Real-time musical analysis of polyphonic guitar audio

A thesis by John Hartquist

The Faculty of California Polytechnic State University

In this thesis, we analyze the audio signal of a guitar to extract musical data in real-time. Specifically, the pitch and octave of notes and chords are displayed over time. Previous work has shown that non-negative matrix factorization is an effective method for classifying the pitches of simultaneous notes. We explore the effect of window size, hop length, and other parameters to maximize the resolution and accuracy of the output.

Other groups have required prerecorded note samples to build a library of note templates to search for. We automate this step and compute the library at run-time, tuning it specifically for the input guitar. The program we present generates a musical visualization of the results in addition to suggestions for fingerings of chords in the form of a fretboard display and tablature notation. This program is built as an applet and is accessible from the web browser.

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real time analysis of polyphonic guitar audio


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