Music Technology Group
The Music Technology Group (MTG) is a research group of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. It was founded in 1994 by its current director, Xavier Serra, and it specializes in sound and music computing research.
The research of the MTG is quite close to the core of the Sound and Music Computing interdisciplinariety; combining strengths in basic disciplines, such as Signal Processing, Machine Learning and Human Computer Interaction while being able to apply other disciplines/technologies in order to approach music related application-driven problems. Current active topics include:
- Audio signal processing: focusing on spectral modeling for sound synthesis and transformations.
- Sound and Music description: focusing on semantic analysis and classification of audio signals.
- Musical and Advanced Interaction: focusing on table-top interfaces for musical creation and exploration.
- Sound and Music communities: focusing on social networking technologies for sound and music applications.
The MTG is very active in educational activities within the UPF and in collaboration with the ESMUC. Here is a list of the main academic degrees in which the researchers of the MTG are involved with
- PhD in Sound and Music Computing  at the UPF
- Master in Sound and Music Computing  at the UPF
- Master in Sonology, collaboration between UPF and ESMUC
- Bachelor's degree in Audiovisual Systems Engineering at the UPF
- Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering  at the UPF
- Bachelor's degree in Sonology  at the ESMUC
Apart from the standard academic results in the form of academic publications and teaching, one of the major aims of the MTG is to promote technology transfer. To that aim the MTG collaborates with companies like Yamaha or Microsoft Research to develop new technologies, it promotes artistic productions through the Phonos Project, it has created three spin-off companies to commercialize some of the developed technologies, BMAT, Reactable Systems, and Voctro Labs and it has developed and maintains technologies that are available online for anyone, like Freesound. Some of the developed technologies have had a big impact, like Vocaloid, Reactable or Freesound.
Relevant current projects
Of the current research project being carried out at the MTG it is worth mentioning:
- CompMusic (Computational models for the discovery of the world's music): CompMusic is a research project funded by the European Research Council. The main goal of CompMusic is to advance in the field of Music Computing by approaching a number of the current research challenges from a multicultural perspective. It aims to advance in the description and formalization of music, making it more accessible to computational approaches and reducing the gap between audio signal descriptions and semantically meaningful music concepts. It intends to develop information modelling techniques applicable to non-western music repertories and formulate computational models to represent culture specific music contexts. CompMusic approaches these research challenges by (1) combining methodologies from disciplines such as Information Processing, Computational Musicology, Music Cognition and Human-Computer Interaction, and (2) analyzing a variety of music information sources such as audio features, symbolic scores, text commentaries, user evaluations, etc… from some of the major non-western art-music traditions in India (Hindustani, Carnatic), Turkey (Ottoman), Arab countries (Andalusian) and China (Beijing Opera). CompMusic wants to challenge the current western centered information paradigms, advance our Information Technologies research, and contribute to our rich multicultural society.
- SIEMPRE (Social Interaction and Entrainment using Music PeRformancE): This project aims at developing new theoretical frameworks, computational methods and algorithms for the analysis of ensemble musical performances. MTG's tasks in the project are devoted to the acquisition, analysis and modeling of the bowed-string performance gestures involved in sound production mechanisms, especially bowing gestures. SIEMPRE is funded by the EU under the FET program and it is coordinated by the University of Genova.
- Freesound.org: This is a collaborative site to share sounds developed and maintained at the MTG. A number of research projects at the MTG are dedicated to improve the technologies behind the site and to understand the behavior of the community that is using and supporting it. This project is funded through a number of EU projects and with the support of Google.
- PHENICX: This project aims at bridging the gap between the online and offline entertainment worlds. It makes use of the state-of-the-art digital multimedia and internet technology to make the traditional concert experiences rich and universally accessible: concerts will become multimodal, multi-perspective and multilayer digital artefacts that can be easily explored, customized, personalized, (re)enjoyed and shared among the users. The main goal is twofold: (a) to make live concerts appealing to potential new audience and (b) to maximize the quality of concert experience for everyone.The project is funded by the EU under the ICT programme.
- Giant Steps: GiantSteps is a STREP project coordinated by JCP-Consult SAS in France in collaboration with the MTG and partially funded by the European Commission (FP7-ICT-2013-10 Grant agreement nr 610591). The GiantSteps project aims to create the "seven-league boots" for music production in the next decade and beyond. The GiantSteps project unites leading music research institutions, industrial R&D companies, and music practitioners, to combine techniques and technologies in new ways, including state of the art interface design techniques with MIR methods new in the areas of real time interaction and creativity. The consortium's industry partners will guarantee the alignment of these cutting edge technologies with market requirements. In terms of S&T contributions, the MTG provides the project with expertise coming from different research areas within the research group, including music content description, music interaction using advanced interfaces and development of user experience evaluation frameworks.