IRCAM, (Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics and Music), was founded by Pierre Boulez in 1977 under the aegis of the Centre Pompidou and the French Ministry of Culture.
IRCAM is one of the world’s largest public research center dedicated to both musical expression and scientific research. It is a unique location where artistic sensibilities collide with scientific and technological innovation. Frank Madlener has directed the institute since 2006. IRCAM's three principal activities — creation, research, transmission — are manifest in IRCAM's Parisian concert season, in the institute's annual festival, AGORA, and in productions throughout France and abroad.
In the realm of music and sound, IRCAM is on the cutting edge of scientific and technological innovations. Its R&D Department directed by Hugues Vinet gathers 90 researchers and engineers and implements an interdisciplinary research program in Science and Technology of Music and Sound (STMS), carried out in partnership with numerous universities and international companies (including CNRS and Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6). It covers a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines including acoustics, signal processing, computer science (languages, real-time, databases, man-machine interfaces) musicology, and music cognition.
The unique framework of collaboration between artists, scientists and engineers offered by IRCAM enables the production of advanced technology implementing the latest research results and subject to constant adaptations to the needs of contemporary creation in music and the performing arts. The series of software environments developed by the R&D teams are made available to the IRCAM Forum gathering 1300 professional users worldwide. They propose innovative features in audio processing, audio and music indexing, voice synthesis and processing, sound synthesis by physical modeling, sound spatialization, computer-aided composition and improvisation, music and multimodal interaction.
IRCAM also plays an active role in R&D projects at French, European and international levels in collaboration with companies and other laboratories in all aspects of STMS. Numerous licenses of its technology are granted to companies in the fields of audio and music technology, cultural industries, telecommunications, computer science, and transportation and automotive.
The release of the IrcamTools professional audio plug-in collection marks a new step in the dissemination of IRCAM’s advanced technology in collaboration with the French Flux company known for the quality of its products. The first available items are the results of 20 years of research in two dimensions of audio processing. T.R.A.X is an application of the SuperVP phase vocoder analysis/synthesis engine developed by Axel Roebel in the Analysis/synthesis team with Xavier Rodet. The SPAT series is the result of an original approach of sound spatialization in the Acoustic and Cognitive Spaces team headed by Olivier Warusfel, combining the study of spatial sound perception with room acoustics and signal processing.