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Real-Time Additive Synthesis with One Million Sinusoids Using a GPU

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Additive synthesis is one of the fundamental sound synthesis techniques. It is based on the principle that each sound can be represented as a superposition of sine waves of different frequencies. That task can be done fully parallel and thus it is suitable for GPU (graphics processing unit) implementation. In this study we show that it is possible to compute over one million unique sine waves in real-time using a current GPU. That performance depends on the applied buffer sizes, but close to the maximum result is reachable already with a buffer of 500 samples.

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