News and Events

Participation to SSW8

Xavier Serra and Martí Umbert participate to the 8th ISCA Speech Synthesis Workshop (SSW8) that takes place in Barcelona from August 31st to  September 2nd, 2013. Xavier gives a keynote on "Singing voice synthesis in the context of music technology research" and Martí presents a paper on "Systematic database creation for expressive singing voice synthesis control".

  • Martí Umbert, Jordi Bonada, Merlijn Blaauw: "Systematic database creation for expressive singing voice synthesis control"
    Abstract: Systematic database creation for expressive singing voice synthesis control In the context of singing voice synthesis, the generation of the synthesizer controls is a key aspect to obtain expressive performances. In our case, we use a system that selects, transforms and concatenates units of short melodic contours from a recorded database. This paper proposes a systematic procedure for the creation of such database. The aim is to cover relevant style-dependent combinations of features such as note duration, pitch interval and note strength. The higher the percentage of covered combinations is, the less transformed the units will be in order to match a target score. At the same time, it is also important that units are musically meaningful according to the target style. In order to create a style-dependent database, the melodic combinations of features to cover are identified, statistically modeled and grouped by similarity. Then, short melodic exercises of four measures are created following a dynamic programming algorithm. The Viterbi cost functions deal with the statistically observed context transitions, harmony, position within the measure and readability. The final systematic score database is formed by the sequence of the obtained melodic exercises.
  • Xavier Serra: "Singing voice synthesis in the context of music technology research"
    Abstract: The synthesis of the singing voice has always been very much tied to speech synthesis. Since the initial work of Max Mathews with Kelly and Lochbaum at Bell Labs in the 1950s many engineers and musicians have explored the potential of speech processing techniques in music applications. After reviewing some of this history I will present the work done in my research group to develop synthesis engines that could sound as natural and expressive as a real singer, or choir, and whose inputs could be just the score and the lyrics of the song. Some of this research is being done in collaboration with Yamaha and has resulted in the Vocaloid software synthesizer. In the talk I want to make special emphasis on the specificities of the music context and thus on the technical requirements needed for the use of a synthesis techology in music applications.


30 Aug 2013 - 11:46 | view
Participation to SMAC/SMC 2013

Emilia Gómez, Enric Guaus, Jordi Bonada, Martí Umbert, Esteban Maestre and Xavier Serra participate at the SMAC/SMC join conference that takes place from July 30th to August 3rd 2013 in Stockholm (Sweden).

Xavier gives a keynote on "Exploiting Domain Knowledge in Music Information Research" which relates to the CompMusic project. Esteban presents his work on "Digital Modeling of Bridge Driving-point Admittances from Measurements on Violin-family Instruments" that he did during his stay at Stanford. Emilia has an invited paper to talk about the new PHENICX project: "PHENICX: Performances as Highly Enriched and Interactive Concert Experiences" and she also teaches in the summer school. Enric present a research done at the ESMUC on "Observed differences in rhythm between performances of classical and jazz violin students", and Jordi and Martí present a poster on "Generating Singing Voice Expression Contours Based on Unit Selection".

25 Jul 2013 - 12:37 | view
Galata Electroacoustic Orchestra

The MTG participates in the Galata Electroacoustic Orchestra project, a European Erasmus Intensive Programme coordinated by Conservatorio Niccolò Paganini. The institutions partnering in this project are Istanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi (Istanbul), Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi (Istanbul), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) and Conservatorio Statale di Musica “G.P. da Palestrina” (Cagliari)

The GEO IP project (Galata Electroacoustic Orchestra) is inspired by the historical relations between Genova and Istanbul. The first edition of GEO is taking place in Genova between the 15th and 26th of July, 2013.

A total of 7 MTG PhD students and SMC master students are participating in workshops, labs and lectures about traditional music of the three involved countries (Turkey, Spain and Italy), focused on ethnomusicological, technological, performing and compositional disciplines.

The general objectives of GEO IP are:
- To create the Galata Electroacoustic Orchestra, a small group orchestra based on an idea of live collective composition;
- To merge of the Western Classical tradition of score based music and the Improvisational techniques, in particular of Turkish Maqam Music.

The project also includes a final concert of the Galata Electroacoustic Orchestra at old port of Genova on Friday 26th at 9PM.

23 Jul 2013 - 17:25 | view
Master thesis presentations

On June 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th 2013, there are the presentations of the thesis of the Sound and Music Computing Master that have been carried out during the academic year 2012-2013. The presentations take place in room 55.410 of the Tanger building.

Tuesday 25th June 2013

  • 12:15h. JAKUE LÓPEZ ARMENDÁRIZ: “Informed Source Separation for Multiple Instruments of Similar Timbre” (Supervisor: Jordi Janer)
  • 12:45h. ENRIC GINE: “Signal extraction and digital processing of historical mechanical recordings” (Supervisor: Jordi Janer)

Wednesday 26th June 2013

  • 10:00h. JAKAB PILASZANOVICH: “Generating a Tonal Recommendation System Based on Audio Files for the Reactable” (supervisor: Sergi Jordà)
  • 10:30h. WILLIAM MARLEY: “Gestural Processing in the Reactable as a method of Machine Improvisation” (supervisor: Sergi Jordà)
  • 11:00h. MACIÀ FORTEZA CRESPÍ: “An EEG-based Emotion-driven Music Control System” (supervisor: Rafael Ramirez)
  • 11:30. ALUIZIO BARBOSA DE OLIVEIRA: “Understanding your brain through sound: A customizable, multi-parametric auditory display technique for theta-alpha neurofeedback training” (Supervisor: Sergi Jordà)
  • 12:00h. ROBERT CLOUTH: “Mobile Augmented Reality as a Control Mode for Real-time Music Systems” (Supervisor: Sergi Jordà)
  • 12:30h. NADINE KROHER: “The Flamenco Cante: Automatic Characterization of Flamenco Singing by Analyzing Audio Recordings” (Supervisors: Rafael Ramirez and Emilia Gómez)

Thursday 27th June 2013

  • 10:00h. RAQUEL VICTORIA BAEZ FERNANDEZ: “Using infrared motion capture data to measure the bow pressing force in string quartet performance” (Supervisor: Esteban Maestre)
  • 10:30h. JIE CHEN: “Gesture Analysis and Recognition in String Quartet Performance” (Supervisor: Esteban Maestre)
  • 11:00h. KAINAN CHEN: “Characterization of Pitch Intonation in Beijing Opera Singing” (Supervisor: Xavier Serra)
  • 11:30h. HÉCTOR FLORÍA RODRÍGUEZ: “Expressive speech synthesis for a RadioDJ using Vocaloid and HMM's” (Supervisor: Jordi Bonada)
  • 12:00h. VARUN JEWALIKAR: “Improving automatic phonetic segmentation for creating singing voice synthesizer corpora” (Supervisor: Jordi Bonada)
  • 12:30h. HECTOR PARRA: “Study of robust pitch estimation with de-reverberation techniques” (Supervisor: Jordi Janer)

Friday 28th June 2013

  • 10:00h. FILIPPO MORELLI: “The bad and the good singer: query analysis and reformulation for audio to audio Query by Humming” (Supervisor: Emilia Gómez)
  • 10:30h. FELIPE NAVARRO: “Life Soundtrack Recovery for Alzheimer's disease patients” (Supervisors: Emilia Gómez and Perfecto Herrera)
  • 11:00h. JOSE JAVIER VALERO MAS: “Measuring similarity of automatically extracted melodic pitch contours for audio-based query by humming of polyphonic music collections” (Supervisor: Emilia Gómez)
  • 11:30h. GABRIEL MESEGUER: Automatic content-based detection of influences in the history of progressive rock music” (Supervisors: Joan Serrà and Perfecto Herrera)
  • 12:00h. DARA DARIBI: “Using clickthrough data to improve Freesound search” (Supervisor: Xavier Serra)
17 Jun 2013 - 15:56 | view
Seminar by Julio José Carabias on audio to score alignment
13 Jun 2013

Julio José Carabias Orti from University of Jaén will give a seminar titled "RealTime Audio to Score Alignment System using Spectral Factorization and Online Time Warping" on Thursday, June 13th, at 15.30 in room 52.321.

In this work, we present a realtime score follower based on spectral factorization and online Dynamic Time Warping (DTW). The presented system has two separated stages, preprocessing and alignment. On the first one, we convert the score into a reference audio signal using a MIDI synthesizer software and we analyze the provided information in order to obtain the spectral patterns (i.e. basis functions) associated to each combination of notes. These basis functions are learned from the synthetic MIDI signal using a method based on NMF with Beta-divergence where the gains are initialized as the ground- truth transcription inferred from the MIDI. On the second stage, a realtime signal decomposition method with fixed basis functions per combination of notes is used over the magnitude spectrogram of the input signal resulting in a distortion matrix that can be interpreted as the cost of the matching for each combination of notes at each frame. Finally, two online DTW approaches are proposed to find the path with the minimum cost and then determine the real duration of the MIDI states. Our system has been compared to other state-of the-art systems obtaining reliable results.


Julio José Carabias-Orti received the M.Sc. degree in computer science and the Doctor of Science degree from the University of Jaen, Jaen, Spain, in 2006 and 2011, respectively. He is currently working as a research fellow at the Telecommunication Engineering Department, University of Jaen. His research topics include automatic music transcription, sound source separation, factorization algorithms and machine learning.


7 Jun 2013 - 11:48 | view
Emilia Gómez gives a keynote speech at FMA workshop

Emilia Gómez has been invited to give a keynote speech at the 3rd International Workshop on Folk Music Analysis (FMA) that takes place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 6 and 7, 2013. The talk is on "Computer-Assisted Transcription and Description of Music Recordings".

The FMA 2013 is a forum to present and discuss ongoing research in the area of computational ethnomusicology.

5 Jun 2013 - 20:05 | view
Big participation at Sonar Festival 2013

As in the last few years, the MTG has an active participation in a number of activities at Sonar Festival in Barcelona. For this year’s edition, that will be held from June 13th to 15th, 2013 at Fira de Montjuïc, the MTG will drive several activities in the frame of the Sonar+D section, having a more relevant presence than in previous editions.


Music Hack Day (MHD) – Thursday, June 13th at 9AM to Friday 14th at 6PM: This edition of  MHD presents a special Neuro track (N+MHD) which aims at developing new applications interfacing music with the brain and other physiological signals. During the event, 24 amazing technologies (like Google glasses among others) will be presented and made available for 100 hackers. This MHD will happen thanks to the goodwill of 15 tech companies that are sponsoring the event.

Market Lab – Thursday, June 13th to Saturday 15th (everyday 12PM to 10PM): Exhibition of four interactive installations of students of UPF and Phonos grant:

Zoom Interactivo by Patricia Sanz and León David Cobo (CDSIM students)

Electro Bichos(CDSIM students)

Funambulista by Eva Domènech (MUAD student)

RdEs: Sonic Emergency Distributed Network by Oscar Martin (Phonos grant for creation)

Rethink the Music Innovation Summit – Thursday, June 13th from 4PM to 7PM– Panels Level 2: Sergi Jordà will be participating on this panel about the innovation in the music industry.

Barcelona Laptop Orchestra concert – Thursday, June 13th at 5PM – Sonar Complex: Live show performing with tablets.

Meet the Expert – Thursday, June 13th from 5PM to 7PM: Enric Guaus, researcher and teacher of the MTG and ESMUC will be participating in a Meet the Expert session.

Barcelona Laptop Orchestra demo – Friday, June 14th from 5PM to 5:30PM – Hands on Area: demo-workshop on how to make music with tablets.

Sinte ZA! MTG – Saturday, June 15th at 5PM – Hands on Area: The SMC student Hector Parra partners with the band ZA! to show the results of his master thesis in a demo-show.


Some MTG former members or collaborators also participate in Sonar+D activities:

Smplr – Thursday, June 13th to Saturday 15th (everyday 12PM to 10PM) – App Bar: by Marcos Alonso (former MTG researcher)

Billaboop: Vidibox – Thursday 13th at 5PM, Friday 14th at 3PM and Saturday 15th at 4PM – Hands on area: by Amaury Hazan (former MTG PhD student)

Motors & Music - Thursday 13th at 6:30PM, Friday 14th at 6:30PM and Saturday 15th at 6:30PM – Workshops area: this workshop was part of TEI’2013.

Creative Technologies Café – Friday 14th at 5PM – Panels Level 2: with Miguel García Risueño (former SMC student)

And more coming soon.

4 Jun 2013 - 18:27 | view
Defense of PhD proposals

The five PhD students of the MTG that are on their first year will have the defense of their PhD thesis proposals as a public presentation:

June 4th, room 55.410

  • 09:30h - Juanjo Bosch: "Automatic Melodic and Structural Analysis of Musical Audio" (thesis advisor: Emilia Gomez
  • 10:15h - Sankalp Gulati: "Discovery and Characterization of Melodic Motives in Large Audio Music Collections" (thesis advisor: Xavier Serra)
  • 11:00h - Ajay Srinivasamurthy: "Computational Rhythm Modeling of Indian Art Music" (thesis advisor: Xavier Serra)
  • 11:45h: Álvaro Sarasúa: "Body Movement and Expressiveness in Orchestral Classical Music" (thesis advisor: Enric Guaus)

June 20th, room 55.410

  • 10:30h - Sergio Giraldo: "Computational Modeling of Emotion, Expression, and Interaction in Music Performance" (thesis advisor: Rafael Ramirez)
28 May 2013 - 12:28 | view
Award by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation (JIII)

Dr. Jordi Bonada has been awarded with the 'National Commendation for Invention' by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation (JIII) for one of the patents obtained as outcome of a joint research work in singing voice synthesis carried out by the MTG (UPF) and Yamaha Corp. in Japan. Dr. Bonada, one of the inventors and the responsible person of this R&D project, has been invited to the awards ceremony which will take place on June 18, 2013 in Japan.

This Commendation has been held since 1919 by JIII for the purpose of contributing to the progress of science and technology and the development of industry in Japan. This award intends to commend persons who have accomplished extremely excellent inventions full of originality, rendered distinguished services in the working of inventions and greatly contributed to the promotion of excellent technology and to the guidance and development of human resources.

This award is a recognition to the research collaboration between the MTG and Yamaha Corp. initiated 15 years ago. As a result of this collaboration there is a great number of patents (more than 40) as well as commercial products such as the popular Vocaloid which represents an entirely new music industry paradigm.

22 May 2013 - 12:25 | view
Seminar by Jordi Navarra on auditory processing
16 May 2013

Jordi Navarra, from Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, gives a talk on "Temporal & spatial re-encoding of sound" on Thursday May 16th 2013, at 3:30pm in room 52.321.

Abstract: Our perception is always a reconstruction of our surrounding World. Two of best examples to illustrate this idea are the 'temporal recalibration of sensory signals' and the 'spatial encoding of pitch'. Regarding temporal recalibration, we showed that our response to auditory stimuli can speed-up or slow-down after adaptation to audiovisual asynchrony, perhaps reflecting that the processing of auditory signals accommodates to the visual processing time (see Navarra et al., PNAS, 2009). This may be due to the fact that visual information provides the perceiver with a better estimate of the time of occurrence of distant (audiovisual) stimuli. Regarding the spatial encoding of pitch, I am currently investigating how the "ups and downs” (in pitch) in complex auditory signals such as music or speech are remapped into spatial coordinates. In a recent study, we demonstrated that the spatial representation of high and low tones embedded in melodies can influence the spatial processing of visual stimuli.

13 May 2013 - 17:03 | view