Live Repurposing of Sounds: MIR Explorations with Personal and Crowdsourced Databases

Xambó, Anna and Roma, Gerard and Lerch, Alexander and Barthet, Mathieu and Fazekas, György

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The recent increase in the accessibility and size of personal and crowdsourced digital sound collections brought about a valuable resource for music creation. Finding and retrieving relevant sounds in performance leads to challenges that can be approached using music information retrieval (MIR). In this paper, we explore the use of MIR to retrieve and repurpose sounds in musical live coding. We present a live coding system built on SuperCollider enabling the use of audio content from online Creative Commons (CC) sound databases such as Freesound or personal sound databases. The novelty of our approach lies in exploiting high-level MIR methods (e.g., query by pitch or rhythmic cues) using live coding techniques applied to sounds. We demonstrate its potential through the reflection of an illustrative case study and the feedback from four expert users. The users tried the system with either a personal database or a crowdsourced database and reported its potential in facilitating tailorability of the tool to their own creative workflows.