Category Archives: AMT MSc

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)

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.

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.

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!

AMT MSc graduate in new collaborative music studio design

Recent MSc Acoustics and Music Technology graduate Ross Taylor has been busy working on an acoustic design project with colleague Dave House (himself a graduate of the Reid School of Music’s MSc in Digital Composition and Performance), reports the ECA website.the-noisefloor-logo-screen

The Noisefloor is a new  music studio space that describes itself as “a shared facility for audio creativity”. It will open later this month, here in Edinburgh.