Musical Acoustics Lab

The Musical Acoustics Lab is located in Cremona, in the “Palazzo dell’arte” (“Palace of the arts”), where the prestigious Violin Museum is. Founded in 2013, the Lab builds upon the expertise of the Image and Sound Processing Group (ISPG) of the Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria (DEIB) of the Politecnico di Milano, with the collaboration of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The Lab was established with the financial contribution of the Arvedi Buschini Foundation and the CARIPLO Foundation (Progetto Distretto Culturale di Cremona). The Lab closely collaborates with the Arvedi Laboratory of Non-Invasive Diagnostic Analysis of the University of Pavia, and shares some lab space with it. The Lab capitalizes on the experience of ISPG in the areas of audio/sound processing, computational acoustics and machine intelligence, as well as the experience of the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering on vibro-acoustics analysis. The Musical Acoustics Lab is focused on improving the quality of acoustic musical instruments (particularly stringed instruments of contemporary and classical luthiery) as well as listening environments.



Rendering room – 8m x 5m phono-insulated, vibro-insulated semi-anechoic room for timbral and acoustic measurements and acquisitions, as well as experiments of spatial audio rendering. The room rests suspended on vibro-absorbent material and is completely covered with phono-absorbent material over a wide range of frequencies. The inner acoustics can be altered using reconfigurable acoustic reflectors, enabling experiment of room acoustic analysis and reconstruction, and recording sessions in different acoustic conditions. The semi-anechoic behavior enables experiments of olophonic and plenacoustic rendering based on speaker arrays as well as experiments of spatial acquisition/capture of acoustic fields. The rendering room is equipped with a fourth-order ambisonics rendering dome of 32 high-resolution Genelec speakers for immersive musical listening experiences.


Vibro-Acoustic Analysis Lab – equipped with all the instrumentation that is necessary to acquire high-resolution 3D models of musical instruments; to measure, model and analyze its vibrational behavior; to measure/estimate its radiative behavior. As far as 3D modeling is concerned, the Lab is equipped with a laser scanner for large objects, thickness gauges, advanced software for surface modeling (patchwork as well as levelset methods). As fare a vibrational analysis is concerned, the lab has a range of calibrated measurement accelerometers, calibrated hammers, etc. and a laser interferometry laser for non-invasive measurements on historical instruments. The Lab also has a high-resolution capturing system of 64 measurement microphones for holophonic acquisition of acoustic fields in close proximity (non-invasive reconstruction of vibro-acoustic behavior of soundboards and radiative surfaces).


Control room – equipped with a mobile professional-grade high-resolution spatial audio capturing system for live events. In addition to the mixing system and the professional microphone equipment, the lab also has an Eigenmike, an integrated full-sphere acoustic camera with 32 microphonic capsules that can be used for implementing and controlling virtual microphones, e for spatial audio acquisitions of live events.


Open-space – area equipped with several workstations for software development and data management.