Cantovation - a software development company that creates innovative technology for learning and enjoying music making

News: Read the article about Cantovation in The Press - "Finding Harmony while building a new venture"

About Us
Cantovation’s mission is to help people to sing better, and to have more fun in their singing, by developing innovative technology that gives people new ways to improve and enjoy their voices. In setting up CantOvation, we realised that with the rapidly increasing capability of home multimedia computers, the present time gives a unique opportunity to develop new technologies that will help people to sing better, to play music better, and to have more fun while they do that.

Sing & See was originally developed as part of a research project in the University of Sydney that looked at how visual feedback technology helped improve singing training outcomes. The research subjects - private singing teachers in Sydney - were so positive about having the software in their studios that they kept asking whether they could buy it! That demand for a new tool to help in their teaching remains one of the underlying motivations driving CantOvation - we want to give singing teachers and singers computer tools that can really help them to improve the quality and efficiency of their singing training experience.

CantOvation was set up in 2004 by Dr William Thorpe to commercialise the Sing & See software and the technology that grew out of that original software. It has since developed algorithms for 3rd-party products including StarPlay and Auralia, and is involved with several other ongoing R&D projects in areas related to voice technology.

Dr William Thorpe has 20 years of experience in research and software development in signal processing applications in speech, bio-medical, singing, and music areas. He has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and has worked at British Telecom's Research Laboratories, McGill University, The University of Sydney, and Auckland University prior to establishing CantOvation. At the University of Sydney he spent several years doing research into how people sing – how they breathe during singing, how they project their voices, how they communicate emotion in their singing, and how voice analysis technology can be used to enhance singing training. Dr Thorpe is also an associate member of the Bioengineering Institute at the University of Auckland where he is involved with an ongoing research project to develop 3-D physiologically-based models of the vocal system.

Dr Catherine Watson is an engineer specialising in acoustic phonetics and speech analysis technology. Her PhD research at the University of Canterbury was concerned with developing an interactive visual feedack tool for speech therapy. Following this she worked in the speech recognition group at the University of Otago, and then spent 8 years at the Speech Hearing & Language Research Centre and the Macquarie Centre of Cognitive Science at the Macquarie University in Sydney. Dr Watson is currently a Senior Lecturer in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Auckland where her research interests revolve around acoustic phonetics, speech synthesis, visual feedback technologies, and the mechanisms of accent change. Catherine is a classically trained musician who enjoys playing the piano and soprano saxophone.

Jonathon Crane has developed hardware and software for a range of companies including Canon Information Systems Research Austraila, Lake DSP and Bullant. He has an honors degree in Computer Engineering from the University of New South Wales. His strong interest in music has resulted in several commercial releases, material from which he performs regularly. Jonathon is learning the piano.