our facility

Thanks to generous support from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation-Leaders Opportunity Fund (CFI-LOF), the MAPLE Lab has moved from its original location in room 405 of Togo Salmon Hall to a state of the art 1,200 square foot suite encompassing rooms 421, 423 and 424 of Togo Salmon Hall. This multi-purpose space contains a dedicated data collection area with two industry-standard Industrial Acoustics sound isolation booths, a small meeting/break area, a large work space with five student workstations, a flexible conference meeting/area with an overhead projector and movable furniture, and a small recording studio that doubles as an office for the lab’s director.  The lab also houses a professional level 5.0 octave marimba, vibraphone, and electronic drumset.  Additional support for the recording room/office came in the form of a donation in memory of Gordon and Winnie Lebarre.  This space will permit us to create new audio-visual recordings of percussion performances to extend our work on the role of visual information in music perception.

The lab is an exciting addition to the university, as McMaster is now one of only a handful to house an active externally funded research facility within its music department.  As such, the lab is uniquely positioned to explore questions of high significance to, and research intensive training for, musicians interested in the psychological basis of music.  This facility complements the NeuroArts lab (Steven Brown, PI) and the Auditory Development Lab (Laurel Trainor, PI) housed in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour.


History of the Lab

The lab was originally housed in room 405 of Togo Salmon Hall when it was founded in 2009.  However, strong interest by amongst students meant that we soon outgrew our initial facilities. After surveying several options, the lab received a generous allocation of a three-room suite comprising of rooms 421, 423, and 424 in Togo Salmon Hall. Assistance for infrastructure and major equipment costs came from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation ($424,933) as well as supplemental funding from the Arts Research Board and NSERC, as well as a private donation in honour of  Gordon and Winnie LeBarre.

Watch a video summary of the lab’s construction and current uses:


Equipment and Resources

The lab is well equipped to facilitate research on core issues of music cognition.  Currently we have the following major equipment purchased predominantly with funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (with select items purchased from our NSERC Discovery Grant and others with start-up funds):

  • Two industry-standard Industrial Acoustics sound isolation booths
    • One 5.5′ x 8′ booth
    • One large 9′ x 12′ model (housing our electronic drumset and piano),
    • Each booth is equipped with flat screen CRT monitors for accurate audio-visual synchronization
  • Computers
    • Five iMac and one PC desktop computer for student use
    • Two Mac and one PC laptop for student/faculty use
    • Two iMac Desktops reserved for experimental testing
    • Four Mac laptops dedicated to experimental testing
  • Headphones
    • Four sets of audiometric headphones for testing (Seinheiser HDA 200/300)
    • Several sets of Senheiser HD 280 pro headphones for general use
  • Musical instruments (funding is secured – exact models TBD where not listed)
    • One 5.0 octave Yamaha 5100 marimba (the lab owns a second marimba stored in the LIVE Lab)
    • Vibraphone (stored in the LIVE Lab)
    • MalletKat electronic marimba
    • Electronic drumset
    • Digital piano
  • Testing equipment
    • Roland PDX-8 and Alesis i/o – USB/MIDI Pad Trigger Interface (x5)
    • Audio/visual recording equipment
    • Tektonix oscilloscope (TDS2004C) for verifying the integrity of audio-visual timing information
  • Software (multiple licenses as needed for student use)
    • MAX/MSP digital sound editing software
    • Amadeus Pro audio editing software
    • Finale music notation software
    • Microsoft Office
    • SPSS