Hi, I'm Matthias. Welcome to my website and blog!

I'm a lecturer and researcher in the field of music informatics. I currently work as a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow with the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary, University of London (see my Queen Mary web page).

Past work places include the Internet music platform Last.fm, where I worked as Research Fellow, the Japanese research centre AIST in Tsukuba, and, as a research student, the Centre for Digital Music. Find more info on my biography page.

My main research interest (and the subject of my PhD thesis) has been the automatic transcription of chords from audio, but I've also done work on segmentation, harpsichord tuning estimation and, recently, lyrics-to-audio alignment. Please do have a look at my publications website to learn more about my work, ask Google Scholar directly, or visit my Software site if you're more interested in just using it.

Done and Liked »

[19 Okt 2014 | No Comment | 36 views]
http://schall-und-mauch.de/artificialmusicality/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IMG_7045_1024.jpg On Friday I had the pleasure of giving a talk about my research at the institute for musicology at the Tokyo University of the Arts just next to beautiful Ueno Park. Pat Savage, who studies for a PhD in comparative musicology there, organised the talk and also helped with translations when necessary. It appeared to me that, while often the study of musicology is still deeply traditional, some students start using computer tools to aid their study (especially pleased to hear that Sonic Visualiser was used). I also had a nice time after my talk chatting to some students in the cafeteria, and then with Pat discussing future projects. After the business had been dealt with, I walked over to Akihabara through the busy market streets of Ueno. In order to avoid the main rush hour on the train back to Tsukuba I stuck around for a while and grabbed a beer in a tiny bar called BeerS, where I got a warm welcome from the bar tender, and ended up chatting for hours to businessmen, who import flow measurement devices from Germany (and who excitedly showed me pictures of their party in Balver Höhle of all places!). Can be lovely folks, them Japanese.…

AIST Series »

[24 Sep 2014 | Comments Off | 55 views]
I will be going to Japan once more on Saturday, to work with Masataka Goto and colleagues in the green wonderland that is the AIST campus in Tsukuba (Google map). Besides the pleasures of Japanese food and the luxurious accommodation in Ninomiya House, I’m very much looking forward do to some exciting work with Masataka. What on? Strictly secret, of course. :) Anyway expect me to be busy and not very responsive to Emails from the Western world for the next month or so.

C4DM Series »

[24 Sep 2014 | Comments Off | 80 views]
Maria Panteli joined us last week as a PhD candidate. She’s going to be working with me,  Simon and Armand to improve our understanding of how musical styles evolve in time and space (!). Maria is no stranger to the strange world of Music Informatics, having done her Master’s at MTG in Barcelona (on Byzantine chants) and, more recently, some work with Aline Honingh (Amsterdam) on rhythm in electronic dance music. Maria’s topic is officially “Signal Processing and Data Mining Tools for the Analysis of Musical Evolution”, and I’m looking forward to exploring that subject with her. Welcome Maria!

Done and Liked »

[2 Aug 2014 | Comments Off | 155 views]
I’ve thrown together a little website, POETRY // CHAIN, which in theory should be quite fun — if at least some people use it. You can browse mini poems (up to 111 characters) and contribute your changes and improvements to the latest poems. Oh, and browse their “families”. Well, I hope you give it a go.

from me to you »

[30 Jul 2014 | Comments Off | 286 views]
When I started out as a researcher I didn’t really think of reviewers as humans. Scientific peer-to-peer review was simply the gateway to publishing my first papers, and the reviewers were usually not really peers yet at all: they were all more senior than I was, and I perceived any wrong judgements they made as noise, random errors. And when reviews are bad (short, unhelpful) as well as negative, it’s usual to view the reviewers as evil machines. Having reviewed papers myself now for several years, it has become apparent to me that there’s more to it, there’s a non-random, predictable component involved. It’s got to do with the fact that reviewers are human. Take me: I’m in research because I en…

Conference Paper, Done and Liked, Publication »

[19 Jul 2014 | Comments Off | 839 views]
Abstract. We propose a novel method for automatic drum transcription from audio that achieves the recognition of individual drums by classifying bar-level drum patterns. Automatic drum transcription has to date been tackled by recognising individual drums or drum combinations. In high-level tasks such as audio similarity, statistics of longer rhythmic patterns have been used, reflecting that musical rhythm emerges over time. We combine these two approaches by classifying bar-level drum patterns on sub-beat quantised timbre features using support vector machines. We train the classifier using synthesised audio and carry out a series of experiments to evaluate our approach. Using six different drum kits, we show that t…

Done and Liked »

[14 Jul 2014 | Comments Off | 176 views]
I’m happy to let you know that a paper I co-authored with lead authors Daniel Stoller and Igor Vatolkin as well as senior author Claus Weihs, all from the TU Dortmund has been awarded a Best Paper Award at this year’s ECDA Conference. The paper was submitted after last year’s conference and is going to appear in Springer’s series on Studies in Classification, Data Analysis and Knowledge Organisation… soon. Check out the abstract here.

Conference Paper, Publication »

[14 Jul 2014 | Comments Off | 151 views]
Abstract. This paper presents a comparative study of classification performance in automatic audio chord recognition based on three chroma feature implementations, with the aim of distinguishing effects of frame size, instrumentation, and choice of chroma feature. Research in automatic chord recognition has to date focused on the development of complete systems. While results have remarkably improved, the understanding of the error sources remains low. In order to isolate sources of chord recognition error we create a corpus of artificial instrument mixtures and investigate (a) the influence of different chroma frame sizes and (b) the impact of instrumentation and pitch height. We show that recognition performance i…

Seen and Liked »

[14 Jul 2014 | Comments Off | 176 views]
I went to a talk on the Science of Singing by David Howard recently. He’s a fascinating talker, a bit self-indulgent at times, but highly entertaining. He talked a lot about singing, and a lot of it I already knew, but there are two things I took away which I’d like to share. First, the reason why you should drink plenty (water) when singing — yes, it’s so your voice stays nicely “lubricated”, but what I had not appreciated is this: the lubrication does not work locally, i.e. it’s not that the water going past your vocal cords keeps them in shape. Instead, your body keeps a global water household and distributes it where it’s needed most. The problem is that the voice comes pretty far down the lis…

from me to you »

[4 Jun 2014 | Comments Off | 408 views]
[Edit: the survey is now closed.] You could help us improve pitch and note annotation tools by filling in a short survey. If you do music or speech research related to pitch and notes in audio, then you are probably aware of software to aid the manual creation of (ground truth) annotations. We (QMUL and NYU) are developing open source software to simplify the (monophonic) pitch annotation process — and we would like to get it right! So we were wondering: what software is currently used by you, the professionals, and what do you love/hate about it? It would be great if you could tell us in our 7-question mini-survey here. Thank you so much in advance!