Ajin Tom

Technology Researcher | Sound Designer | Composer | Pianist

I am a second year graduate student in Music Technology at Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Canada. I completed my B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology) degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering at the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (NIT Surathkal), India.

I have always been fascinated with using scientific creativity to explore new possibilities in the development of my artistic and technological endeavors. I bring a strong love for music; being an avid musician and a passionate engineer, I developed a healthy interest in Sound Engineering and Music Technology, encouraging interaction between musical creation, technology and research. 

My experience in the fields of Digital Signal Processing, Embedded Systems Design, Human-Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence has led me to carrying out several research projects in the following areas, which I specialize in:

  • Audio Signal Processing, Time-Frequency Analysis, Music Information Retrieval

  • Spatial Audio, Structural Modelling for Binauralization and Directivity Modelling

  • Automatic Mixing, AI based Music Production tools, Audio Effects (VST)

  • Computational Modelling of Musical Acoustic Systems, Digital Sound Synthesis

  • HCI: Gestural controlled Digital Music Instruments and Interfaces, Sound Design

In the musical front, I spend most of my time as a Sound Designer, Composer and Music Producer for prolific music videos, games and short films. I have been playing the Piano and Guitar for the last 18 years and I got to be part of several music groups and bands: Pentatonics (Keyboards), The Cable Nerds (Guitar), TwoJOs and MnD (Synth). As a band, we toured all around India and Middle East Asia showcasing our music through live gigs, music videos and Battle-of-Bands competitions. My experience with state-of-the-art mixing consoles, recording equipment and workstations enabled me to lent in my skills as sound engineer for diverse live shows in India, Germany, Oman and Canada. As a freelance Audio Engineer, I work with Astral Studios and Prague Film School on diverse post-production audio projects involving mixing & mastering for film & games. Off-late I have been actively producing music videos on my YouTube channel, most of which involve inter-continental collaborations.

In the technology front, I spend my time as an Audio Technology Consultant for various international research centres and artistic groups. At the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media & Technology, I address problems relating to Sound Engineering and Music Performance using Signal Processing techniques and related engineering tools. I frequently conduct workshops and talks relating to Machine Hearing & Learning, Spatial Hearing and Automatic Mixing. I support the Centre for Research on Brain, Language & Music, by designing high-precision MIDI based hardware systems for their experiments. I also actively participate in hackathons and design competitions, to name a few: ImplementAI Hackathon, Montreal - Rank 3, Project: “VoxNets”
Intel InnovateFPGA Design competition - Rank 2, World Grand Final Top 5
World Music Tech Hackathon, MTF Sweden - Rank 1, Project: “Haptic Tutor”
More about my works and publications in the Research & Projects tab…

Here's my latest music video, recorded and shot across 3 different cities around the world, by Ajin Tom (London-UK), Alen Tom (Chennai-India) and Mathew Joel Mathew (Mangalore-India). Visit my youtube channel to watch more of my inter-continental distant collaborations!


Education

McGill University, Canada - M.A Music Technology : Sound & Processing Control Laboratory | GPA: 4.0/4.0

Courses : Digital Sound Synthesis, Audio Signal Processing & Analysis, Time-Frequency Representation of Sounds, Input Devices for Musical Expression, Gestural Control of Sound Synthesis, Computational Modelling of Acoustical Systems, Applied Machine Learning.

Research Assistantships : Software developer for Input Devices & Music Interaction Lab, Research Assistant for Sequence Production Lab and Image-Analysis Lab, Technical Solutions expert for McGill Contemporary Orchestra.

Thesis (Ongoing) : Automatic Spatialization for Masking Minimization using Directivity Pattern Re-modelling and Particle Swarm Optimization.


National Institute of Technology Karnataka, India - B.Tech : Electronics & Communication Engineering

Courses : Digital Signal Processing, Electronic Instrumentation, Control Systems, Analog Integrated Circuits, Data Structures & Algorithms, MIMO Wireless Communication, Computer and Mobile Communication Networks, Ad-Hoc Sensor Networks, Embedded Systems & Design.

Teaching Assistantships : Workshops instructor - Basics of Communication Networks, Fundamentals of Music Production, Sound Designer, Recording and Mix engineer for the Centre for System Design.

Thesis : Rate Adaptation Algorithm and Cross Layer Design Optimization for TCP Wireless.


Associated Board of Royal school of music (ABRSM), london, uK

Grade 8 : Piano, Music Theory

 

Experience

Centre for Digital Music - QMUL | MITACS Research Scholar

May 2018 - December 2018, London, UK
  • Developed a novel automatic mixing algorithm that spatializes sound sources in a multitrack recording for masking minimization

  • Utilized time-frequency techniques - spectral decomposition, masking detection, multitrack sub-grouping, frequency based spreading and optimization based on MPEG Psychoacoustic Masking Model


Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music & Media Technology - Input Devices and Music Interaction Lab

September 2017 - December 2018, Montreal, Canada
  • Development of software and hardware for the Prynth Programmable Synthesizer based on RaspberryPi, SuperCollider, Node.js, SocketIO

  • Designed and built a novel real-time wireless vibro-tactile metronome and notification system for the McGill Contemporary Orchestra to enable haptic cues to establish co-ordination between conductor and performers with respect to the click track during the piece

  • Conducted workshops and presented talks on topics such as Machine Hearing & Learning, Spatial Hearing and Automatic Mixing.


Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music - Sequence Production Lab

December 2017 - December 2018, Montreal, Canada
  • Built high-precision time-synchronous MIDI-based hardware systems and MoCap setups for experiments conducted in the lab

  • Design of cognitive psychology experiments involving auditory sequences to investigate behavioural and neural foundations like learning, memory, motor control and sensory feedback. My work here also involves DSP tools programming for Time-Frequency Analysis of EEG data


TU Berlin - Telecommunication Networks Group | WISE Research Scholar

May 2016 - July 2016, Berlin, Germany
  • Developed TinyOS for Reliable IP-based wireless protocol stacks for demanding Cyber-Physical IoT Systems

  • Integrated hardware and software infrastructure for precise and out-of-band assessment of end-to-end delay and jitter in the TWIST network testbed by implementing PTP on a linux server. Most of the research involved extension of TSCH parts of IEEE 802.15.4e Standard


The Royal Opera House | Sound and Broadcast Department

December 2015 - January 2016, Muscat, Oman
  • Designed adaptive patching & routing techniques on optocore technologies based mixing consoles for immersive sound design

  • Preparation of console and equipment for live sound reinforcement across various digital platforms for several local & international shows


Audio Technology Consultant & Freelance Sound Designer

  • Design of hardware and software to provide solutions for Music production and performance related problems for various artistic groups

  • Completion of diverse post-production audio projects: mixing and mastering for film & games with Astral Studios and Prague Film School

  • Technology review and solutions for audio research labs, audio-visual assistance for various studios and indie projects

  • Released a 12 track-album for "Incident - 2016, NITK", composed three originals, carried out recording and mixing for all the tracks

  • Conducted several workshops and talks on various topics including Music Technology, Sound Engineering, Live Sound Reinforcement, System Network Infrastructure, Robotics and also media editing tools like Adobe Premier Pro and Logic Pro for the Centre for System Design, Karnataka, India and German University of Technology, Muscat, Oman


 

Honors & awards

  • MITACS Globalink Research Award - 2018 : Merit-based scholarship and travel grant to pursue research with International partner

  • Intel InnovateFPGA Design Contest - SanJose: Rank 2, World Grand Final Top 5, Project: “Deep-learning based Brain-Computer Interface for brain typing”

  • World Music Hackathon - MTF Stockholm 2018, Sweden : Gold Award, Rank 1, Project: “Haptic Tutor”

  • ImplementAI Hackathon, Montreal: Rank 3, Project: “VoxNets”

  • World Robot Olympiad (WRO) - Qatar : Country Representative, Gold award, Rank 1

  • WRO Malaysia : Country Representative, World Rank 25

  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award: Gold Award


 

extra-cirricular activites

  • Technites - College Tech-Fest @ENGINEER'16 : Executive member, Project Head

  • The Cable Nerds (YouTube channel and music group) : Co-founder, Mix Engineer

  • All-India Badminton Zonals and Nationals (CBSE) : Gold Award, Team Captain

  • Japan Shotokai World Karate Federation (AIKI) : Shotokai Black Belt Dan I

  • Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) : Technical Head

  • CIRMMT Workshop on Machine Hearing & Learning : Speaker

  • ‘OrKid’ - Electro-Acoustic Ensemble : Founder, Performer

  • Saarang'16, IIT Madras : Best Instrumentalist Award

  • Sennheiser: India’s Top 50 emerging bands : Rank 2

  • All-India Battle of Bands (various fests) : Winner

  • TwoJOs (Music Band) : Performing Artist

  • NITK Music Club : Vice-President




Auralization Demo in Blender

Demo for MUMT 618 Course Presentation