News and Events

Research seminar by Esteban Maestre on string instrument sound synthesis
12 May 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 3:30 pm, 55.410

Title: Recent progress in efficient physics-based synthesis of string instrument sound

Applications combining digital waveguides, modal synthesis, and finite-difference time-domain modeling will be presented in the context of efficient simulation of string instruments.

The first part of this talk will introduce a technique for modeling bridge admittances and body radiativity profiles from frequency response measurements on guitars and bowed string instruments. The formulation, relying on modal analysis, is then used to construct reflectance and radiativity models enabling efficient simulation of string plucks via digital waveguides.

The second half of the presentation will be devoted to a bow-string interaction model that combines digital waveguides and finite-differences. The bow-string interaction model, which features finite-width thermal friction and hair dynamics, is incorporated into the string synthesis framework to render sound from bowing control signals.

Esteban Maestre was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1979. He received the BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering from Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, in 2000 and 2003; and the DEA and PhD degrees in Computer Science and Digital Communication from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, in 2006 and 2009.

From 2001 to 2006, he was a Lecturer at Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. Esteban worked as a Researcher at Philips Research Laboratories Aachen, Germany, during 2003 and 2004. From 2004 to 2013, he was a Researcher and a Lecturer at the Music Technology Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Esteban carried out pre- and post-doctoral research at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University between 2008 and 2014 working on physical modeling synthesis and gesture rendering for automatic control of bowed-string physical models. During stays in 2012, 2013, and 2015 Esteban worked with the Department of Applied Mathematics, Universidad Federico Santa Maria, Santiago, Chile. Today, through a Marie Curie IOF fellowship, Esteban pursues his research at the Computational Acoustics Modeling Lab of McGill University.

His research interests include sound analysis and synthesis, computational modeling of music performance, cognitive aspects of sensory-motor integration in music performance, and technology-enhanced music performance pedagogy.

11 May 2015 - 21:56 | view
Participation to AES Convention 2015

Oriol Romaní and Xavier Serra participate to the 138th International AES Convention, that will take place in Warsaw, Poland, from May 7th to 10th 2015. They will present the following paper:

Xavier Serra will also give a tutorial on " Music Information Research from a Cultural Perspective" and will be a panelist in the workshop "Objective Evaluation in Semantic Audio Analysis and Processing".

4 May 2015 - 16:22 | view
Technology transfer fellowships

The Catalan government has announced a new call of TECNIOspring, a fellowship program to promote technology transfer of the catalan research centers, which includes the MTG of the UPF.

About the TECNIOspring programme

TECNIOspring is an international mobility fellowship programme that provides financial support to individual mobility proposals presented by experienced researchers in liaison with a TECNIO centre (like the MTG). The programme will offer fellows 2-year employment contracts, with the corresponding social security provisions.

Experienced researchers are expected to develop an applied research project with focus on technology transfer. With the aim of reinforcing the personal career development plan of the experienced researcher, the programme will include complementary technology transfer training activities.

Fellows will work under a scientific supervisor in a stimulating and multidisciplinary scientific environment. Host institutions will be required to abide by the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

TECNIOspring fellowship programme is co-financed by the European Union through the Marie Curie Actions “Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND)”. Therefore successful candidates will be Marie Curie fellows as well as TECNIOspring fellows.

Schedule of the 4th call

  • Call opening: May 2015
  • Call deadline: June 2015
  • Evaluation process: June to October 2015
  • Start of fellowships: November 2015

How to participate

(PostDoc) Candidates may propose a project focused on applied research and technology transfer to be implemented within our research group. Experienced researchers may suggest us a project which will be the base to prepare the TECNIOspring proposal. Candidates should contact the corresponding research area leader within the MTG as soon as possible in order to discuss about the project proposal.

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible, the researchers must:

  • Hold a doctoral degree and four additional years of full-time research experience after obtaining it; or have at least eight years of full-time equivalent research experience, including the period of research training, after obtaining the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate;
  • Have at least one year of experience in applied research and/or technology transfer activities (R&D projects involving companies, patents licensing or spin offs); and
  • Have experience in the management of research groups

Mobility conditions: the researcher must not have resided or carried out her/his main activity (work, studies) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 2 years immediately prior to the deadline for the submission of applications.
As an exception, only for properly detailed and justified career breaks, experienced researchers will be eligible if they have not resided or carried out their main activity in Spain for more than 3 years in the 5 years immediately prior to the deadline for submission of proposals.


7 Apr 2015 - 16:37 | view
I Premio DTIC-UPF al mejor Trabajo Final de Grado

El Departamento de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones de la Universitat Pompeu Fabra convoca el I Premio al mejor Trabajo Final de Grado (TFG) en Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones realizado en España en las áreas directamente relacionadas con sus másters de investigación en tecnologías de la información y las comunicaciones (uno de ellos es el Master en Tecnologías del Sonido y de la Música).

Candidatos: Estudiantes de cualquier nacionalidad que hayan presentado su TFG en el curso académico 2013-14 o tengan previsto presentarlo en el curso académico 2014-15 en un centro universitario español, público o privado.

Plazo de presentación: hasta el 30 de Abril 2015

Premios: Se concederá un premio de 1.000 euros y matrícula gratuita en el programa participante de este premio que el/la candidata/a haya seleccionado en la solicitud (en caso de ser admitido/a).

Más información en las bases del premio.

Animamos especialmente la presentación de candidaturas al premio por parte de candidatas femeninas.

16 Mar 2015 - 16:29 | view
PHENICX team at Singularity University Summit

Singularity University, the most innovative and forward-looking institution, has chosen to host their yearly SU Summit in Sevilla, Spain one of the most beautiful cities in the world, on March 12-14, 2015. This event involves over 600 entrepreneurs, CEOs and researchers from across Europe and the Middle East to learn from Silicon Valley’s top experts and gain insights on how life, society and industries will be disrupted and reshaped through technologies that are in development today.

The SU Summit organisers have contacted our team and provided us with the chance to demonstrate how concert experiences can be improved by applying technology to the concert that will happen during the Summit opening. This concert will be performed by the young Sinfonietta de San Francisco de Paula and features the Overture to “The Creatures of Prometheus" by L. v. Beethoven. The opening concert will take place on March 12th at Teatro de la Maestranza (Sevilla). Several team members from the MTG are attending this event on behalf of PHENICX, including the project leader Emilia Gómez, assisted by (in alphabetical order): Jordi Bonada, Agustín Martorell, Oscar Mayor, Alba B. Rosado and Álvaro Sarasúa.


8 Mar 2015 - 11:46 | view
Seminar by Eugenio Tacchini on Music Recommender Systems
12 Mar 2015

Eugenio Tacchini, from Università Cattolica di Piacenza (Italy), gives a research seminar entitled "State of the art of Music Recommender Systems and open challenges" on thursday March 12th 2015 at 15:30h in room 55.410, Tanger Bulding, Communication Campus of the UPF.

Abstract: The seminar will provide a comprehensive overview on the state of the art of Music Recommender Systems, highlighting practical implementation issues and focusing on some open challenges including the serendipity and diversity aspects of recommendations, the trust issues and the problems related to music profiles portability. The lesson learned during the implementation and running of the recommendation radio Mentor.FM will be shared with the audience.
Bio: Eugenio Tacchini graduated in Economics at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza (Italy) and in Computer Science at the Università degli studi di Milano (Italy), where he also got a PhD in Computer Science in 2012 with a thesis on Music Recommender Systems. During his PhD he has been visiting researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin, working on Semantic Web and linked Data and at the University of California, Berkeley, working on Recommender Systems. He is currently a lecturer of Information Systems a the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza and an entrepreneur in the fields of Rapid Application Development tools and Music Recommender Systems. During 2015 he also teaches an introductory course to Recommender Systems at Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona (Spain).
7 Mar 2015 - 09:17 | view
Postdoctoral fellowships at the UPF
20 Apr 2015

Within the UPFellows programme there are 5 open positions at the postdoctoral level to join research groups of the university.

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility is determined using the information provided via the web application, which should include:

  1. The following documentation
    • a full CV
    • a statement of research interests and plans for the UPFellow period
    • the names of three scholars who are willing to serve as references for the applicant
    • an indication of which panel the applicant wishes to consider his/her application
    • ethical Issues document (it is a compulsory document for all fields).
  2. It must prove that the applicant
    • holds a PhD or will earn a PhD by May 31st, 2015 (Dissertation/Thesis approved and defended by May 31st, 2015)
    • will undertake transnational mobility, defined as the applicant not having carried out his or her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the start of the application period on March 14. Short stays, such as holidays, are not considered.

If you have any question about your eligibility, please contact upfellows [at] upf [dot] edu before submitting an application.

How to apply

Applications for the UPFellows program are accepted exclusively through our online application system. The application deadline is April 20th, 2015 at 11:59 PM.

Candidates must register in order to be able to use the online application system. The online application form includes all of the necessary information for the initial stages of the selection process (scientific CV, list of publications, meetings, research experience and interests, fellowships obtained under competitive calls, project the applicant wishes to perform, etc.)

At least two reference letters must be provided, which will be automatically requested from the referees proposed by the candidate through the online system. Candidates must ensure that all information is included before the deadline, including the reference letters. Incomplete proposals will not be considered eligible.

Once the application is submitted, an acknowledgement of receipt will be automatically sent by e-mail to the applicant. A reference number will be assigned, which should be included in any further correspondence.

For any additional information, please contact Marta Rodríguez at upfellows [at] upf [dot] edu.

Financial conditions

UPFellows will receive a three-year contract with a gross salary/year of 47.300€ plus Social Security costs. In addition, selected candidates will receive:

  • Travel allowance: 800€/year
  • Contribution to Research costs: 3,000 €/year
  • Other economic benefits: UPF has agreements with a number of providers of consumer products and health, leisure, sports, and travel services which offer employees a wide range of benefits that will be also available to the fellows.
  • Furthermore, candidates will have access to a wide offer of training activities such as seminars, specific training session, etc. They will be provided with the required conditions to develop their research projects with autonomy and within a stimulating environment.

Please check the general and specific Call texts for further information:

19 Feb 2015 - 16:30 | view
RAPID-MIX kickoff meeting held successfully in Barcelona

The newly started European Innovation Action RAPID-MIX (Realtime Adaptive Prototyping for Industrial Design of Multimodal Interactive eXpressive technology) aims to provide natural and intuitive pathways between human expressivity and technology and bringing those innovations out of the lab by integrating them into real products within the field of music, gaming and wellbeing applications. At the project’s kickoff meeting at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, three participants from academia and five SMEs within the creative industries discussed about how this goal will be achieved.

The common dream is about enabling the design and fast prototyping of multimodal expressive interfaces that will allow end users to interact with creative computer systems in seamless and intuitive ways, and thus exploit the potential of the human body as a major outlet for both conscious and unconscious communication. RAPID-MIX aims to achieve this by (i) providing new low cost designs for advanced wearable interfaces, (ii) transferring advanced machine learning analysis techniques to track gestures, understand physiological signals and encode user context and (iii) providing publicly accessible Application Programming Interfaces (API), middleware layers and hardware for partner SMEs, creative industry outside our consortium and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) communities to integrate these approaches in new products.

On February 5th and 6th 2015, the kick-off meeting of the RAPID-MIX project was held at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (coordinators of the Innovation Action) in Barcelona. Among the attendants there were 18 people coming from the eight partner entities.

Throughout the two-day meeting, participants discussed about the work plan foreseen for the 1st year, current status of the base technologies available from the research partners and the wish lists from the SMEs that are expected to enhance their products by integrating those cutting edge technologies into their production roadmap. In addition, the meeting included specific sessions not directly related to the project execution, but considered crucial for a successful project execution, such as the management of Intellectual Property Rights, user centred design methodologies and the data management plan. The last session of the meeting was devoted to the schedule of future working sessions and dissemination events, including the potential participation of the RAPID-MIX consortium in this year’s Music Hack Day hosted by Sonar+D.

Project facts

Project Acronym: RAPID-MIX

Project Title: Realtime Adaptive Prototyping for Industrial Design of Multimodal Interactive eXpressive technology

Project reference: H2020-ICT-2014-1 Project ID 644862

Project duration: 36 months from 01.02.2015 – 31.01.2018

Budget: 2.683k€ (EC funding 2.330k€)

Project partners

Contact (coordinator)

Prof. Sergi Jordà, senior researcher of the Music Technology Group (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Email address: rapid-mix [at] upf [dot] edu

10 Feb 2015 - 12:23 | view
Korg releases an MIR-enhanced tuner
At the Winter NAMM Korg has released Cortosia, an iOS app that measures the quality of a sound in real time. It is basically a tuner that on top of measuring the pitch of a note it also measures how well you play it in terms of other sound attributes. This application is the result of a collaboration between Korg and the MTG-UPF. 
The core Cortosia is the analysis of sounds that is based on learning from what the musicians rate in the website. The iOS app has the following features:
  • Analyzes five sound attributes of your “good sound”, rating them in real time
  • Automatically records your “good sound” and keeps track of your daily improvements
  • Lets you compete against the world with your “good sound” through a ranking
  • Lets you share your “good sound” with friends around the world
  • Supports flute, clarinet, and trumpet
cortosia main page
23 Jan 2015 - 05:45 | view
Announcing is a new platform for sharing and evaluating instrumental samples developed by the MTG-UPF and KORG. Musicians upload their played sounds which are then analyzed and compared with the ones that the community has identified as good ones. The community of musicians active in the site establishes what a “good sound” is by voting on the uploaded sounds. From these votes the system learns how to evaluate sounds and how to give a score to them. These scores evolve as the community gives more feedback and the system learns from it. It currently supports single notes of flute, clarinet, trumpet, cello and violin, but it will evolve with the integration of more instruments and more types of sounds.
The analysis of every sound is performed using Essentia ( and it focuses on five sound attributes: Pitch Stability, Dynamic Stability, Timbre Stability, Timbre Richness, and Attack Clarity. The system displays the analysis results and ranks the sounds either based on the automatic scoring or on the user votes from which the automatic analysis is based on.
The goal of the project is to become a useful tool for musicians that can help them improve their playing. For the system to give relevant feedback it also requires the participation of musicians in the website, uploading and commenting on the existing sounds. 

The Music Technology Group of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra is a leading research group with more than 40 researchers, carrying out research on topics such as audio signal processing, sound and music description, musical interfaces, sound and music communities, and performance modeling. The MTG wants to contribute to the improvement of the information and communication technologies related to sound and music, carrying out competitive research at the international level and at the same time transferring its results to society. To that goal, the MTG aims at finding a balance between basic and applied research while promoting interdisciplinary approaches that incorporate knowledge from both scientific/technological and humanistic/artistic disciplines. 
About KORG (
Since its establishment in 1963, KORG INC. has always strived to manufacture epoch-making electronic musical instruments using innovative creativity and the company’s own extensive technological expertise. In 1975, KORG introduced the world’s first compact tuner with a needle meter and has marketed innovative products worldwide at the forefront of the musical instruments market. KORG synthesizers combine excellent sound quality and features and have earned the support of music fans and professional musicians everywhere. Today, KORG designs and develops a wide range of electronic musical instruments from synthesizers and tuners, to digital pianos, signal processors, digital recorders and other peripheral equipment.
good-sounds page
20 Jan 2015 - 14:12 | view