Expanding expressive possibilities of clean electric guitar

master's thesis


Master's degree research (at the Live Electronics department of Conservatorium van Amsterdam) about generating live electronics based on clean electric guitar's harmonic spectrum.

No other instrument throughout the history has probably been processed using electronics as much as the electric guitar, mainly thanks to the popularity of guitar effect pedals. Most frequently this is done in a way that distorts or in some way changes the natural characteristics of the clean electric guitar sound.
As an alternative to this, I explored how expressivity of live guitar performance can be expanded by synthesising spectrally matching electronics or by processing the clean electric guitar sound in a manner where the original features of its timbre are to a large extent retained.

I researched and built live performance tools based on relevant offline and real-time spectral analysis methods, FFT-based processing methods (such as spectral freeze and convolution), additive synthesis, physical modelling/modal synthesis, granular synthesis and the use of pre-recorded samples.

I arrived to the conclusion publicly sharing findings based on this thesis is only appropriate once I release some more music made with the tools developed during the process. For now you can check out Addifreeze and Vectorhang.

Special thanks to my research advisor Marcel Wierckx and the research coordinator Yaniv Nachum.