Portrait of Dr Matthew Stephenson Dr Matthew Stephenson

m.r.stephenson@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472995


I am currently a lecturer in the Music Technology subject area. I teach programming for audio applications (mainly in C/C++), digital signal processing, audio electronics and studio recording techniques. I also supervise students in the area of psychoacoustics.

Before joining the University, I worked in the BBC's Future Media department as part of the team who developed and launched 'Connected Red Button', the pioneering next generation interactive television service, as well as contributing to the iPlayer codebase. Here I gained skills in Agile software development, and coded in multiple languages including JAVA, AS2, Javascript and Ruby.

I originally came to Huddersfield as an undergraduate, obtaining a first class degree in Music Technology and Audio Systems. Following a year studying for a Certificate in Biblical Studies in Cardiff, I returned to the north of England and obtained a PhD from the University of Salford's acclaimed acoustics research centre in 2012. My research focussed on improving the quality of low frequency audio reproduction in critical listening spaces. During this research program I gained a specific interest in perceptual audio evaluation.

Research and Scholarship

My research focusses mainly on the perception of audio quality with the aim of better understand the assessment of a listening space or recoding.

I am interested in perceptual models linking descriptive words, emotions, preference and quality perception. I have studied this specifically in relation to low frequency audio in small listening rooms, using the descriptive analysis method to elicit the perceptual terms Articulation, Resonance, Strength and Depth. I am currently working on new methods of elicitation and expanding the work into other areas of audio perception.

I am also currently exploring the use audio applications for mobile devices to assist the partially sighted.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Fazenda, B., Stephenson, M. and Goldberg, A. (2015) ‘Perceptual thresholds for the effects of room modes as a function of modal decayThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America , 137 (3), pp. 1088-1098. ISSN 0001-4966

Fazenda, B., Wankling, M., Hargreaves, J., Elmer, L. and Hirst, J. (2012) ‘Subjective preference of modal control methods in listening roomsJournal of the Audio Engineering Society , 60 (5), pp. 338-349. ISSN 1549-4950

Wankling, M., Fazenda, B. and Davies, W. (2012) ‘The assessment of low-frequency room acoustic parameters using descriptive analysisJournal of the Audio Engineering Society , 60 (5), pp. 325-337. ISSN 15494950

Book Section

Wankling, M. and Fazenda, B. (2009) ‘An auralisation method for real time subjective testing of modal parameters.’. In: Proceedings of Computing and Engineering Annual Researchers' Conference 2009: CEARC’09. Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield. pp. 51-57. ISBN 9781862180857

Wankling, M. and Fazenda, B. (2009) ‘Studies in modal density – its effect at low frequencies’. In: Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics. Brighton, UK: Instute of Acoustics. pp. 62-73. ISBN 978-1-61567-685-9

Wankling, M. and Fazenda, B. (2008) ‘The optimization of modal spacing within small rooms’. In: Proceedings of Computing and Engineering Annual Researchers' Conference 2008: CEARC’08. Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield. pp. 117-124. ISBN 978-1-86218-067-3

Conference Item

Robotham, T., Stephenson, M. and Lee, H. (2016) ‘The Effect of a Vertical Reflection on the Relationship between Preference and Perceived Change in Timbre and Spatial Attributes’. In: Audio Engineering Society 140th International Convention, 4th - 7th June 2016, Paris, France

Wilson, T., Fenton, S. and Stephenson, M. (2015) ‘A Semantically Motivated Gestural Interface for the Control of a Dynamic Range Compressor’. In: 138th Annual Audio Engineering Society AES Convention, 7th-10th May 2015, Warsaw, Poland , pp. 1-9

Hargreaves, J. and Wankling, M. (2011) ‘Implementing wave field synthesis in an ITU spec listening room part 2: Bass without modes’. In: Reproduced Sound RS 2011: Sound Systems Engineering or Art, 16th-18th November 2011, Brighton, UK

Wankling, M., Fazenda, B. and Davies, W. (2010) ‘Improving the Assessment of Low Frequency Room Acoustics using Descriptive Analysis’. In: 129th Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, 4th-7th November. 2010, San Francisco, USA

Wankling, M. and Fazenda, B. (2009) ‘Subjective Validity of Figures of Merit for Room Aspect Ratio Design’. In: 126th Audio Engineering Society Convention, 7-10 May 2009, Munich, Germany

Wankling, M. and Fazenda, B. (2009) ‘Can We Predict What You Hear?’. In: University of Huddersfield Research Festival, 23rd March - 2nd April 2009, University of Huddersfield

Fazenda, B. and Wankling, M. (2008) ‘Optimal modal spacing and density for critical listening’. In: 125th AEC Convention, 2-5 October 2008, San Francisco, CA, USA


Stephenson, M (2012) Assessing the quality of low frequency audio reproduction in critical listening spaces Doctoral thesis, University of Salford.

Research Degree Supervision

General areas:

  • The role of personal preference in assessing the quality of a listening environment
  • New methods of elicitation and preference mapping in perceptual audio evaluation
  • The use of audio applications on mobile devices for assistive technology

Current opportunities

  • Please contact this member of staff to discuss possible opportunities.