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Feeling the beat of music 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. Likewise, performing musicians have a shared sense of beat which is what allows them to play in time together. This type of high-level music listening and understanding sits at the heart of the challenge set for the 2017 IEEE Signal Processing Cup (SP Cup) competition, the final stage of which concluded at the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) -- hosted in New Orleans, America’s jazz heartland. The participating undergraduate cohort had to devise and construct a creative, embedded application demonstrating a real-time response to the beat of the music. Throughout the SP Cup the teams confronted many challenges from both the human and computational perspectives via: the choice of training and testing material; the human annotation of beat locations; the implementation and evaluation of their beat tracking algorithms; and the response to the beat in their creative applications.
|Fig. 1 Solenoid-based actuators for Team Beats on the Barbie||Fig. 2 Drum actuators for Team Madmom|
|Fig. 3 Automated drums for Team Madmom and Team Beats on the barbie.||Fig. 4 The rhythmic LED cube for Team Pulsebox|
The final SP Cup event was held at ICASSP in New Orleans, USA, on 05 March 2017. For the first time since the inception of the SP Cup, a live demo session was included in the final event. The event started by testing the accuracy of the real-time beat-tracking embedded devices in real-world conditions with the audio of the newly submitted challenge pieces captured by microphones. The finalist teams were then allowed time to set up their live demos. Each team then presented their beat-tracking algorithm, its implementation, and the design and development of the creative application. This was followed by a live demonstration of the creative application and a question and answer session. The final judging committee convened and selected the first, second, and third-prize winners as well as presented honourable mentions. Some photos of the demos are shown in this post. More details can be found at: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7974869/
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