Deep learning can fool listeners by imitating any guitar amplifier

February 11, 2020

Many popular guitar amplifiers and distortion effects are based on analogue circuitry. To achieve the desired distortion of the guitar signal, these circuits use nonlinear components, such as vacuum tubes, diodes, or transistors. As music production becomes increasingly digitised, the demand for faithful digital emulations of analogue audio effects is increasing.

Professor Vesa Välimäki explains that this is an exciting development in deep learning, 'Deep neural networks for guitar distortion modelling has been tested before, but this is the first time, where blind-test listeners couldn't tell the difference between a recording and a fake distorted guitar sound! This is akin to when the computer first learned to play chess'.

The main objective of the field of Virtual Analog (VA) modelling is to create digital emulations of these analogue systems which will allow bulky, expensive and fragile analogue equipment to be replaced by software plugins that can be used on a modern desktop or laptop computer.

A specific amplifier's circuitry can be accurately simulated using circuit modelling techniques, but the result is often a model that is too computationally demanding for real-time processing. Additionally, a new model has to be created for each amplifier being modelled, and the process is labour intensive.

An alternative approach for VA modelling is "black-box" modelling. Black-box modelling is based on measuring the circuit's response to some input signals and creating a model which replicates the observed input-output mapping. The study from which these results came, was based on the WaveNet convolutional neural network.

The digital amplifier model is created using a deep neural network. Audio is recorded from a 'target 'guitar amplifier, and this audio is used to train the deep neural network to simulate that guitar amplifier.

Alec Wright, a doctoral student, focusing on audio processing using deep learning says,' The tests were conducted to validate the performance of models emulating either the Blackstar HT5 Metal or Mesa Boogie Express 5:50+ tube amplifiers. The models were created with a focus on real-time performance, and all of them can be run in real-time on a desktop computer'.

All of this means that in the near future, all a guitarist will need to do is plug into their laptop that is running the deep neural plugin, and a thoroughly convincing vintage guitar amp sound will come from the speakers.?

It remains to be seen if guitar amplifier purists will be willing to part with their beloved rigs, but this innovation paves the way for any audio enthusiast to digitally get the desired guitar sound, whether it be a Marshall, Orange, Fender, or anything else, on the road or in the studio.

https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-acoustics-lab
-end-


Aalto University

Related Performance Articles from Brightsurf:

Guiding the way to improved solar cell performance
Small molecules could hold the key to enhancing the efficiency of organic solar cells.

Performance test for neural interfaces
Freiburg researchers develop guidelines to standardize analysis of electrodes.

Cognitive performance - Better than our predecessors
We employ our cognitive skills daily to assimilate and process information.

Predicting sports performance with "big data"
Smartphones and wearable devices are not simple accessories for athletes.

All of the performance, none of the fuss: Nitrile hydrogenation done right
Researchers developed a nano-cobalt phosphide catalyst (nano-Co2P) for the hydrogenation of nitriles to primary amines.

Big ideas in performance management 2.0
Industrial-era performance management paradigms and practices are outdated and ineffective in the modern VUCA work environment.

Can exercise improve video game performance?
Time spent playing video games is often seen as time stolen from physical activities.

Anticipating performance can hinder memory
Anticipating your own performance at work or school may hinder your ability to remember what happened before your presentation, a study from the University of Waterloo has found.

Want to optimize sales performance?
CATONSVILLE, MD, September 16, 2019- According to new research published in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, companies can improve sales performance when they adjust sales commissions for the sale of more popular items.

Assessing battery performance: Compared to what?
A team from the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, University of Warwick, OVO Energy, Hawaii National Energy Institute, and Jaguar Land Rover reviewed the literature on the various methods used around the world to characterize the performance of lithium-ion batteries to provide insight on best practices.

Read More: Performance News and Performance Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.