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Activity Period: 
01/12/2000 - 31/05/2002

Classification and smart search environments for sounds


The goal of the ECRINS project is to construct a sound sample database, available online or via the intranet, for music and sound professionals, complete with "smart" classification and access functions, based on perceptual or cognitive criteria proposed by the system.

Work Description/Objectives

These criteria arise out of cross-disciplinary research, geared towards sound description, and performed by the different scientific teams associated with the project. These descriptors associate the sound sample with categories (taxonomy of sound sources, morphology, production context, etc.), or directly issued from free verbal descriptions.

Digital categories and descriptors are used as criteria (metadata) for management (automated classification) and searches (search by perceptual similarity, by category) for sound samples in databases. ECRINS constitutes an open system that the user can enrich, not only with his/her own sound samples, but also with his/her own descriptors.

These are then analyzed by the system, in such a way that new samples, judged to be pertinent with respect to the parameters defined by the user, can be proposed. The database brings together samples from the Online Studio project carried out between 1996-1998 (117,000 sounds representing 12 days of cumulated listening), recorded under high quality conditions (6 different microphones, sampled at 24 bits/48 kHz) by top international soloists and across the entire range of contemporary playing techniques.

The project has a strong collaborative side to it, incorporating user groups who share samples and metadata (data attached to samples containing different types of descriptors). In addition to the constitution of descriptors, the project is responsible for the production of two applications: an online server, accessible via any Web navigator, destined to provide a management system for open access samples; a post-production sound software for PC Xtrack, integrated into Digigram’s commercial offer.

Project Details





IRCAM, FR (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique)


IRCAM, FR (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique)

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