Applications of Synchronization in Sound Synthesis

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Martin Neukom


SMC Conference 2011 (2011)


The synchronization of natural and technical periodic processes can be simulated with self-sustained oscillators. Under certain conditions, these oscillators adjust their frequency and their phase to a master oscillator or to other self-sustained oscillators. These processes can be used in sound synthesis for the tuning of non-linear oscillators, for the adjustment of the pitches of other oscillators, for the synchronization of periodic changes of any sound parameters and for the synchronization of rhythms. This paper gives a short introduction to the theory of synchronization, shows how to implement the differential equations which describe the self-sustained oscillators and gives some examples of musical applications. The examples are programmed as mxj~ externals for MaxMSP. The Java code samples are taken from the perform routine of these externals. The externals and Max patches can be downloaded from

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