Sound Synthesis Using Physical Modeling on Heterogeneous Computing Platforms

M. Pluta, B. Borkowski, I. Czajka, K. Suder-Debska
AGH University of Science and Technology, Department of Mechanics and Vibroacoustics, Al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059, Krakow, Poland
Acta Physica Polonica A, page A-22, 2015


   title={Sound Synthesis Using Physical Modeling on Heterogeneous Computing Platforms},

   author={Pluta, M and Borkowski, B and Czajka, I and Suder-D{k{e}}bska, K},





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The paper presents a comparison of central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) performance in sound synthesis based on physical modeling. The goal was to achieve real-time performance with two- and three-dimensional finite difference (FD) instrument models. Two abstract instruments, a membrane and a block, were modeled and tested using a CPU and a GPU in the OpenCL framework to find a threshold of real-time model size. Two different algorithms were compared. With a parallelized algorithm, a middle-class GPU outperformed a top-class CPU by factor of 2.5 in 2D and by factor of 7.5 in 3D model. Synchronization issues in parallel GPU calculations were discussed and addressed. The results show that GPUs can significantly speed up real-time musical instrument simulations, allowing for developing more complex and realistic models.
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