Sonic Crystal and Musical Performance

We apply acoustic metamaterials to room acoustics and musical performance. We use Sonic Crystals (a particular form of acoustic metamaterial which consists of a lattice of hard cylinders in air) as a new kind of musical instrument that can modify the directivity pattern and timbre of an acoustic instrument in a highly controlled way. We study how Sonic Crystals can change the perception of distance, apparent width and angular localization of acoustical sources in reverberant spaces. Using finite-element modeling, multi-scattering theory, scale models, room simulations, and psychophysical experiments in real and virtual acoustical environments we try to find out how this acoustical material can be used to build new kinds of aural environments. At this moment we are working on the Sonic Crystal Room, an acoustical space where all the reflections come from pre-designed and reconfigurable sonic crystal walls. The Sonic Crystal Room is conceived as a venue that can be adapted to the specific music or passage to be performed.

Auditory Distance Perception in Reverberant Environments (more info)

Our interest is to study the cues (acoustic and non acoustic) involved in auditory distance perception (ADP). For this purpose we performed psychoacoustic experiments in real and virtual environments. In particular, our research interests are: a) the influence of spectral characteristics of the sound in ADP; b) the role of visual cues in auditory spatial perception; and c) the relationship between room size perception (through auditory and visual modalities) and ADP. In addition will be studied the resources used by composers, musicians and audio engineers to work in the plane of distance as a structural factor in musical discourse. The project is directed by Ramiro Vergara and has the collaboration of two PhD fellows (Esteban Calcagno and Ezequiel Abregu) and an undergraduate fellow (Natalia Pastrovichio).

Saxophone Multiphonics (more info)

Multiphonics are complex sounds that are capable of elicit more than one fundamental pitch. This phenomena occours thanks to the non-linearity in the exitation mechanism of instruments. In the saxophone there are several hundreds of multiphonic tones each them having special characteristics regarding the timbre and the embouchure techniques. In this work we are studying a large set of tones and how are their different properties. This inspection showed that in the whole set of tones are several groups of tones that cluster together depending on their spectral and playing characteristics.

Bio-Music Performance using Real and Simulated Biological Neural Networks

We study how brain signals can be used for music performance in real-time. For this purpose we employ physical and virtual interfaces. On the physical side, by means of a Brain-Computer Musical Interface (BCMI), consisting of an OpenEEG hardware and set of electrodes that capture the electric activity from the cerebral cortex we experiment with several mapping strategies for music creation, exploring sonic neurofeedback features. On the virtual side we develop Santiago, a real-time biological neural network simulator which serves as a prototype environment for the creation and manipulation of bio-signals to control sound and music parameters. Our research focuses on how these signals can be musically useful for generative processes, different kinds of synthesis, DSP control, performance and multimedia.


SANTIAGO, a real-time biological neural network environment for generative musica

Pitch of non-stationary tones

Biophysical modelling of the Auditory Pathway

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