Dr Ben Shirley
“Please contact me via email for an appointment”
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 the University of Salford. This includes liaison and managing relationships with external organisations with an aim to developing partnerships in learning, research and commercial activity and facilitating our students' work on live briefs for external clients.
Main teaching areas are in MIDI, audio production and post production, audio technology, music technology, and software development to our BSc (Hons), BEng and MSc courses. Supervised final year and MSc projects are in audio and MIDI software development, social technology and music and video production.
My main research interests are in media and broadcast, accessibility research, software tools for music composition and audio software development.
I have 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 I have 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 I am Principal 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
Qualifications and Memberships
MSc Digital Music Technology (Distinction), Keele University
PG Teaching & Learning in HE
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Please see my SEEK profile for publication data