Research Output

tiNNbre: a timbre-based musical agent

  In this paper, we present tiNNbre, a generative music prototype-system that reacts to timbre gestures. By timbre gesture we mean a sonic (as opposed to body) gesture that mainly conveys artistic meaning through timbre rather than other sonic properties. The system is designed and developed to be used in free improvisation and composition. Our prototype is powered by a neural network trained using a supervised learning approach on a set of sonic gestures representing the stimulus (or input) and a correspondent set of sonic gestures representing the reactions (or output). This model is then used to explore and generate new musical material. Here, we present an informal evaluation of our system, based on two use cases. In the first, the system is trained using MFCC analysis, while the second uses Constant-Q Transform spectrum. Participants were asked to rate our system’s generated audio, particularly in respect of timbre. Results showed that although tiNNbre has been tested offline, it fosters timbre-rich interaction with the sonic materials and the co-creation process. Broadly speaking, musicians preferred the results obtained using the second system other than for purely percussive gestures.

  • Date:

    07 November 2021

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Bolzoni, A., Di Donato, B., & Laney, R. (2021). tiNNbre: a timbre-based musical agent. In 2nd Nordic Sound and Music Conference


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    TiNNbre: A Timbre-based Musical Agent


    This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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