News and Events

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 good-sounds.org 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 good-sounds.org
good-sounds.org 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 (http://essentia.upf.edu) 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 good-sounds.org 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. 
 
ABOUT MTG-UPF (http://mtg.upf.edu/)

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 (http://www.korg.com/)
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
Seeking a cultural and financial manager

The Music Technology Group of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Phonos Foundation are seeking a cultural and financial manager.

Minimum requirements of candidates:

  • University degree in a related field;
  • Proficient knowledge of Spanish, Catalan and English;
  • Experience with management of R&D or cultural projects;
  • Knowledge of the funding sources for cultural projects at European, national and regional level.


Desired capacity to demonstrate:

  • Experience in budget elaboration, control and reporting of research and cultural projects;
  • Excellent communication and inter-personal skills, including written communication and networking or dissemination activities;
  • Experience in events organization and capacity to plan, organize, lead, supervise and monitor activities.

Main tasks:

  • Financial management of cultural and research projects:
    • Fundraising for cultural projects and activities;
    • Financial follow-up of projects and reporting to public administration (including ERC grants, H2020 projects, Plan Nacional I+D+i, other cultural programs, etc.);
    • Collaboration in the future budget projection
  • Communication and events organization:
    • Communication and dissemination of activities (press, web and social media);
    • Cultural events planning and organization.

About the position:
This position is temporary (5 months), full-time dedication.

The Music Technology Group (MTG) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, integrating researchers from different disciplines with the unified vision to improve the information and communication technologies related to sound and music, carries out competitive research at the international level and at the same time transferring its results to society.

Phonos Foundation promotes the use of technology in music. Thanks to a tight collaboration with the MTG it offers a work environment based on the most advanced technologies with the objective to experiment with new forms of creation.To carry out the objectives of the Foundation, activities are organized in the areas of education, production, research and promotion.

Selection process: CVs will be evaluated following the criteria above. A reduced set of candidates will be contacted for personal interviews.


If you are interested in this position, please send your CV together with a brief motivation letter to sonia [dot] espi [at] upf [dot] edu (subject: cultural%20and%20financial%20manager) with the reference Cultural and financial Manager before January 31st 2015

15 Jan 2015 - 16:29 | view
Carles F. Julià defends his PhD thesis on January 22nd
22 Jan 2015

Carles F. Julià defends his PhD thesis entitled "Making Tabletops Useful with Applications, Frameworks and Multi-Tasking" on Thursday January 22nd at 11hr in room 55.410 of the Communication Campus of the UPF.

The jury of the defense is: Dr. Javier Jaén (Univ. Politècnica València), Dr. Florian Echtler (Bauhaus Univ. Weimar) and Dr. Martí Sánchez-Fibla (SPECS - UPF).

Abstract: The progressive appearance of affordable tabletop technology and devices urges human-computer interaction researchers to provide the necessary methods to make this kind of devices the most useful to their users. Studies show that tabletops have distinctive characteristics that can be specially useful to solve some types of problems, but this potential is arguably not yet translated into real-world applications. We theorize that the important components that can transform those systems into useful tools are application frameworks that take into account the devices affordances, a third party application ecosystem, and multi-application systems supporting concurrent multitasking.
In this dissertation we approach these key components: First, we explore the distinctive affordances of tabletops, with two cases: TurTan, a tangible programming language in the education context, and SongExplorer, a music collection browser for large databases.
Next, in order to address the difficulty of building such applications in a way that they can exploit these affordances, we focus on software frameworks to support the tabletop application making process, with two different approaches: ofxTableGestures, targeting programmers, and MTCF, designed for music and sound artists.
Finally, recognizing that making useful applications is just one part of the problem, we focus on a fundamental issue of multi-application tabletop systems: the difficulty to support multi-user concurrent multitasking with third-party applications. After analyzing the possible approaches, we present GestureAgents, a content-based distributed application-centric disambiguation mechanism and its implementation, which solves this problem in a generic fashion, being also useful to other shareable interfaces, including uncoupled ones.

15 Jan 2015 - 16:27 | view
Software developer position at the MTG-UPF
This position will involve working together with researchers at the MTG-UPF in Barcelona to develop and maintain web-based applications related to sound and music. It relates to a number of projects of the MTG that include large repositories of sounds with a user community around them (like freesound.org or acousticbrainz.org).
 
Starting date: inmediate
Duration: 12 months with option to renew
 
Required skills/qualifications:

Bachelor degree in Computer Science or similar educational qualification

Proficiency in both written and spoken English
Proficiency in Python and C/C++
Experience with at least one python based web framework (such as Django or Flask)

Experience in developing API using various languages
Familiarity with concepts of audio signal processing and machine learning
Experience in working with databases and large datasets
Demonstrated ability to write maintainable, well-documented software and documentation
 

Preferred skills/experience:

Working experience with source control systems, unit testing
Experience in system administration tasks
Passion for music and audio

Participation in open source software projects

 
ABOUT MTG-UPF:

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.
 


HOW TO APPLY?

Interested people should send a resume as well as a motivation letter to mtg [at] upf [dot] edu (subject: Junior%20software%20developer)
19 Dec 2014 - 17:34 | view
Phonos/MTG Exhibit at the Museu de la Música in Barcelona

To celebrate 40 years of Phonos (20 of which are also part of the history of the MTG) we have organized an Exhibit at the Museu de la Música in Barcelona. Through the presentation of 10 electronic instruments that were either developed or used at Phonos/MTG we review our history in the field of electronic music, going over some of the people that made this history and presenting some of the music that resulted from it.

Phonos was created in 1974 by Andrés Lewin-Richter, Josep Maria Mestres Quadreny and Lluís Callejo as an electronic music laboratory and in 1994 Phonos became part of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, resulting in the creation of Music Technology Group (MTG). Very interesting things have happened in these 40 years and relevant contributions have been made to the world of Electronic Music. To learn a bit about this you will have to go to the Museu de la Música in Barcelona. 

The Exhibition opens on December 18th 2014 and will remain open until September 27th 2015.

16 Dec 2014 - 15:21 | view
Open PhD positions at MTG-UPF
4 Dec 2014 - 15 Jan 2015

The MTG of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, is opening 3 funded PhD positions to work within some of its research projects, with a starting date of September 2015. The candidates have to apply to the PhD program of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies (http://www.upf.edu/dtic_doctorate/). They have to demonstrate an academic and research background of relevance for the project context proposed and they have to submit, and have approved by the MTG before making the formal application, a research proposal on a specific topic within the project context.

The projects for which we offer the funded positions are related to the automatic description of large sound and music collections, collections like freesound.org or acousticbrainz.org. The research to be carried out should combine audio signal processing techniques for content analysis of the audio recordings with semantic web technologies for analyzing the contextual information related to the recordings. The candidates should be competent in fields such as audio signal processing, machine learning, statistical analysis, and/or natural language processing. The candidates should be able to work with collections including several milion audio recordings plus their contextual information, thus developing algorithms that can scale to these sizes.

Projects being carried out at the MTG that relate to these positions include: http://compmusic.upf.edu/http://essentia.upf.edu/,  http://freesound.org and http://acousticbrainz.org.

More practical and administrative information about the PhD program is available in http://www.upf.edu/doctorats/en/programes/audiovisuals/presentacio/

Interested people should send a CV, a motivation letter, and a first draft of a thesis proposal to mtg [at] upf [dot] edu before January 15th 2015.

 

 

4 Dec 2014 - 17:51 | view
Application open for the Master in Sound and Music Computing
3 Dec 2014 - 26 Jun 2015

The application for the Master in Sound and Music Computing, program 2015-2016, is open on-line. There are 4 application periods (deadlines: January 23rd, March 13th, May 15th, June 26th). For more information on the UPF master programs and specifically on the SMC Master check here.

3 Dec 2014 - 16:02 | view
Starting new projects in 2015

We are happy to share with you that we are about to start some amazing projects in 2015. The list of projects is as follows:

RAPID-MIX (PI Sergi Jordà) is an Innovation Action funded by the European Commission that brings together 3 leading research institutions with 4 dynamic creative industries SMEs and 1 leading wearable technology SME in a consortium to deliver to market innovative multimodal interfaces for music, gaming, and e-Health applications

The MusicBricks project (PI Xavier Serra), funded by the European Commission, aims to exploit the creative and commercial possibilities of music technologies by piloting innovative musical tools with the new generation of SME digital makers and content creators, and leverages the state-of-the-art European research, by providing a compendium of physical, virtual and programming interfaces, thus allowing creative developers easy access to the core building blocks of music.

Music eLearning project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness lead by the Universitat d'Alacant (PI Jose Manuel Iñesta Quereda) and Rafael Ramírez from our side.

TIMUL aims to investigate and explore all the relevant aspects in order to produce methods and tools for music education with innovative pedagogical paradigms, taking into account key factors such as expressivity, interactivity, gesture control, and cooperative work among participants.

1 Dec 2014 - 18:42 | view
Marco Marchini defends his PhD thesis on November 27th
27 Nov 2014

Marco Marchini defends his PhD thesis entitled "Analysis of Ensemble Expressive Performance in String Quartets: a Statistical and Machine Learning Approach" on Thursday November 27th 2014 at 12:00h in room 55.309 of the Communication Campus of the UPF.

The jury of the defense is: Xavier Serra (UPF), Josep Lluís Arcos (IIIA-CSIC), Roberto Bresin (KTH).

Abstract: Computational approaches for modeling expressive music performance have produced systems that emulate human expression, but few steps have been taken in the domain of ensemble performance. Polyphonic expression and inter-dependence among voices are intrinsic features of ensemble performance and need to be incorporated at the very core of the models. For this reason, we proposed a novel methodology for building computational models of ensemble expressive performance by introducing inter-voice contextual attributes (extracted from ensemble scores) and building separate models of each individual performer in the ensemble. We focused our study on string quartets and recorded a corpus of performances both in ensemble and solo conditions employing multi-track recording and bowing motion acquisition techniques. From the acquired data we extracted bowed-instrumentspecic expression parameters performed by each musician. As a preliminary step, we investigated over the dierence between solo and ensemble from a statistical point of view and show that the introduced inter-voice contextual attributes and extracted expression are statistically sound. In a further step, we build models of expression by training machine-learning algorithms on the collected data. As a result, the introduced inter-voice contextual attributes improved the prediction of the expression parameters.
Furthermore, results on attribute selection show that the models trained on ensemble recordings took more advantage of inter-voice contextual attributes than those trained on solo recordings. The obtained results show that the introduced methodology can have applications in the analysis of collaboration among musicians.

21 Nov 2014 - 09:50 | view
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