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Aliasing-Free Wavetable Music Synthesizer

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SYNƎTH wavetable synthesizer ASIC project.

Short Description

Wavetable sound synthesis exists since the late 1970's, but has recently gained popularity by new and exciting music synthesizers, such as the Waldorf Quantum, the UDO SUPER 6, the ASM hydrasynth, and the Nord Wave 2 (just to name a few). While most of these synthesizers rely on digital signal processors (DSPs) or field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) in order to generate the wavetable synthesis oscillator signals, to the best of our knowledge, no synthesizer is exploiting the compute power of cutting-edge application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Furthermore, it is practically challenging to design wavetable oscillators that do not produce aliasing artifacts, especially if the oscillator signals are played at high frequencies or are heavily modulated, e.g., through frequency modulation (FM).

The goal of this project is to develop an ASIC for a multi-oscillator wavetable synthesizer. In the first step, a wavetable oscillator algorithm will be developed and simulated in MATLAB with the goal of minimizing aliasing while offering great flexibility. In the second step, a VLSI architecture and ASIC will be designed. The goal is to include easy reconfigurability of the oscillator with an external microcontroller or processor, while having outputs based on the I2S protocol that directly connect with audio digital-to-analog converters (DACs). If time permits, the ASIC will be sent to fabrication.

Status: Available

Looking for 1-2 Semester/Bachelor/Master students
Contact: Christoph Studer


Discrete-time and Statistical Signal Processing (or a similar basic DSP course)
Interest in music and audio signal processing


40% Algorithm development in MATLAB
40% Architecture design
20% ASIC and interface design


Christoph Studer

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Detailed Task Description


Practical Details



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