A novel and simple approach to analysis-synthesis, called ‘Residuals using Simple Separation’ (RUSS) is presented, which enables sophisticated manipulation of sounds in an intuitive working environment built from readily available audio processing tools. The aim of the research was to enable audio practitioners to work with sampled sound without requiring detailed engineering knowledge, the ability to understand complex mathematical concepts, or expensive signal processing. This paper describes how this goal has been achieved using a simple, ‘two component’, model for both the decomposition and subsequent synthesis of sound. The initial decomposition process shows how almost any sample can be simply converted into a ‘harmonic’ or ‘tonal’ portion containing the majority of the pitched parts of the sound, and a ‘residual’ or ‘noise’ portion which contains the remainder of the spectral content. Once a sound has been separated into these two easily-comprehended orthogonal parts, then rapid changes can be readily made to many normally inaccessible features of sampled sounds, using widely available conventional sound synthesis functionality (which would be unable to achieve these types of modification without using the techniques described). As well as describing the required decomposition processes, and providing many examples of synthesized sounds produced using the technique described, this paper also details the minor enabling additions that need to be added to conventional sound synthesis in order to make working with samples easy and obvious. The end result is that many of the practical barriers to the creative and innovative use of sampled sounds are significantly reduced.
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