PhDProject - SdPhd



PhD Project

EDIT 2016: Below you can find the original content of this page; however, the major portion of my PhD ended up being a practical study of digital audio through the notion of a soundcard; most of those papers have a corresponding page on this site, which can be consulted for further information and open source deliverables:

For additional, related papers, please see Publications; or the thesis E-publication.

This is the starting page for my PhD project, as defined by the abstract. An introductory PowerPoint presentation can be found at the link below:

3D model of a planned instrument interface

Short description

In short, the project is based on the following points:

  1. Identification of fader manipulation and DJ turntablism as the two basic/most exposed electronic instrument interaction modes, developed in club genres of electronic music - and seeking for a unified technical platform that can serve both modes of interaction;
  2. Development of a multi-channel, audio-rate PC input-output device (card), which is:
    1. user-programmable, and
    2. can be used as either a sound-card, or a generic sensor/actuator interface
  3. Development of a real-time, musical instrument, user interface - based on a PC, extended with the card noted in (2) - that can be used to cater to both musical modes of interaction, noted in (1).

The end goal is to provide amateur and professional musicians with a programmable real-time platform, which takes root in two 'naturally' developed and popular modes of instrument interaction - but by virtue of extensibility, offers diverse possibilities for customization of the real-time interaction with the instrument, mainly in context of live performance of electronic music.

The project aims to generate an open-source hardware and software repository, related to both the development of the card and an eventual instrument device - hoping to attract the interest, and involvement, of the DIY and instrument builder community. On the other hand, the project also aims to build on already existing open source codebase - especially in the application-level audio software domain.

The aim towards real-time response quality of the device (as expected of musicians from an instrument), as well as the the dedication to user-extensibility and open-source codebase, could lead to applications of the device beyond musical performance; the closest, possibly, being academic research in HCI, dealing with development of user interfaces.

Project milestones

Although there are, unfortunately, quite few entries at the moment here - this section will contain all the relevant links to certain project milestones (like complete demos, papers etc) related to this project.

Introductory document and demo software

An introductory document, and demo software developed in Pd and Flash - discussing the differences between fader manipulation and DJ turntablism modes of interaction. The demo software should work as an online plugin, unfortunately it is not very stable, so some videos are provided as well.

Please take a look at the link:

Extending the soundcard for use with generic sensors (demonstrated by revisiting a vintage ISA design)

A vintage ISA interface card, that to some extent behaves like a sound-card, was implemented and used as a base for an experiment: to test the possibility of use of software-controlled analog switches, to bypass input analog filter sections commonly found in sound-cards - and thereby eventually allow for capture of generic DC biased sensor output with audio interfaces. (Presented at NIME2010 conference.)

Please take a look at the link:

Audio Arduino - an ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) audio driver for FTDI-based Arduinos

(TODO: intro) (Presented at NIME2011 conference.)

Please take a look at the link:

An analog I/O interface board for AudioArduino open sound card system

(TODO: intro) (Presented at SMC2011 conference.)

Please take a look at the link:

Towards an open sound card — a bare-bones FPGA board in context of PC-based digital audio

(TODO: intro) (Presented at AM2011 conference.)

Please take a look at the link:

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