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

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.