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Student Recording Competition Finalist Interview - Bastian Striepke

1) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study? 

My name is Bastian, I'm from Germany and I study Media Technology at the HAW Hamburg.

2) What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?
 
For me, it was always there in some form. However, my passion for music really came through when my older brother gifted me his old acoustic guitar - I think I was 13 at the time. I played for 10 hours straight every day when I got it. Later, when I was around 16, he started studying audio engineering at the SAE institute for fun. Because of this, I discovered another passion for the engineering side of things. He used to take me to the studios, showed me around and played me his mixes. I quickly realized, that's what I wanted to do as well. So I bought some beginner audio equipment and started producing stuff in my bedroom. My love for audio only ever grew from there.
 
3) Tell us about production of your submission? What is the story behind it? What inspired it? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry?
 
I mixed the song "melancholie" from the german Indie-Pop band "gleich da". It's an upbeat song about the ups and downs in life, looking back and reflecting on the hard times and then moving on from that. It uses water and tides as a metpahor for this concept, and so the entire song revolves around a wave-like structure, going up and down in intensity, with piano and organ sections flowing in and out - just like the rising tides. The production is centered around this element and I tried to complement the song structure by mixing it in a wave-like fashion aswell. We spend a good half year start-to-finish on this production. This is including a high amount of pre-poduction - visiting the band on live concerts and during practice-sessions, talking about lyrics, arrangements, instruments and making sure the song itself was in the right state to be recorded in the first place. For me it's very important to spend time with the musicians I want to record, get to know them, know how they work and to make sure that we have great song. After all - no amount of production can turn a bad song into a good one.
 
4) What/who made you join AES?
 
We have a very strong student section in Hamburg, Germany - with regular study trips, workshops, lectures and events. I wanted to be part of it, so I joined it pretty much immediately when I started studying there. Now I can help to shape the section as vice chair and hopefully attract new members the same way I was attratced back then.
 
5) Tell us about your favorite experiences at the 146th AES convention in Dublin!
 
The best experience of any AES convention is talking to all the amazing people, professionals and students attending the event and getting to know them. Forging these connections is incredibly valuable. But I also really enjoyed all the student offerings this year, which seemed particularly abundant. And the Heyser lecture, as always, was a real highlight aswell. 

 

Posted on May 12, 2019 at 5:00:00 AM EDT



Student Design Competition winner interview - Kamil Piotrowski

     1) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?

 
 
I am from Poland. More precisely from Bydgoszcz but currently I live in Cracow - the city I have started studies almost 5 years ago. I am finishing master's degree in acoustic engineering now and thinking about nearest future.
 
    2) What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start? 
 
 
From a little child I always have been interested in music. With aging it turned into hobby and the things went on. Making a decision about field of studies there were no doubts what to choose. I can say that my passion was born then 
 
    3) Tell us about production of your submission? What is the story behind it? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? What kind of problem can it solve or improve?
 
 
The story is pretty simple. Realising how interesting ambsionics technique is, I started studying the topic and conducted first research. Of course they finished successfully and then I started developing my next ideas much more seriously. The result brought me to 146th AES where I presented my own measurement system regarding improving listening conditions in small rooms using Higher-Order Ambisonics. Measuring room impulse responses using III order ambisonic microphone and providing them to analysing tool, the software determines direction of arrival of early reflections that need to be attenuated. The base were recommendations EBU Tech. 3276-E and  ITU-R BS.775-3. Let's say it is a product of nearly half a year studies.
 
    4) Did you considered commercializing your project? Are there any business or product possibilities?
 
 
Actually, application of ambisonics in audio science is a really hot topic. I have met many people interested in my work and that led me to thoughts of commercialising the project. Range of possibilities is hugely wide. I am in contact with some people and next publications might be just a matter of time
 
 
    5) Do you know or consider any future steps? Will it be linked with the project you’ve presented?
 
 
As I mentioned above, there are many ways of developing my work. I have to carry out little brainstorm and then decide what to do next. Few ideas are waitng but, like always, the question is do they meet the needs of audio society. Anyway, I am sure it is going to be a combination of room acoustics and ambisonics.
 
 
    6) Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 146th AES convention in Dublin!
 
 
Of course the most lovely one is the moment I was awarded. Speaking about something less obvious, what positively hit me the most was a student society. A number of students participated in the conference, including many friends of mine, and I like it.  

 

Posted on May 11, 2019 at 5:00:00 AM EDT



Student Design Competition winner interview - Adam Szwajcowski

 1) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?

 
 I'm from southern Poland, currently enjoying my last semester of MSc course of Acoustic Engineering at AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków.
 
2) What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start? 
 
  I've always been interested in sounds, particularly the musical ones. Getting into acoustics and then audio engineering was a natural next step of my technical progress, combining passion for music and science.
 
3) Tell us about production of your submission? What is the story behind it? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? What kind of problem can it solve or improve?
 
My entry was an extension of a research I carried out some time ago on using spherical harmonics for directivity pattern representation. I was curious if going one dimension higher than commonly used 3D functions can be beneficial and so far it turned out to do so. I only did simple tests before AES and there is a ton more to develop in this direction, however I believe that the way of dircetivity representation I came out with can solve some problems of spatial resolution and computational complexity in stuff like geometric method room acoustics simulations or immersivity in VR.
 
4) Did you considered commercializing your project? Are there any business or product possibilities?
 
No, not really. I'd rather keep the algorithm open and let everyone benefit from it for the better good. It's rather hard to commercialize a thing like this anyway, I guess.
 
 

Posted on May 10, 2019 at 5:00:00 AM EDT



Student Design Competition winner interview - Charles Holbrow

    1) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?
 
 
I am a PhD. Candidate at the MIT Media Lab, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (right next to Boston). My dissertation focuses on the affordances of the internet for music and media. If we build internet technology in service of music, instead of in service of the major internet platforms, what can we do differently, and how can media content evolve? If Sgt. Pepper's illustrates what sound recording technology did for music, what can internet technology do for music? I love to build technology that extends and complements human musicianship and composition, and have been doing this professionally and as a graduate student for the past decade. 
 
    2) What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start? 
 
 
When I was a teenager, I loved playing music! But I also loved writing code, and have been building technology since I was very young. 
 
    3) Tell us about production of your submission? What is the story behind it? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? What kind of problem can it solve or improve?
 
 
A friend of mine who is a composer told me that she had been trying to compose polytempic music, but the limitations of her DAW (and all DAWs really) made it impossible to do with precision. I became fascinated with trying to understand how multiple simultaneous tempos could accelerate and decelerate relative to each other, and synchronize at carefully composed times. I asked everyone I knew how this could be done, and no would could figure it out. The problem turned out to be very difficult to explain, so along the way I learned a lot about communicating the idea. Finally with some help from my grandfather, who is a professor of physics, we figured out a solution using integral calculus.
 
I simplified the equations, and arrived at what I think is a very elegant solution. Several years later, I wrote a software interface for composing with many simultaneous tempos. It is quite a strange idea, and it was mostly completed in little bits of spare time over the last years. I think we first started working on it around 2015. 
 
In preparation for the convention I did a literature review of other polytempic music projects. It turns out I am not the first person to use integrals to calculate tempo curves. I think my solution is the most elegant, but I'll leave that to your judgement! I believe I am the first person to really use fully constrained polytempic swarms, and make an interface for composing with them. Nancarrow and Xenakis had similar ideas, but didn't solve the tempo equation. Read the full project description if you are curious about the history.
 
    4) Did you considered commercializing your project? Are there any business or product possibilities?
 
 
I am not interested in commercializing this project. I am proud of it, but it is loosely related to my longer term interests and research goals. The idea is unusual and experimental enough that I do not think commercializing it is the right move at the moment. However, I do think that the underlying mathematics are useful for some other audio applications that could have commercial value. In the meantime, I'd be happy to share the software with anyone who is interested in composing with swarms of polytempos - know that in its current form, the interface is not ready for casual users.
 
 
    5) Do you know or consider any future steps? Will it be linked with the project you’ve presented?
 
 
Next steps: survive the PhD process. While I don't think commercializing this project is the right move, I love building technology for artists and musicians, and I'm looking for the right way to continue this work after graduation in 2020. Please reach out if you think it might be fun and productive to work together!
 
 
    6) Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 146th AES convention in Dublin!
 
 

My favorite part was meeting other Students! I was the only current student from MIT,  but I did meet an alum from the Media Lab, and lots of other current students and of course the SDA officers. I loved how international the conference was. With so much political turmoil in the world it felt great to be surrounded by others who just want to geek out about audio together. I left the conference with new friends, and excited for the next one.  

See Charles's project description

Posted on May 9, 2019 at 5:00:00 AM EDT



AES 145 Student Recording Competition Interview

 1) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?


My name is Peiqi "Peggy" Duan and I’m from Shanghai, China. I got my BFA degree in Film Sound Effects at Beijing Film Academy and just got my MFA degree in Film Sound Design at Chapman University this summer.


2) What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?

I started learning vocal performance, violin performance and theater performance when I was 6 years old. Doing something about the art of sound and story was always my dream during my student period. According to my high school studies, I realized that I was good at mathematics and computer sciences, which made me decide to apply for a major that could combine the art with computer sciences - Film Sound Effects.
Beijing film academy is the best film school in China. I left my hometown and studied in Beijing for 4 years. Finally I decided to widen my horizons and pursue my MFA degree in Hollywood, the center of the U.S. film industry.


3) Tell us about production of your submission? What is the story behind it? What inspired it? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry?
 

This was my first entry. It was from my thesis film "Thicker than Water". I did all the sound works except composing. We shot the film for 11 days in October, 2017, and I did the post sound mixing from March to May, 2018. The story happens at Anna, Illinois, in 1890s. A crippled white boy Jacob develops a friendship with a mysterious white-looking newcomer Silas, and his racist worldview is threatened when he discovers that Silas is really black.
In this story, there are some important parts which need a lot of sound design, such as river, Yemaya (river god), bells and death whistle.
Director wanted a sound for Yemaya. Silas defined Yemaya as the mother of water. And, our composer had already created a main theme melody before our shooting. So, I decided to use a woman vocal as Yemaya’s sound. The woman vocal hums the melody when she is summoned. Actually I was the voice actress for Yemaya and the singer of credits music.
“When someone dies on the tree, a bell gets hung from the branch.” Bells were always connected with water and Yemaya. To get clear and accurate bells’ sound, I borrowed the bells in different sizes from PD department and recorded many different bells sound during my foley session.
Silas’s death whistle in the film was a Chinese traditional ocarina actually. I found there was a real death whistle in the world. It sounds like thousands of people screaming. That was exactly what I wanted, so I bought one online! However, I thought the sound would be too simple for the death whistle in this story. To make the sound richer, I also added the sound of ocarina, one high pitch sound and one mid pitch sound.



4) What/who made you join AES?

I learnt about AES when I was in China. My professors were international members of AES. Last year, I got a chance to be an AES student volunteer at NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. I had a wonderful experience there, and finally decided to join AES.


5) Tell us about your favorite experiences at the 145th AES convention in New York!

Absolutely the multiple audio conferences. As a film audio student, the knowledge of audio tech stuffs were very invaluable for me. In addition, I made some friends during this wonderful event, and extended my social network to the world. And of course, the feeling of getting the prize of the Student Recording Competition was unforgettable forever.

Posted on March 23, 2019 at 5:00:00 AM EDT



AES146 SDA Officer Elections

 Dear all AES Student Members!

On every convention AES SDA is electing new SDA Officer as their representative in AES structures. For upcoming 146th Convention in Dublin we have three Candidates:

- Shelley Ann McCarthy Buckingham

- Kamila PietrusiƄska

- Krzysztof Kicior

Candidates will be introduced on SDA-1 meeting and have short speech on SDA-2, where the election will take part. Please, see more at www.aes.org/students/sda/sda-elections.cfm where you can find candidates bio as well.

Posted on March 14, 2019 at 5:00:00 AM EDT


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