SynthAssist: An audio synthesizer programmed with vocal imitation

Mark Cartwright, Bryan A Pardo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


While programming an audio synthesizer can be difficult, if a user has a general idea of the sound they are trying to program, they may be able to imitate it with their voice. In this technical demonstration, we demonstrate SynthAssist, a system that allows the user to program an audio synthesizer using vocal imitation and interactive feedback. This system treats synthesizer programming as an audio information retrieval task. To account for the limitations of the human voice, it compares vocal imitations to synthesizer sounds by using both absolute and relative temporal shapes of relevant audio features, and it refines the query and feature weights using relevance feedback.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMM 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Multimedia
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781450330633
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event2014 ACM Conference on Multimedia, MM 2014 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Nov 3 2014Nov 7 2014


Other2014 ACM Conference on Multimedia, MM 2014
CountryUnited States


  • Audio
  • Music
  • Synthesis
  • Vocal imitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Media Technology
  • Software

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