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School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Max Graf


PhD Student



Project Title:

PERFORM-AI (Provide Extended Realities for Musical Performance using AI)


The core topic of this research is the design of AI-driven mixed reality applications for music production and musical performance. It aims to find a middle ground between the two currently existing extremes in digital music production: Traditional and electronic instruments in conjunction with digital audio workstations on the one side, and fully immersive simulations of instruments in virtual reality on the other side.

Research position
This research positions itself along other projects that aim to flatten the steep initial learning curve associated with music production and make the creative process more accessible. The main objective is to research, design, and evaluate novel methods of music interaction in mixed reality (MR) space, i.e. the specific domain in which both the real and virtual world can be experienced and interacted with at the same time. By shifting musical production processes to this domain, visual (and thereby mental) complexity can be reduced by taking advantage of perceptual spatial organisation principles, thus allowing for actions that fully leverage three-dimensional space. Gestures have been shown to have a positive influence on musical communication and production processes, as they allow for an additional layer of expression, effectively bridging the gap between physical and abstract space [3]. One example for this would be a high-level action of a performer (e.g. hitting a panel in MR space, or moving a hand along a certain trajectory) that is then interpreted and translated to a specific sound. In contrast to traditional virtual reality musical instruments, the mixed reality approach allows both for the extension of existing tools and instruments and the creation of new ways of musical expression. This generality is a natural advantage over virtual reality applications, especially considering live musical performance, where physical presence and agency are essential.

C4DM theme affiliation:

Augmented Instruments, Sonic Interaction Design, Sound Synthesis


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