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Welcome! Currently I am Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oldenburg. My research concerns various topics in music perception and acoustic signal processing. I am specifically interested in timbre perception, auditory scene analysis of listeners with normal and impaired hearing, and time-frequency processing of music signals.

I am starting a new lab at the University of Oldenburg, so please contact me if you are interested in working on one of these topics.

Contact: kai.siedenburg <<at>> uni-oldenburg.de



[Dec 6, 2019] New paper accepted: Siedenburg, Schädler, Hülsmeier: Modeling the onset advanatage in musical instrument recognition (JASA-EL). We provide an acoustic model that provides corroborating evidence to the commonly observed special contribution of sound onsets to instrument identification. It finishes up the onset trilogy that started in 2017 with a DAFX paper on transient extraction and a 2019 JASA paper on the relevance of transients for instrument identification.

[Oct 30, 2019] Last week, the NDR visited our lab. Today, here’s a mini TV documentary about one of our experiments.

[Oct 21, 2019] Congratulations to former Oldenburg student Josef Schroeder for winning the EUHA thesis price (European Union of Hearing Acousticians)!

[Sep 13, 2019] Memorable Freigeist event in Hannover! Very happy to start my own group on music perception and signals in Oldenburg.

[Sep 2019] I feel very honoured to announce that I was awarded a Freigeist Fellowship by the Volkswagen Foundation!

[Mar 27-29, 2019] HEARING (MUSICAL) SCENESInternational workshop on auditory scene analysis at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg. It was a great pleasure to organize three days packed with new insights and inspiring discussions! Many thanks to Brian Moore, Josh McDermott, Mounya Elhilali, Robert Zatorre, Frank Russo, Birger Kollmeier, Simon Doclo, Niels Pontoppidan, Volker Hohmann, Georg Klump, Jeremy Marozeau, Alexandra Bendixen, Jackson Graves, Jannis Hildebrandt, Sophie Nolden, Stephen McAdams, Trevor Agus, Jason Noble, Waldo Nogueira, Clemens Wöllner, Sara Madsen, and Emily Coffey for their great talks!

Here’s the symposium program.


[Feb 27, 2019] New JASA paper on transients is published.

[Feb 20, 2019] In press! Ready for summer reading!


[Jan 17/18, 2019] Short trip to Paris, visiting the auditory part of the Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs at Ecole Normale Supérieure. Right across the street: Marie Skłodowska-Curie’s former office. Very inspiring place!


[Sep, 2018] Getting close to the finish line for Timbre: Acoustics, Perception, and Cognition, a comprehensive account of timbre science provided by a wonderful lineup of authors. To appear as part of the Springer Handbook of Auditory Research Series in 2019. Edited by Siedenburg, Saitis, & McAdams, Fay, and Popper.

[July, 2018] Summer = Conferences. Looking forward to presentations at Timbre2018 in Montreal and the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition in Graz (with a special symposium on music and hearing impairment).

[April 8, 2018] Paper accepted for Music Perception: Siedenburg & McAdams: “SHORT-TERM RECOGNITION OF TIMBRE SEQUENCES: MUSIC TRAINING, PITCH VARIABILITY, AND TIMBRAL SIMILARITY“. Four experiments on important factors in the cognitive sequencing of musical timbre and the final manuscript from my PhD.

[January 19, 2018] Paper accepted for JASA-EL: Timbral Shepard-illusion reveals ambiguity and context sensitivity of brightness perception“. I’m fairly excited about this project because it essentially shows that the good old Shepard illusion also works for timbre. This  stimulus class may open up a lot of possibilities. Please check here for some sneak-preview sound examples.

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[December 5, 2017] Today, I found myself on the University of Oldenburg’s main page in a feature about my project on music perception and hearing loss. Here’s the full post.

[September 21, 2017] New opinion paper out: We’re trying to clean up some of the mess around the notion of timbre: Four distinctions for the `auditory wastebasket’ of timbre  published in Frontiers in Psychology.

[September 8, 2017] Best Paper Award for my paper “Iterative Structured Shrinkage Algorithms for Stationary/Transient Audio Separation” at DAFX 2017!


[September, 2017] Conferences are coming up: First attending the one and only Digital Audio Effects (DAFX) conference in Edinburgh, presenting work on transient/stationary separation. The week after, I give a talk on timbre at the Centre for Digital Music (Queen Mary University of London), followed by a conference on music perception and hearing aids in Leeds. The weekend will be spent back in Hamburg, Germany, with a poster at the annual Meeting of the German Society for Music Psychology. Looking forward to two inspiring weeks!

[May 16, 2017] Very glad to be accepted as an associated junior fellow at the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg. The fellowship will give me the opportunity to organize exciting international events on musical auditory scene analysis.

[March 10, 2017] I am very happy to announce that my project TIMPANI – Test, Predict, and Improve Musical Scene Perception of Hearing-Impaired Listeners will be funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, part of the Horizon 2020 framework of the European Commission. This project will enable me to continue research at the University of Oldenburg and delve into the complex issue of sensorineural hearing loss and its effects on musical scene perception. Besides gaining a better understanding of the involved perceptual processes, a goal is to develop signal processing strategies for better music perception with hearing aids.

[February 17, 2017] Videos of the Berlin Interdisciplinary Workshop on Timbre are online!

[January 14, 2017] Hooray to Helmholtz! With my Montreal teachers Stephen McAdams and Bob Hasegawa in Berlin for the timbre workshop, we managed to take a snowy picture with sound color forefather Hermann von Helmholtz. Thanks for your great work, Hermann!



[January 12-13, 2017] The Berlin Interdisciplinary Workshop on Timbre was a great success! We had a broad spectrum of talks, tons of discussions, and lots of exchange. More reports soon. We will also upload most of the talks as a resource for the community.

[November 15, 2016] Announcing the BERLIN INTERDISCIPLINARY WORKSHOP ON TIMBRE, Jan 12-13, 2017 at the Musical Instrument Museum Berlin. We managed to gather a wonderful crowd of timbre geeks. Looking forward to an inspiring event!