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Acoustics and Modeling of Pickups

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In order to synthesize steel-stringed instruments, such as a guitar, a model of the pickup phenomenon is required. This model includes the pickup position, the sensitivity width of the transducer, mixing options with multiple pickups, linear resonant filtering, and distortion produced by the distance-dependent magnetic flux. A waveguide framework was used to describe frequency coloration of the pickup location and the low-pass effect of sensitivity width. The resulting models can be used in musical sound synthesis and digital effects. The physical properties of the pickup transducer modify the timbre of the instrument in various ways. For implementing audio effects for real guitar signals, hexaphonic pickups for separate signal streams for each string would be needed. Several commercial implementations of such pickup systems currently exist.

JAES Volume 60 Issue 10 pp. 768-782; October 2012
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AES - Audio Engineering Society