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About

I am a Senior Researcher in CTM where I coordinate the Sound and Music Computing research group. My main area of research is in the application of digital signal processing and machine learning techniques to music information retrieval (MIR). My primary research interest has been in the automatic extraction of rhythmic structure from music signals, however I have also undertaken research on evaluation methodologies, music therapy, sparse signal processing methods, object based coding of music and the analysis of groove.

My current activity, as an FCT Investigator, is on the emerging field of creative-MIR, where I am exploring techniques for the perception and measurement of music compatibility for automatic music remixing and recombination. I am also an Associate Editor for IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing.

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Publications

2017

Embedded Systems Feel the Beat in New Orleans: Highlights from the IEEE Signal Processing Cup 2017 Student Competition [SP Competitions]

Authors
Jin, CT; Davies, MEP; Campisi, P;

Publication
IEEE Signal Process. Mag.

Abstract
Foot-tapping and moving to music is such a natural human activity, one may assume that feeling the beat in music is a simple task. Feeling the beat and then producing it, e.g., by foot tapping, is an intrinsically real-time process. As listeners, we do not wait for the beat to occur before tapping our foot; instead, we make predictions about when the next beat in the music will occur and continually revise our sense of the beat based on the accuracy of our predictions. Likewise, performing musicians have shared sense of beat, which is what allows them to play in time together. © 2017 IEEE.

2016

A multi-level tonal interval space for modelling pitch relatedness and musical consonance

Authors
Bernardes, G; Cocharro, D; Caetano, M; Guedes, C; Davies, MEP;

Publication
JOURNAL OF NEW MUSIC RESEARCH

Abstract
In this paper we present a 12-dimensional tonal space in the context of the Tonnetz, Chew's Spiral Array, and Harte's 6-dimensional Tonal Centroid Space. The proposed Tonal Interval Space is calculated as the weighted Discrete Fourier Transform of normalized 12-element chroma vectors, which we represent as six circles covering the set of all possible pitch intervals in the chroma space. By weighting the contribution of each circle (and hence pitch interval) independently, we can create a space in which angular and Euclidean distances among pitches, chords, and regions concur with music theory principles. Furthermore, the Euclidean distance of pitch configurations from the centre of the space acts as an indicator of consonance.

2016

Psychoacoustic approaches for harmonic music mixing

Authors
Gebhardt, RB; Davies, MEP; Seeber, BU;

Publication
Applied Sciences

Abstract
The practice of harmonic mixing is a technique used by DJs for the beat-synchronous and harmonic alignment of two or more pieces of music. In this paper, we present a new harmonic mixing method based on psychoacoustic principles. Unlike existing commercial DJ-mixing software, which determines compatible matches between songs via key estimation and harmonic relationships in the circle of fifths, our approach is built around the measurement of musical consonance. Given two tracks, we first extract a set of partials using a sinusoidal model and average this information over sixteenth note temporal frames. By scaling the partials of one track over ±6 semitones (in 1/8th semitone steps), we determine the pitch-shift that maximizes the consonance of the resulting mix. For this, we measure the consonance between all combinations of dyads within each frame according to psychoacoustic models of roughness and pitch commonality. To evaluate our method, we conducted a listening test where short musical excerpts were mixed together under different pitch shifts and rated according to consonance and pleasantness. Results demonstrate that sensory roughness computed from a small number of partials in each of the musical audio signals constitutes a reliable indicator to yield maximum perceptual consonance and pleasantness ratings by musically-trained listeners. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

2014

Syncopation creates the sensation of groove in synthesized music examples

Authors
Sioros, G; Miron, M; Davies, M; Gouyon, F; Madison, G;

Publication
FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY

Abstract
In order to better understand the musical properties which elicit an increased sensation of wanting to move when listening to music groove we investigate the effect of adding syncopation to simple piano melodies, under the hypothesis that syncopation is correlated to groove. Across two experiments we examine listeners' experience of groove to synthesized musical stimuli covering a range of syncopation levels and densities of musical events, according to formal rules implemented by a computer algorithm that shifts musical events from strong to weak metrical positions. Results indicate that moderate levels of syncopation lead to significantly higher groove ratings than melodies without any syncopation or with maximum possible syncopation. A comparison between the various transformations and the way they were rated shows that there is no simple relation between syncopation magnitude and groove.

2014

Multi-Feature Beat Tracking

Authors
Zapata, JR; Davies, MEP; Gomez, E;

Publication
IEEE-ACM TRANSACTIONS ON AUDIO SPEECH AND LANGUAGE PROCESSING

Abstract
A recent trend in the field of beat tracking for musical audio signals has been to explore techniques for measuring the level of agreement and disagreement between a committee of beat tracking algorithms. By using beat tracking evaluation methods to compare all pairwise combinations of beat tracker outputs, it has been shown that selecting the beat tracker which most agrees with the remainder of the committee, on a song-by-song basis, leads to improved performance which surpasses the accuracy of any individual beat tracker used on its own. In this paper we extend this idea towards presenting a single, standalone beat tracking solution which can exploit the benefit of mutual agreement without the need to run multiple separate beat tracking algorithms. In contrast to existing work, we re-cast the problem as one of selecting between the beat outputs resulting from a single beat tracking model with multiple, diverse input features. Through extended evaluation on a large annotated database, we show that our multi-feature beat tracker can outperform the state of the art, and thereby demonstrate that there is sufficient diversity in input features for beat tracking, without the need for multiple tracking models.

2013

THE EFFECT OF MICROTIMING DEVIATIONS ON THE PERCEPTION OF GROOVE IN SHORT RHYTHMS

Authors
Davies, M; Madison, G; Silva, P; Gouyon, P;

Publication
MUSIC PERCEPTION

Abstract
GROOVE IS A SENSATION OF MOVEMENT OR WANTing to move when we listen to certain types of music; it is central to the appreciation of many styles such as Jazz, Funk, Latin, and many more. To better understand the mechanisms that lead to the sensation of groove, we explore the relationship between groove and systematic microtiming deviations. Manifested as small, intentional deviations in timing, systematic microtiming is widely considered within the music community to be a critical component of music performances that groove. To investigate the effect of microtiming on the perception of groove we synthesized typical rhythm patterns for Jazz, Funk, and Samba with idiomatic microtiming deviation patterns for each style. The magnitude of the deviations was parametrically varied from nil to about double the natural level. In two experiments, untrained listeners and experts listened to all combinations of same and different music and microtiming style and magnitude combinations, and rated liking, groove, naturalness, and speed. Contrary to a common and frequently expressed belief in the literature, systematic microtiming led to decreased groove ratings, as well as liking and naturalness, with the exception of the simple short-long shuffle Jazz pattern. A comparison of the ratings between the two listener groups revealed this effect to be stronger for the expert listener group than for the untrained listeners, suggesting that musical expertise plays an important role in the perception and appreciation of micro timing in rhythmic patterns.

Supervised
thesis

2017

Automatic transcription of vocalized percussion

Author
António Filipe Santana Ramires

Institution
UP-FEUP

2017

Interactive Manipulation of Musical Melody in Audio Recordings

Author
Miguel Miranda Guedes da Rocha e Silva

Institution
UP-FEUP

2017

Content-Based Creative Manipulation of Music Signals

Author
António Humberto Sá Pinto

Institution
UP-FEUP

2016

Cousax - Sistema de apoio e desenvolvimento a iniciantes de instrumento musical

Author
Cristiano Monteiro Jesus e Sousa

Institution
UP-FCUP

2016

201607908

Author
António Humberto Sá Pinto

Institution
UP-FEUP