Dr Jez Wells (Director of MPPAG)

Director of MPPAG


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 Electronics where he worked in the Audio Lab as a teaching fellow, research associate and then lecturer from 2004 to 2012. Both his teaching and research include studio recording techniques and audio processing and modelling. He recently completed a year-long Ingenious 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 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 is involved in the Sound tracks: Acoustic landscapes in the past and present collaborative project with the Department of Archaeology, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

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. 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).