Download Discretization of the '59 Fender Bassman Tone Stack
The market for digital modeling guitar amplifiers requires that the digital models behave like the physical prototypes. A component of the iconic Fender Bassman guitar amplifier, the tone stack circuit, filters the sound of the electric guitar in a unique and complex way. The controls are not orthogonal, resulting in complicated filter coefficient trajectories as the controls are varied. Because of its electrical simplicity, the tone stack is analyzed symbolically in this work, and digital filter coefficients are derived in closed form. Adhering to the technique of virtual analog, this procedure results in a filter that responds to user controls in exactly the same way as the analog prototype. The general expressions for the continuous-time and discrete-time filter coefficients are given, and the frequency responses are compared for the component values of the Fender ’59 Bassman. These expressions are useful implementation and verification of implementations such as the wave digital filter.
Download Simplified, Physically-Informed Models of Distortion and Overdrive Guitar Effects Pedals
This paper explores a computationally efficient, physically informed approach to design algorithms for emulating guitar distortion circuits. Two iconic effects pedals are studied: the “Distortion” pedal and the “Tube Screamer” or “Overdrive” pedal. The primary distortion mechanism in both pedals is a diode clipper with an embedded low-pass filter, and is shown to follow a nonlinear ordinary differential equation whose solution is computationally expensive for real-time use. In the proposed method, a simplified model, comprising the cascade of a conditioning filter, memoryless nonlinearity and equalization filter, is chosen for its computationally efficient, numerically robust properties. Often, the design of distortion algorithms involves tuning the parameters of this filter-distortion-filter model by ear to match the sound of a prototype circuit. Here, the filter transfer functions and memoryless nonlinearities are derived by analysis of the prototype circuit. Comparisons of the resulting algorithms to actual pedals show good agreement and demonstrate that the efficient algorithms presented reproduce the general character of the modeled pedals.
Download Simulation of the Diode Limiter in Guitar Distortion Circuits by Numerical Solution of Ordinary Differential Equations
The diode clipper circuit with an embedded low-pass filter lies at the heart of both diode clipping “Distortion” and “Overdrive” or “Tube Screamer” effects pedals. An accurate simulation of this circuit requires the solution of a nonlinear ordinary differential equation (ODE). Numerical methods with stiff stability – Backward Euler, Trapezoidal Rule, and second-order Backward Difference Formula – allow the use of relatively low sampling rates at the cost of accuracy and aliasing. However, these methods require iteration at each time step to solve a nonlinear equation, and the tradeoff for this complexity must be evaluated against simple explicit methods such as Forward Euler and fourth order Runge-Kutta, which require very high sampling rates for stability. This paper surveys and compares the basic ODE solvers as they apply to simulating circuits for audio processing. These methods are compared to a static nonlinearity with a pre-filter. It is found that implicit or semiimplicit solvers are preferred and that the filter/static nonlinearity approximation is often perceptually adequate.
Download Simulating guitar distortion circuits using wave digital and nonlinear state-space formulations
This work extends previous research on numerical solution of nonlinear systems in musical acoustics to the realm of nonlinear musical circuits. Wave digital principles and nonlinear state-space simulators provide two alternative approaches explored in this work. These methods are used to simulate voltage amplification stages typically used in guitar distortion or amplifier circuits. Block level analysis of the entire circuit suggests a strategy based upon the nonlinear filter composition technique for connecting amplifier stages while accounting for the way these stages interact. Formulations are given for the bright switch, the diode clipper, a transistor amplifier, and a triode amplifier.
Download Nonlinear modeling of a guitar loudspeaker cabinet
Distortion is a desirable effect for sound coloration in electric guitar amplifiers and effect processors. At high sound levels, particularly at low frequencies, the loudspeakers used in classic style cabinets are also a source of distortion. This paper presents a case study of measurements and digital modeling of a typical guitar loudspeaker as a real-time audio effect. It demonstrates the complexity of the driver behavior, which cannot be efficiently modeled in true physical detail. A model with linear transfer functions and static nonlinearity characteristics to approximate the measured behavior is derived based upon physical arguments. An efficient method to simulate radiation directivity is also proposed.