Realtime Experimental Audio Laboratory

UCI Music Department
University of California, Irvine

The REALab (Realtime Experimental Audio Laboratory) is a laboratory in the UCI Music and Media Building for research and creative work in the use of computers in live musical performance, including realtime audio processing, sound spatialization, networked performance, interactivity, and alternative computer-mediated instruments. The REALab is affiliated with the Gassmann Electronic Music Studio in the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts, and is directed by Christopher Dobrian.

Michael Zbyszynski and Christopher Dobrian
REALab Director Christopher Dobrian and erstwhile Research Associate Michael Zbyszynski
Software for interactive remote simultaneous concerts via internet

Current and Recent Research

Remote Simultaneous Concerts via Internet

Trombonist Michael Dessen has collaborated with faculty at UCI, UCSD, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and New York University to produce multi-site telematic concerts in which performers and audiences in two locations simultaneously participate in a joint event, with audio from each site transmitted in real time with imperceptible latency. Telematic performance is a significant area of research for Professor Dessen.

As early as 2001, researchers at UCI and UCSD collaborated to realize live simultaneous interactive music performances in the two locations, in which the audience enjoyed the realtime interaction of musicians in both sites. The result was "Internet Pianos" (a.k.a. "Dueling Disklaviers"), two simultaneous concerts of duo piano performances with the pianists in two different locations, featuring renowned jazz pianists Kei Akagi (UCI) and Anthony Davis (UCSD), October 17, 2001.

Gestural Aspects of Musical Content

Researchers are examining models for the cognition and categorization of musical characteristics that convey a sense of "gesture" to the listener. Christopher Dobrian has written software for interactive performance in which a computer interprets the "gestural" quality of a live performance and responds with appropriate gestures of its own.

Realtime Interactive Performance Systems

Composers at the REALab are involved in designing new works for live performance with computers in which the computer plays an active quasi-intelligent role in the performance. Examples of such works are the entirely computer-controlled performance work Microepiphanies: A Digital Opera (2000) by Christopher Dobrian and Douglas-Scott Goheen, and There's Just One Thing You Need To Know for pianist (playing a Yamaha Disklavier), synthesizer, and interactive computer system.

Sound Spatialization

The REALab is equipped with a high-performance JBL (LSR series) speaker system for 5.1 audition, reconfigurable for other experiments in sound diffusion (quadraphonic, etc.). This system has been used for production of such works as the four-channel piece "Insta-pene-playtion (Interproviplaytion II)" for computer-processed flute by Christopher Dobrian, featuring flute excerpts by James Newton. You can hear a brief excerpt of a stereo MP3 reduction.

Research Associate Michael Zbyszynski
Research Associate Michael Zbyszynski
Interactive compositions for instrumentalist and computer

Affiliated Centers

Gassmann Electronic Music Studio, University of California, Irvine

Meyer Sound Design Studio, University of California, Irvine

Musicologie, Informatique et Nouvelles Technologies (MINT), Université de Paris-Sorbonne

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT), McGill University


Christopher Dobrian, Director


This site is designed and maintained by Christopher Dobrian. (
This page was last modified December 23, 2012.