AES Section Meeting Reports

Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - July 27, 2017

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Alex Otto, a former CRAS student and instructor, presented the basics of his career as not only an audio engineer but also a studio acoustics consultant all housed in a room he designed for CRAS.

In his work he has found that there are three important factors when establishing the acoustics of a studio. Two of which seem obvious, the gear to capture and playback sound as well as the listening capabilities of the person hearing that sound. However, the third is often overlooked. That being the room and location where the studio resides. This topic served as the thesis of his presentation. Otto would go on to teach some common operating practices he has run into in his career. Such as the minimum space a room must be for low end frequencies to develop without negatively interacting with each other, as well as the different construction and placement of speakers within a room.

During the event the floor was open to questions as they arose. One such question involved the floor plan of the very room the event was held in, a room designed by Otto himself. Unsurprisingly, not every room has the aptitude for great audio playback so a great deal of his job consist of mitigating the tricky spots within a room while balancing the accommodations of studio equipment.

The natural progression of this topic lead to treatments and the difference between absorption and diffusion as well as how they interact with the range of frequencies. Students were extremely receptive to his message and wanted to know how they could incorporate these teachings into their home and bedroom studios. More students still were intrigued about the intricacies of materials used in a professional project. How much consideration goes into flooring was a question discussed at length.

The night was wrapped up with a slide show of sorts. In which, Otto showed pictures of a studio he recently designed. This included gear as well as live room and studio spaces. Seeing an in depth look of a project of that scale gave students an adequate expectation of how the consulting industry as it relates to audio acoustics works.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society