External websites we've worked on: Dr Andy Moorhouse on piano ... Prof Trevor Cox
Telephone: 0161 295 4524
Senior Lecturer and Media City Coordinator for the College of Science & Technology.
My current role as Media City Coordinator involves coordinating all of the Media City related activity for the College of Science & Technology at University of Salford. This includes managing internal structures to respond to the needs of the project as a whole and also liaison and managing relationships with external organisations with an aim to developing partnerships in learning, research and commercial activity.
In 2011 we'll be joining five major BBC departments, including Sport and Children's, at MediaCityUK only a short distance from the University campus. We'll have 100,000 square feet of space filled with state-of-the-art technology right next to the BBC buildings. All parts of the University will be involved in working with the BBC and other tenants to create job opportunities for graduates, and benefit business and the local community.
Ben Shirley's main research interests are in accessibility research, media and broadcast, software tools for music composition and audio software development.
He has worked with Sony BPRL, Nokia Home Communications and the RNIB with the aim of developing speech enabled Electronic Programme Guides (EPG) for the Nokia Media Terminal set top box.
More recently he has been principal investigator on the Clean Audio Project, funded by the Independent Television Commission (ITC), and later Ofcom, which involved processing Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound in order to improve intelligibility and enjoyment for hard of hearing viewers. Some information and recommendations from this project can be found here. Further details are published in the proceedings of the 118th AES Convention and were presented at RAATE 2004. This area of work has continued in collaboration with Dolby Labs. Additional recent research in this area has developed a useful test methodology to assess the effects of audio processes on dialog intelligibility. The Clean Audio research led to the formation of the UK Clean Audio Forum which consists of broadcasters and broadcast manufacturers from the UK and also from Europe working to improve digital TV audio for hearing impaired viewers. It has led to the development of new guidelines in ETSI standards for digital broadcast and is informing product development.
Some more recent research has focussed on the use of various processes to separate speech from competing noise sources, principally using independent component analysis. Some of this has been supported by BBC Research.
Currently he is Principle Investigator for University of Salford’s part of a 9.35M euro FP7 project, FascinatE, which commenced February 2010, Principle Investigator for an Ofcom funded project VoIPTxt making voice chat clients accessible for hearing impaired people and consultant for a range of commercial activity including work for Dolby Labs San Francisco assessing processes for next generation set top boxes
Main teaching areas are in MIDI, audio post production, audio and music technology, software development and video to our HND, BSc (Hons) and MSc courses. Supervised final year and MSc projects are in audio and MIDI software development and music and video production.
Ben graduated from our HND in Audio & Video Systems as a mature student and worked in industry as an audio service/maintenance engineer before returning as a Technician/Demonstrator in 1993. He taught audio production, recording studio techniques and computer music technology at Salford and Tameside for 6 years part time before graduating with an MSc in Digital Music Technology from Keele University in 1999.
Since August 2000 he has been a full time academic at Salford and has been programme leader for the Audio & Video Technology stream. This consists of BSc (Hons) Audio Technology, BSc (Hons) Audio & Video Broadcast Technology and BSc (Hons) Acoustics. He is now Senior Lecturer in Audio Technology and Media City Coordinator for the College of Science & Technology.
Outside of work Ben plays several musical instruments with varying degrees of competence and can often be found sailing on Coniston Water in Cumbria.
O. Schreer, G. Thomas, O.A. Niamut, J-F. Macq, A. Kochale, J-M. Batke,
J. Ruiz Hidalgo, R. Oldfield, B. Shirley, G. Thallinger, 'Format-agnostic Approach for Production, Delivery and Rendering of Immersive Media'. NEM Summit, Torino, Italy (Sept. 2011).
H. Kropp, J. Spille, J.M. Batke, S. Abeling, F. Keiler, R. Oldfield, and B.Shirley, 'Format Agnostic Approach for 3D Audio', IBC, Amsterdam. (Sept 2011).
G.A. Thomas, O. Schreer, B. Shirley, J. Spille, 'Combining panoramic image and 3D audio capture with conventional coverage for immersive and interactive content production', IBC, Amsterdam. (Sept 2011)
J. Batke, J. Spille, H. Kropp, S. Abeling, B. Shirley, R. Oldfield, 'Spatial Audio Processing for Interactive TV Services', 130th Conv. Audio Eng Soc, London, UK, May 2011.
R. Oldfield and B. Shirley, 'Automatic Mixing and Tracking of On-Pitch Football Action for Television Broadcasts', 130th Conv. Audio Eng Soc, London, UK, May 2011.
Johann-Markus Batke, Jens Spille, Holger Kropp, Sven Kordon, Stefan Abeling, Ben Shirley, Rob Oldfield, 'Recording Spatial Audio Signals for Interactive Broadcast Systems', Forum Acusticum, Aarlborg, Denmark, June 2011.
Shirley, B.G., Kendrick, P., Churchill, C. 'The Effect of Stereo Crosstalk on Intelligibility: Comparison of a Phantom Stereo Image and a Central Loudspeaker Source'. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society Volume 55 Issue 10 pp. 852-863; October 2007
Shirley, B.G., Kendrick, P. 'The Clean Audio Project: Digital TV as assistive technology', Journal of Technology and Disability, Volume 18, Number 1 / 2006, pp 31-41.
Shirley, B.G., Kendrick, P. 'Performance of Independent Component Analysis when Used to Separate Competing Acoustic Sources in Anechoic and Reverberant Conditions'. 124th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, 2007, Amsterdam: Audio Engineering Society.
Shirley, B.G., Chaffey, R. 'Up-Mixing and Localisation - Localisation Performance of Up-Mixed Consumer Multichannel Formats'. 122nd Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, 2007, Vienna: Audio Engineering Society.
Shirley, B.G. and P. Kendrick. 'Measurement of speech intelligibility in noise: A comparison of a stereo image source and a central loudspeaker source'. in 118th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society. 2005. Barcelona: Audio Engineering Society.
Shirley, B.G. and P. Kendrick. 'ITC Clean Audio Project'. in 116th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society. 2004. Berlin: Audio Engineering Society.
Shirley, B G 2005, 'Acoustician', in: Muso Pocket Guide - Careers.
Selected Magazine Articles
Shirley, B G 2005, 'Just for the Record', Muso, Impromptu Publishing, pp.47.
Shirley, B G 2004, 'Electric Dreams', Link, Impromptu Publishing, pp.40-42.
Shirley, B G 2004, 'Are Friends Electric?', Muso, Impromptu Publishing, pp.52-57.
B. Shirley, A study into the effectiveness of speech-to-text as an assistive tool in VoIP communications Phase 1, published online by Ofcom, 2010, http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/usability-research/speech-to-text-voip/VoIP_Text_Phase_1_Report.pdf
B. Shirley, A study into the effectiveness of speech-to-text as an assistive
tool in VoIP communications Phase 1, published online by Ofcom, 2010, http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/usability-research/speech-to-text-voip/VoIP_Text_Phase_2_Report.pdf
Other Research Outcomes
Research outcomes from Clean Audio Project published in ETSI TS 101 154 V1.9.1 under accessibility (annexe E.4) (international standard published by ETSI)
Also implemented in Open IPTV Release 2 Specification, Volume 2 – Media
Formats (international standard published by the ITU)