MATRIXSYNTH: Variable star wave tables for the SynthTech E352

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Variable star wave tables for the SynthTech E352


Published on Oct 9, 2017 Steve Bryson

"Demonstration of a wave table for the Synthesis Technology E352 based on observations of the variable star RR Lyrae by the Kepler space telescope.

NOTE: there are rather terrible compression artifacts in the audio, particularly in the first section. Listen to the uncompressed audio file here: http://stevepur.com/music/electronic/RRLyr352DemoAudio.aif

RR Lyrae (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RR_Lyrae) varies in brightness by over a factor of 2 every 13.5 hours or so, with a characteristic pattern of variation. This particular star is good for musical sounds because the oscillations don't exactly repeat. Using observations from different times together, like in the video, creates a rich variation in phase and texture.

Details of these observations can be found at https://arxiv.org/pdf/1011.5908.pdf, https://arxiv.org/pdf/1208.4908.pdf and https://arxiv.org/pdf/1310.0543.pdf.

Each wave table breaks up three months of observation into 64 waves, with each wave having about two periods of oscillation. Each three-month period is called a "quarter", and the waves shown in the video are for quarter 5 (Q5) and quarter 6 (Q6) of Kepler's observations.

My thanks to Jon Jenkins for the code that I modified to make these wave tables."

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