A computer as a DJ at your next party?

(06-09-2021) Music and computers are ubiquitous in our society. This combination gives interesting applications: for example, the personalized suggestions of the music app on your smartphone or artificial intelligence that composes music itself.

Sophisticated computer algorithms reside under the hood of those applications. "In my PhD I am researching such algorithms, focusing on music in which percussion has a strong presence," says Len Vande Veire.

His doctoral research consists of two parts.

In the first part, he investigates an algorithm for the automatic decomposition of drum recordings. These often contain a variety of drums and cymbals, but various analytical and creative applications require the partial recordings of each instrument separately. "The algorithm that I worked on allows decomposing a joint recording into such partial recordings," Len explains.

In the second part, he presents two systems that automatically edit music into new compositions. This is done for drum'n'bass, a genre within electronic dance music. The first system is an automatic DJ that generates high-quality DJ mixes completely autonomously.

The second system automatically converts an audio clip from one style of drum'n'bass to another. "These systems illustrate how creative applications benefit from music analysis algorithms, providing new ways for both listeners and artists to enjoy music," Len concludes.

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PhD Title: Music Information Retrieval Methods for Analyzing and Modifying Percussion-Based Audio

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Read the full PhD

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Contactlen.vandeveire@ugent.be, tijl.debie@ugent.be (supervisor), cedric.deboom@ugent.be (supervisor)

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Editor: Jeroen Ongenae - Illustrator: Roger Van Hecke