Education & Career

AES Student Blog

AES145 Student Design Competition Interview: Adam Szwajcowski

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

I'm from Gorlice, a small town in southern Poland, currently pursuing a MSc degree in Acoustic Engineering at AGH UST in Cracow.


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

 

I've been always very interested in physics of musical insturments and sound in general. This passion lead me to study acoustics, which quickly got me into audio after realising how powerfull of a tool digital signal processing can be.


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?

 

Provious to the drum project, I was working for quite a long time on sound of a glass (like in glass harmonica, glass harp or even regular wineglass), which can provide either harmonic or non-harmonic sound, depending whether it is rubbed or struck. This duality inspired me to look for other interesting instruments that could have its spectrum easily modified, and that's how I started my adventure with drums.

I started the project in January 2018 and after 3 months presented the first version on domestic student conference OSKA with quite a success. This motivied me to continue the work and prepare better algorithm, which ultimately produced much better results, that were eventually presented at AES NY in October. While the drum of my design won't probably change the world in any significant way, I do believe, that it could be utilized in many genres of music and be of a great value to drummers and composers who like unconventional sounds.

 

4) Have you considered commercializing your project? Are there any business or product possibilities?

 

 

I thought that it would be nice, if my simulations turned into real insturment, but didn't put that much attention to it. However, at AES I won an Interfacio Award, that aims to help me commercialize the project, so hopefully this will come true.
 

5) Do you know or consider any future steps? Will it be linked with the project you’ve presented?

 

While the harmonic drum is an interesting concept, I don't want to limit myself to just this project and I look forward to new challenges. Not sure what exactly it will be, but there are still many things to do, so I'm sure I'll pick up something interesting soon.


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

 

The poster sessions were great, both as a presenter and as a listener. Interest of the visitors and their willingness to discuss various topics with authors, either by asking for some details or giving ideas for further development, really exceeded my expectations and overall made a great atmosphere of a place.


Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018

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AES145 Student Design Competition Interview: Kamil Piotrowski

 

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

I am from Poland and my hometown is Bydgoszcz but currently I live in Cracow. I moved out to study Acoustic Engineering - the field of studies that in Poland is only at AGH University of Science and Technology. To be honest, I didn't know exactly what the field is related to but after some time I find it out and I got keen on acoustics. In the present, I am involved in a number of projects, bigger and smaller, and I really like it.


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?

I have made an application on FDTD simulation. The acronym stands for "finite-difference time-domain" and it's related to the simulation method I used. It enables watching computation results in real-time what isn't common in many methods. Also, it's relatively fast and, what I proved in my research, accurate enough to analyze audio problems. It's much improved version of my diploma thesis program and I presented it at the 145th AES Convention about year after my first lines of code were written. First serious software, first international conference and first big award of my own - the triple!

 

4) Did you considered commercializing your project? Are there any business or product possibilities?

Of course I did! Maybe, in the plethora of own-made simulation programs, my proposition can be unnoticeable yet but I know very well that with a little support from someone I can turn my application into a useful reliable acoustic tool. I have many ideas. I have even started improving the software but there is a long way ahead of me. It would be a lot better, if my colleague Adam didn't take the Interfacio Award!

 

5) Do you know or consider any future steps? Will it be linked with the project you’ve presented?

 

Many things happen around me in last few weeks. Firstly, I have to take care of some duties connected with the studies and other conferences but in fact nothing with the project. Thinking of next Saul Walker Student Design Competition in Dublin!


 

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

 

All my trip here was a one big adventure! Primarily, the 145th AES Convention brougth me experiences of meeting wonderful people. The networking was very good and it surprised me the most. And of course I won't forget the sweet taste of success.

 


Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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AES145 Student Design Competition Interview: Daniel Krause

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

I'm from Northern Poland, however I spend most of the time in Cracow right now. The reason is included in the second part of the question - I study Acoustic Engineering at the AGH University of Science and Technology, finishing my 2nd cycle studies soon. 


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


I think the first time I thought about becoming a professional in acoustics or audio was in high school. In those times I was really interested in physics generally and after starting thinking about my future I found that sound is one of the most interesting phenomena for me. It spoke to me both scientifically as a purely physical process and emotionally as I've always loved listening to music and any other sounds produced by nature, which made me curious what's the real process behind that.

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 project is entitled "Spectral Contrast Based Feature Extraction Algorithm for Acoustic Event Classification". The goal of the project was to create an efficient algorithm, which would extract a proper representation of a signal for several acoustic event classes. This is one of the crucial parts of a machine learning pipeline, in which we're training models (for example Neural Networks or Gaussian Mixture Models) with some feature vectors. This way our system is learning to recognize some specific types of signals in which we're interested in. In this case I've created an algorithm for acoustic event classification, so I needed something possibly general, as acoustic events include a very wide range of acoustic signal types. Experiments showed really promising results, in which the new algorithm outperformed some other commonly used methods.

This thing is just a part of a wider research I started for my BSc thesis over a year ago. During my studies I've became specially interested in DSP algorithms and systems using machine learning methods. Doing some initial research I found that Acoustic Event Detection and Classification is a field still to be studied and improved and in my humble opinion it's one of the most promising audio topics to become fruitful in the future. It has many possible or already existing practical applications like surveillance systems, smart home decisions, acoustic scene analysis, cryminology or speech recognition enhancement. Naturally this conclusion altogether with my interests led me to step into this world and try to find my own place. So it's been over a year now as I'm doing a constant research in this field and I'm definitely going to continue it in the near future. Currently I'm reading a lot of papers and articles related with my MSc Thesis, in which I'm going to use deep neural networks. Pretty exciting. 

4) Did you considered commercializing your project? Are there any business or product possibilities?


Not so much. Unfortunately the topics I usually work on are not easily commercializable ones, as they require many years of research and hard work to get anything near a proper product. As a future professional I'm rather thinking about joining a team enabling a profitable co-operation which would lead us to some point where we have a working system, ready to sell. That would be a dream-come-true compromise between my scientific and business aspirations.

 

5) Do you know or consider any future steps? Will it be linked with the project you’ve presented?

As I mentioned before, I continue my studies on acoustic event classification. For now I'm focused on preparing my MSc thesis related to the use of deep learning in this context. However I'm pretty sure it will be just a next step and many other are waiting to come. This shall be a long journey.

 

 


Posted: Monday, December 3, 2018

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AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! Merging

 Thank you to Merging for their continued sponsorship and support of the AES Competitions!

Merging Technologies SA is a Swiss manufacturer with over 20 years of experience in developing groundbreaking, professional Audio and Video products for a wide range of entertainment and media industries. With a dedicated user base in the elite end of the music, film, television, mastering and performances industries, Merging is committed to developing product ranges with unrivalled quality and flexibility, no matter what the application. Merging builds tools for people who want more from their systems, have an inherent need to push boundaries, and believe that quality always comes first, every time.

More Information


Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2018

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AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! Sweetwater

AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! Sweetwater

Doing the right thing...since day one.

It seems so simple: just make your customers happy!

In fact it takes a lot of hard work to make it happen — but not everyone is willing to make that effort. That very simple concept is the reason Sweetwater was founded in the first place. Since 1979, founder Chuck Surack has committed to "doing the right thing", and this belief is at the core of Sweetwater's identity, ethics, and practice.


Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2018

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AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! D16 Group Audio

AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! D16 Group Audio

D16 Group Audio Software officially launched in 2006 with the aim of producing virtual instruments and effects for producers and musicians who required top quality and inspiration in their music.

Today, D16 Group Audio Software have become a premium audio plug-ins vendor. Continuously high level of quality and will of improvement allow us to deliver virtual instruments that set a new standard of sound perfection and effects that take creativity to the next level. Solid trust from audio community and respect for products fruitful in many rewards make D16 Group Audio Software the company of choice for many musicians around the globe.


Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2018

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AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! Sonnox

AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! Sonnox

Sonnox is the leading designer of innovative, high quality, award-winning audio processing plug-ins for professional audio engineers. Oxford Plug-Ins are used in an extraordinary range of audio applications including mixing for music production, live sound, broadcast, TV & Film, and even scientific and forensics projects. 

 
The Sonnox design team traces its heritage back to the 1980's, to the development of the legendary Oxford OXF-R3 digital mixing console. With a base price of $1 million, the OXF-R3 was installed in major recording studios worldwide, and became widely accepted as the first ‘musical’ sounding digital console.
 
As music production began shifting towards digital workstations, the console inspired a series of unique software developments starting with the Oxford EQ and Dynamics plug-ins.
 
The expanding family of Oxford Plug-Ins quickly acquired a reputation for excellence among leading engineers worldwide; a reputation that was earned through a no-compromise attitude to audio performance and a desire to push the boundaries with intuitive and novel user interfaces.
 
Sonnox continues to develop unique, high-quality plug-ins for audio production, embracing new technology and formats with partners such as Avid, Universal Audio and Fraunhofer.


Posted: Friday, November 23, 2018

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AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! Native Instruments

AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! Native Instruments

Native Instruments is a leading manufacturer of software and complementary hardware for computer-based music production and DJing. The company’s mission is to develop innovative, fully integrated solutions for all professions, styles and genres empowering all music creators. The resulting products regularly push technological boundaries and open up new creative horizons for professionals and amateurs alike.

Native Instruments opened up the fascinating world of real-time sound synthesis on standard computers in 1996, and today offers an extensive product range for musicians, producers and DJs. The company currently employs more than 500 people in its seven offices in Berlin, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, Toronto, Paris, and Shenzhen and works closely with more than 40 international distribution partners to ensure its future growth and success.


Posted: Friday, November 23, 2018

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AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! Avid

AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! Avid

Story has always been about people together. Stories engage us. They inform us. They enlighten us. As long as there are people, there will be stories. And as long as there are ideas to share, there will be storytellers. At Avid we help creators tell their stories. 


Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2018

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AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! Auralex

AES 145 | Thank You Sponsors! Auralex

 

Auralex Acoustics® was founded over 20 years ago on the belief that there had to be a much better alternative to the expensive acoustic foam panels available at that time. Indeed there was; not only dramatically less expensive, but also with significant performance advantages.
 
Today Auralex takes great pride in offering a full line of acoustical products based on the “better price/better mousetrap” principle.
 
The great initial success of Studiofoam® quickly led to other innovations including our industry-leading Venus™and LENRD™ Bass Traps. When no reasonably priced diffusors existed, we developed the high-performance T’Fusor™and MiniFusor™. When our customers demanded a modular, absorptive, expandable, and, most importantly, portable solution, we introduced the MAX-Wall™ (the first acoustical product to ever be featured on the cover of a major industry magazine) and Stand-Mounted LENRDs™ to great widespread acclaim!
 
When there were few low-cost, effective construction and isolation products, we answered with SheetBlok™U-Boat™ Floor FloatersPlatFoam™, and other affordable solutions. Most recently, our staff has created specialty products such as the GRAMMA™ (Gig & Recording Amp & Monitor Modulation Attenuator) and our hot new MoPADs™ that answer critical isolation needs and result in dramatically truer sound.
 
While some may try to imitate us, they fall way short.


Posted: Thursday, November 22, 2018

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