Author Archives: Mike

Prof Murray Campbell receives Silver Medal in Musical Acoustics from the ASA

We are delighted to announce that Prof Murray Campbell of the Acoustics and Audio Group has recently been the recipient of the Acoustical Society of America’s “Silver Medal” award. Murray is a founding member of the University of Edinburgh’s Acoustics and Audio Group (formerly the Acoustics and Fluid Mechanics group), and has been cited for his major and longstanding “contributions to understanding the acoustics of brass wind instruments“. Murray is now a Senior Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Physics and Astronomy.

The Acoustical Society of America was set up in 1929 to generate, disseminate, and promote the knowledge and practical applications of acoustics. The Society, which is a founding member of the American Institute of Physics, recognizes outstanding achievement in acoustics with several awards.

The Silver Medal is presented to individuals for contributions to the advancement of science, engineering, or human welfare through the application of acoustic principles, or through research accomplishments in acoustics.

Prof Campbell works with colleagues in the Audio and Acoustics Group on the physics and acoustics of musical instruments. This award recognizes the international reputation which the University of Edinburgh has acquired as a centre of research into the physics of brass wind musical instruments, and is a tribute to the contributions made by many PhD students who have worked in this field over the last three decades.

Prof Campbell was presented with the Silver Medal in Musical Acoustics at the meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in San Diego in December 2019. The citation reviewed his professional accomplishments, and concluded:

Murray Campbell is a world-renowned acoustician, one of the most productive researchers in the field of musical acoustics, and has been a mentor to countless young scientists. His work is of the highest caliber, and his kindness and generosity are legendary in the community. Awarding Murray Campbell the Silver Medal is a deserved recognition of his may contributions to the advancement of our understanding of music and musical instruments, as well as his dedication to the development and education of the next generation of acousticians.

See also: News item on the School of Physics and Astronomy website.

AMT MSc alumnus Fabian Esqueda wins best paper prize at SMC 2017, Aalto

Many congratulations to Fabian Esqueda & co for winning Best Paper at this year’s Sound and Music Computing conference at Aalto University, Finland.

Fabian graduated with an MSc in Acoustics and Music Technology from the Acoustics and Audio Group at the University of Edinburgh in 2013, and has since been pursuing a PhD in the Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics at Aalto University, under the supervision of Vesa Välimäki.

Winning best paper whilst still a PhD student is an incredible achievement, well done Fabian!

(Photo courtesy of Jukka Pätynen, Aalto University)

Dr Brian Hamilton wins new start-up award for room acoustics simulator

Dr. Brian Hamilton, of the Acoustics and Audio Group, has won one of the Scottish Edge “Wild Card Edge” awards, for funding to support a new start-up venture called Roomerical.

Roomerical is the result of an ERC-funded project WRAM (Wave Based Room Acoustics Modeling), concerned with state of the art architectural acoustics simulation.

Many congratulations to Brian, who is certainly on a roll of award successes of late!

Real-time audio coding in Matlab: Special AAG seminar 30th May

We’re delighted to welcome Gabriele Bunkheila from MathWorks to the AAG next week. He’ll be delivering a special one-off seminar on the use of Matlab for real-time audio coding and prototyping.

All interested parties are very welcome to join this (free!) seminar.

Workshop title: Real-Time Audio Prototyping with MATLAB

Speaker: Gabriele Bunkheila, MathWorks

Time/Location: 2-4pm, Tuesday 30th May, JCMB LT-C (Kings Buildings), University of Edinburgh

Abstract: Across both research and teaching, audio processing projects in Academia often require implementing algorithms in real time for validation, interactive testing, or custom measurements. While MATLAB is most often used for algorithm development, real-time prototypes are commonly built with C, C++, and dedicated embedded hardware, taking time away from learning or innovation in signal processing or in applications of audio and acoustics.

In this talk, we discuss tools and techniques that enable real-time audio processing directly on a PC. We start by discussing low-latency real-time audio processing directly in MATLAB; we share indicative performance metrics, we review good programming practices aimed at maximizing performance efficiency, and we demonstrate how to tune algorithm parameters live during code execution using UIs or external controls. We then show how to turn custom MATLAB code into native VST plugins without writing any C++, to rapidly test new processing algorithms in external applications like DAWs. Finally, we cover the programmatic use of existing VST plugins within MATLAB to test plugin prototypes, to benchmark your own code against well-known solutions, or to solve complex tasks rooted in MATLAB.

Speaker Bio: Gabriele is a senior product manager at MathWorks, where he coordinates the strategy of MATLAB toolboxes for Audio and DSP. After joining MathWorks in 2008, for several years he worked as a signal processing application engineer, supporting MATLAB and Simulink users across industries from algorithm design to real-time implementations. Before MathWorks, he held a number of research and development positions, and he was a lecturer of sound theory and technologies at the national film school of Rome. He has a master’s degree in physics and a Ph.D. in communications engineering.

More AMT MSc graduates profiles added

Our page of graduate profiles for past MSc Acoustics and Music Technology students continues to grow. Several new profiles have been added, and existing profiles have been updated to show where everything is now working.

What is clear from the page is the remarkable diversity of careers that our students go into, and the great success that many enjoy. It’s also particularly nice to see just how many people, even many years from graduation, are still working in areas related to acoustics, audio, and music technology.

Success at Edinburgh start up festival for AAG researcher and alumni

There was more success for AAG entrepreneurs last night, at the Edinburgh Start Up Festival 2017 (everything in Edinburgh is, in the end, a festival).

This festival is organised by the University of Edinburgh Business School, and “offers students and entrepreneurs a space to imagine their future by opening up conversation through talks, panels and activities designed to entertain, encourage and inspire”.

Dr Brian Hamilton, currently a postdoctoral researcher in the AAG funded by the ERC, won first prize in the “Novel Ideas” category, for his work on large scale architectural acoustic simulations. Meanwhile, recent AMT MSc graduate Raimundo Gonzalez came runner up in the “Venture Development” category, for his ongoing work in new methods for binaural rendering on mobile platforms – a system known as BinauraVR.

It was an exciting night all round for researchers and students connected to Edinburgh College of Art, who had a hand in half of the prizes on offer.

It all goes to show what an exciting place Edinburgh is for startup action at the moment. This seems to be especially true in the area of audio and acoustic tech connected to the AAG and AMT MSc, as we have reported numerous times on these pages (e.g. herehere, here, and here).

AMT MSc alumni take part, and win, AES postgrad poster competition

The world seems to be ablaze at the moment with successful AMT MSc alumni making waves with their project work, both in industry and academia.

Last week two of our 2015/16 graduates travelled to Oxford for an AES postgraduate poster session, which was open to submissions from postgrad students in audio and acoustics from across the UK.

Cecilia Casarini produced a terrific poster summarising her MSc Final Project work from summer 2016 on measuring and modelling otoacoustic emissions. She has a nice website/blog that summarises some of this work, as well as other interesting research that is coming from her new PhD studies in acoustics, based over in Strathclyde. You can read her poster by clicking the thumbnail nearby.

Chris Buchanan put together a similarly outstanding poster about his work on low level, structural modelling of the head shadowing effect, which lies at the heart of the so-called head-related transfer function.

Particular congratulations are due to Chris, who won the poster competition!

It is great to see work of such quality, which follows on in some way from the other recent successes of AMT alumni in the area of spatial audio, but with a new and interesting research direction. Well done, Chris!

If you’re interested in reading through Chris’ poster, click the thumbnail nearby.

AMT MSc graduates featured in University of Edinburgh’s annual review

The main University of Edinburgh website has featured another nice write up about the remarkable entrepreneurial success of TwoBigEars, a startup company formed by graduates of the MSc Acoustics and Music Technology and MSc Sound Design.

We have of course written about this previously on these very pages.

The genesis of their company’s technology began first in a Special Project undertaken on the MSc Acoustics and Music Technology Programme, before being applied within a collaborative project, the Digital Media Studio Project, run within the MSc Sound Design programme.

A great example of core technology and creative application working side by side, which is of course something that we particularly encourage across our MSc programmes in Edinburgh.

Public Event: Musical Instruments – Understanding the Old and Inventing the New

The Acoustics and Audio Group is delighted to announce a day of public lectures, workshops, and demonstrations on February 20th, 2016.

Musical Instruments: Understanding the Old and Inventing the New, will bring together researchers from across the EU in a day of exciting events that combine music, science, and technology.

The event marks the conclusion to a major 5-year project on interdisciplinary training in acoustics and audio technology, a 13-partner project called BATWOMAN.

The day begins at 10am, and takes place in the University of Edinburgh’s renowned Reid Concert Hall.

Programme of Events

  • 10.00am – Welcome
  • 10.05am – Organ performance by Dr John Kitchen
  • 10.15am – Pipe organs: the old and the new
    • Dr Alan Woolley explains the history of the organ and its mechanical and tonal structure. Dr John Kitchen, world renowned organist and scholar, explains how this relates to the instrument’s sole purpose of making music. Continue reading