News and Events

Participation at the Unlocking Audio 2 Conference

Xavier Serra participates at the Unlocking Audio 2 Conference organized by the British Library in London from the 16th to the 17th of March 2009 with a talk on "Technologies to support the collaborative production of sounds: the example of".

"Unlocking Audio 2: Connecting with Listeners" is a conference dedicated to explore ways that researchers and other audiences expect to discover, browse, audition and analyse archival audio resources.

 Abstract of Xavier's talk:

On-line collaborative production is becoming a very promising way to produce, share and exploit digital content. There are very successful examples of text-based repositories being developed through open and collaborative initiatives. Also a few collaborative repositories of sound and music content are becoming competitive in relation to the traditional industrially produced repositories. However there are many social, cultural, legal and technical issues that impact these initiatives and that need to be carefully studied and planed. In this presentation we want to focus on the technical challenges that these initiatives face and we will use as a test case to explain some of the current technical solutions. is an on-line community of people that share sound files under a creative commons license. They share sound files, snippets, loops, etc? but not music. After three years of activity the Freesound database includes more than 62,000 sound bites. The community has grown to over 800,000 registered users and the website has become very popular among sound-related communities and even among the general public, getting over 20,000 visitors per day.

To support an initiative like it is important to have powerful, scalable, and user-centered web-based technologies. The web-portal has to promote the social interaction and has to give added value to the user content. The content generated by users is very unstructured and for it to be reusable it is necessary to provide advanced information retrieval technologies for searching and organizing the content.  

16 Mar 2009 - 00:03 | view
New postgraduate programs on Interactive Systems and on Music Production

Next academic year, 2009-2010, two new postgraduate programs in Sonology will be offered by the UPF in close collaboration with ESMUC. The programs have a professional focus, with a duration of 4 months each, taught in english, and  sharing some academic activities with the Master in Sound and Music Computing. Each program is limited to 10  students and the preregistration is already open.

One program will be on Music Production Techniques and Technology, and will start in September 2009, and another will be on Design of Interactive Music Systems, that will start on February 2010. By taking the two programs the students will obtain a postrgraduate diploma in Sonology. The two programs will be coordinated by Xavier Serra, Sergi Jordà and Perfecto Herrera.


12 Mar 2009 - 12:33 | view
Seminar by Nicolas Obin on speech prosody

Nicolas Obin, from IRCAM in Paris, will give a talk on "Analysis and Modeling of French Prosody for Artistic Purpose" on Monday March 16th at 13:00h in room 55.410 (4th floor of Tànger building).

Abstract: Over the past decade, voice and speech technologies have received a significant increase of attention in multi-media and artistic applications. In particular recent improvements in speech synthesis make it possible to generate natural speech from text. However if the generated speech sounds "acoustically" natural (coarticulation, phonem level) it could appear unnatural according to the expected "way of speaking" and is most of the time repetitive and boring. This is due to the fact that speech synthesizers did not use to take into account such "way of speaking", i.e. the prosody of speech. Thus prosody has become a main focus in speech research over the past few years. At the acoustic level prosody is related to the macro variations of a set of acoustic parameters of speech (fundamental frequency, local speech rate, intensity, voice quality,...) over time. Such variations are used by a speaker to convey meaning and emotional states. In this talk I am going to present some aspects of my research work on prosody applied to French langage. This work aims to model prosody with high-level linguistic features (syntactical, semantic, discursive) in different speaking styles. I will first introduce some concepts about prosody and linguistic; thus I will present the global framework of prosody modeling. Then I will present some of my work on the analysis of French prosody: syllable-based prominence detection, speaking style analysis and finally introduce my proposed prosodic model based on parametric multi-level context-dependent analysis.  I will also present some aspects of my concerns in the artistic usage of this type of research.

10 Mar 2009 - 19:18 | view
The on-line casting of Operación Triunfo is again powered by BMAT
Aslast year, BMAT, the spin-off company of the MTG, powers the on-line casting of "Operación Triunfo" on its 2009 season. The online casting uses an automatic scoring system of the participant's singing called bluesonic and powered by BMAT skore. This system has been developed by BMAT and it is based on a technology from the MTG.
8 Mar 2009 - 15:18 | view
Carry out your sound project with the help of Sons de Barcelona

The aim of this call is to activate, to promote, and to support works related to the sound sphere of the city of Barcelona and it is addressed to everybody interested in make their projects known. Send your proposal before April 3th to sonsdebarcelona [at] freesound [dot] org

Read the rules.

The MTG started in 2008 the project Sons de Barcelona (Sounds of Barcelona) in order to offer to everybody a database of sounds of this city created in a collaborative way, with the contribution of the citizens themselves and integrated into the international project, also from MTG. The sounds are recordings of acoustic environments of Barcelona or different sounds generated in very different ways by the users, and published under Creative Commons License (so they can be freely re-used again). The Sounds of Barcelona team conducts workshops addressed to different collectives in order to propagate the use of audio technologies, to teach how to take advantage of all their possibilities, and to awake an interest towards working with sounds.

6 Mar 2009 - 17:54 | view
Participación en las V Jornadas Imaginática 2009

Emilia Gómez y Jordi Bonada dan una conferencia sobre "Aplicaciones Informáticas para la música: Sistemas de recomendación musical y procesado de voz cantada" en las V Jornadas Imaginática 2009 que tiene lugar en Sevilla del 2 al 6 de Marzo del 2009.

Resumen:  En ésta charla presentaremos una serie de tecnologías para el análisis y el procesado de sonido mediante herramientas informáticas. Nos centraremos el uso de de dichas tecnologías en tres contextos determinados: un sistema de análisis, búsqueda y recomendación de música (, una herramienta de análisis y evaluación de voz cantada ( skore) y un sistema de generación de canto a partir del modelado de una voz determinada (

3 Mar 2009 - 11:19 | view
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 - 18:25 | 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 - 19:01 | 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 - 11:10 | 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 - 19:01 | view