It draws inspiration from hard sciences like physics and engineering, social sciences like psychology and musicology, and the creative arts. Digital musical instruments, CDs, MP3s and other innovative ICTs owe a great debt to SMC.
Forget notions that sound and music computing is just nerds tweaking knobs in soundproof rooms. This fast-moving, multi-billion euro branch of the ‘creative sciences’ looks set to be a major source of growth in Europe. That is if Europe follows the new roadmap published by the S2S² project.
SMC research is behind the music industry as we know it today, says Nicola Bernardini who coordinated the two-year IST-funded project S2S² which has charted the way forward for Europe to secure leadership in this field. Commercial music today is largely produced using computing and technology as a “surrogate” for the real thing, the composer told ICT Results, because using real instruments, learning to play them – or paying someone else to play them – can be expensive and time-consuming.
But this is a rather narrow view of the sector, says Bernardini. “With our roadmap, we wanted to show what SMC can be (and has already been) in research terms.” Music is growing in importance every day, especially in youth culture and for well-being, “so it is vital we tied this all together – it’s not only an economic lever but good for social cohesion,” he stresses.
The roadmap identifies, characterises and proposes strategies for tackling the key research challenges facing this diverse field in the next ten to 15 years, overcoming the present fragmentation of effort and stamping out a common research agenda for future European output.A map, not a compass
Design better sound objects and environments (improving the sounds produced by objects present in our environment to enhance their “emotional character” and our quality of life)Understand, model and improve human interaction with sound and music
The scenarios show, transversally, how our environment will change through advances in SMC technology, such as sonic environments, interactive music devices and expert music companions, notes Bernardini. “Of course, many other scenarios could be written out of the roadmap – and some perhaps less fun but more socially and culturally oriented. The scenario-writing exercise will be kept up with the maintenance of the roadmap and many other scenarios will be added in the future.”
Several EU-funded projects are deeply involved in this paradigm, says Xavier Serra of Spain’s Universitat Pompeu Fabra, an S2S² partner. These include EmCAP, CUIDADO, SALERO and HARMOS. He predicts that the EU’s new Seventh Framework Programme for research will “push the current limits” in such fields as computational neuroscience, music cognition, reasoning rules (ontology), artificial intelligence and more.Upbeat forecasts
“What’s more, the growth of the sector will happen through the convergence of SMC training in Europe, the consolidation of SMC as a fast-emerging research community and a greater attention to the contribution of new Member States in this field.” Three parallel actions are currently planned to tackle these issues. A series of SMC Summer Schools (next edition in Stockholm in July 2007) is another important vehicle for keeping the roadmap alive, he tells ICT Results.
Walter Van de Velde of the European Commission’s Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme is more upbeat about Sound to sense, sense to sound’s achievements in two short years. S2S² is a prime example of what FET looks for in a project, he suggests, nurturing and promoting collaborative, multidisciplinary research in an ever-promising field that brings science into everyday life.
“It's not every day a seminal document is delivered to help pave the way for emerging technology and then, later in the day, you get to see and hear a demonstration of a completely novel musical instrument – the Universitat Pompeu Fabra’s 'ReacTable' – effectively applying this technology,” concludes Van de Velde.
Source: S2S², with Xavier Serra of Spain’s Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Christian Nielsen | alfa
Stable magnetic bit of three atoms
21.09.2017 | Sonderforschungsbereich 668
Drones can almost see in the dark
20.09.2017 | Universität Zürich
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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