Posts Tagged ‘audio’

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Clean Audio for TV broadcast: An Object-Based Approach for Hearing-Impaired Viewers

May 18, 2015

open access

Update: I just uploaded a new journal article published last month in the Journal of the Audio AES Journal paperEngineering Society. Happily the University of Salford paid for it to be open access as part of their open access strategy so it’s freely available for anyone to download.

The paper (right) is a follow up to my PhD research, which was all about looking at methods to improve TV sound for people with hearing impairments by enabling what is usually known as ‘clean audio’ – helping hearing impaired people to hear speech more clearly than is often the case.

The early part of the PhD was funded by the ITC and then Ofcom, later parts were carried out as part of the EU funded FascinatE project which I’ve written about on this blog before. The FascinatE project utilised what is known as object-based audio to implement interactive 3D (with height) spatial audio which would vary depending on the user-defined visual scene. The FascinatE viewer could have free navigation of the visual scene and point their ‘camera’ to whatever part of the video panorama was of interest to them. The audio ‘objects’ rotated and/or moved to match the chosen view.

In the more recent clean audio work above Read the rest of this entry ?

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Picture Post: Abbey Road Studios Visit

February 15, 2014

Arrival at Abbey Road Studios

A real treat for me this month as I visited Abbey Road Studios for the first time and was treated to a tour around what is pretty much hallowed ground for audio geeks and music fans, both of which descriptions apply to me. Arrival over the iconic zebra crossing and I was met by Jon Eades from Abbey Road who was kind enough to show us around. First up was Studio 3 for a run down on the history of the studios and of the changes in audio tech that have taken place during its illustrious career. The building was first converted into a recording studio in 1931 by The Gramophone Company, later becoming EMI Studios and finally becoming known as Abbey Road Studios in 1970. We’ve had a couple of students on work placement here from our audio courses at University of Salford over the years and one is still working there today.

EMI TG21345 console

EMI TG21345 console. A piece of music history still in use today at Abbey Road (the TG name is from ‘The Gramophone Company’, EMI’s predecessor)

Studio 3 was our starting point and is one of the smaller studios here, mostly used for pop and rock music recording – Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here was recorded here.

There’s a lovely analogue SSL desk and Pro Tools setup but the most unexpected feature for me was that at one end of the studio sits a 1970s TG12345, perfect and ready to go. The distinctive audio quality of its circuitry is still so in demand that it is still in regular use at Abbey Road.

In fact the mix of classic old and new is a theme throughout the building. The sound of the mixing consoles developed by EMI in the 60s is still considered so good that sessions at Abbey Road often use these TG desks as part of the signal path. The signal is routed through the TG12345 as part of a Pro Tools recording workflow.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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‘The future of television?’ FascinatE: The Final Demonstration

June 1, 2013

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This week has seen the final demonstration of research developed over three and a half years of  the FascinatE EU FP7 research project. The project has developed a complete end-to-end future broadcast system which combines ultra high definition panoramic video, 3D ambisonic and object based audio, new methods for delivery of interactive AV content and new interfaces and methods to interact with the AV media at the user end. It’s been my pleasure to lead University of Salford’s part of the project and this week, to host the final demonstration of the project.

We hosted the final demonstration event at our MediaCityUK building – it’s one of the few places that could actually support what we were trying to do, the infrastructure of the building was actually designed for this kind of thing but we pushed it pretty hard this week. FascinatE partners worked through Read the rest of this entry ?

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Through the Looking Glass: return to the ETC

October 3, 2012

The Entertainment Technology Center

Over the last couple of years I have written a little about my previous visits to the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University here and here, a few things have changed since then so this visit was an interesting one in a number of ways. First of all Don Marinelli has now retired. As Don was one of the two founders of the ETC this leaves something of a hole in the place: Don is something of a superstar – inspirational speaker, larger than life character and a truly gifted teacher with a tight grasp on how learning works. A good friend too. Nevertheless, the ETC is bigger than any one man and Don and Randy Pausch provided enough momentum that I suspect their ongoing project is pretty much unstoppable now.

Also, last semester we had the pleasure of hosting one of the ETC’s project teams here at MediaCityUK, (I’ll document that in another post soon – complications around a parallel project meant that I’ve been obliged to keep quite about it till now). This was my first return visit since hosting the project at MediaCityUK and I was here to do more workshops on 3D audio and how ETC projects could use it in game development. The brilliant Dave Purta, the ETC tech support, made sure all the hardware was set up for me and ready to roll so I arrived with a couple of laptops on the audio evangelist tour pt II.

A nice welcome when I arrived

Last year I showed Read the rest of this entry ?

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Live football broadcast – OB at Eastlands

February 27, 2012

After a chance meeting at BVE recently I was invited by Ian Rosam to join Sky’s outside broadcast audio crew to see how they cover live football so found myself at Manchester City vs Blackburn at Eastlands on Saturday afternoon. Really useful visit from a couple of angles for me: one is for the Fascinate Project, the other is my current teaching in digital control in audio. Also always good to develop links with the industry we are sending our graduates out into.

The FascinatE project I’ve talked about once or twice before – we’re developing an end to end ‘future broadcast’ system for live events and as part of this we covered a Premier League game with 180 degree hi resolution video and 3D sound at Stamford Bridge thanks to the good people at Chelsea Football Club and friends at SISLive, the outside broadcaster. Saturday was a bonus as Sky have slightly different methods and equipment compared to SIS and it was another opportunity to get first hand knowledge of how live sports broadcast is done. Also Read the rest of this entry ?

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an Audio Augmented Reality Query

February 9, 2012

I have thought occasionally about wayfinding applications of surround sound presented over headphones – using a bunch of filters (called Head Related Transfer Functions) to replicate the experience of 3D sound but using only a stereo signal over headphones. As you may know using HRTF you can get very good surround sound – it’s used by games such as Papa Sangre – but can be made more accurate and effective with customised filters for an individual person.

The RNIB see benefit in looking at audio related wayfinding apps for mobile phones with GPS and wanted to know what I could do for them so I started thinking about how sighted people find their way round a strange place.

Then I thought about hardware to make it happen. It would need Read the rest of this entry ?

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Audio Flipboard anyone?

January 5, 2012

Listen: Sign on BBC Building at MediaCityUK

 I think 2012 will be the year that audio in social really explodes.

When I first got my hands on an iPad Flipboard was a revelation – previously I dug into Twitter and Facebook chronologically and Flipboard’s magazine layout and easy-to-browse nature made it a much more random and fun process. I’d spot things I hadn’t before but more interestingly, I was reading social media streams like I’d read a newspaper and not at my desk with a computer.

While reading Katie Moffat’s predictions for 2012 I was struck by, “ I think 2012 will be the year that audio in social really explodes.

I commented on the post that, “ it really needs a platform that will manage audio well. If we had something that would do to podcasts and AudioBoo what FlipBoard does for text you’d have yourself a custom radio magazine show, it’d be awesome! I’d listen every morning on the daily commute.

The post made me think, there must be a way of aggregating audio content, esp social content in a similar vein to FlipBoard. I’d be interested in knowing if anyone has done this effectively yet BECAUSE I WANT IT! And if it’s not being done, looking further into developing ideas around it. Would make an interesting project for some of our bright students perhaps. Shuffler.fm are doing it for music but I haven’t yet found an equivalent for spoken word….

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