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Gary Scavone & Stephen McAdams: Psychomechanics of aerodynamic sounds ... a CIRMMT Strategic Innovation Fund report

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  • Seminar
When Jun 11, 2012
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
Where A-832, New Music Building, 527 Sherbrooke Street West.
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This presentation will describe research developments during a CIRMMT strategic innovation fund project entitled Psychomechanics of Aerodynamic Sounds involving members Gary Scavone, Stephen McAdams, and Luc Mongeau.  The goals of the project were to extend and verify computational models of aerodynamic sounds and to subsequently use these models to quantify the human processing of such sounds.  From a physical point of view, aerodynamic sounds occur when an airflow becomes unsteady, generally as a consequence of its interaction with a solid boundary.  Scientific investigations into the mechanisms involved in the generation of aerodynamic sounds have been ongoing for more than sixty years. In contrast, little is known of their perceptual processing and of their cognition.  Aeolian sounds caused by the interaction of a low-speed airflow with an obstruction in a duct were simulated for a range of parameter values of flow speed, obstruction size, and fluid viscosity.  Numerical limitations with respect to the maximum airflow speed, as well as the two-dimensional nature of the model, resulted in synthesized sounds that primarily varied in oscillation frequency, amplitude, and periodicity.  The variations in the perceptual properties of the sounds were unfortunately not associated clearly enough with the mechanical parameters to warrant subsequent human perception tests. 



Dr. Gary Scavone is an Associate Professor of Music Technology at McGill University, where he directs the Computational Acoustic Modeling Laboratory.  He is Associate Director of Scientific and Technological Research at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT).  From 1997-2003, he was Technical Director and Research Associate at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University, where he received a Ph.D in "Computer-Based Music Theory & Acoustics" and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.  His research concerns acoustic modeling, analysis, and synthesis of musical systems.  Dr. Scavone is also a professional saxophonist specializing in the performance of contemporary concert music. 



Dr. Stephen McAdams is a Professor of Music Technology and Canada Research Chair in Music Perception and Cognition at McGill University, where he directs the Music Perception and Cognition Laboratory. He directed the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media and Technology (CIRMMT) in the Schulich School of Music from 2004 to 2009. He received his PhD in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Stanford University in 1984. His research interests include multimodal scene analysis, musical timbre perception, sound source perception, and the cognitive and affective dynamics of musical listening.  

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