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Audio Signal Processing

Two six-string guitars of the acoustic steel-string type

Why work on Audio Signal Processing?

The initial focus of this VIP will be audio source separation, which is the creation of individual audio tracks for instruments, voices, etc. from a single audio recording. If you have an interest in music and technology we are looking for you!

Frequency versus time representation of a music audio signal
Frequency versus time

The initial research focus will be on audio source separation of individual string contributions in guitar audio, which has applications to tablature transcription, fixing audio with mis-tuned strings, and conversion of pitches to a just intonation (something that is not physically possible to play directly on a fretted instrument). If the last of these applications can be accomplished in real time it could be turned into an interesting commercial product in the form of a guitar “pedal”. Audio signal processing can be used in systems that help the aurally impaired.

Just intonation ratios with note names for the C major scale
Just intonation ratios with note names for the C major scale
 Energy versus time representation of a stereo music audio signal
Energy versus time

Experience Gained

Students will be able to transform and analyze audio signals with Python toolkits, become familiar with professional-grade audio recording equipment, and be able to apply basic music theory to the analysis of music audio.

Methodologies and/or Technologies used to achieve project goals:

  • coding and coding software

Majors and Interests Needed

The project may be particularly complementary for students with the following majors/minors or proficiencies in:

  • At least one course in computer programming.
  • (helpful, but not necessary): music theory, facility with a musical instrument, digital signal processing
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Gaming and Interactive Mobile Media (GIMM)
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physics

VIP Coach Information

Dr. Jennifer Anne Smith, PhD, Associate Professor in Electrical & Computer Engineering. Dr Smith has worked in industry for the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company and the Kearfott Division of Singer and for a government laboratory, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

Course Information

Full semester course.
Choose to enroll in 1 or 2 credits in VIP 200-025, VIP 400-025, or VIP 500 -025.
Team meetings TBD by participants.

Want to join the team?

For more information about this project and to request a permission number to register contact Dr. Jennifer Smith at (208) 426-5743 OR OR complete this interest form and someone will contact you. Check out this page for tips on contacting a professor.

To register:  search by Subject: Vertically Integrated Projects, select section 025 of VIP 200, 400, or 500. Use permission number, here are instructions Add with a permission number