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I did my masters at UNICAMP in 2007, supervised by professor Furio Damiani. Here are some information about the work.
Análise da distorção musical de guitarras elétricas
(en: Analysis of the musical distortion of electric guitars)
There are many problems related to the analysis of music which can benefit from a better knowledge of the structure of the signals generated by different instruments. One of them is the compression of signals based in structured audio, where the encoder analyzes a signal to determine parameters for a physically inspired synthesizer to reproduce it. We must know the physical characteristics of the instruments and signals to perform this kind of analysis and synthesis. This knowledge is also helpful in the development of instruments and other equipment used by musicians to get the desired timbre. This dissertation presents experiments performed with an electric guitar to show the nonlinear dynamics of the strings, the effect of the guitar filter, a comparison of the recorded signals and the theoretical waveform, and also a proposal for a potential technique to measure the parameters of a model of a distortion circuit and a way to map a couple of those parameters to a space with more psychoacoustical significance.
Keywords: electric guitar, physics of music, overdrive, musical distortion, string vibration, signal processing, parameter estimation, Hammerstein model, timbre space.
You can download the dissertation from UNICAMP. Or from the local copy