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SOUND AND MUSIC COMPUTING

CODE 90690
ACADEMIC YEAR 2022/2023
CREDITS
  • 6 cfu during the 1st year of 9913 DIGITAL HUMANITIES - COMUNICAZIONE E NUOVI MEDIA (LM-92) - SAVONA
  • SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR ING-INF/05
    LANGUAGE Italian (English on demand)
    TEACHING LOCATION
  • SAVONA
  • SEMESTER 2° Semester

    OVERVIEW

    After recalling foundational concepts concerning sound production and perception, this course introduces the students to the major techniques for acquisition, analysis, processing, and synthesis of sound and music content in digital form.

    AIMS AND CONTENT

    LEARNING OUTCOMES

    This course aims at providing students with theoretical and practical foundational knowledge about digital processing of sound and music content. Initially, the focus will be on sound as a physical and perceptual phenomenon. Then, techniques for digital acquisition and play back of sound will be addressed, including examples of techniques for automatic analysis and processing of sound in the time and frequency domains. Finally, hints will be provided about the most relevant techniques for sound synthesis and about existing algorithms for music information processing (e.g., for automatic analysis of melody, rhythm, and harmony).

    AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

    The course is intended to provide students with a theoretical and practical knowledge of the most important techniques for: (i) digital sound capturing and playback, (ii) automated analysis of the audio signal in the time and frequency domains, (iii) automated analysis of music content, (iv) digital audio processing, and (v) digital synthesis of sound and music content.

    At the end of the course, students are expected to know and to be able to apply the most important techniques for audio capturing and playback, sound and music analysis, and digital audio processing. In more details, the students will be able to capture an audio signal, to apply techniques for detecting the most relevant features of the signal, and for processing/modifying its content. Moreover, the students will also know the most important techniques for digital sound synthesis.

    PREREQUISITES

    None.

    TEACHING METHODS

    The course consists of lectures, held synchronously in the classroom and remotely, given by the teacher. These include both theoretical lectures, where the teacher will use slides to present a discuss concepts and techniques with the students, and practical lectures, consisting of hands-on at the computer, and enabling students to apply the concepts and to concretely experiment the primary technologies discussed in the course.

    SYLLABUS/CONTENT

    1. Recalling acoustics and psychoacoustics: sound, simple harmonic motion, equation of motion for a simple harmonic motion and its parameters. Amplitude: physical intensity of sound, perceived intensity of sound (loudness). Frequency: pure sounds, complex sounds, harmonic series (fundamental frequency, harmonics), noise, perceived frequency of sound (pitch). Phase: phase alignment and cancellation. Spectrum: definition, examples, introduction to the Fourier transform. Transients: envelop, ADSR. Spectrogram. Timber.
    2. Acquisition, representation and storage of sound content: analog acquisition, recording and playback: acquisition devices (microphones: major typologies and features), amplifiers, recording devices, playback devices (loudspeakers: major typologies and features). Digital acquisition, recording and playback: analog to digital conversion (sampling, quantization, and coding), audio files formats, digital to analog conversion.
    3. Sound analysis: audio frames, analysis of an audio signal in the time domain (algorithms for measuring sound intensity, algorithm for estimating the fundamental frequency), analysis of an audio signal in the frequency domain (algorithms for measuring timbral brightness), auditory modelling.
    4. Sound processing: processing of an audio signal in the time domain (inversion, delay, variations of the dynamic range), processing of an audio signal in the frequency domain (filtering, equalization).
    5. Introduction to sound synthesis: techniques for transformation, direct generation, and deformation. Examples: subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis, FM synthesis. 
    6. Introduction to music computing: music as a composition of sounds. Physical level. Perceptual level. Performance level. Symbolic level. Structural level. Digital representation of music: the MIDI standard. Automated analysis of music content: algorithms for extracting melodic (melodic contour), rythmic (onset detection, beat tracking, and tempo tracking), and harmonic (key finding) features.
    7. Exercises.

    RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Educational material includes:

    • The slides presented during classes.
    • Material related to the exercises, which is made available together with each exercise.

    Material can be downloaded from AulaWeb. In principle, the notes taken during the lectures and the material available on AulaWeb are sufficient for preparing for the final exam.

    For students wishing to read a textbook, we recommend:

    • Vincenzo Lombardo, Andrea Valle. Audio e multimedia. Apogeo.

    Students that cannot attend lectures as well as students with disabilities or learning disorders can contact the teacher to get further indication about the educational material.

    TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

    LESSONS

    Class schedule

    All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.

    EXAMS

    EXAM DESCRIPTION

    The exam consists of an interview with the teacher.

    Students with disabilities or learning disorders are allowed to use specific modalities and supports that will be determined on a case-by-case basis in agreement with the Delegate of the Engineering courses in the Committee for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities, prof. Francesco Curatelli. Students are invited to contact the teacher and copy the Delegate (francesco.curatelli@unige.it).

    ASSESSMENT METHODS

    During the interview, the teacher will assess the knowledge the student has of the major topics of the course, the clarity, and the deepness of presentation.

    FURTHER INFORMATION

    Master theses are available concerning the topics presented in the course in areas of interest for the scientific and technological research carried out at the Casa Paganini – InfoMus research center of DIBRIS – University of Genoa (www.casapaganini.org). For students that are interested in a master thesis on these topics, the course provides the theoretical and practical knowledge, which is needed to carry out the work in the thesis.

    Students with disabilities or learning disorders are allowed to use specific modalities and supports that will be determined on a case-by-case basis in agreement with the Delegate of the Engineering courses in the Committee for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities. Students are invited to contact the teacher of this course and copy the Delegate (https://unige.it/commissioni/comitatoperlinclusionedeglistudenticondisa…).