Sample-based synthesis is a widely used method of synthesizing the sounds of live instrumental performances, but the control of such sampler instruments is made difficult by the number of parameters that control the output, the expertise required to set those parameters, and by the constraints of the real-time system. In this paper the principles of descriptor-driven synthesis were used to develop a pair of software tools that aid the user in the specific task of reproducing a live performance using a sampler instrument by the automatic generation of MIDI controller messages derived from analysis of the input audio. The techniques employed build on existing work and commercially available products. The output of the system is compared to manipulation by expert users. The results show that the system outperforms the human version, despite the latter taking considerably more time. Future developments of the techniques are discussed, including the application to automatic performer replication.
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