NACVGM 2020 – New Textures for 1-Bit Audio Effects and Synths

From the Abstract

Kurt Werner (iZotope, Inc.)

New Textures for 1-Bit Audio Effects and Synths

The purpose of this talk is to present my new designs for 1-bit synthesizers, audio effects, and signal mixers that leverage techniques from audio DSP, control systems engineering, and psychoacoustics to transcend the classical limitations of the 1-bit format, creating new possibilities for musical expression. 

The sonic capabilities of many early computers (Apple IIe, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, etc.) were extremely limited: a single digital CPU pin wired directly to a speaker or audio jack.  Traditionally, these “1-bit” audio systems (also sometimes called “beepers” or “PC beepers”) have used only a narrow range of timbres: mainly square waves, pulse waves, and impulse trains.  The mathematical operation of addition does not exist in the 1-bit domain, making it difficult to layer sounds or implement standard linear time invariant audio effects like filtering, EQ, echo, reverb, or even gain control.

After reviewing some of the classical examples of 1-biut music, I will describe my novel approach to designing novel 1 -bit musical tools,  These include, e.g. 1-bit stochastic wavetables, 1-bit resonant and comb filters, 1-bit artificial reverberation, advanced multiplexor and digital-logic-based signal mixers, and advanced binary bitcrushers.  Special emphasis will be placed on a new variant of sparse noise I developed called “Crushed Velvet Noise,” which is especially useful for 1-bit music.  Finally, I will give a demonstration of my approach to composing 1-bit music in a modern DAW (Ableton Live) and present a soon-to-be released library of Max for Live/Gen~ devices for supporting that workflow.

Source: Bardic Knowledge

Recent Posts