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AES Student

On the Student pages you will find information collected and provided by student members of the AES who have been elected officers of the Student Delegate Assembly (SDA). Find out more about us here.

If you are an AES student member, this is the place where you can get informed about student related topics. Also, every student is invited to help keeping these pages a vivid and up to date resource by sending us interesting news and reports from your AES Student Section. 

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AES141 Student Design Competition Interview: Rod Selfridge

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

I am from Scotland where I still spend a lot of my time. As an undergraduate I obtained a 1st Class Honours in Electronic and Communication Engineering. I also have a Postgraduate Diploma in Mechatronics, a Masters with distinction in Digital Music Processing as well as a Diploma in Music. I am now a member of the Media and Arts Technology Doctoral College at Queen Mary University of London. My PhD is in Real-Time Synthesis of Aeroacoustic Sounds using Physical Models. This requires me to research the sound generating processes from a fluid dynamics perspective and then implement this as a sound effect. 


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


My passion for audio is born out from my passion for music. Following a number of years as a singer/songwriter and performing musician, I decided to build up a home studio and devote time to record myself. It was while doing this that I passion expanded to include audio equipment, recording techniques, etc.


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?


My submission was the Real-Time Synthesis of a Propeller. This effect is a combination of two different aeroacoustic sounds and a motor sound. The first aeroacoustic sound is a broadband sound generated by vortex shedding as a propeller moves through the air. The second aeroacoustic sound is a periodic sound generated by the thrust and drag of the propeller creating pulses at the revolution speed. The motor sound was borrowed from Andy Farnell, one of my supervisors. 


The inspiration behind this was to give a practical example that has relevance to video games, films and TV. The majority of my research is designing fundamental models of aeroacoustic sounds, e.g. Aeolian Tone, Cavity Tone or Edge Tone. By implementing sound effects where the fundamental models are the building blocks, reveals the diversity of what can be achieved. A propellor model is a great example of this. 


This was my first entry to the competition.


What/who made you join AES?


I first joined my research group at Queen Mary, lead by Josh Reiss, in 2009 while I was undertaking a Masters project. Josh and a number of students in the group are active AES members and saw the benefits of being a member so joined.


My favourite experience at AES 141 was meeting the guys from Columbia who won the Gold award at the student design competition. They had clear passion for their project, obviously worked extremely hard on it and really deserve the recognition.

To see Rod's project, click here


Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2016

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AES141 Student Recording Competition Interview: Jennifer Nulsen

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

I am a graduate student in my first year of study at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where I am studying Sound Recording. Before this, I did two undergraduate degrees at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School in West Hartford, Connecticut, in the States, in music production and technology and piano performance. I studied for one summer term at the Banff Centre as an audio engineer work study, and have worked two summers at the Tanglewood Music Center as an assistant audio engineer.


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


I came to audio as a performer who was used to listening critically, but only to my instrument or to musical aspects of a performance. Audio intrigued me because it encouraged more holistic listening in combination with a technical approach - almost like a conductor might listen, but with an ear to the science as well. That fusion of science and art led me to pursue my undergraduate degree in music production and technology beginning in 2012, where I became much more focused on recording acoustic music. Since then, I’ve also begun working more with electroacoustic sources, particularly in the new classical music area, and I also try to work on some jazz and rock so that I can maintain a balanced perspective.


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 production was a concert recording done while I was working at Tanglewood this past summer. We each were responsible for one orchestra recording over the course of the summer, and mine was this concert. The orchestra performed this specific Wagner overture, Beethoven’s Eroica, and a Strauss horn concerto, so I needed a flexible setup that could accommodate such a wide range of classical music. Therefore I picked several general area spots to supplement the main orchestra sound, and then adjusted slightly over of the course of the week of rehearsals in the hall. I had three rehearsals before the concert to study the scores and fine tune the sound, and then during the concert, I did a live mix to two-track for archival, broadcast, and amplification purposes. I ended up using this mix as my submission, with some slight master bus equalization applied. I’ve entered the competition twice before this, and I was so excited and honored to be chosen as a finalist for this entry!


What/who made you join AES?


My professor at the Hartt School, Justin Kurtz, strongly encouraged me to join during my first year of study, and he also urged me to run for chapter office and attend conventions. I’ve been a student member ever since, and have had the privilege of serving as both Hartford and McGill chapter Vice-Chair. AES has become such an incredible resource for me to use through the online library and the conventions, as I can find answers to any audio questions that I might have. Especially as a graduate student, the research resources available online have made a huge difference in the quality of my studies!


Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 141st AES convention in LA!


It’s always great to see friends and mentors at the convention that I haven’t seen since the last convention. I also enjoyed the Raw Tracks session on Beck’s Morning Phase (which is one of my favorite records of all time), and the panel discussion about breaking the glass ceiling for women in the audio industry. I’m looking forward to the next convention in New York already! 


To hear Jennifer's project, click here


Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2016

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AES141 Student Recording Competition Interview: Kerrick Crace

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


I'm originally from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, but I've been in Nashville now for 6 years. After taking time off from school to try the "artist thing," I'm now back at Belmont University with a self oriented focus on film audio as I finish my senior year for a BS Degree in Audio Engineering Technology. Belmont boasts the only Dolby Atmos surround system in any university in the U.S. (possibly world, but I'm not positive) which has been quite exciting to learn about and have (sparring) access to.

 

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


I've grown up playing and writing piano music since I was 4, though I never really learned to read music. My piano teacher, after my stubbornness wouldn't cease, began to foster ear training and I learned to play fully by ear.  From there I learned to play guitar, bass, drums, etc. and developed an ear for how they all fit together. Recorded bands in high school with a super simple Zoom multitrack and maybe 3 mics and from that point on my perfectionist mind was always fascinated with making things sound better and better. But it was going to an IMAX to see Interstellar in 2014 that made me realize what I believe is my purpose. That film has some AMAZING sound done by Richard King and his team to make it visceral and powerful. However, hearing Hans Zimmer's score in that film was one of the most religious experiences of my life; the powerful organ from Temple Church, the intimate piano, the dynamic and patient orchestral movements seemed so clearly to paint the gravity of reaching out into space for a new home...You may have heard this if you're a fan, but Hans was only given one page describing the film before he began the score - the page described a drama about a relationship between a father and his son - although the film was destined to be a large scale Sci-Fi production. So, his score cut right to the heart of the film denying predictable Sci-Fi motifs  - learning this jettisoned me into a new world that made me realize the depth and emotional context of film music and how it has shaped me as an engineer and composer in my life. My goal in my life is to learn how to work this way - to cut through to the heart of a film to its most central and human element. I believe it's the one thing I can do well while also helping someone else to enhance and develop their vision, which to me is everything; to me it's purpose.


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?


Yes, this was my first entry into AES. My submission was the last 5 minutes of a beautiful film called "My Indian Rhapsody" - a successful thesis for Emerson graduate film student Abijeet Achar about a man conflicted with between love and success. For this project, I was asked to compose an original score, which ended up being 7 unique pieces that I began in January of 2016 and finished around March. I then took over most of the sound editing and fully mixed and mastered the film from March to May. I knew Abijeet from high school and when he contacted me about the project, I was incredibly excited as it is the longest and most creatively open film I had worked on to date! I was given an incredible amount of freedom to envision a score based on my own countless viewing on his cuts. As each new cut would come in, I would feel closer and closer to the film and began to take on its complex themes and meanings in my score creation. Themes that I felt I had experienced in my life; of love and loss, of following the right path, of daydreaming and feeling torn between two paths, of adoption and what that search entails, and many others - I could go on for days haha. The film is rich and incredibly well done, and made it to the semi finals of the student academy awards. I showed it to one of my professors, Dr. Doyuen Ko who won the AES Student Competion multiple times in his college days, and with his guidance I was able to select a section of the film which I remixed in Belmont's new 7.1 Film Mix Room. 

 

What/who made you join AES?


I joined our Belmont AES Chapter in 2013 when I came back to Belmont after taking some time off. I soon joined AES as a paying member after learning from Jim Kaiser of the endless opportunities they had for students to get involved and connected to professionals in the audio industry. I got involved as the treasurer in Belmont's chapter and now hold the current Belmont AES Chair position, though I'm sad to say I've been spread too thin been to put my full energy into it recently, though I plan for that to change as we gear towards some really exciting things next semester. I feel I haven't expressed this enough to our Belmont members, but AES is an incredible entity where you as a student can meet seasoned engineers and gain a wealth of knowledge from their experiences and I'm so grateful to be involved and have had the chance to take part in the student competition!


Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 141st AES convention in LA! 


Oh God. Haha there were so many! Walking through the showroom I got to demo some gear that I've been dying to see for years (namely Jonathan Pines showed me around the Master Bus Processor and 5060 Centerpiece by Rupert Neve Designs - I didn't think i could geek out that much). I met the head engineer  of Sony PlayStation and talked about the future of VR audio for games. Outside of the conference, I toured Universal Studios' Post Production Facitities and met re-recording engineer Jon Taylor (The Revenant, Birdman, Unbroken, Babel) through one of our amazing Belmont faculty, Dave Warburton and was able to get some invaluable knowledge from him as well as hear his mix for Unbroken (as he soloed his stems individually for us). So. Mind. Blowing. The lectures on VR Audio, Game Audio, and Sound for Picture were some of the coolest talks I've ever heard. I'd finish the day of lectures and walk my 15 blocks back to my crappy hotel with a headache and a notebook full of barely ledgible notes as I tried to capture all the info I could haha it was epic. Getting to hear other student projects and hearing comments from the judges had to be my favorite part. So valuable. It was also amazing (and terrifying) to show my submission to my peers and hear the judges' comments on my work as well - I certainly left feeling empowered and felt I had some amazing guidance for my next projects! I will certainly be back for New York and if all goes well I'll make it to Berlin this May too - to summarize, I'm hooked for life. 

To hear Kerrick's score project, click here


Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2016

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