wav2shape: Hearing the Shape of a Drum Machine

20 Jul 2020  ·  Han Han, Vincent Lostanlen ·

Disentangling and recovering physical attributes, such as shape and material, from a few waveform examples is a challenging inverse problem in audio signal processing, with numerous applications in musical acoustics as well as structural engineering. We propose to address this problem via a combination of time--frequency analysis and supervised machine learning. We start by synthesizing a dataset of sounds using the functional transformation method. Then, we represent each percussive sound in terms of its time-invariant scattering transform coefficients and formulate the parametric estimation of the resonator as multidimensional regression with a deep convolutional neural network. We interpolate scattering coefficients over the surface of the drum as a surrogate for potentially missing data, and study the response of the neural network to interpolated samples. Lastly, we resynthesize drum sounds from scattering coefficients, therefore paving the way towards a deep generative model of drum sounds whose latent variables are physically interpretable.

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