Description: Description: Lippold's PictureChampaign-Urbana News-Gazette photo by Jesse Evans

Dr. Lippold Haken

I build the Continuum Fingerboard (a new electronic music instrument),
contribute to music-related software,
and teach Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois.

1906 Augusta
Champaign IL 61821

3054 ECE Building
University of Illinois
306 N Wright St
Urbana IL 61801


Computer Music

Invented the Continuum Fingerboard, a low-latency polyphonic touch-sensitive surface for expressive musical performance.  The Continuum Fingerboard has traditional MIDI I/O, AES3 digital audio I/O, analog headphone output, and pedal inputs. Special support is included for the Symbolic Sound Kyma system. For analog control voltage synthesizers, the Continuum Voltage Converter provides a sophisticated interface. I am working with Edmund Eagan to develop internal sounds for the SHARC DSP that I designed for the newer Continuum Fingerboards.   The Continuum Fingerboard has received international attention from top artists, and an outstanding review in the largest synthesizer magazine, Keyboard Magazine (August 2004).  Sound examples and movies are available on-line at

I am looking for an art patron interested in financially supporting my work on the Continuum Fingerboard, much like the Rosens supported Theremin in the 1930s.  Please contact me if you would consider furthering the electronic arts in this way.

Directed undergraduate, graduate, and PhD research in Computer Music topics.  Designed, built, and programmed high-speed audio signal processing hardware.  Created a real-time timbre morphing and time dilation technique.  Utilized psychoacoustic techniques and developed a new time-frequency analysis to produce efficient timbre synthesis.

Invented a timbre representation and manipulation technique using envelope parameter streams. Envelope parameter streams are the counterpart to sample streams in sampling synthesis. The streams provide amplitude, frequency, phase, and noise envelope parameters for each sine-wave component (each partial) of a sound. Such streams were used in one of the first successful real-time timbre morphing systems, and are now used for computer music, multimedia, radio advertisements, and soundtracks for film.

Developed novel real-time DSP algorithms for additive synthesis, sound morphing, granular synthesis, wavetable matching synthesis, fundamental frequency detection, pitch shifting, cross synthesis, linear predictive synthesis, formant oscillators, and other algorithms.  These algorithms are implemented for Symbolic Sound’s Kyma Sound Design Workstation, which contains 28 Motorola 56xxx processors and is used in high-end music and sound design studios.

Author of Lime™, a sophisticated music notation program for Macintosh® and Windows® with total distribution of over 110,000 copies.

Together with Dorothea Blostein of Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, developed algorithms to proofread and correct sheet music recognition results using the knowledge base of the Lime sheet music generator.

Together with Dancing Dots, Inc. of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, developed editing and printing technology for unsighted musicians.  This has become the leading Braille music production system in the world.

Contributed to the core algorithm of the world’s most popular musical instrument tuning program, APTuner.  The algorithm incorporates time-frequency reassignment and nonlinear string modeling.  The APTuner is available at

Classroom Teaching

Co-designer and the lecturing professor for the first five offerings of ECE110, an Electrical and Computer Engineering laboratory course the University of Illinois.  It introduces selected fundamental concepts and principles from circuits, electromagnetics, electronics, communication, control, and computing.  The course is organized around the design and construction of an autonomous moving vehicle.

Given the highest possible teaching effectiveness rating by 15 of 18 students after the pilot offering of ECE110.  Repeatedly included in the “Incomplete List of Excellent Teachers.” 

Added a laboratory component and redesigned the lectures for ECE402, a technical Computer Music course for Electrical and Computer Engineering grad students and seniors.  The course concentrates on musical signal processing algorithms and real-time implementations.  Students gain hands-on experience with a professional Sound Design Workstation.  Taught the most recent six offerings of this course.

Engineering Consulting

Invented and implemented a new medical tool tracking technology for Computerized Medical Systems, Inc.  This hardware and software technology has been incorporated into the IBeam product, to track the exact position and orientation of a free-hand ultrasound probe and produce a 3-D volume from multiple ultrasound images.  Localization of the ultrasound data is performed by real-time computer processing of images from a camera attached to the probe.

Together with Garrett Heath of Shure, Inc., developed the Frequency Compatibility Calculator. Developed efficient algorithms for determining frequency assignments that minimize interference between wireless microphones. Developed algorithms to automatically detect and avoid analog and digital TV channels. Developed a general framework for frequency assignments in all world regions.

Developed software to monitor and control wireless receiver equipment for Shure, Inc.

Developed hardware for Motorola to test video cell phone technology.

Mainframe Computer and Communications Technology

For 15 years, Lippold was in charge of hardware development of NovaNET (PLATO), both at the University of Illinois and after it was transferred to the private sector. Today NovaNET remains a leading product in curriculum-based networked teaching technology for the classroom. Developed specialized high-end communications equipment for education, and related network protocols and delivery performance monitoring systems.

Leader of the hardware design group for the Zephyr, a quad-CPU ECL mainframe computer for large-scale networked education. This was one of the very few mainframe computers designed at any University in the last 20 years to see commercial service. After 15 million contact hours the Zephyr was retired and replaced by DEC 64-bit mainframes in 1994.

Lippold's Family Pictures
Lippold's Slide Show of a dive trip to Conception Island, Bahamas
Lippold's pdf about the 1812 Ship Wreck Southampton and Vixen near Conception Island

Nerdy 1991 video interview: Lime, Continuum and Sound Morphing, Zephyr Computer

2010 interview about the Continuum Fingerboard

Fast Sine and Cosine for SHARC ADSP-21364
Lippold's List of Publications