Etienne Thoret

Academic title(s): 

Postdoctoral Fellow

Music Research
Music Technology
Contact Information

Suite 500, Music Technology Area
550 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H4A 2N3

514-398-4535 Ext 00900
Email address: 
etienne.thoret [at]
Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Ph.D. in Acoustics - Aix-Marseille Université (2011-2014) - Supervision: Sølvi Ystad (CNRS) & Mitsuko Aramaki (CNRS)
  • M.Sc. in Acoustics (First-class honours) - Aix-Marseille Université (2010-2011)
  • M.A. in Urban & Acoustics (Honours) - Université Pierre et Marie Curie – Paris 6 (2009-2010)
  • B.Sc. in fundamental Physics (Honours) - Université d’Orsay – Paris 11 (2008-2009)
Areas of expertise: 
  • Auditory perception and modelling of timbre
  • Sound/gestures relation
  • Recognition of sound sources
  • High-level control of sound synthesis processes
  • Multisensory integration of biological motions

I'm currently a post-doc in the Music Perception and Cognition Lab in the McGill University at Montreal under the supervision of Stephen McAdams and Philippe Depalle. My researches focuses in particular on auditory perception and modelling of timbre by using Modulation Power Spectra. We try to determine which parts of these representations are useful the recognition and perception of musical timbre.

During my Ph.D. in the Mechanics and Acoustics Laboratory - C.N.R.S - UPR 7051 in Marseille, I have investigated the relation between auditory perception and biological movements under the supervizion of Sølvi YstadMitsuko Aramaki, and Richard Kronland-Martinet. This pluridisciplinary dissertation, spanning from sound synthesis of friction sounds to multisensory integration of audiovisual motions, evidenced that human movements are embodied through the subtle timbre variations of sounds such as those produced by the friction between the pencil and the paper when someone is drawing.

Selected publications: 
  1. Thoret, E., Depalle, P., McAdams, S. (2017) Perceptually Salient Regions of the Modulation Power Spectrum for Musical Instrument Identification. Frontiers in Psychology. 8, 587. 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00587 

  2. Thoret, E., Depalle, P., McAdams, S. (2016) Perceptually salient spectro-temporal modulations for recognition of sustained instruments timbre. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 140(6), EL478. doi:10.1121/1.4971204

  3. Thoret, E., Aramaki, M., Kronland-Martinet, R., Velay, J. L., and Ystad, S. (2014). From Sound to Shape: Auditory Perception of Drawing Movements, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40(3), 983-994. doi:10.1037/a0035441

  4. Thoret, E., Aramaki, M., Bringoux L., Ystad S., Kronland-Martinet R. (2016) Seeing circles and drawing ellipses: when sound biases reproduction of visual motion. PLoS ONE, 11(4):e0154475. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0154475

  5. Danna, J., Fontaine, M., Paz-Villagran, V., Gondre, C., Thoret, E., Aramaki, M., Kronland-Martinet, R., Ystad, S., and Velay, J.-L. (2015). The effect of real-time auditory feedback on learning new characters. Human Movement Science. doi:10.1016/j.humov.2014.12.002

  6. Conan, S., Thoret, E., Aramaki, M., Derrien, O., Gondre, C., Kronland-Martinet, R., Ystad, S. (2014). An Intuitive Synthesizer of Continuous Interaction Sounds: Rubbing, Scratching and Rolling. Computer Music Journal, 38(4), 24-37. Invited paper. doi:10.1162/COMJ_a_0026

  7. Thoret, E., Aramaki, M., Gondre C., Ystad S., Kronland-Martinet R. (2016) Eluding the Physical Constraints in a Nonlinear Interaction Sound Synthesis Model for Gesture Guidance. Applied Sciences, 6(7):192. doi:10.3390/app6070192

Selected talks and presentations: 
  1.  Thoret E., Depalle P., McAdams S. (2016) Influence of spectrotemporal modulations on the recognition of musical instrument sounds, Auditory Perception, Cognition and Action Meeting (APCAM), Boston, Massachusetts, November 17, 2016
  2. Thoret, E. (2014) Auditory perception of drawing movements : when motor cues shape auditory cognitive processes, Workshop of the ANR Project Legos - Legos days , Ircam, March 18, 2014, Paris (
  3. Thoret, E., Aramaki, M., Bourdin C., Bringoux L., Kronland-Martinet R., Ystad S. (2013) Synchronizing Gestures with Friction Sounds: Work in Progress, Sound, Music and Motion, Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research (CMMR), 15-18 Oct., Marseille
  4. Conan S., Thoret E., Aramaki M., Derrien O., Gondre C., Kronland-Martinet R., Ystad S. (2013) Navigating in a Space of Synthesized Interactions-Sounds: Rubbing, Scratching and Rolling, Proceedings of the 16th Conference on Digital Audio Effects (DAFx), Maynooth, Ireland, Sept. 2013 – Best Paper Award in Sound Synthesis
Back to top