Jez Wells
Senior Lecturer

Profile

Biography

Jez Wells graduated with a BMus in Music and Sound Recording from the Tonmeister course at the University of Surrey in 1994. Following time spent as a freelance recording engineer, music technology lecturer and working for Digital Audio Research and Fairlight he began an MSc in Music Technology at York in 2000, graduating a year later. He gained his PhD, on 'Real-Time Spectral Modelling of Audio for Creative Sound Transformation' in 2006 from the Department of Electronic Engineering where he worked in the Audio Lab as a teaching fellow, research associate and then lecturer from 2004 to 2012. He moved to the Department of Music in September 2012 where he has worked as a lecturer and then senior lecturer. Both his teaching and research include studio recording techniques and audio processing and modelling. In 2011-12 he undertook a year-long public engagement fellowship with the Royal Academy of Engineering. He also works as a sound recordist and editor as well as undertaking consultancy work.

He has supervised a wide range of research including developing new signal processing methods for mutual dynamic range control between sound sources, source separation of stereo recordings, real-time spectral modelling, voice based audio processing and control, modelling of the Chinese guzheng, processing techniques for binaural masking release in audio mixing and live performance technologies. He was involved in the Sound tracks: Acoustic landscapes in the past and present collaborative project with the Department of Archaeology, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and is currently the lead academic on a two year Knowledge Transfer Project in partnership with RPPtv which began in February 2018.

Dr Wells has expertise in the development and use of digital technologies, particularly signal analysis and processing, for musical applications. Such applications range from creative sound processing (e.g. spectral modelling of reverberation to enable algorithmic control of impulse responses; improvements to Fourier based cross-synthesis techniques) to transcription (e.g. hi-hat isolation for tempo tracking in South African jazz recordings). He is also interested in the history of signal processing in music production (e.g. manifestations and meanings of technology in productions of Joni Mitchell; the early adoption and overt use of digital technologies in Imagination’s Night Dubbing).

During his time with the University he has taught the following modules:

Postgraduate (Department of Music): Music as Audio; Audio Signals; Production Techniques, Technologies and Aesthetics; Engaging with Research; Production Portfolio.

Undergraduate (Department of Music): Audio Assemblage, Organisation and Processing; Introduction to Sound Recording; Sound Recording Techniques and Aesthetics; Recording Music; Sonic Husbandry; Technopop; Pop Production; Sensations and Perceptions of Sound and Music.

Postgraduate (Department of Electronic Engineering): Advanced Multimedia Applications; Human Perception of Sound; Sound Recording; Multimedia Compression; Source Coding (Audio); Digital Audio Processing; Audio Processing Environments; Speech Processing.

Undergraduate (Department of Electronic Engineering): Recording Techniques and Technologies; Acoustics and Psychoacoustics; Advanced Digital Synthesis; Audio Processing; Hearing and Voice; Advanced Postproduction; Music ECAD; Advanced Music Technology Systems; Music Technology Creation and Perception; Music Technology in Action; Maths workshops.

Departmental roles

  • Chair, Board of Studies
  • Programme leader, MA/PG Diploma in Music Production
  • Studio Director

University roles

Member, University Teaching Committee

Publications

Full publications list

View Jez Wells's full publications list at the York Research Database.

Research

Overview

  • Spectral transformation and modelling of audio
  • Source separation for spatial reconfiguration of recordings
  • Computer modelling of room acoustics
  • The nature of sound recording

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • Recording Music
  • Techno Pop: The Sound of Technology in Pop Music
  • Sonic Husbandry
  • Sensations and Perceptions of Sound and Music

Postgraduate

  • MA in Music Production
  • Music as Audio
  • Audio Signals
  • Production Techniques, Technologies and Aesthetics
  • Musicology of Production

Contact details

Dr Jez Wells
Lecturer
Department of Music
University of York
Heslington
York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 2436