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tiNNbre: a timbre-based musical agent

Bolzoni, Andrea; Di Donato, Balandino; Laney, Robin


Andrea Bolzoni

Robin Laney


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.


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

Conference Name 2nd Nordic Sound and Music Conference
Conference Location Aalborg University, Copenhagen [Online]
Start Date Nov 11, 2021
End Date Nov 12, 2021
Acceptance Date Oct 20, 2021
Online Publication Date Nov 7, 2021
Publication Date Nov 11, 2021
Deposit Date Nov 11, 2021
Publicly Available Date Nov 11, 2021
Book Title 2nd Nordic Sound and Music Conference
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TiNNbre: A Timbre-based Musical Agent (607 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
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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