Sketching Audio Technologies using Vocalizations and Gestures

Sound Design Rendezvous


A sketch, a draft, is the starting point of any graphical conception in design or in architecture. The European project SkAT-VG aims to produce tools and methods for sound conception, letting sound designers use their voice and gestures to sketch out their initial ideas for the sound of an object or place. At the end of three years of collaborations among three research institutes, IUAV in Venice, KTH in Stockholm, IRCAM in Paris, and the company Genesis in Aix-en-Provence, the scientific results of the project concerning the production and perception of vocal and gesture imitations as well as the automatic recognition and analysis of these imitations will be presented on  the closing day. Demonstrations of the tools and methods for sound sketches developed during the project will be featured in addition to scientific presentations.



Videos of presentations

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Sound Design Rendez vous will take place at IRCAM, Paris, in Stravinsky room.

Participation is open to public and free (including lunch)  with a mandatory registration. Contact address.

09.30-10.00: Introduction to the Sound Design Rendezvous by Davide Rocchesso  (SkAT-VG project coordinator)

10.00-11.30: What we learned

The SkAT-VG project has advanced scientific knowledge about how people communicate sounds
by voice and gesture, and about how vocal and gestural sound sketching can be integrated in creative processes. Four talks will be given by the project partners.


  • “Production of vocal imitations” by Sten Ternström (KTH)
  • “Perception of vocal and gestural imitations” by  Guillaume Lemaitre (IRCAM)
  • “Classification of vocal and gestural imitations” by  Geoffroy Peeters (IRCAM)
  • “Sound design” by Stefano Delle Monache (IUAV)

11.30-12.15: Keynote by Elif Özcan (Delft University of Technology)

“Sound design for everyday interactions”

12.15-14.00: What we produced

The SkAT-VG project has developed prototype tools for sketching sound using voice and

  • Demonstrations (coordinated by Stefano Baldan (IUAV) and Clément Dendievel (GENESIS))
  • Buffet lunch

14.00-14.45: Keynote by Marc Leman (Ghent University)

“Expressive sound design for music-based biofeedback”

14.45-15.00: Audiovisuals

  • The 48 hours of Sound Design in Château La Coste
  • The Brown Lipstick Sketches, audiovisual piece by Andrea Cera

15.00-16.00: Where we are heading to

The SkAT-VG project is leaving a fertile ground and active threads in research, practice and innovation.  A focus on each topic will be presented by the project partners.


  • “Research” by Olivier Houix (IRCAM)
  • “Practice” by  Frederic Bevilacqua (IRCAM)
  • “Innovation” by Patrick Boussard (GENESIS)

16.00-16.15: Coffee Break

16.15-17.15: Round Table (moderated by Davide Rocchesso, IUAV)

Practices of Sound Design in different fields will be discussed with invited professionals.

  • Industry (William Rodriguez, Renault)
  • Creation (Andrea Cera, sound designer and composer)
  • Pedagogy (Roland Cahen, ENSCI – Les Ateliers)

17.15-17.30: Conclusion

Abstracts of Keynotes

Marc Leman: “Expressive sound design for music-based biofeedback”
My talk will be about a conceptual model for sound design for biofeedback systems in the domain of sports and rehabilitation. I will start from the notion of expression as defined in my book “The expressive moment” and explain how sound design could be approached from the viewpoint of interaction. This involves a dynamical systems perspective that incorporates the affordance for interaction as a main ingredient of sound design. I thereby focus on the 3Mo (monitoring, motivation and modification) model recently published in Frontiers of Neuroscience.
Elif Özcan: “Sound design for everyday interactions”
Sound design has always fascinated me. From my professional years as a sound designer, I remember the magical feeling of being able to give form to sounds, this seemingly intangible medium, and experiencing its immediate effect on me, both mentally and physically. For me, sound design equaled to working directly with sounds: Sketching with sounds, vocalizations, role-playing with sounds, and Foley artist tricks were part of my routine as a sound designer that helped me improve the acoustical quality of the sound itself. However, over the years the more I studied about the theories of product experience, human behavior, and mental processes, the more I have come to realize that there is more to designing sounds, especially sounds that belong to everyday products or everyday contexts. Everyday sounds and sound sources are always part of an episode in which people, other artifacts, a certain location or time interact with each other, and experiences of which are all blended. One cannot separate sounds from their ecological occurrence and its relevance to other daily activities. When designing sounds of everyday objects, it is equally important (and exciting!) to consider the context in which sounds are designed for and how users interact with their environment through sounds.  Today, the whole world is fascinating to me with its inhabitants, environments, and artifacts, because that is where I find inspiration for sound design. In my talk, with commercial projects and current research activities, I will demonstrate how we design sounds for everyday interactions at Delft University of Technology. Some examples include the projects for Toyota Motors Europe, European Space Agency, and Erasmus University Medical Center.