Modeling time signature changes at HAMR

October 10, 2018

HAMR (Hacking Audio and Music Research) is a hackathon event that has been held many times since 2013, and as a satellite event to every ISMIR conference since 2014. I attended this year’s event held at Deezer and really enjoyed it! To team up with others and try to solve a new research problem ASAP was exhilerating—it was almost like trying to solve a puzzle hunt.

I proposed a project to discover and model time signature changes and strange hypermeters—like in “Hey Ya!” by Outkast, where instead of getting 4 bars at a time (the most common hypermeter in popular music), we get 5½ bars at a time. That situation is actually a combination of strange hypermeter and a time signature change; we ultimately focused on just the second aspect, trying to visualize and detect time signature changes.

I worked with Olivier Lartillot (who designed the famous MIRtoolbox) and Romain Hennequin, a researcher at Deezer. The progress we made on the problem felt very exciting, and others at the event shared our enthusiasm, awarding us the “Best Research Direction” prize!

You can see more about the project at its github page: github.com/jblsmith/hypermeter

And on YouTube, you can watch me give a brief overview of the project to the ISMIR audience.