround sound (2)

phorm (591458) | about a year ago | (#43689105)

I was thinking that it would be good for mapping out real "surround sound" similar to how complex reflection and/or ray-tracing is done.

Even if the initial sounds themselves are canned, the sound through a wooden hallway, a hallway with a carpet, or a large open room would be different. Combine that with digital surround and it could be quite useful.

Re:Yawn (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43689283)

Or the game creators could just stop being cheap, and record/licence 100 different smashy-glass sounds instead of 3. And don't get me started on that damn squeaky-door noise in movies!

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689475)

I don't really think it's cheapness, it's increasing the size of the game by a few gigabytes or more. Nobody wants to install another 2 DVDs, or another 10 hours download on slow DSL.

Re:Yawn (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43689367)

There's already some sound randomization in better games.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689731)

Ha!
I was doing randomized with in-game situation modifiers 15 years ago on the original playstation. It's not a new thing.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689461)

all the NPCs can give you the same set of canned responses in slightly different voices.

Re:Yawn (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#43689775)

No exactly.

If you used a generalized human vocal tract model, with parameters for noteworthy features like chord thickness, length, trachea diameter, et al, then used a natural language generator to generate textual dialog, and finally, combined these into a text to speach engine, you could have a very wide variety of NPC dialog.

The natural language part can run on the cpu, and the realtime sound rendering TTS can run on the GPU.

Re:Yawn (1, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | about a year ago | (#43688677)

It's standard fare for science press releases. If the actual advance you're making is boring (using different hardware to speed up processing), then tell them about the part that's been done all along and take credit for it. (Alternatively: take credit for being "just about there" from some far off future goal, to which you've just made a non-trivial but still minor advancement.)

Most "science" journalists eat it up, slightly rewriting it and passing it over to their editors so that they can knock off early and grab a beer. One would hope for slightly more from a web site "for nerds", but their editors also would like to knock off early and grab a beer.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688779)

You obviously miss the second most obvious thing on GPU systems. Latency. Latency makes pretty difficoult to run real time audio.

Re:Yawn (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year ago | (#43688871)

The *video* is not real time either - it is delayed by 1/60th (or 1/72nd, etc) of a second. So, whether you process your audio in the CPU, in the GPU, or elsewhere, you need to have it line up with the delayed video.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688843)

For audio engineers who couldn't afford dedicated DSP cards, this is a godsend.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688925)

I like to do my killing BEFORE breakfast.

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688935)

This is yet another cool thing under a bad/wrong title. You are absolutely correct that GPUs have been doing heavy work for years - that's their job. Real time DSP on a GPU, what? you'd never need that much juice. What is glossed over is that this is not audio signal processing as the world in general knows it. "physical modeling sound synthesis" is a very badass, modern way of synthesising sound. coupling that with GPUs blows the doors wide open for maximising it's capabilities.

I can has cheezeburger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688591)

Two researchers at San Francisco State University has

*facepalm* Fucking illiterates, learn to read and write.

Re:I can has cheezeburger? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688647)

You just need to parse the sentence correctly --- perhaps the name of the university is "Two Researchers At San Francisco" State University.

take that old zen koan! (0)

Plazmid (1132467) | about a year ago | (#43688649)

physically impossible geometries or excitation methods.

then we'll finally have the answer to "what is the sound of one hand clapping"

Re:take that old zen koan! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688751)

The sound of the atom splitting...

http://petshopboys.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sound_Of_The_Atom_Splitting

Impossible geometries? (3, Interesting)

Kaptain Kruton (854928) | about a year ago | (#43688727)

What do they mean by "physically impossible geometries"? Are they talking about things that have a higher or lower number of physical dimensions (eg: a 4 dimensional object or a 2 dimensional object)? A weird combination of Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry?

Re:Impossible geometries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688763)

Specifying a geometry as an imaginary number. You can do that in DSP, but not in real life.

Re: Impossible geometries? (5, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | about a year ago | (#43688813)

Imagine a metal cymbal shaped as a sphere with no holes in it floating free in the air. Now hit that cymbal with a mallet that is longer than the diameter than the cymbal. But hit the cymbal on the inside of the sphere. Oh and the interior of the sphere is a vacuum.

There you go, there are a few impossible geometries (and other things) in that scenario.

Re: Impossible geometries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689135)

If the mallet is inside a vacuum inside the sphere, its dimensions are irrelevant because it won't be producing any sound waves. Also, if the sphere has no holes and is sufficiently rigid, it makes no difference whether you hit it on the inside or outside. And you can suspend a sphere with a electromagnetic field. Your impossible geometry wouldn't be very different from a completely possible thing. Heck, it wouldn't be that different from a brass ball hanging on a string getting hit with a heavy stick.

More physical dimensions might be interesting though.

Re: Impossible geometries? (1)

osoroco (626676) | about a year ago | (#43689189)

If the mallet is inside a vacuum inside the sphere, its dimensions are irrelevant because it won't be producing any sound waves.

It will create vibrations that will travel and make sounds on the outside

And you can suspend a sphere with a electromagnetic field.

which would act forces upon the sphere, possibly constricting/altering its resonance

Heck, it wouldn't be that different from a brass ball hanging on a string getting hit with a heavy stick.

More physical dimensions might be interesting though.

solid vs. hollow. less/more mass on the object

Re: Impossible geometries? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43689457)

If the mallet is inside a vacuum inside the sphere, its dimensions are irrelevant because it won't be producing any sound waves.

Yes it will, but they'll be confined to the surface of the sphere (and the mallet).

Your impossible geometry wouldn't be very different from a completely possible thing.

You missed the part about the mallet being simultaneously longer than, and entirely within, the sphere.

Re: Impossible geometries? (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#43689719)

Not impossible. It is entirey possible to have an arclength far longer than the diametric distance of the sphere's interior.

Just coil up the hammer's handle. Boom. Longer than the sphere, still inside.

Re: Impossible geometries? Heard them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689145)

Maybe it was ADD N to (X) or Einsturzende Neubauten... or Human League (Mmmmm... Travelogue I LURV U)

Maybe it was Autobahn... maybe it was Metal Fingers in My Body, Nervous Gender, Storm the Studio or many more.

Maybe it was all the acid I did back in the 90's...

Just saying...

ANON!

"A sound is no more than a fart unless wrapped in meaning" - purrpurrpussy.

Re:Impossible geometries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689161)

Well, different kinds of Hilbert spaces or even more general stuff obviously.

Like non-euclidean geometries, non-orthogonal dimensions, weird topologies, more or less space *and* time dimensions,
or even non-consecutive space (= with gaps) or with the vectors actually being vectors of functions with strange (e.g. Julia set) behavior.

In essence it just means: The possibilities are endless!

People use GPUs for numerical simulation (3, Insightful)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#43688757)

News at 11.

Re:People use GPUs for numerical simulation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689649)

News at 11.

Will them news be GPU rendered in Realtime ?

Bilbo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688849)

GPU audio processing makes hobbits late for dinner!

It's pretty great actually (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689017)

One of the fundamental problems with computer based music production is that we're still, unless we're working with synthesized music, limited to pre-recorded samples.

Vienna Symphonic Library, for example, is well over several hundred gigabytes in size, many of those samples covering various articulations (playing techniques) of the same instrument.

One set of violins playing legato. One set of violins playing pizzicato. Marcato samples etc. etc. With virtual instruments that is no longer necessary. We can just "tell" the virtual musician where to place his fingers and how to do that and cconfigure a bunch of presets for the composer to use as he wishes.

One fundamental problem at the moment is dealing with smooth transitions from one note to another in sequence. For example the violas of a real orchestra playing a transition from one note to another would slide between them smoothly. This CAN be simulated by changing the note pitch digitally, but that loses authenticity.

VSL solves this by pre-recording the musicians playing the most common note transitions. This is a huge undertaking and takes up a lot of space as you have to record C to C#, C to D, C to D# etc. etc.

If we can simulate the instruments without relying on samples we can do away with all that and create some truly amazing things for musicians. I suspect that in the future we will have synthesized orchestration packages so that we can do away with samples entirely.

Bye bye Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689081)

Those who play real instruments will be considered hipsters, music is seeing its final days, on the other side it's an awesome thing, I'm just sad for good music.

Hammond B3 with Leslie 122 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689097)

Please

GPU is not that useful for audio (1)

goruka (1721094) | about a year ago | (#43689109)

There are many reasons that make GPU not as useful for audio.
The second is that most audio processing usually relies on complex directed graphs consisting on nodes that each process a different task, and that kind of interaction is too complex for the simpler, massively parallel GPU architecture.
It would be fanastic for us that work in the audio industry to have some sort of DSP acceleration coprocessors for audio, but there's not enough demand to make that affordable so we can only wait for GPUs to become more flexible and realtime friendly, or CPUs to become more parallel.

Re:GPU is not that useful for audio (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689151)

With HDMI output, the graphics card is the last place in the computer to touch audio before it goes to a TV. It might have other advantages.

Re:GPU is not that useful for audio (2)

rayharris (1571543) | about a year ago | (#43689447)

They're not talking about processing in the sense of DSP, they're talking about synthesis of sound waveforms simulating physical models of the instruments. Any DSP would come after that.

Re:GPU is not that useful for audio (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about a year ago | (#43689557)

It would be fanastic for us that work in the audio industry to have some sort of DSP acceleration coprocessors for audio, but there's not enough demand to make that affordable so we can only wait for GPUs to become more flexible and realtime friendly, or CPUs to become more parallel.

You can very easily buy audio DSP co-processor quite cheaply. Connect via Firewire or USB, PCIe, or as a standalone unit.

Pro Tools HD being one of the most widely used DSP co-processors. Write your own RTAS or AAX plugin, you can use the DSPs.

If you really want to get down to prototyping, use Matlab and buy a SHARC dev board.

DSP is being used in almost all audio hardware these days. Consoles, compressors, EQs, it's all going digital. The demand is huge.

Um.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689277)

I remember when sound cards accellerated sound processing. It wasn't that long ago. Now the processing has to be done on the video card?

Been done before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689383)

At first I thought that post was a April fools from the submitted articles date - but this has actually been done before:

Fragment Shader Audio [youtube.com]

and

Fragment Shader Audio with Delays [youtube.com]

This is a much simpler implementation and is great for rapid real-time synthesizer development - and no messing around with compute shaders or openCL.

Hoping for realtime voice (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about a year ago | (#43689591)

I can't wait until real-time synthesized voices escape the uncanny valley. Neal Stephenson was pretty prophetic in 'The Diamond Age' of having live voice actors behind dynamically scripted content; not that we have that, but that we still don't have good voice generators.

Voice 'acted' games without requiring actors to pre-record every possible phrase would be great.

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