Dr Rob Toulson's Academic Homepage
Director of the CoDE Research Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK

I am Acting Director of The Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute (CoDE) at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK. You can visit our webpage here

* Research Activity *

My personal research focusses on a few related areas in audio engineering, these being: acoustic percussion analysis, techniques of record production and digital signal processing for audio.

I currently lead a research project titled 'Dynamic range and loudness perception of commercial music' in collaboration with Professor Brian Moore at Cambridge University and Justin Patterson at the London College of Music, Thames Valley University. This project involves analysing the causes, effects and future expectations of the well know loudness war and significant reductions in audio quality given the common trend of using heavy dynamic range processing. Our project investigates the issue symbiotically by bringing together technical, psychoacoustic and cutural investigations. The project is supported by a number of key industry partners including The BBC, TC Electronic, Prism Sound, DTS, TF Pro and The Pleasurize Music Foundation.

I have recently developed a prototype system for analysing the acoustics of percussion instruments with the aim of assisting percussion and drum tuning. This research has lead to a British patent application (application number GB0713649.2) and has also resulted in a successful East of England Development Agency Proof of Concept award worth a total of 35,000. The Proof of Concept project has recently concluded and you can visit the iDrumTune iPhone App website here.

I am also a member of The Board of Directors of The Pleasurize Music Foundation (www.pleasurizemusic.com) and my particular role is to engange in research with respect to loudness, over compression and the loss of dynamic range in commercial music. In progress is an EPSRC grant application, also in collaboration with Justin Paterson at Thames Valley University, to investigate the psychoacoustic, technical and cultural issues relating to loudness.

Methods of music production is also an area of active research, particularly with respect to my association with Half-Ton Studios and recent articles published by The Art of Record Production and The Audio Engineering Society.

* Research Supervision *

Acoustic Percussion Analysis - Research student Phill Richardson's study involved analysis of acoustic percussion instruments with the aim of developing closed-loop analysis and control systems to aid and improve drum tuning methods.

Loudness and Dynamic Range in Commercial Music - Bill Campbell's research is in association with The Pleasurize Music Foundation to scientifically investigate the loudness war and define 'listener fatigue' with respect to commercial music.

ENF Audio Forensics - Ali Sanaei is researching the use of Electic Network Frequency (ENF) analysis to authenticate audio recordings.

* Scolarly Activity *

External Examiner/Course Validator - For Audio Technology and Record Production courses at The London College of Music, Thames Valley University.
Conferece Paper Referee - For The Art of Record Production and The International Symposium on Industrial Electronics (ISIE)
PhD Examiner - For 1 thesis (2006). Appointed examiner for 1 PhD thesis to be examined in 2008.
PhD Supervisor - For 3 full-time students (all in progress).




Industrial Collaboration

Music Production

Video and Film

Skills and Experience



half-ton studios

eureka stockade

Dr Rob Toulson, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. CB1 1PT. tel: 01223 363271 email: rob.toulson@anglia.ac.uk