Digital Audio Effects Conference 2018 (DAFx18)

Part of C4DM recently attended the 21st DAFx conference, hosted in `the Venice of Portugal’, Aveieo, Portugal. Aveiro is an excellent and picturesque town to host a conference in, and everyone there enjoyed it.

The conference started with a day of tutorials, all lead by experts in their respective field.
Julian Storer from (ROLI)[] presented a discussion on the use of his JUCE framework for developing plugins and DSP tools. The JUCE framework is continually growing, based on the needs of it’s user base and the internal processes of ROLI. Shahan Nercessian from (iZotope)[] then presented a whirlwind tour of machine learning tools and techniques and how they can be applied to audio, much of the advice was also derived from the image processing field, and there was a heavy focus on Deep Learning, and how it can be used. A tutorial on Digital Audio Filter design was then presented by Vesa Valimaki, of Alto University, Helsinki. The field of digital filters is a significant one, being described as “almost everything in audio, everything can be viewed as a filter”, though a clear and concise presentation of DSP from the fundamentals was presented. Perception and Virtual Reality were then discussed as part of Catarina Mendoncas presentation, where the cognitive factors relevant to VR audio were discussed.
Our own Josh Reiss opened the first day of the main conference, with a keynote talk on disruptive innovation in audio production. This talk overviewed a series of work performed by the (Audio Engineering research Group)[], that can and has influenced the field of audio production, from development of Intelligent Audio Production to questioning the utility in High Resolution Audio.

The day continued with the academic track. Papers were presented on a range of topics, and our selective highlights are

Thursday saw “Confessions of a plug-in Junkie” by David Farmer, who rigorously presented his approach to how he uses and busy plugins. This gave a useful insight from a user perspective, that is often not fully considered. Such as, a one week free demo is useless, as nobody will download it, unless they have an exact use case, which in a busy work environment is somewhat rare.

A range of academic work was then presented, including my paper

Yvan Grabit from Steinberg opened Friday, with a keynote talk on the VST standard audio plugin format, which let into another day of inspiring academic work, including:

Training CNNs to Apply Linear Audio Effects
Modal Modelling of Room Impulse Responses
Perceptual Latent Space Control of Timbre through CNNs
The DAFx conference this year, contained some high quality work, in an excellent location. DAFx will be hosted by Birmingham City University, UK in 2019.

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