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Sound Synthesis Research in the Centre for Digital Music

Sound synthesis is the generation of sounds using algorithms, whether implemented in analogue or digital forms. It is an important application for cinema, multimedia, games and sound installations. It fits within the wider context of sound design, which is the discipline of acquiring, creating and manipulating sounds to achieve a desired effect or mood. Sound synthesis research within the Centre for Digital Music crosses several themes, including Audio Engineering and Augmented Instruments. We seek to uncover new synthesis techniques, as well as enhance existing approaches and adapt them to new applications. With a strong emphasis on performance, expression and evaluation, much of our research is focused on real world applications, empowering users and bringing sound synthesis to the forefront of sound design in the creative industries.

Some of our current and recent research projects include;

  • RTSFX (PI, Dr. Reiss, Innovate UK, 2015-16) - This project is concerned with developing and assessing a cloud-based real-time sound effects service, providing a streamlined sound synthesis-based workflow for sound designers.
  • Digital Foley Artistry (PI, Dr. McPherson, Queen Mary Innovation, 2015) - The Digital Foley project creates a rapid prototyping environment for game audio, deploying procedural audio models to embedded hardware where they can be performed using physical sensors and capturing expressive parameter trajectories from these performances.
  • Physically informed procedural audio (Researcher: Rod Selfridge, 2014 - ) – This research is concerned with developing realistic, controllable, real-time procedural audio techniques for synthesizing sound textures (e.g. wind and rain) using physical models.
  • Improved sound synthesis through perceptual evaluation (Researcher: Dave Moffat, 2014 - ) – This research seeks to advance the state of the art in sound synthesis evaluation, in order to identify the performance of synthesis techniques, both using objective and subjective measures, thus leading to deeper insights into the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches, and guiding work towards improved techniques.

Some relevant, recent publications describing our work include;

PhD Study - interested in joining the team? We are currently accepting PhD applications.

Members

NameProject/interests/keywords
Parham Bahadoran
Research Assistant
Real Time Sound Effect Synthesis
Adan L Benito
Research Assistant
Real Time Sound Effect Synthesis
Dr Andrew McPherson
Reader in Digital Media
new interfaces for musical expression, augmented instruments, performance study, human-computer interaction, embedded hardware
Adib Mehrabimusic production, sound design, synthesis, applications of the voice
Dave MoffatPerceptual Evaluation of Sound Synthesis
Dr Joshua D Reiss
Reader in Audio Engineering
sound engineering, intelligent audio production, sound synthesis, audio effects, automatic mixing
Rod SelfridgeDeveloping real-time physical sound synthesis models. Currently focussed on aeroacoustic sounds
Luca Turchet
Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Internet of Musical Things, Smart Instruments, human-computer interaction, sonic interaction design, haptic technology, perception
Thomas Vassallo
Research Scientist
Real Time Sound Effect Synthesis
William J. WilkinsonAudio analysis and synthesis. Digital representation of natural sounds through physical knowledge and machine listening.
  • Dr. Andy Farnell (collaborator) – guidance on physically inspired procedural audio approaches and research directions
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