Audio Engineering Seminars

Audio Engineering Seminars

A new series of Audio Engineering Seminars has commenced in 2019. The seminars, which will normally be held at SARC and are linked to the new cross-school BSc in Audio Engineering, are aimed at bringing together people at QUB and from the local industry & wider community interested in audio and related topics. At this initial point we work without a budget, so most speakers will be either visiting researchers, external PhD examiners, QUB researchers, local industry/community researchers, etc. If you would like to be put on the email list for the seminars, please contact Dr Maarten van Walstijn by email.

 

Seminar

From Algorithm to Instrument - Dr Julian Parker

Wednesday 20 February 2019 13:00-14:00, SARC Sonic Lab

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The discipline of designing algorithms for creative processing of musical audio is now fairly mature in academia. However, this large corpus of work is motivated primarily by technical novelty or improvement in quantifiable metrics related to signal quality or computational performance. Whilst these factors are important, they are only a part of the process of designing an inspiring and engaging tool for the creative generation or processing of sound. Algorithms for this use must be designed with as much thought given to subjective qualities like aesthetics and usability. In this seminar, Dr. Parker presents his own experiences of trying to bridge this gap, and the design principles he has arrived at in the process.

This seminar is part of the Music Events at Queen’s series.

Previous Seminars

Seminar

Wave -- Control Sounds with Motion - Ólafur Bogason

Wednesday 6 February 2019 13:00-14:00 SARC Sonic Lab

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Wave by Genki Instruments is a ring that enables the use of gestures in music creation and performance: pan sounds around, increase the volume or add reverb to your voice, all using the motion of your hand. Hit a surface to trigger samples or use the built-in buttons to start/stop a recording session. The seminar "Wave -- Control Sounds with Motion" discusses the inception of the project three years ago, the ongoing development process and what makes Wave a unique product.

This seminar is part of the Music Events at Queen’s series.

Seminar

Speech Recognition - Fundamentals, State of the Art, and a Major Challenge: Noise - Prof. Ji Ming

Wednesday 23 January 2019 13:00-14:00, SARC Sonic Lab

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In this talk, Prof. Ming will discuss the fundamentals of automatic speech recognition (ASR), including the ‘classical’ approaches, and the most recent advances including the deep-learning based approaches. He will focus on the search of the solutions to a major and unsolved challenge – noise. Noise is unavoidable in many real-world applications, and the current ASR methods lack noise robustness. The talk will introduce the state-of-the-art approaches for improving the noise robustness, their shortcomings, and some of our recent advances towards an improved solution.

This seminar is part of the Music Events at Queen’s series.

Dr Kurt Verner

Seminar

‘Nothing Sounds Quite Like an 808’: Pop Music’s Most Celebrated Kick Drum Circuit and its Ancestors

Seminar

‘Nothing Sounds Quite Like an 808’: Pop Music’s Most Celebrated Kick Drum Circuit and its Ancestors

Dr. Kurt James Werner

Wednesday 7 November 13:00-14:00, SARC Sonic Lab

The Roland TR-808 kick drum is among the most iconic sounds in all of popular music. Analogue drum machines like the TR-808 produce simulacra of percussive sounds using electrical 'voice circuits', whose schematics I treat as a primary text to be read alongside their reception history. I argue that these voice circuits and their schematics are the key to recovering a holistic history of analog drum synthesis. In this seminar, I'll present a close reading of the TR-808 kick drum's voice circuit and a study of its conceptual antecedents, highlighting the contributions of hobbyists and hackers, circuit theorists, and commercial instrument designers. This analysis reveals that while some aspects of the TR-808's voice circuits are unremarkable, other aspects betray an ingenious sense of circuit design and a deep understanding of traditional instrument acoustics.

This seminar is part of the Music Events at Queen’s series.

Challenges in Presenting Spatial Audio to a Large Audience

Seminar

Challenges in Presenting Spatial Audio to a Large Audience - Dr Peter Stitt

Dr Peter Stitt (SSA Plugins, https://spatialaudio.xyz/)
Seminar: Friday 9 March 13:00 - 14:00, SARC Multimedia Room
Demo: Friday 9 March 16:00 - 17:00, SARC Surround Sound Studio 2

View seminar slides > (pdf)

Ambisonics is a spatial audio technique that is rapidly being adopted as a standard for immersive audio in VR/AR. It is now included in 360 video players inside VLC media, YouTube360 aAEnd Facebook360. One of the advantages of Higher Order Ambisonics is that it is scalable to different reproduction formats – either arbitrary loudspeaker arrays or headphones. When using loudspeakers, as in SARC's Sonic Lab, the distribution of the audience must be considered by the artist, because relative time and level differences between loudspeaker signals arriving at each listener can have a strong perceptual impact.

This talk introduces Ambisonics and Higher Order Ambisonics before discussing some of the perceptual properties and artefacts, particularly of off-centre listening, on sound source localisation. A model for the prediction of localisation at off-centre positions is discussed and used to compare different loudspeaker-based reproduction systems.

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