Research Laboratories

Computational Acoustics Modeling Laboratory (CAML)
Music Technology Area

The Computational Acoustic Modeling Laboratory (CAML) at McGill University is devoted to musical acoustics and sound synthesis research. Lab projects are also directed toward the development of software tools to assist with audio processing, music performance, and pedagogy.  Research topics include:

  • Measurements and analyses of music instruments and other sounding objects to gain a theoretical understanding of their fundamental acoustic behaviors
  • The development of computer-based mathematical models for the analysis of acoustic systems and for subsequent use in studying variations in instrument designs
  • Perceptual studies to better understand how performers sense variations between musical instruments
  • The creation of efficient, real-time synthesis algorithms capable of producing convincing sounds (perhaps informed by psychoacoustic data)

Director: Gary Scavone

Telephone: +1 (514) 398-4400, x-089834

Email: gary.scavone [at]


Digital Composition Studios (DCS), Composition Area

The McGill 'Digital Composition Studios' (formerly the 'Electronic Music Studio' ) was founded in 1964. Part of the Composition Area, its mission is to promote and facilitate all activities within the School of Music that involve the creative and applied use of music technologies. Activities include:

  • Undergraduate and graduate teaching
  • Compositional projects
  • Performance of works involving technology
  • Creation/research activities
  • Supporting events at the Schulich School of Music as required

Director: Philippe Leroux

Email: philippe.leroux [at]


Technical Director: Richard McKenzie

Email: richard.mckenzie [at]

Telephone: +1 (514) 398-4552


Distributed Digital Music Archives and Libraries Laboratory (DDMAL), Music Technology Area

The DDMAL focuses on developing and evaluating practices, frameworks, and tools for the design and construction of worldwide distributed digital music archives and libraries.  Research topics and projects include:

  • Audio Preservation
  • Audio Quality
  • Optical Music Recognition (OMR)
  • Automatic Metadata Extraction
  • Interlibrary Communication
  • Automatic Music Classification
  • Vocal Intonation
  • Structural Analysis of Large Amounts of Music Information (SALAMI)
  • The McGill Billboard Project (Chord analysis dataset)
  • Centre de Recherche sur l'Interprétation au Clavecin (CRIC)
  • Single Interface for Music Score Searching and Analysis (SIMSSA)
  • Human History Project

Director: Ichiro Fujinaga

Email: ich [at]


Input Devices and Music Interaction Laboratory (IDMIL), Music Technology Area

The IDMIL focuses on projects related to the design of interfaces for musical expression and the analysis of performer movements.  Research topics include:

  • Interface Design and Evaluation
  • Mapping and Sonification
  • Sensors, Protocols and Embedded Systems
  • Tactile and Force-Feedback
  • Software Development for Interactive Performance
  • Movement Analysis and Synthesis

Director: Marcelo M. Wanderley

Telephone: 514 398 4535 x 00917

Email: marcelo.wanderley [at]


Music Perception and Cognition Laboratory (MPCL), Music Technology Area

The MPCL explores how listeners perceive musical sounds, how they comprehend a complex musical scene composed of sources, events, sequences, and musical structures and how they react emotionally to that scene.  Research topics include:

  • Perception of musical timbre
  • Auditory scene analysis
  • Perception of formal functions in music
  • Cognitive and affective dynamics of music listening
  • Performance and perception of keyboard music
  • Sound source perception
  • Multimodal integration in action contexts
  • Psychological foundations for orchestration

Director: Stephen McAdams

Telephone: 514 398 4535 x 094827

Email: stephen.mcadams [at]


Music Performance and Body Lab (MPBL), Music Education Area

MPBL studies use the scientific approach to develop a thorough understanding of the performer’s control parameters, namely the respiratory mechanics of musicians in order to develop new and improved student-centered science-based pedagogies that will allow students to develop efficient and healthy breathing strategies and other body related practices.  MPBL is a respiratory laboratory with an optoelectronic plethysmograph (motion capture) and respiratory and physiological measurement devices (spirometry, electromyography, flowmeter, pressure and sound recording).  On-going projects include:

  • How do the preparatory and respiratory gestures of flute players vary according to the musical tasks performed?
  • Opto electronic analysis of respiratory control in trombone performance
  • On the control of respiratory muscles during trombone performance
  • The effects of participating in a community concert band on quality of life, mental and physical health, and self-perceived music performance anxiety in senior citizens
  • Computer software for learning expression: Significance of gestures in piano performance
  • Building a database of north Indian Kathak dance movements with tabla accompaniment, and their associated vocalizations
  • Musicking the Body Electric - New Music for Spatialized Performing and Listening Using Novel Score Interfaces for Mobile Musicians
  • Actualisation de l’apprentissage et de l’enseignement extrascolaire d’instruments de musique aux réalités socioculturelle et numérique du XXIe siècle
  • The Visible Breath: From Actual to New Strategies for Respiratory Enhanced Learning

Director: Isabelle Cossette

Telephone: 514 398 1627

Email: isabelle.cossette [at]

Small Environment Acoustics Research and Testing Laboratory (SEART LAB), Sound Recording Area

The SEART LAB is primarily focused on the study of control room acoustics. Research topics include:

  • The investigation of changes in acoustic condition, with measurements taken during interactive, task-based listening tests

Director: Richard King

Email: richard.king [at]


Sound Processing and Control Laboratory (SPCL), Music Technology Area

Established in August 2002, the Sound Processing and Control Laboratory researches various topics, including:

  • Digital processing of audio signals
  • Improved sound synthesis methods
  • Gestural control of sound synthesis
  • Instrument design
  • Digital audio effects

Co-Directors: Philippe Depalle, Marcelo Wanderley


Virtual Acoustic Technology Laboratory (VAT), Sound Recording Area

The VAT offers new ambient solutions for performing musicians by providing them with interactive immersive acoustic environments that support their execution of the score and improve aspects of acoustic communication within ensemble and with an audience. The work is conducted in the Multimedia Room (MMR), the Schulich School of Music largest acoustics research laboratory, and is supported by grants from SSHRC and NSERC. The public is invited to annual concerts and recitals in Virtual Acoustics as part of "live at CIRMMT" series called "Virtual Salon". Research topics include:

  • The development of an innovative electro-acoustic enhancement system, based on measured high-resolution room impulse responses
  • Optimization of the electro-acoustic coupling between existing room acoustics and simulation acoustics
  • Training of musicians to engage room acoustics in their music performance; developing their artistic ability for "Playing the Room".
  • Developing and studying synthetic sound fields, their objective parameters, subjective functionalities and characterizations
  • Researching scalability of active virtual acoustic enhancement to smaller living room type and studio environments
  • Testing and applying 3D multichannel sound recording techniques capturing optimized musical performance in virtual acoustics
  • Developing intuitive human interfaces for dynamic control of sound field during musical performance
  • Studying human interactions with and within acoustic ambient environments during musical performance

Director: Wieslaw Woszczyk

Telephone: 514 398 5759

Email: wieslaw.woszczyk [at]



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