Automatic Drum Transcription and Source Separation

Derry FitzGerald
Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland (2004)


While research has been carried out on automated polyphonic music transcription, to-date the problem of automated polyphonic percussion transcription has not received the same degree of attention. A related problem is that of sound source separation, which attempts to separate a mixture signal into its constituent sources. This thesis focuses on the task of polyphonic percussion transcription and sound source separation of a limited set of drum instruments, namely the drums found in the standard rock/pop drum kit.

As there was little previous research on polyphonic percussion transcription a broad review of music information retrieval methods, including previous polyphonic percussion systems, was also carried out to determine if there were any methods which were of potential use in the area of polyphonic drum transcription. Following on from this a review was conducted of general source separation and redundancy reduction techniques, such as Independent Component Analysis and Independent Subspace Analysis, as these techniques have shown potential in separating mixtures of sources.

Upon completion of the review it was decided that a combination of the blind separation approach, Independent Subspace Analysis (ISA), with the use of prior knowledge as used in music information retrieval methods, was the best approach to tackling the problem of polyphonic percussion transcription as well as that of sound source separation.

A number of new algorithms which combine the use of prior knowledge with the source separation abilities of techniques such as ISA are presented. These include subband ISA, Prior Subspace Analysis (PSA), and an automatic modelling and grouping technique which is used in conjunction with PSA to perform polyphonic percussion transcription. These approaches are demonstrated to be effective in the task of polyphonic percussion transcription, and PSA is also demonstrated to be capable of transcribing drums in the presence of pitched instruments.

A sound source separation scheme is presented, which combines two previous separation methods, ISA and the DUET algorithm with the use of prior knowledge obtained from the transcription algorithms to allow percussion instrument source separation.

[BibTex, PDF, Return]