bLaboratory of Solid Mechanics, École Polytechnique
dUniv Lyon, INSA-Lyon, Laboratoire Vibrations Acoustique, LVA
The design of pianos is mainly based on empirical knowledge due to the lack of a tool that could predict sound changes induced by changes of the geometry and/or the mechanical properties of the soundboard. We present the framework of a program for the Computer-Aided Design of piano soundboards that is intended to bridge that gap by giving piano makers a tool to synthesize tones of virtual pianos. The sound synthesis is solely based on physical models of the instrument in playing situation. The calculation of the sound is split in several modules: computation of the modal basis of the stiffened soundboard, computation of the string dynamics, simulation of the soundboard dynamics in reaction to the string excitation, and calculation of the sound radiation. Reference tests of sound synthesis of real pianos as well as sound synthesis of modified pianos are used to assess our main objective, namely to reflect faithfully structural modifications in the produced sound, and thus to make this tool helpful for both piano makers and researchers of the musical acoustics community.
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