[EAS]Music Technology

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Sat Feb 15 17:06:31 EST 2003

Subject:   Music Technology

(from NSDL Scout Report for Math, Engineering and Technology,
      Feb. 14th, 2003)

Music Technology

1. Doug Barnes's Music Technology Handouts

2. mtlc.net: Music Technology Articles

3. MTG: Music Technology Group [.pdf]

4. Sound in Space

5. How Things Work: Compact Disc Players

6. Loris [.pdf, .ps, .aiff]

7. MP3.Org: MPEG-4 Becoming Louder, Clearer?

8. Beyond 2000: Turning the Tables

With the exception of orchestral performances and truly "unplugged"
concerts, today's music has evolved into a very hi-tech industry. It
takes elements from many disciplines, including computer science,
electrical and mechanical engineering, mathematics, and physics.
Because music technology encompasses everything from audio
compression and encoding to advanced sound equipment, this Topic in
Depth has quite a broad scope.

A decent introduction to some aspects of music technology (1) mainly
deals with sound recording. It covers topics such as sampling,
sequencing, and FM synthesis. Some of this material is also
explained on this site (2); however, there are a couple articles
that address current issues. One discusses the popular and
controversial MP3 audio compression standard, while the other
considers how the Internet effects musicians and the music culture
as a whole. The Music Technology Group at a university in Barcelona,
focuses on a variety of audio processing and analysis principles.
Over ten years of research papers, journal publications, and other
documents can be downloaded from the group's home page (3). A
similar organization at the University of York maintains this page
on 3-D audio and ambisonics (4). There are several sections that
describe the basics of ambisonics and provide suggestions for
experimentation, as well as a couple of papers on surround sound
systems and other research projects. The current dominant music
media format is the compact disc, which has enjoyed tremendous
success for many years. This site (5) explains how CD players work
by listing and answering many common questions about CD operation.
Loris, a project of the CERL Sound Group, is an open source
application used to process digitized sounds. A number of
publications and several demonstrations of sound morphing are given
on the Loris home page (6). Although the MP3 standard was the
breakthrough that allowed music to be highly compressed for easy
storage and transmission, a new standard, appropriately dubbed
MPEG-4, could soon replace the aging technology. This news article
(7), from November 22, 2002, outlines the audio and video
capabilities of MPEG-4 and discusses some hotly contended licensing
issues. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab has
created a robotic disc jockey that randomly selects records and
mixes them on turntables. Beyond 2000 (8) reports on the DJ I Sound
System and how it works.

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