Websites we've worked on: Dr Andy Moorhouse on piano ... Prof Trevor Cox
Digital signal processing, spatial audio and the perception of audio form an important part of our research activity. The University’s presence at MediaCityUK, alongside the BBC and other media, future media and broadcast organisations, creates an important driver for research. The research centre is a lead partner in the BBC's Audio Research Partnership. We are also a test house for audio engineering companies. Below some of our most recent projects are outlined.
We have three wavefield synthesis systems, including a portable system which has been used to recreate the prehistoric sounds of Stonehenge. We also have ambisonics and binaural reproduction systems which are being used on joint research projects with the BBC to investigate the future of spatial audio, such as adding height to surround sound systems and what happens when listeners aren't in the sweet spot.
The future of broadcast audio is being investigated in the EPSRC Programme Grant, S3A: Future Spatial Audio for an Immersive Listener Experience at Home. 3D sound can offer listeners the experience of "being there" at a live event, such as the Proms, but currently requires highly controlled listening spaces and loudspeaker setups. The goal of S3A is to realise practical 3D audio for the general public to enable immersive experiences at home or on the move. University of Salford's role in this grant is to examine and model how the audience perceives spatial audio.
The FascinatE project has been developing a system to allow end-users to interactively view and navigate around an ultra-high resolution video panorama showing a live event, with the accompanying audio automatically changing to match the selected view. The output will be adapted to their particular kind of device, covering anything from a mobile handset to an immersive panoramic display. At the production side, this requires the development of new audio and video capture systems, and scripting systems to control the shot framing options presented to the viewer. Intelligent networks with processing components will be needed to repurpose the content to suit different device types and framing selections, and user terminals supporting innovative interaction methods will be needed to allow viewers to control and display the content.
Audio signal processing
Audio signal processing is applied in many areas of our research activity, including:
- Measurement of transmission channels using naturalistic signals
- Active room acoustic diffusers
- Improving TV sound for hearing impaired people
- Active shielding - an innovation based on the differential potential method
- The Good Recording Project - blind signal processing to evaluate audio quality
Example projects include:
- Neural models of sound localisation
- Assessment of components and codecs for music reproduction.
- Assessing the quality of low frequency audio reproduction in critical listening spaces
- The Good Recording Project - perception of audio quality with user generated content
- Measuring the moods of music from BBC theme tunes