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VLSI Concurrent Computation for Music Synthesis


Wawrzynek, John Charles (1987) VLSI Concurrent Computation for Music Synthesis. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/qjfp-m864.


This thesis presents a very large-scale integrated circuit (VLSI) approach to the generation of musical sounds. The approach allows the generation of rich musical sounds using models that are easy to control and have parameters corresponding to many of the physical attributes of musical instruments. The generality of the approach for music synthesis is demonstrated by presenting several primitive sound generation mechanisms. Utilizing these primitives, several musical instruments are assembled to produce struck, plucked, and blown sounds. Refinements of the instruments are easily accomplished by adjusting or rearranging different functional components. A concurrent computing engine supporting the sound generation mechanisms is presented along with details of its VLSI implementation. Involved in the implementation is a new CMOS design methodology. Several alternative architectures for the computing engine are also presented and studied.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Computer Science
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Computer Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Mead, Carver
Thesis Committee:
  • Mead, Carver (chair)
  • Seitz, Charles L.
  • Barr, Alan H.
  • Feynman, Richard Phillips
  • Lyon, Richard F.
Defense Date:1 April 1987
Funding AgencyGrant Number
System Development FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-03052008-112515
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:886
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:07 Mar 2008
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:03

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