Just returning from DAFX 2008 in Espoo, Finland, which was a good do. My first visit to DAFX - it's a smaller and friendlier conference than some others I've been to, a nice size (about 120 people). Met up with lots of good digital audio people, some new, some old. Some notes about a few topics that came up:
- Vesa Valimaki's digital sound synthesis tutorial was good, including some tips about low-cost synth techniques ("Differentiated Parabolic Wave") coming from his lab, new to me. Similarly Ville Pulkki's spatial sound tutorial and demo, featuring the DirAC technique which seemed to give some nice sonic results.
- Our lab was well-represented, and it was nice that Anssi Klapuri picked up on Becky Stewart's spatial music navigation ideas in his keynote. My talk on voice timbre went fine too, despite the interruption of an automatic blackboard...
- The keynote by Hyri Huopaniemi (of Nokia) didnt have as much news as I was hoping, but it was nice to see a bit about how the Princeton group's mobile-phone synth system is put together, a python interface onto a C++ synthesis core.
- Naofumi Aoki's poster on bandwidth extension of mobile phone audio was interesting, although not specifically for the bandwidth extension but for the steganography trick used to embed metadata into audio. This means you can do fancy things with mobile phone audio without having to change the way the worldwide phone system works...
- There were quite a few good papers about guitar synthesis and guitar amp emulation, etc. Worth mentioning is Fredrik Eckerholm's guitar synth, just because to my ears it sounded very nice and had a lot of features (e.g. pickup placement, pick parameters).
- Jari Kleimola's sound synthesis trick - essentially XOR on audio - caught a few people's attention, making some quite nice sounds despite its simplicity.
- Damian Murphy's results on the quality of different DWM reverb techniques were interesting, although it's not my field so I can't judge it in detail.
- Was nice to see spectutils which is a nice set of spectrogram plotting tools for GNU Octave. Should be useful.
The conference banquet was v good too, good food and in a really nicely-architected building called Dipoli. Also had a good time in and around Helsinki but I've documented that elsewhere.