Real Time Implementation of Fuzz-Face Electric Guitar Effect

  • Massimo Conti
  • Simone Orcioni
  • Marco Caldari
  • Franco Ripa
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 38)


Physical models are widely used for sound synthesis and transformation. This chapter presents a general methodology for the integration of physical modeling of sounds in a system level design environment using SystemC. The methodology has been applied in particular for physical modeling of electric guitar effects, derived from the well known fuzz-face circuit. The implementation in real time systems of physical models requires very high performance processors and dedicated hardware. The implementation on low cost embedded systems implies a further simplification of the algorithms. This paper presents the implementation of electric guitar effects in an embedded system board based on the ARM7 processor.


Physical models SystemC Electric guitar effects Fuzz-face Embedded System 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    B. L. Vercoe, W. G. Gardner and E. D. Scheirer, “Structured audio: Creation, transmission, and rendering of parametric sound representations”, Proceedings of the IEEE, VOL. 86, NO. 5, MAY 1998, pp. 922–940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    H.G. Alles, “Music sysnthesis using real time digital techniques”, Proc. Of IEEE, Vol.68, No. 4, april 1980, pp. 436–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    E. Holsinger, “How Music and Computers Work”, Chicago, IL: Ziff- Davis Press, 1994.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    S. Pellman, “An Introduction to the Creation of Electroacoustic Music”, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1994.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    J.M. Chowning, “The synthesis of complex audio spectra by means of frequency modulation,” J. Audio Eng. Soc., vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 526–534,1973.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J.O. Smith, “Physical Modeling using Digital Waveguides”, Comput. Music J., special issue on Physical Modeling of Musical Instruments, Part I, Volume 16, No. 4, p. 74, 1992.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J.O. Smith, “Music application of digital waveguide,” Stanford Univ., CCRMA Tech. Rep. STAN-M-67.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    S. A. Van Duyne and J. O. Smith, “Physical modeling with the 2-D digital wave guide mesh,” in Proc. Int. Computer Music Conf., Tokyo, Japan, 1993, pp. 40–47.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    S. Petrausch, J. Escolano and R. Rabenstein, “A general approach to block”-based physical modeling with mixed modeling strategies for digital sound synthesis”, Proc. of ICASSP ‘05, Volume 3, 18–23 March 2005, pp. 21–24, Vol 3.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sheng-Fu Liang, Alvin W. Y. Su and Chin-Teng Lin, “Model-based synthesis of plucked string instruments by using a class of scattering recurrent networks”, IEEE Trans. On Neural Networks, Vol. 11, No. 1, Jan 2000, pp. 171–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pedersini, F., Sarti, A. and Tubaro, S., “Block-wise physical model synthesis for musical acoustics”, Electr. Lett., Vol. 35, No. 17, 19 Aug. 1999 Page(s):1418–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    J. Escolano and J.-J. Lopez, “On the adaptation of the linear bicharacteristic scheme to block-based physical modeling for digital sound synthesis of string instruments”, Proc of ICASSP 2006, pp.V-161–164.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    C. Cooper, D. Murphy, D. Howard and A. Tyrrell,“Singing synthesis with an evolved physical model”, IEEE Trans. on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, Vol. 14, No. 4, July 2006, pp. 1454–1461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    E. Motuk, R. Woods and S. Bilbao, “FPGA-based hardware for physical modeling sound synthesis by finite difference schemes”, Proceedings. 2005 IEEE International Conference on Field-Programmable Technology, 2005, 11–14 Dec. 2005, pp. 103–110.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    J.A. Gibbons, D.M. Howard and A.M. Tyrrell, “FPGA implementation of 1D wave equation for real-time audio synthesis”, IEEE Proc. of Computers and Digital Techniques, Volume 152, Issue 5, 9 Sept. 2005, pp. 619–631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    SystemC,, 2008.
  17. 17.
    A. Vachoux, C. Grimm and K. Einwich, “SystemC-AMS requirements, design objectives and rationale”, Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference, 2003, pp. 388–393.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    A. Vachoux, C. Grimm and K. Einwich, “Towards analog and mixed-signal SOC design with systemC-AMS”, Workshop on Electronic Design, Test and Applications, 2004. DELTA 2004, pp. 97–102.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    OSCI Analog/Mixed-signal Working Group (AMSWG),
  20. 20.
    SystemC-AMS,, 2008.
  21. 21.
    S. Orcioni, G. Biagetti and M. Conti, “SystemC-WMS: Mixed Signal Simulation based on Wave exchanges”, in the book “Advances in design and specification languages for SOCS”, Alain Vachoux (Editor.), Kluwer Academic 2006.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    M. Conti, M. Caldari, S. Orcioni and G. Biagetti, “Analog circuit modeling in SystemC”, in the book“Languages for System Specification and Verification” CHDL Series, Christoph Grimm (Editor.), Kluwer Academic 2004, pp. 229–242.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    F. Gambini, M. Conti, S. Orcioni, F. Ripa and M. Caldari, “Physical modelling in SystemC-WMS and real time synthesis of electric guitar effects”, Proc. of the WISES07, pp. 87–100, Madrid, Spain, June 21–22, 2007.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    R.G. Keen.“The technology of the Fuzz-Face”,, 2008.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Massimo Conti
    • 1
  • Simone Orcioni
    • 1
  • Marco Caldari
    • 2
  • Franco Ripa
    • 2
  1. 1.D.I.B.E.T., Università Politecnica delle MarcheAnconaItaly
  2. 2.Korg ItalyOsimoItaly

Personalised recommendations