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DAFxTRa 2008: announcement and call for participation

Please forgive multiple postings, forward as appropriate.

We will attempt an evaluation of digital audio effects. We encourage
your participation and ideas, especially relating to the evaluation

Title: DAFxTRa 2008: announcement and call for participation


We announce and call for your participation in a cross-community
evaluation of audio effects.

DAFxTRa 2008 (DAFx Transformation RAting) is a new initiative promoted by
MTG-UPF and DAFx-08 aimed at evaluating and comparing algorithms for
audio effects.
Our goal is to have the main evaluation in September 2008 during DAFx-08
(http://www.acoustics.hut.fi/dafx08/) but to make it happen we need the
involvement of the audio effects research community.

We do not know of any major initiative to compare audio effects
algorithms, which might be the related to the difficulty of the
evaluation task. It is hard because it requires standardized procedures for
carefully controlled subjective experiments. But we believe
that now is the time to try it, so we can all learn from the process and in
turn improve our audio effects algorithms.

Inspired by the success of MIREX in the evaluation of Music Information
Retrieval algorithms, and having acquired some experience by organizing the
audio description contest at ISMIR 2004-Barcelona, we want to promote a
similar initiative for the digital audio effects community.

However most audio effects tasks do not afford an objective
measure of ground truth, like in MIR, and thus we have to define
specific evaluation strategies. We want to do it by involving the
developers of algorithms interested in participating and by specifying
with them the evaluation process. The participants should learn from the
process and the whole DAFx community should benefit from it.

Our initial aims are the following:
1. Propose several audio effects categories. Initial proposal: time-scaling,
pitch-shifting, source separation, morphing, distortion effects and
2. Select the categories for which there is a sufficient number of
3. Select sounds from Freesound (http://freesound.iua.upf.edu) to be
used as test sounds for each category.
4. Define the evaluation procedure for each category.
5. Ask the participants to submit the transformed sounds (not the
6. Perform the evaluation both live at DAFx-08 and also online in Freesound.
7. Publish the results of the evaluation.

Our proposed time-line is:
- 1st August 2008: Finalize categories and evaluation procedures
- 30th August 2008: Submit transformed sounds
- 1st-4th September 2008: Run life evaluations at DAFx-08 Conference
- 10th-30th September 2008: Run on-line evaluations on the Freesound site
- 15th October 2008: Publish the results

If you are interested in participating or in getting involved in the
process join the DAFxTRa mailing list
(http://iua-mail.upf.es/mailman/listinfo/dafx-eval) for an open discussion.
Results of the discussion and organizational details of the evaluation
will be posted in a wiki (http://smcnetwork.org/wiki/DafxTRa2008)

Your input and ideas will be most welcome.

Graham Coleman (MTG-UPF) (contact person)
Jordi Bonada (MTG-UPF)
Perfecto Herrera (MTG-UPF)
Xavier Serra (MTG-UPF)