Kritische Bewertung einer Masterarbeit

Aufgabe III Erstellung eines Blogeintrages

The master’s thesis I decided to write about bears the title “Timing-improved Guitar Loop Pedal based on Beat Tracking” and is written by Daniel Rudrich. It was submitted in 2017 at the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM) of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG).

I chose the thesis because it documents the development of a tool for guitar which I am planning to do as well for my master’s thesis.

Level of design

Since I am a sound design student myself and no expert/professional (yet) I cannot make a general statement concerning the difficulty or ambition of the project. However, to me and my competences in this field, the project appears to be quite challenging and requires advanced in knowledge in sound and programming.

Degree of innovation

I am a guitarist myself and therefore can relate to the described problem concerning accurate looping. In my opinion, the “timing-improved guitar loop pedal” can be considered quite innovative since I do not know of an existing commercial product that already does the same thing.

Outline of structure

The thesis appears to be very well structured. In the beginning, a brief introduction to the topic at hand is given. Then the problem that the thesis wants to solve is described and, subsequently, the main objective of the thesis (developing an algorithm, which analyses the recorded phrase and supports the musician by aligning the start and stop cues such that the gap is reduced and not perceivable anymore) is stated. Afterwards the development of the mentioned algorithm is documented. Finally, the algorithm is tested through conducting listening tests followed by a conclusion.

Scope of the work

The thesis comprises 76 pages and is therefore quite extensive. To me, the theoretical and practical parts appear well balanced, taking up an equal amount of pages. The theoretical parts also act as a relevant basis for the practical research which was not the case with the master’s thesis I reviewed for the previous task.

Orthography and accuracy

Admittedly, the thesis was not read completely. However, the parts read for this analysis were free of any grammatical or formatting mistakes.


The bibliography contains 33 citations which is quite an amount for a project documentation. Furthermore, the citations appear to be solely journal articles or books which is also very positive.

Since I was not involved in the project, I cannot say anything regarding the criteria “independence” and “degree of communication”.


All in all, I think this master’s thesis represents a very positive example of “how to do it”. Featuring the development of a challenging practical workpiece and including some theory relevant to the topic, it fulfils the research objective it sets out to solve.

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