Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Using chaos theory to design novel audio synthesis engines has been explored little in computer music. This could be because of the difficulty of obtaining harmonic tones or the likelihood of chaos-based synthesis engines to explode, which then requires re-instantiating of the engine to proceed with sound production. This process is not desirable when composing because of the time wasted fixing the synthesis engine instead of the composer being able to focus completely on the creative aspects of composition. One way to remedy these issues is to connect chaotic equations to individual parts of the synthesis engine instead of relying on the chaos as the primary source of all sound-producing procedures. To do this, one can create a physically-based synthesis model and connect chaotic equations to individual parts of the model.

The goal of this project is to design a physically-inspired virtual instrument based on a conceptual percussion instrument model that utilizes chaos theory in the synthesis engine to explore novel sounds in a reliable and repeatable way for other composers and performers to use. This project presents a two-movement composition utilizing these concepts and a modular set of virtual instruments that can be used by anyone, which can be interacted with by a new electronic music controller called the Hexapad controller and standard MIDI controllers. The physically-inspired instrument created for the Hexapad controller is called the Ambi-Drum and standard MIDI controllers are used to control synthesis parameters and other virtual instruments.



Committee Chair

Allison, Jesse