Audio Wizardry Can Polish Live Performances – As They Happen

SMU Engineering Professor Scott Douglas talks about manipulating audio in real time to enhance a singer's performance.

SMU Engineering Professor Scott DouglasSMU Engineering Professor Scott Douglas, a pioneer in noise cancellation, will be among the featured speakers at TEDxSMU on Saturday, December 3, at the Wyly Theatre in Dallas.

“What I want to show is that you can take a voice and manipulate it on the fly and basically add chords to it,” Douglas told Jerome Weeks of Art & Seek in an interview that aired on KERA public radio on Friday, December 2.

Essentially, he means instant Auto-tuning, Weeks reported. Most people know Auto-tune as the digital recording process that makes singers like T-Pain sound like robots.

Read about or listen to Douglas's interview with Weeks. audio icon

About Douglas (from his TEDxSMU profile)

Scott is an SMU professor, researcher, educator-entrepreneur and jazz-lover whose lifelong passion is sound and music. He developed one of the first successful procedures for the active cancellation of sound in a room over 15 years ago. More recently, he developed mathematical techniques for picking out and recording individual voices in a crowd using several microphones in tandem.

Educated at Stanford University as an electrical engineer, Scott co-authored the first engineering textbook for high school students for The Infinity Project, a national award-winning middle school, high school and early college engineering curricula. Scott has been featured in live and recorded radio and television shows including NPR and WFAA-TV. An avid singer and musician, Scott’s preferred instrument is the saxophone, and while he loves all forms of music, his favorite is jazz.