Percussive Gesture Analysis and Synthesis


Participants: Alexandre Bouënard (Université de Bretagne Sud/McGill University), Sylvie Gibet (supervisor, Université de Bretagne Sud), Marcelo M. Wanderley (supervisor, McGill University), Fabrice Marandole (McGill University).

Funding: Valoria-SAMSARA, Université de Bretagne Sud, Pôle de Compétitivité Images & Réseaux, NSERC Discovery Grant (M. Wanderley), International Doctoral College of the Université Européenne de Bretagne (UEB) (A. Bouënard)

Project Type: Doctoral thesis (2006-2009), postdoctoral fellowship (2010).

Period: Sept. 2006 - Aug. 2010. Status: Completed.

Project Description

This project focuses on the interaction of autonomous, realistic and musically-gifted virtual agents with sound synthesis systems.

Our interest lies both in the analysis and the synthesis of percussive gestures. One the one hand, the analysis focuses on timpani gestures and aims at extracting relevant movement features. On the other hand, the synthesis part involves an inverse-dynamics control chain of a mechanical virtual agent model. For improved realism, we will use physical modelling for sound synthesis.

We expect that the virtual agent simulation will show the relevance of gestural control in animation, since gesture influence acts on the fine nature of the produced sound and on the spatial and temporal coordination of movements in charge of musical expressivity.


  • Alexandre Bouënard, Sylvie Gibet and Marcelo M. Wanderley. “Hybrid Inverse Motion Control for Virtual Characters Interacting with Sound Synthesis - Application to Percussion Motion.” Accepted for Publication in The Visual Computer journal.
  • Alexandre Bouënard, Marcelo M. Wanderley, Sylvie Gibet and Fabrice Marandola. “Virtual Gesture Control and Synthesis of Music Performances: Qualitative Evaluation of Synthesized Timpani Exercises”. Computer Music Journal, 35(3), Fall 2011. (In Press).
  • Florian Grond, Alexandre Bouënard, Thomas Hermann and Marcelo M. Wanderley. “Virtual Auditory Myography of Timpani-playing Avatars”. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Digital Audio Effects (DAFX), Graz, Austria, 2010.
  • Alexandre Bouënard, Marcelo M. Wanderley and Sylvie Gibet. “Gesture Control of Sound Synthesis: Analysis and Classification of Percussion Gestures”. Acta Acustica united with Acustica, Special issue on Natural and Virtual Instruments: Control, Gesture and Player Interaction, 96(4):668-677, 2010.
  • Alexandre Bouënard. “Synthesis of Music Performances: Virtual Character Animation as a Controller of Sound Synthesis”, Ph.D. thesis, European University of Brittany. Defended on December 10, 2009. Co-supervisors: Sylvie Gibet (UBS, France) and Marcelo M. Wanderley
  • Sylvie Gibet and Alexandre Bouënard. “Sound Synthesis by Simulation of Percussive Gesture of a Virtual Animated Agent.” In 2nd ConGAS International Symposium on Gesture Interfaces for Multimedia Systems (GIMS) Leeds, UK, May 2006.

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