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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 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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AES141 Student Recording Competition Interview: Kyle Holland

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

 

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, but 3yrs ago I moved to Nashville to pursue my education and career in audio from Middle Tennessee State University. I’m currently working on my Masters of Recording Arts and Technologies at MTSU. I also serve as a graduate teaching assisting at MTSU and I run my own project studio called The Crooked Switch, where I freelance record, produce, and mix local artists. 

 

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


Like most audio engineers my passion for audio started with being a musician and having a love for music. Ever since I was a child I was always involved in music. I took piano lessons as a kid, I played clarinet and trumpet in my elementary school band, I studied music theory at a grammy winning high school (Neuqua Valley), and I played guitar and wrote music for a handful of rock bands throughout high school and college. While playing guitar, I became obsessed how things sounded. I was always fiddling with the settings on everyone’s amps, and I would leave shows constantly commenting on the quality of the sound. At the same time, my high school also had a small MIDI lab that it used for its music theory classes which was my first introduction to audio technology and the power it provided. Once I reached college I had enough money to buy Ableton live and an interface of my own. I was immediately hooked and knew that music production and audio engineering was what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing, and as they say, the rest is history. 


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 song was inspired by a free release of some space themed samples by NASA. I’m a geek at heart and love outer space, so after sifting through some of these samples, I thought it would be really cool to base a song around the Apollo 11 landing. I was living in an apartment at the time of this song’s creation so most of my productions were done in-the-box using either MIDI, sampling, or DI guitars. This song was no exception. I work in both Pro Tools and Ableton live, but I prefer Ableton live for my own compositions and electronic based music that I make when I’m not doing production or mixing work for other artists. This song took a couple of months to create which is about normal for me. I wear many hats and juggle many balls, so I only devote time to my own productions such as this, when I have free time in my schedule, which is becoming much more rare these days.


What/who made you join AES?


I joined AES back in 2013 when I started school at MTSU. I had heard about their AES chapter through the departments website. I wanted to be as involved as I could in the audio community so it was a no brainer to join. I’ve been a student member ever since. In 2015 I also competed on MTSU’s mixing team during the AES Spring Mixer. 


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


As always, one of the best parts of AES is just being in the same room with so many like minded and talented audio professionals where the exchange of new knowledge is commonplace, new friendships are formed, and the opportunities are provided to talk about new technologies with your peers. Above all, I would say the highlights of the convention for me would be either making finalist in the recording competition, or listening to top producers like Greg Wells, George Massenburg, Darrel Thorp, and Al Schmitt, talk about their productions and recording techniques. I’d also never been to LA before so it was really cool just getting see such an influential and historic city that has had such a major impact on the music and entertainment industries. 

To hear Kyle's project, click here


Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2016

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AES - Audio Engineering Society