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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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Meet Michal Lech from Gdansk, Poland, who received a Gold Award in the Student Design Competition.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where are you from? What do you study? How did you discover your passion for audio?
I was born in Gdynia, Poland, in 1983. In 2007 I graduated from the faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics, specialization: Distributed Applications and Internet Systems in the Computer Architecture Department of the Gdansk University of Technology in Poland. The subject of my thesis was the application for automatic pitch detection and correction of detuned singing. In June 2013, I finished my Ph.D. The subject of my thesis was: "The method and algorithms for controlling sound mixing processes by hand gestures using video image analysis". As you can see despite studies associated strictly with telecommunication and information technologies I have chosen scientific subjects within the audio domain. Sound in general has been my passion since my childhood.
Are you a musician yourself? Which instruments do you play and in what context?
I play electric guitar and compose music often considered as movie soundtracks, probably due to the extensive use of symphonic orchestration. You can listen to some of my compositions on Bandcamp or visit my Facebook profile!
Tell us about your project. What is it? What is the story behind it?
The competition entry was a novel sound mixing system enabling a mixer to mix using hand gestures performed in the air (fig. 1). In comparison with a typical mixing process within a digital audio workstation using mouse and keyboard this created the possibility of reducing graphical influence on users significantly as there is no need for them to look where they are clicking, for example. Therefore mixing in accordance with Steve Lillywhite’s advice “listen with your ears, not your eyes” can be performed.
Fig. 1. Using the system
My experiments have shown that mixing audio signals using hand gestures instead of physical interfaces is possible and intuitive. It was proven that visualizing audio parameter values can affect the decision making process during sound mixing. The results of listening tests prove that employing gestural interaction produces mixes that are not worse regarding aesthetic value than the ones obtained using DAW software handled by a mouse, keyboard and MIDI controller. The mixes resulting from mixing via gestures without visual support were more vivid than mixes obtained directly using the DAW software. This appealed to many engineers.
Fig. 2. Graphical user interface of the application – full GUI mode (with visual support)
It is hard to assess the amount of work put into the project as it was not the only thing that I was involved in. Approximately 4 years have passed since I started thinking about the project until the working system was finished. It was my first entry to the AES Student Design Competition.
Fig. 3. Graphical user interface of the application – limited GUI mode (no visual support)
Accidents happen: What was your biggest mistake during a project what did you do to redeem the situation?
To be honest I don’t remember any serious mistakes. The implementation phase was preceded by scientific research on similar solutions, specifying and analysing requirements and designing the system. I had also gained some experience in computer vision and artificial intelligence during work on earlier projects, therefore I knew pretty much what I wanted to end up with and what results could be expected.
What’s your advice for software or hardware designers who are just starting out?
Think outside the box and don’t take anything for granted. Take statements in scientific reports with a grain of salt.
What do you like about the AES?
I’ve always liked the equipment exhibitions and recording competitions. Hearing other people’s ideas enables me to open my eyes and refresh my way of thinking.
Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 134th AES Convention in Rome!
I was fascinated with works presented in the category ‘Sound for Visual Media’ of the Recording Competition. Inviting Simon Franglen to give a presentation on music production for film was also a great idea!
What are you up to when you’re not doing anything related to audio?
I exercise at the gym and go for long walks.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
On stage with my guitar and an amplifier behind me :).
Posted: Monday, September 1, 2014
The AES Student Delegate Assembly is inviting all educational institutions and audio companies to participate in the AES Education & Career Fair which will take place Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 11am-12:30pm.
Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2014
Entries are now being accepted for the AES 137 Student Recording Competition and Student Design Competition.
Now is the time to act for anyone who wants to take part in our prestigious student competitions. The registrations have just opened and they won't be open for long so make sure to get your entries ready as quickly as possible.
The registration deadlines are approaching fast. You need to register for the Student Recording Competition by the end of September 4th and for the Student Design Competition by the end of September 26th.
What you need to do:
For more information, visit the Student Competition pages.
The Student Delegate Assembly is looking forward to your submissions!
Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2014