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

Major new ERC funding awarded to Acoustics and Audio Group

Researchers in the Acoustics and Audio Group have been awarded prestigious funding through the European Research Council’s Proof of Concept Scheme. The ERC Proof of Concept scheme is open to current principal investigators of ERC-funded projects.waves-450

The new project, entitled WRAM: Wave-based Room Acoustics Modeling follows on from work under the ERC NESS Project (Next Generation Sound Synthesis), which is a joint project which has been running between the Edinburgh College of Art and the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre since 2012, and led by Dr. Stefan Bilbao, of the Reid School of Music.

The NESS Project has been concerned with large-scale simulation-based sound synthesis on parallel hardware. Part of this work, led by NESS Project member Dr. Brian Hamilton, has been concerned with very large-scale simulations of room acoustics, with the goal of very high quality auralisation of virtual spaces in 3D. Under WRAM, the joint work of Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Bilbao (PI) will be developed further with an eye towards commercialisation in the area of architectural acoustics and the auralisation of virtual spaces. The project will break ground in December 2016, and runs until June, 2018.

AAG at the Edinburgh Explorathon, Friday 30/09/2016

The Acoustics and Audio Group are taking part in this year’s Explorathon at Curiosity Forest.

Come along to the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church from 5pm-9pm on Friday night to see some cool acoustics demos and learn more about the physics of musical instruments.

expl

ECA Sound Installations – Binaural Augmented Reailty

This year we have a contributor from the current AMT MSc group – Raimundo Gonzalez, taking part in the ECA Degree Show. Please do drop in to have a look at his binaural augmented reality headset, which is part of the Sound Installations show.

Binaura (Raimundo Gonzalez): Binaura is a prototype for a VR headset which delivers 3D audio without the need for headphones.

Directions:
Go to the main eca building at Lauriston place (behind the old fire station), follow directions to scultpure court and look for the room next to it with all the sound looking stuff.

Details also here: https://www.facebook.com/events/315043795553332/

And info about concerts here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/edinburgh-college-of-art-masters-closing-concerts-11096135014

MSc Acoustics & Music Tech Final Projects, summer 2016

This year has seen the largest ever cohort of students on our MSc Acoustics and Music Technology programme. These students are now approaching the end of their Final Project period, during which they have been undertaking a long term research project, over 4 months.

Tomorrow  we see all these students in full on ‘Presentation’ mode, as they describe their work to a public audience. It’s an exciting moment of the year, and we wish them all the best of luck.

To give you a flavour of the diverse range of work undertaken this year, here is a list of this year’s Final Project titles:

  • Simulation of Absorbing Boundaries in 3D Room Acoustics using Finite Difference Methods
  • Real-time 3D Audio Synthesis: Analytical Approximations of the Spherical Transfer Function
  • The effect of noise on accurate telemonitoring of Parkinson’s Disease Severity
  • Ambisonic sound field manipulation: Binaural Decoder
  • Testing perceptual artefacts in FDTD room acoustic simulation
  • Cross Talk Cancellation for 3D Auditory Display
  • Bass Guitar String Synthesis
  • Designing a portable low-cost system for the detection of otoacoustic emissions
  • Auralizing virtual spaces: does simulation method matter?
  • Physical Modeling of the Moog Analog Voltage Controlled Filter
  • Replicating Fast Estimation of Speech Transmission Index using Reverberation Time
  • Novel approaches to percussion synthesis: Experimenting with physical modeling and phase/wave shaping methods for percussive timbres

It is a remarkably diverse range of interesting work, and indeed it has been a pleasure to see the projects develop over these past months. Congratulations to all our students for making it to this stage, and for your hard work and dedication during your studies here.

TwoBigEars, start-up company run by AMT graduates, joins Facebook

Back in 2012 a newly graduated MSc Acoustics and Music Technology student, Abesh Thakur, joined forces with Varun Nair, a recent graduate of the MSc Sound Design programme, and formed TwoBigEars. Their idea was to commercialise the real-time binaural spatialisation work that Abesh had conducted during his final project studies on the AMT MSc degree programme.

CjJJfW5VAAIDwevToday, TwoBigEars have been acquired by Facebook, and are due a massive congratulations from all of us here at the University of Edinburgh, and in particular from within the Acoustics and Audio Group, the Reid School of Music, and ECA.

Initially their startup was supported by the University of Edinburgh’s Launch.Ed scheme, and was hosted and supported by members of the Acoustics and Audio Group. Indeed, they have been mentioned numerous times in these pages, such as here, and here.

3Dception

TwoBigEars went on to hire two further recent graduates of the AMT MSc programme (taking them to a 75% AMT MSc core membership!), and have been doing some terrific work in finding practical ways to implement spatial/binaural audio for real time and offline applications, including music videos, computer games and more.

We wish them well, and look forward to seeing what they’ll do with spatial audio under such a powerful banner.

Update 1: Already lots of press starting to get wind of this!