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McGill University post-doctoral position in auditory perception


A post-doctoral researcher (within 5 years post-PhD) is sought to perform perceptual experiments in spatial audio under the direction of Stephen McAdams within a project that aims to develop novel compositional and technological methods for the advanced use of the multidimensional nature of auditory space in music composition. The post-doctoral project will study auditory scene analysis in multi-source environments, focusing on the relevance of spatial cues and on natural musical instrument tones rather than on synthetic materials. Also the relevance of spatial cues to schema-based vs. primitive segregation processes will be assessed. A second part of the project conducted by a PhD candidate will involve the design of algorithms for the active manipulation of existing auditory scenes, with an emphasis on the perceptual fusion of otherwise separated sources. Optimal gestural control of such algorithms will also be evaluated by another PhD candidate. The project will be carried out within an interdisciplinary environment with different research groups focusing on the audio synthesis of auditory virtual environments (Jonas Braasch), gestural and psychoacoustic aspects (Marcelo Wanderley and Stephen McAdams, respectively) and music composition (Sean Ferguson). At the end of the project, the methods developed and validated by the post-doc and doctoral students will be demonstrated in a composition by Sean Ferguson for chamber ensemble and live electronics to be performed in Montreal at the 2008 MusiMarch Festival. The project is funded by the New Media Initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's.


The ideal candidate will have a PhD in experimental psychology or audio engineering with skills in psychological testing, programming, statistical data analysis, and sound analysis and synthesis. Applicants with research experience in auditory scene analysis or spatial hearing and with experience in music performance research and/or gesture-based human-computer interaction are strongly encouraged to apply. The candidate should be excited by the idea of collaborating with other scientists, engineers, composers and performers in an interdisciplinary project and have the necessary social skills for an intensely collaborative effort.


The Music Perception and Cognition Laboratory (MPCL) is part of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media & Technology (CIRMMT – www.music.mcgill.ca/cirmmt) and the Music Technology Area of the Theory Department in the Schulich School of Music of McGill University (www.music.mcgill.ca/musictech). CIRMMT has strong ties with the psychology department, the engineering faculty and the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University, the psychology and music departments at the Université de Montréal, and the Acoustics Group at the Université de Sherbrooke (GAUS). The MPCL is already equipped with IAC sound isolation booths, state-of-the-art computer and audio equipment and laboratory workstations and will soon be equipped with a virtual reality system merging 3D binocular and 3D audio technologies.


Applicants should send a CV and letter describing how their skills could best be employed within the context of the proposed project to Stephen McAdams. The post-doctoral rate scale is $27,000-35,000 (CAD) plus benefits, depending on qualifications. There is a possibility of obtaining exemption from Québec provincial taxes for non-Canadian applicants. The position is for one year, renewable according to performance during the initial year. In the case of international applicants, final acceptance for the post-doctoral position is conditional upon obtaining necessary documents for entry into Canada and returning to the home country at the end of the contract period.


Stephen McAdams, PhD
Professor and Canada Research Chair in Music Perception and Cognition
Director, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media & Technology (CIRMMT)
Schulich School of Music of McGill University
555 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montréal, Québec, Canada H3A 1E3
Email: smc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
tel: +1-514-398-2464
fax: +1-514-398-8061