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.


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.

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:

And info about concerts here:

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.


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!

AAG researchers feature at pan-European Explorathon day

Researchers at in the Acoustics and Audio Group at Edinburgh featured some of the work at the pan-European Explorathon day on Friday Sept 25th, which has been done thanks to the funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013/ un- der REA grant agreement No. 605867 supporting the BATWOMAN ITN Project.


bw3The Early stage researcher Amaya López-Carromero, part of the BATWOMAN project, demonstrated techniques used to capture shock wave patterns in front of brass instruments using high speed photography (see video below) in the acoustic laboratory of the University of Edinburgh. The event was advertised across Scotland via the Explorathon website.


Meanwhile, in Cromarty up in the north of Scotland, Prof Clive Greated described and demonstrated a number of optical technique used for sound measurement, which have been developed at Edinburgh. A demonstration of binaural recording techniques also featured in the event.

Demo of Binaural Cromarty

Acoustics & fluid mechanics demo videos

We have recently added a new playlist to our AAG YouTube channel. It’s for cool demonstration videos of acoustics and fluid mechanics in action. The first video is now up, and involves high speed footage of water spouts being generated in the new FloWave wave tank facility at the University of Edinburgh. Filmed and edited by Prof Clive Greated of the Acoustics and Audio Group. The playlist is embedded below.

Postdoc position in the AAG: cochlear-inspired microphone tech

We’re pleased to announce a new vacancy in the Acoustics and Audio Group. It is for a Postdoctoral researcher, as part of a new EPSRC-funded project in the area of acoustic transducer technology. The position is for 2 years.

The project is a collaboration between the Acoustics and Audio Group and the Scottish Microelectronics Centre/Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems (part of the School of Engineering).

The vacancy is posted here:

The advert closes on 24th July 2015.

You are welcome to contact Dr Michael Newton if you have questions about the job.