Category Archives: DSP

Digital Music Research Network 2019

DMRN this year, was once again hosted at Queen Mary. Their annual workshop on digital music research. This year, I attended, representing University of Plymouth, my new employer. We presented a poster on RadioMe, the new research project.

There were a number of interesting presentations at DMRN, including discussion on source separation, musical loop extraction, audio effect impact on musical similarity metrics. However, for me the star of the day was Cynthia Liem’s keynote talk on ways in which we can understand and access data, that are totally different to common practices. It demonstrated the importance of ensuring we are measuring what we intend to, especially in a musical context.

SoundStack 2018

Last month was SoundStack 2018 – This three day workshop on 3D and spatial sound was an excellent beginners introduction to 3D sound, and also a comprehensive overview as to ambisonic and 3D sound design, mixing and production.

The workshop, organised entirely by Angela McArthur, included highlights such as head tracking HRTF’s and ambisonics (As pictured below), use of Max MSP and the SPAT spatial audio system, and a talk and workshop with Call and Response, a 3D sound collective based in Deptford, London. People travelled from all over the country to attend the day, and it was thoroughly enjoyable.

PZ8A4178-1200x704

360 Degree Sound Experience – Warsnare at the Albany

Having spent the past week working at the Albany in Deptford. We produced a 360 degree surround sound experience for Warsnare, a Deptford based DJ and producer https://soundcloud.com/warsnare.

27 Genelec Speakers and 4 subwoofers 5 different stages, with live performance spatialised and mixed in with pre-recorded and spatial elements were used to produce a fully immersive experience for a sold out audience, as such tickets to watch from the balcony were also produced.

ambisonic collage

High Resolution Audio

For as long as  digital audio has existed, there have been discussions as to sampling rate and bit depth. I have heard countless arguments between people of Analogue vs. Digital, 96kHz vs. 44.1kHz, 24 bit vs 16bit.

After numerous experiments and publications, discussions and tests on the subject, we seem to be getting towards the truth. In the June AES Journal, a new meta study  on high resolution audio promises to identify what the biggest failing are in our experimental methods, how we can progress with research in this field and finally, what are the results of years of research in the field.

Intelligent Sound Engineering Blog

AES Journal Paper (Open Access)

DAFx Awards

During the DAFx conference dinner, awards for the best papers were announced. Honourable Mentions:

Second Place

Winner

As posted on the DAFx website – http://www.ntnu.edu/dafx15/

DAFx Day 3

Day three of the Digital Audio Effects Conference (DAFx15) began with an excellent introduction and summary of Wave Digital filters and Digital Wave Guides by Kurt Werner and Julius O. Smith from CCRMA, in which the current state of the art in physical modelling no nonlinearities was presented and some potential avenues for future exploration was discussed. Following on from this work was discussed

DAFx Conference 2015

The DAFx conference began with a tutorial day, where Peter Svensson provided a fantastic summary of the State of the Art in sound field propagation modelling and virtual acoustics.

Slide from DAFx 15 Day 1

During lunch, as it was getting dark, the snow started, which unfortunately blocked our view on the Northern Lights that afternoon. Øyvind Brandtsegg & Trond Engum then discussed Cross adaptive digital audio effects and their creative use in live performance. He referenced existing work at Queen Mary as some of the state of the art in existing work, and then presented NUTU’s current work on Cross Adaptive Audio Effects. The workshop day was rounded off with Xavier Serra discussing the Audio Commons project and use of open audio content.

 

The 139th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society in New York City

The weekend saw the 139th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society in Javits Convention Center in New York City. The annual American AES Convention is the world’s main event for all things audio, spanning a wide range of topics including loudspeaker design, music production, hearing aids, game audio and perception, and featuring a huge trade show as opposed to its less industry-heavy annual European counterparts.

A handful of C4DM delegates (Joshua D. Reiss, György Fazekas, Thomas Wilmering, David Moffat, David Ronan, and Brecht De Man) were each involved in multiple sessions.

Papers

T. Wilmering, G. Fazekas, Alo Allik and Mark B. Sandler, “Audio Effects Data on the Semantic Web” [Download paper]

D. Ronan, B. De Man, H. Gunes and J. D. Reiss, “The Impact of Subgrouping Practices on the Perception of Multitrack Music Mixes” [Download paper]

Dave Ronan also presented at the Student Design Exhibition with a physical model of a sitar based on a dynamic delay line and the Karplus-Strong model.

Workshops and tutorials

Workshop W20: “Perceptual Evaluation of High Resolution Audio” (Joshua D. Reiss (chair), Bob Katz, George Massenburg and Bob Schulein)

Tutorial T21: “Advances in Semantic Audio and Intelligent Music Production” (Ryan Stables (chair), Joshua D. Reiss, Brecht De Man and Thomas Wilmering)

Workshop W26: “Application of Semantic Audio Analysis to the Music Production Workflow” (György Fazekas (co-chair), Ryan Stables (co-chair), Jay LeBoeuf and Bryan Pardo)

Other events

Brecht De Man and Dave Moffat were responsible for the organisation of the entire Student and Career Development track as the Chair and Vice Chair of the Student Delegate Assembly (Europe and International Regions). These events include a student party (this edition at NYU’s James L. Dolan’s Music Recording Studio), Student Recording Competition, Student Design Competition, and a very successful edition of the Education and Career Fair.

Dave Ronan represented Queen Mary at the latter, discussing the various taught and research courses with an emphasis on the new MSc in Sound and Music Computing and handing out a lot of QM swag.

Committees

High Resolution Audio Technical Committee: Josh

Semantic Audio Analysis Technical Committee: György and Thomas

Education Committee: Dave Moffat and Brecht

Josh also serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the AES.


Upcoming AES events with a C4DM presence

AES UK Analogue Compression – Theory and Practice at British Grove Studios, London, UK (12 November 2015) Members only
Organised by Brecht and 2014-2015 MSc student Charlie Slee

AES UK Audio Signal Processing with E-Textiles at Anglia Rusking University, Cambridge, UK (26 November 2015)
By Becky Stewart (PhD graduate and visiting lecturer)

60th Conference on Dereverberation and Reverberation of Audio, Music, and Speech (DREAMS in Leuven, Belgium (3-5 February 2015)
Several C4DM papers including
David Moffat and Joshua D. Reiss. “Dereverberation and its application to the blind source separation problem”. In Proc. Audio Engineering Society Conference: 60th International Conference: DREAMS (Dereverberation and Reverberation of Audio, Music, and Speech). Audio Engineering Society, February 2016.

61st Conference on Audio for Games in London, UK (10-12 February 2015)
Brecht and Dave on committee, C4DM papers submitted

140th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society in Paris, France (4-7 June 2016)
If you are attending as a student (undergraduate, master, PhD), please get in touch with Brecht or Dave, and consider submitting a project to the Student Design Competition or Student Recording Competition to receive feedback from industry experts and prizes.


For any questions about the Audio Engineering Society regarding e.g. membership, publications, and local events, please contact Brecht (Chair of the Student Delegate Assembly, Chair of the London UK Student Section, and Committee Member of the British Section) or Dave (Vice Chair of the Student Delegate Assembly).

AES Presentation on Owl Guitar Pedal

Martin Klang presented a talk on Open Source Entrepreneurship and the OWL discussing the OWL guitar pedal, creation through to production.

He discussed how the crowd funding sources, how to budget for small start up projects. The importance of open source, both in terms of software and hardware was discussed at length, and is a vital aspect of what the OWL team set out to do.

The OWL is a custom build programmable guitar effects pedal that allows anyone to write their own effect pedal and load it onto the standalone program. Effects can be written in C++, Faust or even Pure Data (PD). There is also a wrapper that allows users to run their patches as a VST or AU within a Digital Audio Workstation and in the future, it will also be possible to run patches in the browser. Recently a modular synthesiser version of the Owl has also been released.

Hoxton Owl Guitar Pedal

Audio Feature Extraction Toolboxes

The features available within a list of ten audio feature extraction toolboxes is presented, and a list of unique features is created. Each tool is then compared to the total list of unique features. Each tool is also evaluated based on the feature coverage when compared to the MPEG-7 and Cuidado standard feature sets. The relative importance of audio features is heavily context based. To provide a meaningful measure of the relative importance of audio features within each toolbox, the toolboxes will be compared to their compliance with the MPEG-7 and Cuidado standards. The results of this can be seen below.

	Total No Features	Features in MPEG	Features in Cuidado YAAFE	10.45%	37.50%	44.44% MIRToolbox	20.56%	87.50%	85.19% Essentia	52.26%	100.00%	94.44% LibXtract	21.60%	87.50%	74.07% Meyda	6.27%	37.50%	20.37% Librosa	11.50%	37.50%	35.19% Marsyas	5.23%	25.00%	18.52% jAudio	13.94%	31.25%	35.19% TimbreToolbox	8.71%	37.50%	74.07% Aubio	3.83%	31.25%	18.52%

 

The accuracy of these audio features is presented here: https://github.com/craffel/mir_eval

Further information and detailed analyses will be presented in my upcoming paper:

David Moffat, David Ronan and Joshua D. Reiss, “An Evaluation of Audio Feature Extraction Toolboxes,” In Proc. 18th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects (DAFx-15), November 2015, to appear.