News and Events

Phonos concert: LEMAts

On Wednesday May 30th 2012 at 19:30h in the Espai Polivalent of the Communication Campus of the UPF, Phonos is organizing a concert of LEMAts (Laboratorio de Electrónica Musical de Andalucía de Taller Sonoro)

24 May 2012 - 14:07 | view
MAKE, PLAY, SHARE: The future of MusicTech

MTG is coorganizing, together with BMAT and Stromatolite Design Lab, a panel discussion in the frame of MIReS project which will take place at SonarPro next 14th June at 13.30 pm, just after the Companies' presentations at the Barcelona Music Hack Day.

The MIReS panel discussion intends to look into the future of the Music Industry from three perspectives: (i) Search & Discovery, (ii) Creativity and (iii) Rights Management. MIReS panel main aim is gathering first-hand feedback from relevant industry players which will serve as an input for the roadmap.

The list of panel speakers is as follows:

  • Alex Loscos, co-founder & CEO at BMAT
  • Scott Cohen, Founder and VP International at The Orchard
  • Hunter Williams, Senior Vice President Strategic Development/Distribution & Research Operations in SESAC
  • Michael Breidenbrücker, CEO at RjDj
  • Matthew Hawn, Vice President, Product at
  • Michela Magas, innovation catalyst at Stromatolite Design Lab
  • Robert Kaye, founder and lead developer for MusicBrainz, and President and Executive Director of the MetaBrainz Foundation

Chaired by: Jamillah Knowles, BBC Outrider journalist

22 May 2012 - 12:58 | view
Master's projects exhibition at Sonar festival

MTG is organizing an exhibition at Sonar festival in order to promote the work of students that developed master's projects focused on audio. The works are the result of different masters from the UPF, including Sound and Music Computing, and Digital Arts from IdEC, and also a Phonos granted project (Prefall135).

One of the works that will be shown in the exhibition is The EyeHarp, by Zacharias Vamvakousis, currently PhD student in the MTG. The EyeHarp is an interesting instrument controlled by the movement of the eye, enabling to create music to those people with a motor disability.


All the projects will be displayed in the form of interactive installations, where music and sound will be central features. The exhibition will take place in the frame of the Sonar Pro section within Sonar Festival in Barcelona, from the 14th to 16th of June.

21 May 2012 - 19:35 | view
Barcelona Music Hack Day 2012

Music Hack Day is a two-day international event that convene enthusiasts of music, technology and creativity. This initiative presents an ideal ecosystem for networking, as its activities aim at creating new digital applications and projects based on music technology compatible with different devices (tablets, PCs, smartphones, etc.).

Specifically, the MHD involves the following activities:

  • Presentation of the most advanced music technologies by leader companies in the field of digital music.
  • a 24-hours hack session where participant will create innovative applications related to music technology.
  • Presentation of the applications created during the hack sessions.
  • Prizes for the best applications, awarded by MHD sponsors.

The MHD have shown to be an outstanding initiative to express the creativity of the music technology community, as it fosters innovation and the creation of new cross-platform applications. In the last 3 years, there have been more than 20 MHDs around the world. After its first edition in London 2009, it has been organized in cities such as Berlin, Amsterdam, Boston, Stockholm, San Francisco, Barcelona, New York, Cannes, Sydney and Montreal. The MHD is an exciting event that has gathered more than 2000 participants, who have developed hundreds of hacks with the support of more than 125 companies of music and technology.

The MTG has organized all MHDs in Barcelona, starting on october 2010. As in 2011, this year the MHD will be organized in collaboration with the SonarPro Festival, taking advantage of its important exposition (in 2011 it gathered more than 79.000 attendees, 833 companies and more than 1000 journalists from 515 media companies). SonarPro is a platform created by Sónar for visualizing, experimenting and getting updated with the latest news coming from the technology applied to music creation. That is why Sonar Pro is the perfect place to organize the Barcelona MHD; an environment where professionals and the general audience can learn about the latest technological innovations promoted by creative industries.

Due to the success of the MHD 2011, this year the event will take place in the Antic Teatre (main venue of Sonar Pro), fact that will allow to host up to 90 hackers and 10 artists to maximize the development of applications. Also, this year companies will be able to present all kind of technologies and hardware useful for creation of music Applications (not just APIs as in other MHD editions) and MHD attendees will get a welcome pack and a free pass for Friday night session at Sónar Festival.

2 May 2012 - 13:20 | view
Information session for the Master in Sound and Music Computing

Xavier Serra, coordinator of the Master in Sound and Music Computing, will held an information session about the Master on May 7th from 11:00h to 13:00h in room 52.323 of the Communication Campus - Poblenou. This session is part of the Information Sessions that the Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) at UPF is organizing for all the Master programs of the Department.

The aim of the session is to provide information about the main characteristics of the program starting in the 2012-2013 academic year.

27 Apr 2012 - 17:08 | view
EU award for Sons de Barcelona

We are very happy to announce that our project Sons de Barcelona (Sounds of Barcelona) has been selected as one of the winners of the “Engage awards”, a European competition looking for best innovations in university outreach and public engagement.

Sons de Barcelona is an educational initiative around, running workshops in schools to foster interest in music technologies among the students community by using the Freesound ideas and technologies.

The award will help to keep improving the current activity of Sons de Barcelona and to start working on a new project dedicated to the sounds of multicultural communities within Barcelona.

26 Apr 2012 - 19:01 | view
Software developer position at the MTG-UPF

In this position you will be working together with researchers at the MTG-UPF in Barcelona to (1) develop prototypes demonstrating novel ideas, algorithms, and interaction paradigms related to music information processing and (2) implement novel algorithms for processing and interacting with music related data.

Required skills/qualifications:
Bachelor degree in Computer Science, with 2+ years of practical experience (Master degree is a plus)
Proficiency in both written and spoken English
Proficiency in at least two of PHP, Python, C/C++
Experience with UNIX systems
Experience in the development of Web applications including front-end programming

Preferred skills/experience:
Fast learner with strong problem-solving and analytical skills
Proven ability to develop software solutions for complex design/implementation problems
Familiarity with concepts of signal processing, data mining and machine learning
Experience in working with databases and large datasets
Familiarity with MATLAB

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. For more information on MTG-UPF please visit


Interested people should send a resume as well as an introduction letter to mtg-info [at] llista [dot] upf [dot] edu

23 Apr 2012 - 14:09 | view
Phonos Concert: Sergio Naddei

On Thursday April 26th 2012 at 19:30h in the Espai Polivalent of the Communication Campus of the UPF, Phonos is organizing a concert of Sergio Naddei.

20 Apr 2012 - 11:26 | view
MTG participates in the "Fira de Recerca en Directe". Barcelona April 24 - 26

MTG participates in the 10th edition of the Barcelona scientific fair "Fira de Recerca en Directe". This fair is organized by CatalunyaCaixa at La Pedrera, and shows different projects of research groups or institutes from Barcelona.

The aim of the fair is to disseminate some of the research activity that is being done in Barcelona to the general society, and is specially focused on fostering scientific interest amongst young students.

MTG will have a stand where Dmitry Bogdanov will be presenting The Musical Avatar, and Martí Umbert will show the Vocaloid project. The audience will also have the opportunity to view and interact with some demos.

Dates: April 24th, 25th and 26th
Time: 10am to 2am and 4am to 8am
Place: Sala Gaudi at La Pedrera
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 92, Barcelona

19 Apr 2012 - 18:20 | view
Ferdinand Fuhrmann defends his PhD thesis on April 25th

Ferdinand Fuhrmann defends his PhD thesis entitled "Automatic Musical Instrument Recognition from Polyphonic Music Audio Signals" on Wednesday 25th of April 2012 at 09:00h in room 55.309.

The jury members of the defense are: Gaël Richard (TELECOM ParisTech), Emilia Gómez (UPF), Josep Lluís Arcos (IIIA-CSIC).

Abstract: Facing the rapidly growing amount of digital media, the need for an effective data management is challenging technology. In this context, we approach the problem of automatically recognising musical instruments from music audio signals. Information regarding the instrumentation is among the most important semantic concepts humans use to communicate musical meaning. Hence, knowledge regarding the instrumentation eases a meaningful description of a music piece, indispensable for approaching the aforementioned need with modern (music) technology. Nonetheless, the addressed problem may sound elementary or basic, given the competence of the human auditory system. However, during at least two decades of study, while being tackled from various perspectives, the problem itself has been proven to be highly complex; no system has yet been presented that is even getting close to a human-comparable performance. Especially the problem of resolving multiple simultaneous sounding sources poses the main difficulties to the computational approaches.

In this dissertation we present a general purpose method for the automatic recognition of musical instruments from music audio signals. Unlike many related approaches, our specific conception mostly avoids laboratory constraints on the method’s algorithmic design, its input data, or the targeted application context. In particular, the developed method models 12 instrumental categories, including pitched and percussive instruments as well as the human singing voice, all of them frequently adopted in Western music. To account for the assumable complex nature of the input signal, we limit the most basic process in the algorithmic chain to the recognition of a single predominant musical instrument from a short audio fragment. By applying statistical pattern recognition techniques together with properly designed, extensive datasets we predict one source from the polytimbral timbre of the analysed sound and thereby prevent the method from resolving the mixture. To compensate for this restriction we further incorporate information derived from a hierarchical music analysis; we first utilise musical context to extract instrumental labels from the time-varying model decisions. Second, the method incorporates information regarding the piece’s formal aspects into the recognition process. Finally, we include information from the collection level by exploiting associations between musical genres and instrumentations.

In our experiments we assess the performance of the developed method by applying a thorough evaluation methodology using real music signals only, estimating the method’s accuracy, generality, scalability, robustness, and efficiency. More precisely, both the models’ recognition performance and the label extraction algorithm exhibit reasonable, thus expected accuracies given the problem at hand. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the method generalises well in terms of the modelled categories and is scalable to any kind of input data complexity, hence it provides a robust extraction of the targeted information. Moreover, we show that the information regarding the instrumentation of a Western music piece is highly redundant, thus enabling a great reduction of the data to analyse. Here, our best settings lead to a recognition performance of almost 0.7 in terms of the applied F-score from less than 50% of the input data. At last, the experiments incorporating the information on the musical genre of the analysed music pieces do not show the expected improvement in recognition performance, suggesting that a more fine-grained instrumental taxonomy is needed for exploiting this kind of information.

17 Apr 2012 - 23:32 | view