There’s a PhD studentship available in SARC, and is so far untaken. So if you have an interest in physical modelling, microprocessors and design new musical instruments then have a look at the description below (only 2 weeks left to apply!).
[link to full info]

Principal Supervisor: Professor Roger Woods

Project Description:
Considerable interest exists in creating new types of musical instruments, particularly those that can accurately model existing instruments; in principle, it is possible to model a mechanical system such as drum skin or a string using “physical modelling”. This physical model can then be used as the basis to create a new, acoustic-sounding musical instrument for highly nuanced performance that, through the physicality of the control parameters, affords a learnability and virtuosity that is similar to that of traditional acoustic instruments.

The principal aspect is the extended range of design and control options, such as the adjustment of material and geometrical properties that are now available to the player to exploit. To fully exploit the musical potential, crude simplifications should be avoided but at the same time the instrument must run in real-time.

Whilst processor architectures, e.g. microprocessor DSP processors, give high performance, it is only by deriving application-specific processor solutions using for example, field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology that these performance requirements can start to be met. However it is not just a case of implementing these models but also about ensuring an effective design process, which involves close interaction and requires programming flexibilities that can be effectuated by designing tools for mapping algorithms to hardware architectures.

Objectives:
• To investigate the development of programmable architectures for physical models.
• To research architectures and tools that will enable rapid realisation of a range of physical modelling algorithms.
• To undertake the design and implementation of such models in close collaboration with performers and other researchers in order to fine-tune the control specificities of the instruments.
• To deliver and explore novel, working instruments.

Academic Requirements:
A minimum of a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in Electrical and Electronic Engineering or relevant
degree is required.
Start Date: 1 October 2010
Duration: 3 years

DEADLINE: Monday 14 June 2010