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Portrait of Dr  Jonathan Wakefield Dr Jonathan Wakefield | 01484 473740


I am currently the Subject Area Leader for Music Technology and Production in the Department of Engineering and Technology in the School of Computing and Engineering.

I have what may appear to be a diverse range of qualifications and have had a somewhat varied career but believe that these experiences are all valuable in feeding into my current work in Music Technology.

My first degree was in Mathematics at Manchester University. After this I studied a Masters in Operational Research at Lancaster University. During this course I became interested in computer programming and undertook a PhD in Computer Vision as a Research Assistant at the University of Huddersfield. Postgraduate study at Huddersfield led to my appointment as a Software Engineering Lecturer at Huddersfield in 1991 mainly teaching on Electrical and Electronic undergraduate courses. Whilst lecturing I supervised PhD students in both Computer Vision and Evolutionary Computational Design. During this time I lectured Artificial Intelligence, C, C++, Embedded Systems, PC interfacing and Real Time Operating Systems.

I left the University in 1997 to undertake software development in industry. I worked on a number of different system development projects in a variety of industries. One example of my work from this period was the development of a real time UK number plate recognition algorithm for Trafficmaster plc and it's incorporation into a real-time embedded system for roadside deployment. As part of this work I was named as a co-inventor on a Trafficmaster international patent. As well as image processing and analysis, I mainly specialised in developing low cost, complete solutions for clients. Most of this period in industry was spent working for my own software consultancy.

In parallel with my studies and software career in academia and industry I have, since the age of 14 years old, had an active interest in music and music technology. I have played in numerous popular music groups; mainly playing electric guitar but also playing keyboards, bass and singing backing vocals. I have composed numerous songs over the years and had a number of commercial releases. In 1995 I took grade 8 piano and in 1997 I successfully completed a Diploma in Music from the Open University to enhance my mainly self-taught experience and gain formal academic qualifications in this area.

In 2001 I returned to the University of Huddersfield as a Senior Lecturer in Music Technology. Since returning I have taught various subjects within Music Technology including: synthesis algorithms and audio processing algorithms (using Reaktor), software development for audio and MIDI (i.e. developing Windows applications using Visual C++ and writing VST plug-ins in C++) and studio recording and production techniques.

Since 2003 I have been mainly involved in course development and academic management. During this period I have trebled the number of students studying Music Technology and Production within the Subject Area. To facilitate this I have developed resources to support the increased student numbers and have trebled the Music Technology facilities (at an approx cost of £1million) and more than trebled the number of specialist Music Technology staff. Now these developments have more less been completed I have more recently begun to reignite my research career.

I was promoted to Subject Area Leader at the beginning of 2005.

Research & Scholarship

My interests in Music Technology, Audio Technology and Popular Music Production are wide ranging. These are extremely exciting areas to work in as they link art with science, the creative with the technical and the subjective with the objective. Whilst some people operate at the far ends of the spectrum of Music Technology there is much exciting research to be undertaken within this multidisplinary area.

I'm lucky that research in Music Technology gives me the opportunity to exploit my background in mathematics, software development, Artificial Intelligence, signal processing, heuristic search algorithms and popular music recording/production/composition.

I 'm currently supervising a PhD research project in developing surround sound decoder algorithms. This work has already led to improved decoders for the ITU 5.1 layout using first-order Ambisonic decoders for a central listener in the sweet spot. We are currently extending this work into designing decoders which perform better for larger audiences in large rooms where not everyone is seated near the ideal central listening position.

To expand this work I 've recently been fortunate in gaining access to a ClearSpeed High Performance Computing board and we are utilising this to help more quickly find new and better Ambisonic surround sound decoder parameters for different scenarios. This work could potentially lead to a viable commercial product.

More recently I have been developing collaborative links with colleagues within the Department of Music to extend current research in the computer-based analysis of music.

Please click on the "Areas for Doctoral Supervision " tab to see other projects I 'm very interested in pursuing at this point in time. All of these research projects have the potential to lay the ground work for the development of commercial products.

In addition to the above more technical projects I have a strong interest in research into popular music production. I have particularly interested in the producer Martin Hannett 's work with Joy Division and New Order, the production of Jimi Hendrix 's studio recordings and the works of Lee "Scratch " Perry and Jamaican dub/reggae production techniques.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Fenton, S., Lee, H. and Wakefield, J. (2015) ‘Hybrid Multiresolution Analysis Of ‘Punch’ In Musical Signals’. In: 138th Annual AES Convention, 7th-10th May 2015, Warsaw, Poland


Dewey, C. and Wakefield, J. (2014) ‘A guide to the design and evaluation of new user interfaces for the audio industry’. In: 136th Audio Engineering Society Convention, 26th-29th April 2014, Berlin, Germany

Fenton, S., Lee, H. and Wakefield, J. (2014) ‘Elicitation and Objective Grading of ‘Punch’ Within Produced Music’. In: 136th Audio Engineering Society Convention, 26th-29th April 2014, Berlin, Germany


Dewey, C. and Wakefield, J. (2013) ‘Novel designs for the parametric peaking EQ user interface for single channel corrective EQ tasks’. In: 134th Audio Engineering Society Convention, 4th-7th May, 2014, Rome, Italy


Fenton, S. and Wakefield, J. (2012) ‘Objective profiling of perceived punch and clarity in produced music’. In: 132nd Audio Engineering Society Convention, 26th - 29th April 2012, Budapest, Hungary

Hughes, B. and Wakefield, J. (2012) ‘User Interface Evaluation for Discrete Sound Placement in Film and TV Post-Production’. In: 132nd AES Convention, 26-29 April 2012, Budapest, Hungary


Moore, D., Mair, Q. and Wakefield, J. (2011) ‘Ambisonic Audio System Optimization Using a HPC Cluster’. In: 9th International Conference on Manufacturing Research, 6-8th September 2011, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, UK

Fenton, S., Wakefield, J. and Fazenda, B. (2011) ‘Objective Measurement of Music Quality Using Inter-Band Relationship Analysis’. In: AES 130th Conference, 13th-16th May, Hosted in London, UK., 13-16 May 2011, London

Moore, D. and Wakefield, J. (2011) ‘Designing Ambisonic Decoders for Improved Surround Sound Playback in Constrained Listening Spaces’. In: 130th Audio Engineering Society AES Convention, 13-16 May 2011, London, UK

Mynett, M., Wakefield, J. and Till, R. (2011) ‘Sound at Source: The creative practice of re-heading, dampening and drum tuning for the Contemporary Metal genre ’. In: The Art of Record Production 2010, 3rd - 5th December 2010, Leeds , pp. 1-14


Moore, D. and Wakefield, J. (2010) ‘A Design Tool to Produce Optimised Ambisonic Decoders’. In: 40th International Audio Engineering Society Conference - Spatial Audio, 8-10 October 2010, Tokyo, Japan

Wakefield, J. and Lawlor, I. (2010) ‘Profiling of Academically Successful and Unsuccessful Students on Music Technology and Production Degree Courses’. In: Forum for Innovation in Music Production and Composition (FIMPaC), 20-21 May 2010, Leeds College of Music, Leeds, UK

Moore, D. and Wakefield, J. (2010) ‘Optimisation of the Localisation Performance of Irregular Ambisonic Decoders for Multiple Off-Centre Listeners’. In: 128th Audio Engineering Society Convention, 22-25 May 2010, London, UK

Millea, T. and Wakefield, J. (2010) ‘Automating the Composition of Popular Music: The Search For a Hit’. In: EvoPhD (EvoStar 2010), 7-9 April 2010, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey

Mynett, M., Wakefield, J. and Till, R. (2010) ‘Intelligent Equalisation Principles and Techniques for Minimising Masking when Mixing the Extreme Modern Metal Genre.’. In: Heavy Fundamentalisms: Music, Metal and Politics. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press. pp. 141-146. ISBN 978-1-84888-017-7


Millea, T. and Wakefield, J. (2009) ‘Automating the composition of popular music : the search for a hit.’. In: Proceedings of Computing and Engineering Annual Researchers' Conference 2009: CEARC’09. Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield. pp. 45-50. ISBN 9781862180857

Mynett, M. and Wakefield, J. (2009) ‘The use of click tracks for drum production within the Extreme Metal genre ’. In: The Art of Record Production 09, 13th - 15th November 2009, Cardiff , pp. 1-19

Fenton, S., Fazenda, B. and Wakefield, J. (2009) ‘Objective quality measurement of audio using multiband dynamic range analysis’. In: Institute of Acoustics (IOA) Conference 2009 - Reproduced Sound, November 2009, Brighton

Moore, D. and Wakefield, J. (2009) ‘The Potential of High Performance Computing in Audio Engineering’. In: 126th Audio Engineering Society Convention, 7-10 May 2009, Munich, Germany


Moore, D. and Wakefield, J. (2008) ‘Exploiting human spatial resolution in surround sound decoder design’. In: 125th Audio Engineering Society Convention, 2-5 October 2008, San Francisco, USA

Moore, D. and Wakefield, J. (2008) ‘The design of ambisonic decoders for the ITU 5.1 layout with even performance characteristics’. In: 124th Audio Engineering Society Convention, 17-20 May 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Moore, D. and Wakefield, J. (2007) ‘Surround Sound for Large Audiences: What are the Problems?’. In: Proceedings of Computing and Engineering Annual Researchers' Conference 2007: CEARC’07. Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield. pp. 1-7.

Moore, D. and Wakefield, J. (2007) ‘The design of improved first order ambisonic decoders by the application of range removal and importance in a heuristic search algorithm’. In: 31st Audio Engineering Society International Conference, 25th-27th June 2007, London, UK

Moore, D. and Wakefield, J. (2007) ‘The design and analysis of first order ambisonic decoders for the ITU layout’. In: 122nd Audio Engineering Society Convention, 5th-8th May, 2007, Vienna, Austria


Moore, J. and Wakefield, J. (2006) ‘An enhanced approach to surround sound decoder design’. In: Proceedings of Computing and Engineering Annual Researchers' Conference 2006: CEARC’06. Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield. pp. 1-6.


Wakefield, J (2003) ‘Artificial music ’. In: Modular 2003, 10th - 12th September, 2003, The London College of Music and Media, Thames Valley University, London, UK


Billington, P., Barnes, C. and Wakefield, J.(2001) Methods and systems of monitoring traffic flow. US 6177886.


Bentley, P. and Wakefield, J. (1998) ‘Finding acceptable solutions in the pareto-optimal range using multiobjective genetic algorithms’. In: Soft Computing in Engineering Design and Manufacturing. : Springer-Verlag. pp. 231-240. ISBN 3-540-76214-0

Bentley, P. and Wakefield, J. (1998) ‘Generic evolutionary design’. In: Soft Computing in Engineering Design and Manufacturing. : Springer-Verlag. pp. 289-298. ISBN 3-540-76214-0


Bentley, P. and Wakefield, J. (1997) ‘Conceptual Evolutionary Design by a Genetic AlgorithmEngineering design and automation , 3 (2), pp. 119-131. ISSN 1077-2642


Bentley, P. and Wakefield, J. (1996) ‘The Evolution of Solid Object Designs using Genetic Algorithms’. In: Modern Heuristic Search Methods. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Inc.. pp. 199-215. ISBN 978-0-471-96280-9

Cornish, M. and Wakefield, J. (1996) ‘Automatically Locating an Area of interest and Maintaining a Reference Image to Aid the Real-Time Tracking of Objects’. In: British Machine Vision Conference, 1996, University of Edinburgh

Bentley, P. and Wakefield, J. (1996) ‘Hierarchical Crossover in Genetic Algorithms’. In: Proceedings of the 1st On-line Workshop on Soft Computing (WSC1), 19-30 August 1996, Nagoya University, Japan , pp. 37-42

Bentley, P. and Wakefield, J. (1996) ‘Generic Representation of Solid-Object Geometry for Genetic SearchMicrocomputers in Civil Engineering , 11 (3), pp. 153-161. ISSN 1093-9687

Bentley, P. and Wakefield, J. (1996) ‘Overview of a Generic Evolutionary Design System’. In: Proceedings of the 2nd On-line Workshop on Evolutionary Computation (WEC2), 4-22 March 1996, Nagoya University, Japan , pp. 53-56


Bentley, P. and Wakefield, J. (1995) ‘The Table: An Illustration of Evolutionary Design using Genetic Algorithms’. In: Genetic Algorithms in Engineering Systems: Innovations and Applications, 1995. GALESIA. First International Conference on (Conf. Publ. No. 414). London: IEEE. pp. 412-418. ISBN 0-85296-650-4


Wakefield, J (1994) A Framework for Generic Computer Vision Doctoral thesis, Univeristy of Huddersfield.

Research Degree Supervision

Last updated Thursday 6 March 2014
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