This afternoon I met Dr. Eko Mursito Budi in my past university ITB (Institut Teknologi Bandung) to ask about Angklung. In this interview, my question was around creating digital sound of Angklung. It isn’t easy to synthesize Angklung sound. Dr. Budi said that it is nearly impossible to create realistic sound of Angklung. This is because Angklung is an instrument from bamboo (an organic material) even two Angklung with the same note can have slightly different sound.
When we want to create digital sound, there are two way of doing this, using procedural and sample. Angklung’s sound wave pattern is not consistent that’s why it is hard if we want to create Angklung sound using procedural approach. Instead of using procedural approach, the only way to create Angklung sound is using sample based synthesizer. Even if we use sample to create Angklung sound, there are still some problem with it which are human factor and Angklung’s sound itself. When we play Angklung, even if the player is an expert, when he/she play the same note, it won’t have the same sound so we won’t get the exact same sample. The other problem is about Angklung sound itself. Like I said before, even two Angklung with same note can sound different. Even though there are still some problems, using sample is still the best approach right now.
Currently Dr Budi using sample approach to create digital sound of Angklung. Normally when we want to use sample, we will record as many sample as possible but Dr Budi use only one sample. Dr Budi said if we use too many sample, it will become inconsistent unlike guitar or piano that has consistent sound for every notes. Not only one sample, Dr Budi only record one way of playing Angklung. In my last blog post I wrote that there are three way to play Angklung; shaking, snapping, and holding. Dr Budi only record sound sample for snapping. This approach is suitable for Angklung because it will become more consistent and if we want to produce shaking sound we can just overlap snapping sound and repeat it.
After this interview, I decided to use Dr Budi approach to create digital sound of Angklung.