Share your experience in IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine!

When I first started research as a postgrad student in 2004, my research publication debut came a year later, 2005 June in International Symposium on Consumer Electronics. I was lucky to be awarded a student travel grant from Philips Electronics.
Fast forward to exact ten years later, 2015 June, I was honored to be elected as an associate editor of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, covering audio related research topics.
Consumer Electronics (CE) has a very broad scope as well as a lot of challenges. It inherited the challenges from both academic and industrial sides. I eagerly  invite researchers from both sides of the CE to share their experience or ideas with the community.
01mce02-cover1
We recently have the publication webpage updated. Visit our Call for Paper section. Like many IEEE periodicals, to submit a regular article to IEEE CE Magazine, please visit the ScholarOne CE magazine page at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/cemag.
If you are an expert in the audio research field and love to share your experience in the IEEE CE Magazine, please feel free to drop me an email : Dr.L.Wang {a t} ieee.org

Audio in Windows since Vista

Disclaimer: This is a re-post of

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/larryosterman/2006/03/07/audio-in-vista-the-big-picture/

Copying to here for reference and also a backup in case MS removed the link above.

The info below was meant for Windows Vista. But still applies to Windows 7 and to some extend to Windows 8+.

 

“So I’ve talked a bit about some of the details of the Vista audio architecture, but I figure a picture’s worth a bunch of text, so here’s a simple version of the audio architecture:

This picture is for “shared” mode, I’ll talk about exclusive mode in a future post.

The picture looks complicated, but in reality it isn’t.  There are a boatload of new constructs to discuss here, so bear with me a bit.

The flow of audio samples through the audio engine is represented by the arrows – data flows from the application, to the right in this example.

The first thing to notice is that once the audio leaves the application, it flows through a very simple graph – the topology is quite straightforward, but it’s a graph nonetheless, and I tend to refer to samples as moving through the graph.

Starting from the left, the audio system introduces the concept of an “audio session”.  An audio session is essentially a container for audio streams, in general there is only one session per process, although this isn’t strictly true.

Next, we have the application that’s playing audio.  The application (using WASAPI) renders audio to a “Cross Process Transport”.  The CPT’s job is to get the audio samples to the audio engine running in the Windows Audio service.

In general, the terminal nodes in the graph are transports, there are three transports that ship with Vista, the cross process transport I mentioned above, a “Kernel Streaming” transport (used for rendering audio to a local audio adapter), and an “RDP Transport” (used for rendering audio over a Remote Desktop Connection).

As the audio samples flow from the cross process transport to the kernel streaming transport, they pass through a series of Audio Processing Objects, or APOs.  APOs are used to provide DSP on the audio samples.  Some examples of the APOs shipped in Vista are:

  • Volume – The volume APO provides mute and gain control.
  • Format Conversion – The format converter APOs (there are several) provide data format conversion – int to float32, float32 to int, etc.
  • Mixer – The mixer APO mixes multiple audio streams
  • Meter – The meter APO remembers the peak and RMS values of the audio samples pumped through it.
  • Limiter – The limiter APO prevents audio samples from clipping when rendering.

All of the code above runs in user mode except for the audio driver at the very end.”

The Experience with Singapura: The Musical

Presented by The 4th Wall Theatre Co

ED GATCHALIAN
Composer / Arranger / Musical Director

GREG GANAKAS
Director

JOEL TRINIDAD
Librettist

Capitol Theatre

22 May – 19 July 2015

Singapura: The Musical credit: Liang Vincent WANG

Singapura: The Musical   (credit: Liang Vincent WANG)

My second kid was born weeks ago. It’s like reset button been pressed. I was sent back again to the life changing experience when my first kid was born. I have not stepped in any performance venue for a month before I was invited to the newly restored Capitol theatre for the musical, Singapura.

The Plot

http://www.singapurathemusical.com/synopsis.html

“Singapura: The Musical takes the audience through a journey of love, hope, and new beginnings while exploring the strength of the human spirit during the formative years of Singapore’s history from 1955 to 1965. Through the eyes of ordinary men and women…Their passion and drive sees them dreaming, hoping and creating – against all odds – a place where they can truly call home.”

The Music

The music used in musical is mixed from fast paced songs, light hearted tunes and touching melodies. Some of the lyrics were adapted from Singapore historical lines. It may remind you about the secondary school history class. The same text could be seen as dramatic for audiences in other parts of the world.

The singing is certainly more than satisfying. The cast should be given credit. It’s not easy to sing while managing themselves in the fast paced acting. The orchestration were kept simple as the pit size allows only a small ensemble. It would be great to hear a more full body orchestration. Still the musicians did a good job for the show. To me, live music is always better than pre-recorded playback in the theatre.

I really enjoy those slower paced songs, e.g. “The Home I knew”, “Remember” and “Something About You”. Maybe more are needed to re-calibrate the whole dynamic and to relax the audiences in between the tumultuous scenes. In fact, for any musical, most audiences only remember the slow songs. It might also be helpful to cut back on words and narratives to distant itself from being a bit documentary. On the other hand, allocating more developments on the personal touch around the characters. This would also allow the audiences more time to think and reflect on the story.

Through the production you can probably hear and see the influence from Les Miserable and Moulin Rouge. Mind you, the former musical received negative reviews when first premiered in London, “a witless and synthetic entertainment”.

The Stage & Lighting

The stage setting was constrained by the small space, yet quite effective. The use of the LED projection set the necessary backgrounds. The three storey structure was also put to good use through the show. I like the way it was managed in the scene of Lee May and Flynn’s separation and also the scene of the mother’s death. The best is the lovely authentic Kopitiam setup. This alone means a lot to the people who lived through the era.

Leading cast in the Kopitiam (credit: Liang Vincent WANG)

Leading cast in the Kopitiam (credit: Liang Vincent WANG)

The lighting was general good, like the starry night scene with Lee May and Flynn. During certain scenes, the lighting might be a bit cold and casted a depression feel. A bit warmer and nostalgic feel might bring the some comfy to the audiences. I’m sure they badly need it after following through the turbulence.

Scenes from Singapura- The Musical (credit to Singapura- The Musical

Scenes from Singapura- The Musical (credit:  Singapura- The Musical)

The Venue

The Capitol Theatre was an iconic building. The restored one is no less so. For performers, new venues are always exciting and challenging with all the uncertainties. This is especially true in the first few years after opening. Think of the recently restored Victoria Concert Hall, Esplanade in the early years. Not just in Singapore, the €400 million Philharmonie de Paris is going through the same right now.

I spoke with the Sound Designer Ms Emily Adam after the show. The technical glitches and challenges posed by a new theatre made her job tough for every evening even after a few runs. If time allowed, it would be great to fine tune the sound balance with different cast and musicians. As someone working for DTS, it would be wonderful to have surround and ambience to envelop the audiences even better.

Inside the theatre, credit: Liang Vincent WANG

Inside the theatre (credit: Liang Vincent WANG)

The Cast and Accent

Before coming to the show, I had read many comments on these. Both drawn a lot attentions, which I fully understood.

If you had followed plays or operas, this is probably not a problem at all. Everyday there are Shakespeare performed around the world by different cast. This reminds me of the Richard III with Kevin Spacey years ago in esplanade theatre. The American accent did not make it a bad production.
Have you ever watched an Italian opera by English or German cast?
These things are pretty common around the world in the theatre business. A great work can be performed by cast from countries with different accents or even different native languages.

Would I like to see a production of this musical with more Singaporeans in the cast?
Yes. (There are 11 right now)
Is this a deciding factor to determine whether this could be great show?
No.

Then why it became so controversial here? Perhaps, it is the title of the work plus its premiere was in Singapore, where the audiences have the authentic accent and may know the history better than the cast.

Singapura- The Musical Gala Night with Guest of Honour Minister Tan Chuan Jin (credit: Singapura The Musical)

Singapura- The Musical Gala Night with Guest of Honour Minister Tan Chuan Jin (credit: Singapura The Musical)

The Production

You may want to read the story behind the musical told by the composer himself. From there you will find why this production was brought by a team from Philippine.
http://www.singapurathemusical.com/the-musical-composers-journey.html

The 4th Wall theatre is a new player in the musical scene. It may not be at the top of game to be compared with Broadway or West End. In fact, the production team is taking a great risk to produce this original musical and bring its world premiere in Singapore. They had to work with limited time, resources and unlimited challenges.
Isn’t this just like the building of Singapore? It is not perfect, but the team should be given the due credit for their job. And they are taking steps each time and in fact every evening to improve.

The Experience

It is very different between reading the reviews and being part of a live performance. The difference is like reading a soccer post match analysis and being in the stadium and part of the game.

In this very special year, it makes perfect sense to immerse yourself in the history never presented in this way before. Overall I felt my two and half hours well spent. I even bought a copy of the recording as a souvenir. Certainly, I hope to catch a production of this musical again with my daughter and son many years later!

Original Cast Recording (Credit: Liang Vincent WANG)

Original Cast Recording (Credit: Liang Vincent WANG)

If you’d like to experience yourself, the performance is ongoing till 19 July 2015

Singapura: The Musical
Capitol Theatre
Tickets from $65 at eventClique,
https://singapurathemusical.eventclique.com

Disclaimer: The writer of this article has been in Singapore since 2004. He does not speak with authentic Singlish accent. Singapore is not his hometown. It is his home.

DTS is hiring

My company, DTS is hiring following position. Please drop me an email with your resume if interested.

My contact info is on this page

https://liangvincentwang.com/about/

Job Description

Software Engineer – Android

Job Responsibilities
DTS is looking for a talented and experienced application, mobile, tablet, and desktop developer to assist us in making DTS stand out in the Android and iOS markets. You will be joining a team of software engineers who are creating the next generation of audio applications on Android, iOS and Windows 8 platforms.

Join a group of software enthusiasts who develop innovative applications that integrate the latest DTS audio processing technology. As a member of the team, you will architect and develop applications to enhance the experience of DTS audio technologies on mobile and desktop devices. Excellent programming and communication skills with experience working in a fast paced development environment are required, as you will be collaborating closely with remote team members.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities
•Develop mobile, tablet, and desktop applications, documenting software
•Work closely with business partners, product management and design team to conceptualize new ideas and converting them into technical requirements and working closely with your peers to build a killer Android app
•Ability to understand and debug large and complex code bases
•Experience designing clean and maintainable APIs, multithreading programming and writing unit tests and testable code

Required Education and Experience
•Master’s degree in computer science or engineering with 3 years of industry experience or Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of industry experience
•At least 3 years of proven experience in a team/group environment with mobile, tablet, and desktop application development
•Mobile and tablet application development experience
•Proven ability to ship apps from start to finish

Other Skills & Abilities
•Has an understanding of multimedia frameworks and the ability to integrate them
•Experience with integrating audio SDKs into lower level APIs on Android, iOS and Windows 8, as well as knowledge of common audio API’s, and digital audio signal processing is ideal

最长的队 — the long and winding queue

一个月前的3月23日是女儿的三岁生日。为此我特地从台北赶回来,提着蛋糕和挺着大肚子的妻子一同将女儿送进幼儿园,好让她能和朋友们一起庆祝。
刚出幼儿园,就看到朋友发来李光耀先生去世的消息。时距新加坡建国五十周年不到五个月。老人没能亲历他领导建设的这个国家的五十岁生日。

依稀记得近二十年前,1997年的2月19日,当邓小平先生去世的消息传到教室时,全班正在上自习。国歌奏起,我第一个起身向邓先生致敬。那时距香港回归还差不到五个月。历史是惊人的相似,残酷。

接下来的一周,整个新加坡到处都弥漫着浓浓的悲哀。除了将女儿的家庭生日庆祝推迟一周,起先并不觉得周围发生的一切会对我有太大影响,我只是拿了绿卡尚未入籍的半个新移民。可接下来几天我却始终无法走出这甚至有些莫名的悲哀。

Queue

周四我凌晨起早请假和另一位已经入籍的朋友一同加入国会送别李先生的队伍。排了近五小时的队仅为给李先生鞠个躬。周日国葬,顶着大雨在路边送李先生最后一程。我只是发自内心的感恩。

q2

如果换作五年前,很难想象我所做,所感受到的一切。一定会觉得自己疯了才会去排这五小时的队。真正当我在新加坡住了十多年,求学,工作,娶妻,安家,走过四大洲几十个城市后,才深深体会这位老人对整个新加坡乃至整个华人世界的意思。可以说新加坡第一次为整个华人社会树立了成功的榜样。你可以说她小,说她严,但综合来讲,如果不怕四季的单调,没有比这里更适合华人生活的地方,尤其是社会相对公平及对女性的保护。在这里有我温馨美满的家庭,再加上儿时曾经梦想的工作。虽没有大富大贵,还是要感恩这一切。为此我放弃了公司内部调动去硅谷分公司的机会,也拒绝了去苹果公司加州总部工作面试的机会。西安是我的故乡,新加坡是我的家。我大抵也只会在这两地长居。

听到有国内的朋友说新加坡有反华亲美之嫌。我只想说,绝大多数国与国之间也只有利益博弈,同时热烈欢迎优秀人才来新加坡代理中国利益,共同建设繁荣全世界华人圈。

往后每年的3月23日,不再仅仅是女儿生日,我会让她知道曾经有一位李爷爷领导建立了这个国家,让她了解海外华人奋斗的历史。还会给她讲她爹这辈子排过最长的队。

4月24日夜于星岛

Vincent’s take on the concerts/shows in 2014

This is backblog keeping. Just to record my personal take of the 2014 concerts/shows before it’s too late..

The Exceptional:
I attended many concerts/shows through the year. Most are good (e.g. many concerts by Singapore Symphony Orchestra ). Some are exceptional or much better than what I had expected.

The second night of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) in the Esplanade.
World class orchestra playing on form.

Orchestra of the Music Makers playing “Planets” in the Esplanade
This was my first time hearing “Planets” live. The orchestra simply out did themselves again. I really look forward to their Mahler symphony No.8 concert this year.

A Dream Like A Dream in Esplanade theater
This play changed the definition of a play to me, full stop.

Cameron Carpenter organ recital in Segerstrom Concert Hall, Orange County, CA, US.
Before the concert, the only thing I knew about him was his almost rebellious dress as an organist. However the way he talked about music in the concert was so sincere and way better than many other organists I heard.

The Disappointing:
Good or bad is subjective. But some are simply disappointing.

Facing Goya
Hype and hype before the start of the poor-line-upped, inaugural Singapore International Arts Festival (SIFA). The musicians from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra had actually done a good job. Unfortunately that’s not enough from saving a disappointing show.
This poorly staged opera tried so hard to present some idea that was much better presented a hundred times in novels, films, etc.. I really regret wasting my time in the otherwise lovely cozy newly renovated Victoria theater.

First night of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) at the Esplanade
The orchestra just sounded jet lag. An average form SSO would play better than the LSO on that night.

The Mixed Bag

Jordi Savall: Jerusalem
Great music making for sure. Exceptional programme and presentation. However, the use of loudspeaker killed the pure beauty of acoustic experience. Did the organizer know that the Esplanade concert hall is capable of producing a better experience?

The Ugly

Israel Philharmonic performing in Marina Bay Sands MasterCard Theatres.
Normally I would not comment on concerts I didn’t attend. But this one is out right kidding.
The organizer put an excellent orchestra into a good example of failed acoustic venue in a glittering shopping mall. What a waste! I am so glad I didn’t purchase myself a ticket to regret.

A disk read error occurred

My five and half years quad core desktop started giving me a lot of disk errors in the last year.

It was like once a month in the beginning till unbearable once a week.

Some times the harddisk just disappear from the system.

I got A disk read error occurred error when I restarted it. Harddisk SMART Status may show  BAD.

I changed the SATA cable. Didn’t help. Suspect it was my harddisk.

Took the oppotunity to upgrade to a new SSD. Didn’t help either.

Did almost all solutions mentioned in this post, no success.

https://www.raymond.cc/blog/help-a-disk-read-error-occurred-press-ctrlaltdelete-to-restart/

Until recently I realize it might be the SATA socket on the motherboard.

After a few swaps, I found two SATA sockets on my motherboard had gone bad.

Currently my SSD stays stable on SATA 3 on the board for more than a month. Hope it can keep strong until Intel produce something worth upgrading.