IEEE CS Chicago: Software Musical Instrument Design With Machine Learning and Machine Listening


For our October meeting, we will have an interesting speaker Sam Pluta from University of Chicago that combines machine learning with music. Don't miss on this exciting meeting!

See details of the speaker and talk below.  Register by clicking on the External Registration link.


  Date and Time





Sam Pluta

Sam Pluta of University of Chicago


Software Musical Instrument Design With Machine Learning and Machine Listening

Much of my recent work has been exploring Machine Learning and Machine Listening techniques to create highly expressive software instruments for musical performance. In this talk I will outline two such instruments: a Silent-Brass and trombone-based instrument that analyses the signal of an acoustic trombone and controls digital synthesis using data captured from the trombone analysis and a multi-mapped neural network-based instrument, which maps small dimensional controller spaces to large dimensional sonic spaces. I will share my code and the design features of these instruments and also play music made with these instruments, including my 2017 composition Matrix (for George Lewis) and also a solo live performance.

Here are some of the links to learn more about Sam and his work as performer, composer and educator.

Univ. of Chicago Video

Must-see Live performance:
OPTION: Paul Lytton & Sam Pluta Live Improvisation


Machine Language Title Track
Live ensemble

Live performance of Machine Language on YouTube:

Wet Ink Ensemble
Music performed by the Wet Ink Ensemble, named the Best Ensemble in the New York Times "The Best Classical Music of 2018" (

Lines On Black : Canyon from Glossolalia/Lines On Black

Portraits​/​Self Portraits I: Jem Altieri with a Ring Modulator Circuit
Processing of live tracks from Sum and Difference

Michael Gordon "Timber Remixed" - Sam Pluta Remix
Percussion Ensemble Remix

From Sum and Difference "The Long Line"
Trumpet and Electronics Duo


Sam Pluta is a composer and electronics performer whose work explores the intersections between instrumental forces, reactive computerized sound worlds, traditionally notated scores, and improvisation. Since 2009, Sam has served as Technical Director and composing member of Wet Ink Ensemble. He has also received commissions and written music for groups like Yarn/Wire, Ensemble Dal Niente, International Contemporary Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Mantra Percussion, Spektral Quartet, TAK,and the New York Philharmonic. Laptop improvisation is a core part of Pluta’s artistic practice. Performing on his custom software instrument, he has toured internationally with Rocket Science, the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, and the Peter Evans Ensemble. Sam appears as a composer and performer on over thirty albums of new music and jazz, many of which are released on his label, Carrier Records. Prof Pluta is currently Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Chicago, where he teaches composition and directs the CHIME Studio.


6:00 - 6:05 PM Introduction
6:05 - 6:45 PM Talk
6:45 - 6:55 PM Q&A
6:55 - 7:00 PM Closing and Adjournment