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DAFX: Digital Audio Effects, Second Edition by Udo Zölzer

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1.2 Classifications of DAFX

Digital audio effects are mainly used by composers, performers and sound engineers, but they are generally described from the standpoint of the DSP engineers who designed them. Therefore, their classification and documentation, both in software documentation and textbooks, rely on the underlying techniques and technologies. If we observe what happens in different communities, there exist other classification schemes that are commonly used. These include signal processing classification [Orf96, PPPR96, Roa96, Moo90, Zöl02], control type classification [VWD06], perceptual classification [ABL+03], and sound and music computing classification [CPR95], among others. Taking a closer look in order to compare these classifications, we observe strong differences. The reason is that each classification has been introduced in order to best meet the needs of a specific audience; it then relies on a series of features. Logically, such features are relevant for a given community, but may be meaningless or obscure for a different community. For instance, signal-processing techniques are rarely presented according to the perceptual features that are modified, but rather according to acoustical dimensions. Conversely, composers usually rely on perceptual or cognitive features rather than acoustical dimensions, and even less on signal-processing aspects.

An interdisciplinary approach to audio effect classification [VGT06] aims at facilitating the communication between ...

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