URBANA, Illinois, March 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — From the first time he used a synthesizer, Illinois computer science professor Paris Smaragdis knew he wanted to learn how technology could create or change the music.
What followed was a career in academia that focused his research on artificial intelligence on the question: what does it mean to take a stream of sound and break it down into its individual components?
The answers he has found over the years have helped him produce widely published research and over 40 patents. But nothing he’s accomplished has been more “mind-blowing” than the recent work he did with a team of engineers to improve the audio quality of director Peter Jackson’s recent documentary titled “The Beatles: Get Back”.
“I remember growing up as a kid, listening to Beatles tapes as I sat in the garden. I started to understand that the Beatles weren’t just a big deal because of the music. They were light years ahead of the rest because of the music production,” Smaragdis said. “Being in a position where I could not only see how they produced their music, but also deconstruct it and unmix it, was definitely a mind-blowing experience.”
Smaragdis heard about the engineering team working on the documentary, at which point they asked if he could help clean up this treasure trove of old Beatles audio.
The original audio came mostly from a microphone that picked up the sounds of a room full of musicians, producers, friends and collaborators. The documentary wanted to extract speech and music from these sounds to properly portray the development of an iconic piece of music for today’s audience.
“That first phone call started with them asking me if it could even be done. I told them if they had tried it 10 years ago I would say there was no way this But we’ve had several big breakthroughs from those years that I think could make that possible,” Smaragdis said.
The whole process took the team nine months.
“I focused on how we could separate and identify all the sounds we encountered. We could identify Paul (McCartney) speaking here, or the voice of George (Harrison) speaking there,” Smaragdis said.
In the end, the months-long process resulted in a sound worthy of the documentary and the monumental group.
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About Grainger College of Engineering
The Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the world’s top-ranked engineering institutions and a globally recognized leader in engineering education, research, and training. public engagement. With a diverse and tight-knit community of faculty, students, and alumni, Grainger Engineering sets the standard for engineering excellence, drives innovation in the economy, and brings game-changing ideas to the world. Through solid research and discovery, our faculty, staff, students and alumni are changing our world and achieving advances once dreamed of including MRI, LED, ILIAC, Mosaic, YouTube , flexible electronics, electrical machines, miniature batteries, black hole imaging and Mars flight. The world’s brightest minds at Grainger College of Engineering tackle today’s toughest challenges. And they are building a better, fresher and safer future. Visit grainger.illinois.edu for more information.
About Illinois Computing
Building on a proud heritage dating back to the 1940s, Illinois Computer Science is at the forefront of computing innovation today. Collectively, our alumni and faculty have spawned entirely new industries, generated billions of dollars in commerce, created tens of thousands of jobs, and revolutionized the way people communicate, shop, do business, and entertain. . One of the top five undergraduate and graduate computer science programs, ranked by US News and World Report, features the Illinois CS experience designed around cutting-edge education and powerful research capabilities. More than 100 faculty members and more than 40 NSF Career Award winners punctuate the high level of sustained progress within the department. Visit cs.illinois.edu/ to see how Illinois CS is shaping the future of computing.
Media Contact: Aaron Seidlitz, Deputy Director of Communications IT | [email protected] | 217-300-3662
Expert source: Paris Smaragdis, computer science teacher | [email protected] | 217-265-6893
Photo credits :
Portrait of Paris Smaragdis (Photo: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, The Grainger College of Engineering)
An image from The Beatles: Get Back, featuring Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr (Photo: Disney+)
Image 1: Professor Paris Smaragdis
Professor Paris Smaragdis
Image 2: The Beatles: Come Back
The Beatles: Come Back
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Professor Paris Smaragdis