News and Events

Reactable Systems S.L. has been created
On February 25th 2009 Reactable Systems S.L., the second spin-off of the MTG, has been created. The co-founders are Sergi Jordà, Günter Geiger, Martin Kaltenbrunner, Marcos Alonso, Xavier Serra and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. The main mission of Reactable Systems S.L. is to put the Reactable into the market.
25 Feb 2009 - 17:25 | view
Seminar by Volker Hohmann on signal processing for hearing aids

Volker Hohmann, from the University of Oldenburg, will give a seminar on "Model-based signal processing for hearing aids" on Thursday February 26 2009 at 3:15pm in room 52.321 of the Communication-Poblenou Campus.

Abstract: The aim of the work presented in this talk is to investigate potential applications of models of human auditory processing to signal processing in hearing aids. Firstly, implications of using nonlinear peripheral auditory models for the design of dynamic compression systems for hearing aids are discussed. In particular, results from a multi-band instantaneous compression scheme are presented, which is based on a novel nonlinear auditory filterbank controlled by the instantaneous frequency calculated in frequency sub-bands. Secondly, a general framework for computational auditory scene analysis (CASA) is introduced and applied to the problem of estimating spatial direction and spectral envelope of super-imposed sound sources from a binaural input signal.

24 Feb 2009 - 18:01 | view
Xavier Serra receives an ICREA Academia Price
Xavier Serra has received a price of the ICREA Academia program offered by the Generalitat de Catalunya. The price is 250.000€ to be used for research activities for the period 2009-2014.

The ICREA Academia program recognizes the research excellence and leadership with the goal to motivate and retain university faculty members from the catalan public universities. ICREA is an institution of the catalan government that has as a fundamental objective to hire researchers from around the world through a selection process based on scientific talent.

 

19 Feb 2009 - 10:10 | view
The MTG has moved !!!
Starting on Monday February 16th 2009 the MTG is in the new Communication-Poblenou Campus of the UPF. We are on the 3rd floor of the Tànger building.
13 Feb 2009 - 18:01 | view
Participation at the AES Audio for Games conference

Oscar Mayor participates at the AES 35th International Conference on Audio For Games that takes places in London from the 11th to the 13th of February 2009. Oscar is presenting one paper and one poster from work done at the MTG.


12 Feb 2009 - 19:01 | view
Seminar by Johan Sundberg on the singing voice

Johan Sundberg, from the Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden, will give a seminar on "The voice as a music instrument" on Thursday 12th of February at 15:00h in room 52.321 at the Roc Boronat building of the Comunication-Poblenou Campus.

Abstract: By varying the air pressure in the lungs, the length and tension of the vocal folds, the glottal adduction and the shape of the vocal tract the human voice can be continuously varied along three perceptual dimensions: loudness, pitch, and timbre. In this sense the human voice is more flexible than other music instruments. Contributions to timbral variation emanate from both the vibrating vocal folds and from the resonatory properties of the vocal tract. The presentation will review some investigations of how singers use these means for the purpose of vocal economy and musical expressivity. 

5 Feb 2009 - 16:37 | view
Oscar Celma defends his PhD thesis on February 16th

Oscar Celma defends his PhD thesis entitled "Music Recommendation and Discovery in the Long Tail" on Monday 16th of February at 11:00h in room 52.223 at the Roc Boronat building of the Communication-Poblenou Campus.

The members of the jury's defense are:  Ricardo Baeza-Yates (Yahoo! Research), Rafael Ramirez (UPF), Stephan Baumann (DFKI GMbH), Josep Lluis Arcos (IIIA-CSIC), Marc Torrens (Strands).

Thesis Abstract: Music consumption is biased towards a few popular artists. For instance, in 2007 only 1% of all digital tracks accounted for 80% of all sales. Similarly, 1,000 albums accounted for 50% of all album sales, and 80% of all albums sold were purchased less than 100 times. There is a need to assist people to filter, discover, personalise and recommend from the huge amount of music content available along the Long Tail.
Current music recommendation algorithms try to accurately predict what people demand to listen to. However, quite often these algorithms tend to recommend popular —or well–known to the user—music, decreasing the effectiveness of the recommendations. These approaches focus on improving the accuracy of the recommendations. That is, try to make accurate predictions about what a user could listen to, or buy next, independently of how useful to the user could be the provided recommendations.
In this Thesis we stress the importance of the user’s perceived quality of the recommendations. We model the Long Tail curve of artist popularity to predict —potentially— interesting and unknown music, hidden in the tail of the popularity curve. Effective recommendation systems should promote novel and relevant material (non–obvious recommendations), taken primarily from the tail of a popularity distribution.
The main contributions of this Thesis are: (i) a novel network–based approach for recommender systems, based on the analysis of the item (or user) similarity graph, and the popularity of the items, (ii) a user–centric evaluation that measures the user’s relevance and novelty of the recommendations, and (iii) two prototype systems that implement the ideas derived from the theoretical work. Our findings have significant implications for recommender systems that assist users to explore the Long Tail, digging for content they might like.

5 Feb 2009 - 13:21 | view
El MTG col·labora amb el Programa Joves i Ciència de l'Obra Social de Caixa Catalunya

El MTG coordina el projecte "Els Sons de la Natura" dins del  Programa Joves i Ciència que l'Obra Social de Caixa Catalunya organitza a Planes de Son a l'estiu del 2009. Emilia Gomez i Jordi Bonada seran els professors i coordinadors d'aquest projecte.

Els Sons de la Natura és un projecte que té com a objectiu explorar i entendre la natura a través dels seus sons, fent servir les tecnologies digitals relacionades amb el so i la música. Aquest projecte està relacionat, i utilitzarà, la web Freesound.org; infraestructura d'abast internacional desenvolupada per el MTG per a experimentar amb sons i els seus usos de recerca i artístics.

El Programa Joves i Ciència està dirigit a joves que finalitzen 4t d'ESO i és realitza cada estiu a Planes de Son durant dues setmanes del mes de Juliol. 

4 Feb 2009 - 13:06 | view
Jordi Bonada defends his PhD thesis on February 13th

Jordi Bonada defends his PhD thesis entitled “Voice Processing and Synthesis by Performance Sampling and Spectral Models" on Friday 13th of February 2009 at 11:00h in room 104 of França Building.

The members of the jury's defense are: Marcelo Bertalmio (UPF), Sergi Jordà (UPF), Udo Zölzer ( Universität der Bundeswehr Hamburg, Germany), Johan Sundberg (Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden) and Climent Nadeu (UPC).

Thesis Abstract: Singing voice is one of the most challenging musical instruments to model and imitate. Along several decades much research has been carried out to understand the mechanisms involved in singing voice production. In addition, from the very beginning of the sound synthesis techniques, singing has been one of the main targets to imitate and synthesize, and a large number of synthesizers have been created with that aim. The goal of this thesis is to build a singing voice synthesizer capable of reproducing the voice of a given singer, both in terms of expression and timbre, sounding natural and realistic, and whose inputs would be just the score and the lyrics of a song. This is a very difficult goal, and in this dissertation we discuss the key aspects of our proposed approach and identify the open issues that still need to be tackled.
This dissertation substantially contributes to the field of singing voice synthesis: a) it critically discusses spectral processing techniques in the context of singing voice modeling, and provides significant improvements to the current state of the art; b) it applies the proposed techniques to other application contexts such as real-time voice transformations, museum installations or video games; c) it develops the concept of synthesis based on performance sampling as a way to model the sonic space produced by a performer with an instrument, focusing on the specific case of the singing voice; d) it proposes and implements a complete framework for singing voice synthesis; e) it explores the sonic space of the singing voice and proposes a procedure to model it; f) it discusses the issues involved in the creation of the synthesizer‟s database and provide tools to automate its generation; g) it performs a qualitative evaluation of the synthesis results, comparing those to the state of the art and to real singer performance; h) it implements all the research results into an optimized software application for singing voice analysis, modeling, transformation and synthesis, including tools for database creation; i) a significant part of this research has been incorporated to a commercial singing voice software by Yamaha Corp.

2 Feb 2009 - 16:05 | view
PhD positions at the MTG to start in the Fall 2009

The Music Technology Group of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona is opening 4 funded PhD positions to start in the Fall of 2009. The candidates have to apply before May 15th to the PhD program of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies of the UPF.

The MTG carries out research in topics such as as sound processing and synthesis; music content description; interactive music systems; computational models of perceptual and music cognition; and the technologies related with music social networks. The accepted PhD students will carry out research within one of the projects of the MTG and thus the candidates have to demonstrate a research record and make a research proposal related to one of these topics. Depending on his/her academic background a candidate may be asked to apply to the Master in Sound and Music Computing before being considered for the PhD.

PhD candidates should first contact Prof. Xavier Serra in order to get an initial approval of the research proposal to be submitted.

21 Jan 2009 - 10:15 | view
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