News and Events

Presentation of the SMC Master on May 9th
As part of the Open Day - UPF Masters 2009-2010 that will take place on the Ciutadella Campus on Saturday 9th from 10:00am to 15:00pm there will  be a presentation by Xavier Serra on the Sound and Music Computing Master and on the other related postgraduate programs offered by the UPF. The deadline for applying to the UPF's Masters is May 15th.
1 May 2009 - 16:35 | view
Seminar by Jessica Grahn on rhythm processing in the brain

On Thursday April 30th at 3pm in room 52.321 Jessica Grahn from the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit of Cambridge, UK, will give a seminar on "Rhythm processing in the brain: a focus on motor areas".

Abstract: Perception of auditory rhythms activates brain areas typically associated with movement (premotor cortex (PMC), supplementary motor area (SMA), cerebellum, and basal ganglia), in addition to auditory areas. This talk will describe a series of functional neuroimaging studies that examine how different types of rhythmic patterns are processed in the brain. In particular, regular versus irregular rhythms, different accent types (volume accents vs duration accents vs no accents), and changes in tempi (speeding up or slowing down) are examined. Data will be presented that describes interactions between auditory and motor brain areas, and I will describe behavioural work with Parkinson's disease patients that indicates subtle impairments for certain types of regular beat-based rhythms.

27 Apr 2009 - 09:33 | view
Registration deadline for the SMC 2009 Summer School is April 24th

The next summer school on Sound and Music Computing will take place in Porto from July 18th to the 21st, 2009, just before the 6th Sound and Music Computing Conference. The deadline for registration is April 24th.

Emila Gomez is one of the coordinators of the school, Xavier Serra one of the teachers and other MTG people will be also involved.

The theme of this summer school is Interacting with Sounds of Porto. During 4 days, the program will include lectures, as well as hands-on practical sessions under the supervision of tutors who will provide one-to-one mentoring on artistic and/or scientific projects focused on interactions with sounds that reflect the city of Porto and its activities.

7 Apr 2009 - 22:58 | view
Reactable at Musikmesse Frankfurt
The commercial presentation of the Reactable by the spin-off of the MTG, Reactable Systems, will take place at the Musikmesse Frankfurt 2009 in Germany, from April 1st to 4th. The Reactable will be located at stand D96A of Section 5.1.
31 Mar 2009 - 11:14 | view
Participation at CHI 2009

Gerard Roma and Xavier Serra participate at the CHI 2009 conference that takes place in Boston from April 4th to the 9th 2009. They will be contributing to the one day workshop on Computational Creativity Support with a presentation on Freesound Radio.


The one-day workshop will bring together participants from diverse backgrounds in the HCI, design, art, machine-learning, and algorithms communities to facilitate the advancement of novel creativity support tools. Its main goal is to identify potential collaborations between the diverse communities represented, with a particular emphasis on bringing together members of the HCI/design communities with members of the signal-processing/machine-learning/algorithms communities.

 

24 Mar 2009 - 16:51 | view
Participation at the Unlocking Audio 2 Conference

Xavier Serra participates at the Unlocking Audio 2 Conference organized by the British Library in London from the 16th to the 17th of March 2009 with a talk on "Technologies to support the collaborative production of sounds: the example of Freesound.org".

"Unlocking Audio 2: Connecting with Listeners" is a conference dedicated to explore ways that researchers and other audiences expect to discover, browse, audition and analyse archival audio resources.

 Abstract of Xavier's talk:

On-line collaborative production is becoming a very promising way to produce, share and exploit digital content. There are very successful examples of text-based repositories being developed through open and collaborative initiatives. Also a few collaborative repositories of sound and music content are becoming competitive in relation to the traditional industrially produced repositories. However there are many social, cultural, legal and technical issues that impact these initiatives and that need to be carefully studied and planed. In this presentation we want to focus on the technical challenges that these initiatives face and we will use Freesound.org as a test case to explain some of the current technical solutions.

Freesound.org is an on-line community of people that share sound files under a creative commons license. They share sound files, snippets, loops, etc? but not music. After three years of activity the Freesound database includes more than 62,000 sound bites. The community has grown to over 800,000 registered users and the website has become very popular among sound-related communities and even among the general public, getting over 20,000 visitors per day.

To support an initiative like Freesound.org it is important to have powerful, scalable, and user-centered web-based technologies. The web-portal has to promote the social interaction and has to give added value to the user content. The content generated by users is very unstructured and for it to be reusable it is necessary to provide advanced information retrieval technologies for searching and organizing the content.  

15 Mar 2009 - 23:03 | view
New postgraduate programs on Interactive Systems and on Music Production

Next academic year, 2009-2010, two new postgraduate programs in Sonology will be offered by the UPF in close collaboration with ESMUC. The programs have a professional focus, with a duration of 4 months each, taught in english, and  sharing some academic activities with the Master in Sound and Music Computing. Each program is limited to 10  students and the preregistration is already open.

One program will be on Music Production Techniques and Technology, and will start in September 2009, and another will be on Design of Interactive Music Systems, that will start on February 2010. By taking the two programs the students will obtain a postrgraduate diploma in Sonology. The two programs will be coordinated by Xavier Serra, Sergi Jordà and Perfecto Herrera.

 

12 Mar 2009 - 11:33 | view
Seminar by Nicolas Obin on speech prosody

Nicolas Obin, from IRCAM in Paris, will give a talk on "Analysis and Modeling of French Prosody for Artistic Purpose" on Monday March 16th at 13:00h in room 55.410 (4th floor of Tànger building).

Abstract: Over the past decade, voice and speech technologies have received a significant increase of attention in multi-media and artistic applications. In particular recent improvements in speech synthesis make it possible to generate natural speech from text. However if the generated speech sounds "acoustically" natural (coarticulation, phonem level) it could appear unnatural according to the expected "way of speaking" and is most of the time repetitive and boring. This is due to the fact that speech synthesizers did not use to take into account such "way of speaking", i.e. the prosody of speech. Thus prosody has become a main focus in speech research over the past few years. At the acoustic level prosody is related to the macro variations of a set of acoustic parameters of speech (fundamental frequency, local speech rate, intensity, voice quality,...) over time. Such variations are used by a speaker to convey meaning and emotional states. In this talk I am going to present some aspects of my research work on prosody applied to French langage. This work aims to model prosody with high-level linguistic features (syntactical, semantic, discursive) in different speaking styles. I will first introduce some concepts about prosody and linguistic; thus I will present the global framework of prosody modeling. Then I will present some of my work on the analysis of French prosody: syllable-based prominence detection, speaking style analysis and finally introduce my proposed prosodic model based on parametric multi-level context-dependent analysis.  I will also present some aspects of my concerns in the artistic usage of this type of research.

10 Mar 2009 - 18:18 | view
The on-line casting of Operación Triunfo is again powered by BMAT
Aslast year, BMAT, the spin-off company of the MTG, powers the on-line casting of "Operación Triunfo" on its 2009 season. The online casting uses an automatic scoring system of the participant's singing called bluesonic and powered by BMAT skore. This system has been developed by BMAT and it is based on a technology from the MTG.
8 Mar 2009 - 14:18 | view
Carry out your sound project with the help of Sons de Barcelona

The aim of this call is to activate, to promote, and to support works related to the sound sphere of the city of Barcelona and it is addressed to everybody interested in make their projects known. Send your proposal before April 3th to sonsdebarcelona [at] freesound [dot] org

Read the rules.

The MTG started in 2008 the project Sons de Barcelona (Sounds of Barcelona) in order to offer to everybody a database of sounds of this city created in a collaborative way, with the contribution of the citizens themselves and integrated into the international project freesound.org, also from MTG. The sounds are recordings of acoustic environments of Barcelona or different sounds generated in very different ways by the users, and published under Creative Commons License (so they can be freely re-used again). The Sounds of Barcelona team conducts workshops addressed to different collectives in order to propagate the use of audio technologies, to teach how to take advantage of all their possibilities, and to awake an interest towards working with sounds.

6 Mar 2009 - 16:54 | view
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