The DiTME Project
Interdisciplinary research in music technology
This paper profiles the emergence of a significant body of research in audio engineering within the Faculties of Engineering and Applied Arts at Dublin Institute of Technology. Over a period of five years the group has had significant success in completing a Strand 3 research project entitled Digital Tools for Music Education (DiTME), followed by successful follow-on projects funded through both the European Framework FP6 and Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation research schemes. The group has solved a number of challenging problems in the audio engineering field and has both published widely and patented a novel sound source separation invention.
1. Introduction: background to the DiTME project
In line with policy on research emanating from the Dublin Institute of Technology Strategic Plan 2001–2015, with encouragement to engage in creative interdisciplinary activity, a merger was formed at the turn of the millennium between the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Applied Arts, via the School of Control Systems and Electrical Engineering and the Digital Media Centre (DMC). The intended aim was to bring together a cross-faculty body of researchers with interest in developing creative projects, thereby facilitating the artistic talents of staff members from the Faculty of Applied Arts with the mathematical, computing and signal processing skills of key staff members from the Faculty of Engineering.
Teaching, learning and research in music technology is a vibrant and growing discipline area, bordering upon and crossing a number of scholarly fields, including creative arts, music teaching, engineering and computing. The discipline offers exciting possibilities to school-leavers with an interest in music and technology. Rapid advancements in recent years in product development in audio and related technologies have been achieved by the application of engineering and scientific skills and know-how. As outlined in April 2000 in the report ‘Technology, foresight and the university sector’ by the CIRCA Group Europe Ltd, for the Conference Heads of Irish Universities, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) had been identified as a fast-growing and enabling core technology behind many of the recent developments in the information technology (IT) and telecommunications sectors and was noted as an area of immediate concern in respect of enhanced research growth and development at national level. Likewise, Digital Media has been recognised as one of Ireland’s strategic research and development priorities by Enterprise Ireland, Forfás, the Information Society Commission and many other independent reports.