Alison Bernice Ma (b. 1998) is a graduate of the Music Technology Master's of Science program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. There, she was the recipient of the 2020 College of Design Dean's Fellowship for one incoming graduate student, and participated as a member of the Music Informatics Group research lab under Dr. Alexander Lerch. Previous degrees include a Bachelor's of Music in Electronic Production and Design and minor in Sound Design for Video Games from the Berklee College of Music, where she was the recipient of the Max Mathews Award (2019) amongst other scholarships and honors. In the summer of 2022, Alison's machine learning research work for audio post-production and game audio, "Representation Learning for the Automatic Indexing of Sound Effects Libraries", was accepted for publication at the prestigious 23rd International Society for Music Information Retrieval conference hosted in Bengaluru, India (ISMIR 2022).

As a sound designer, Alison is always looking to discover new possibilities for layering, mangling, and morphing sounds. Primarily, she loves to apply her sound design skills in interactive media and game audio applications. She finds implementing sound in games equally as enjoyable as actually designing the sound assets themselves. On the side, Alison currently enjoys exploring sound design in Georgia Tech's Sonification Research Lab and as a contributing member at OctAI. Furthermore, one of her experimental 2-channel sound design works for DSP & voice, Engulf, was presented at the SEAMUS National Conference in 2020.

As a researcher, Alison's interests reside within the field of digital signal processing, music information retrieval, and machine learning for musical applications. Her efforts are motivated by her desire to discover uncharted heights of sonic inspiration, reduce repetitive tasks so that creativity always takes precedence, and understand the fundamental building blocks that make up sound. Currently, Alison has been developing her knowledge in the meta/continual-learning of sound databases as well as generative models for sound synthesis, speech synthesis, and music generation.

Fun facts about Alison:

  • Games I'm currently playing: Terraria, Valorant, Knockout City, Pokemon

  • Go-to instrument: Modular synths!

  • Favorite kind of plug-in: Saturation (post-2021)

  • Latest sound design discovery: GRM Tools Shift for robot voices

  • Niche interest: Personalization by means of sound design or machine learning


2020 - 2022

Georgia Institute of Technology


2016 - 2019

Berklee College of Music


Master of Science in Music Technology

  • Music Informatics Research Lab

  • Focus on machine learning for audio and
    sound design for video games

Bachelor of Music in Electronic Production & Design, Sound Design for Video Games

  • Focus on sound design for video games and interactive media