AES Student Blog

AES 137 - Student Recording Competition Registrations now open.

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:

1. Read the rules: Student Recording Competition  |  Student Design Competition.

2. Get an all-access student badge for the convention!

3. Register and upload your entry: Student Recording Competition  |  Student Design Competition.

 

For more information, visit the Student Competition pages.

 

The Student Delegate Assembly is looking forward to your submissions! 


Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2014

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AES 134 - Meet the Winners #9: Florian Pausch

 

Meet Florian Pausch from Graz, Austria, 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'm from Salzburg, Austria and studied Electrical Engineering / Audio Engineering at the University of Music and Performing Arts and the University of Technology, respectively, in Graz, Austria. During my studies, I specialized in spatial audio and 3D sound recording technology to write my diploma thesis with the title 'A Rigid Double Cone Microphone Array Prototype'.

 

Are you a musician yourself? Which instruments do you play and in what context?

At the age of 9 I started playing the violin. Eight years later I took my first piano lessons.  On both instruments I was educated in a classical context. I was member of two Rock/Beat bands as guitarist and singer.

 

Tell us about your project. What is it? What is the story behind it?

The initial idea to build a new microphone array prototype is based on two basic questions: "How can we exclude sound from unwanted directions?" and "How can we enhance the resolution on a restricted angular range without increased hardware effort?"

 

Florian's Double Cone Microphone Array 

 

The new array design deviates from the spherical geometry and considers the introduction of a rigid double cone while the array microphones are distributed on the confined spherical segment. The main advantage of this step is the physical exclusion of unwanted sound directions instead of a removal through identification. Compared to a full spherical array, this permits an increased density of microphones for the desired panoramic recording angle without increased electronic hardware effort. Moreover, this is expected to improve the noise behaviour and the resolution on the limited angular range.

The prototype was designed and built throughout my diploma thesis at the Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics Graz (IEM) within one year and was my first entry in the student design competition.

 

Accidents happen: What was your biggest mistake during a project what did you do to redeem the situation?

Any accident with the array hardware would have been really expensive so I planned each design step in detail to avoid mistakes. One of my tasks was to find a robust arrangement of the 64 array microphones to achieve high-quality sound field decomposition. Although I simulated the obtained sensor distribution in advance using true to scale microphone models I worried about the practicability of the prototype, as the space was critically limited. Fortunately, everything worked fine in the end and I succeeded in assembling the spherical segment with the array microphones. 

 

What’s your advice for software or hardware designers who are just starting out?

Simulations are essential and should be as accurate as possible to avoid time-consuming and/or expensive repetitions of design steps – nonetheless, always be prepared for surprises in practice! 

 

What do you like about the AES?

The idea of networking at conventions in combination with a scientific forum (journals, papers) helps not only to meet and talk to specialists of different audio fields but also to improve my knowledge. 

 

Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 134th AES Convention in Rome!

I was pleased to be one of the finalists at the student design competition. The tabletop exhibition was a lot of fun but also a challenging task as there were plenty of expert questions to be answered. Aside from the convention, I was really impressed by Rome!

 

What are you up to when you’re not doing anything related to audio?

There is a long list of hobbies which have to fit in a small window of spare time. For example, I like doing sports like tennis, cycling, hiking, ski touring or sailing, just to name a few.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

That is a tough question! I probably pursue doing research either at university or in the R&D department of a not too big company.


Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014

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AES 134 - Meet the Winners #8: Josef Schauer

Meet Josef Schauer from Graz, Austria, who received a Silver 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 grew up in a small village in the south of Austria. At the age of 20 I started studying Electronics-Information Technologies at the TU Graz

In April 2013 I finished my master's thesis, which is also my submission for the AES Student Design Competition. Last autumn I started my next university degree in Electronics – Audio Engineering.

Ever since I was a child I loved fixing technical problems, and over the years music started to fascinate me more and more. I remember soldering two 3.5mm jack cables in parallel two “mix” the output signals of two portable CD-players... What a mess!

Since 2006 I have been working as a freelancer in event techniques with many different companies in different places, and in sound engineering.

Recently, I have spent two years working with a HI-FI company in Graz.

Since May last year I have been working for the independent radio station ‘Radio Helsinki’ in Graz as a technician. I also take care of the technical equipment at the Institute for Electronic Music at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz for 5 hours a week.

 

Are you a musician yourself? Which instruments do you play and in what context?

I would not call myself a musician, but currently I play guitar and piano. It is very important to me to make music from time to time and I enjoy it a lot - especially with other musicians. I also played the clarinet before I turned 16.

 

Tell us about your project. What is it? What is the story behind it?

‘The Networked Power Flower Bell’ is an energy-harvesting system that produces sound. It is supposed to be implemented in sound-installations.

Actually, the idea of the artist Winfried Ritsch was to build robotic flowers, which are driven by dirt-batteries. A dirt battery is a galvanic cell made out of a piece of copper and a piece of zinc, dug into the soil. 

This particular topic was one of a few he presented to me. From the first moment, I was fascinated by the idea of energy harvesting, as I have been interested in efficient energy usage for a long time.

Hence I started carrying out experiments with these “batteries” and explored possibilities of harvesting their low energy-output into a super-capacitor so they could be used when fully charged to produce sound from time to time, for example. Controlled by a micro-controller the Power Flower Bells can communicate using Sub-GHz radio frequency technology. Unfortunately our prototype currently merely produces sound; networking is discussed in the theoretical part of my diploma-thesis only.

Over the course of numerous discussions Ritsch, Lothar Fickert (a Professor at the Institute of Electrical Power Systems at the Technical University in Graz and my master's thesis supervisor) and I redefined the design. This was necessary, as this was quite a novel field of work for the three of us.

I also went on a student exchange for four months in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, working on my diploma thesis creating the first prototype. This was a very important period of time for me because it gave me the opportunity to work on the project very consistently.

All in all, the project took more than a year from start to finish. 

 

Accidents happen: What was your biggest mistake during a project what did you do to redeem the situation?

While I was testing and debugging a prototype for a hi-fi system I had a short circuit through the ground of my notebook and the amplifier. 

The non-insulated connectors for the speakers made a connection with the frame of the housing.  Connecting the power plug to the mains resulted in a big “Boom!”. My notebook “turned off” (it never turned on again...) and the amp was kind of well done. All this happened at 2 o'clock in the morning the day before we should present the prototype, so my colleague started looking for another amplifier and I didn’t have a notebook anymore. 

I learned a lot during that night...

 

What’s your advice for software or hardware designers who are just starting out?

I think the most important advice for all of us, but in particular for engineers, is, that we should carefully consider the consequences of our behaviour for our environment – nature, humans and all involved systems. Currently most decisions are made for economic reasons, and in my opinion that will not get us too far.

 

What do you like about the AES? How does it help you to become a better and more successful designer and audio engineer? 

It was my first Convention and I enjoyed meeting people who are interested in the same things. I also enjoyed learning about new developments and research results. Of course it is important for me as an engineer to know about what is going on and who to ask for what...

 

Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 134th AES Convention in Rome!

It really was a pleasure to me to present my project to the crowd.  

 

What are you up to when you’re not doing anything related to audio?

I like doing useful things like harvesting fruits and preparing delicious meals. I have to walk my dog every day, which often results in meeting people to have a drink with – which is something else I enjoy. 

I love surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding when I’m at a suitable place.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

I don't know where and how but I really want to stay in the field of audio.

Working with creative people is a pleasure for me and I enjoy making people happy by the means of sound. It seems that I can make a living doing this. That's enough.

 

Please provide us with some closing comments.  

I am really wondering where the audio industry is headed. I hope there will be lots of creative and innovative developments that help us to reduce pollution and the exploitation of our planet while still increasing sound quality.

Thank you Carmen for supporting me and my ideas! 

And a lot of thanks to my parents who let and helped me to do what I wanted to do.

Thank you for this interview.

 


Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014

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AES 136 - Meet the Winners #7: Marius Heuser

Meet Marius Heuser from Frankfurt am Main, Germany, who received a Silver Award in Category 1 of the Student Recording Competition.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where are you from? What do you study? How did you discover your passion for audio?

My Name is Marius Heuser, I am from Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 

I have been making music since I was little and so the idea of studying something music related seemed like a good option for me. However, I didn’t really feel fulfilled with my main instrument, the guitar, to make it my profession. Only when I read about the Tonmeister program, I immediately thought that this was perfect for me, although my only experience in audio at the time consisted of toying around with the PA and guitar amplifiers of the band that I played in. Now that I am about to graduate, I can say that I am very happy about my choice. It has been a great time and I feel that I have learned a lot.

Last year I spent two semesters studying at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, which is a great place to study audio engineering as well.

 

Are you a musician yourself? What instruments do you play and in what musical context?

I studied classical guitar and piano as part of the Tonmeister program. I have also been taking private rudimental drumming lessons for a few years and have played drumset and electric guitar in various rock bands. Last year I started playing the trumpet and joined an amateur brass band.

 

Tell us about the production of your submission. What is the story behind it? What was it inspired by? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? 

The recording I submitted was made as part of a collaboration project between our program and Baltic Youth Philharmonic. A few colleagues and I had the opportunity to work with the orchestra and its conductor Kristjan Järvi at the Danish Radio Concert Hall in Copenhagen for four days. The first two days were only for rehearsals, which gave us plenty of time to work on the sound and practice live mixing. On day three, we did a live broadcast of the orchestra's concert for Danish Radio.

The submitted recording was done on the last day of our stay in Copenhagen, when three of us students were given the opportunity to record a piece by Wilhelm Stenhammar. For me it was the first recording session with a big orchestra and of course I was very excited.

I had made several mixes before the one I turned in for the AES competition. I edited in Pyramix and mixed in Protools using a lot of phase linear EQ-ing and volume automation. It was my first entry in an AES Convention.

 

What was your most significant/funny/inspiring experience as an audio engineer? 

Listening to music and enjoying it has always been my greatest inspiration and motivation.        

 

Accidents happen: What was your biggest mistake in a production and what did you do to redeem the situation?

I once accidentally recorded a session on a computer's system drive that had Steadystate on it, a program that resets the system drive to a steady, predefined state (hence the name) each time the computer restarts. So when I restarted the computer afterwards, all the recorded data was gone. After some failed attempts at retrieving the lost files, I begged the musicians to forgive me and we repeated the whole recording session.

 

What's your advice for engineers who are just starting out?

Don't panic!

 

Tech talk: What are your favourite pieces of equipment, and why?

Time adjustment/delay and phase alignment tools. Sometimes it makes such a huge difference to get all the different tracks in a recording time- and phase aligned.

 

Can you name one or multiple of your favorite recordings or productions and tell us why you like them/what you like about them?

I recently discovered how good the production on the last double album of Five Finger Death Punch is, from the drum to vocal effects an amazing metal sound, even though I don't like the style of music at all. To me, it's a bit like the Transformers movies, which have some of the most impressive sound design and visual effects but the most ridiculous, silly plots. The fact that a lot of the Pop/Rock music I like is not particularly well recorded and mixed, and that some of the better sounding albums I like have been made by the musicians themselves, sometimes makes me question our profession.

 

What do you like about the AES? How does it help you to become a better and more successful audio engineer? 

AES Conventions are a great opportunity to get to know other students and established engineers. Also, it's the best place to keep up with the latest developments.

 

Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 136th AES Convention in Berlin!

Hanging out with the students from Paris. Of course, the convention itself has a lot of cool activities but the best part is always meeting students from elsewhere.

 

What is your favourite frequency?

Once a day. Works wonders in any mix.

 

What do you do when you’re not in the studio or doing anything music related?

I play football and read.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

I don't even know what I will be doing this October after my graduation... By the way, if anyone who reads this has a job or a paid internship in music production, film mixing or sound design for me, please contact me!

 

Once again, the SDA congratulates you to your excellent achievement. Any closing comments?

Thanks a lot to the SDA for their work, organising this competition and all the other events.

 

If you want to get in touch with Marius, send him en email. Also, make sure to check out his band's website. 


Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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AES 136 - Meet the Winners #6: Daniel Babai

Meet Daniel Babai from Brookline, Massachusetts, who received a Silver Award in Category 3 of the Student Recording 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 am from Concord, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, and have lived in the area my whole life.  I just graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Audio and Media Technologies at The New England Institute of Art (NEIA) in Brookline, MA. I am currently a freelance mix engineer and beat maker, working out of my home studio and various studios in the Boston area. My passion for audio began before I knew audio was a “thing,” as I always was fascinated not just with music, but the particular sounds within the music. It became a more concrete reality when I began making beats in 2010, and subsequently started pursuing a degree in order to further harness my control over sound.

 

Are you a musician yourself? What instruments do you play and in what musical context?

I am a musician, having started playing piano when I was 8 and bass at 14.  I can also play a variety of other string and percussion instruments, but my main muses are synthesizers and drum machines.

 

Tell us about the production of your submission. What is the story behind it? What was it inspired by? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? 

This song, “Lift You Up” by newly formed duo Burner and Hooch is one of many I’ve produced for my school’s record label’s first hip hop record. Typically when I make hip-hop instrumentals, I do everything, from sequenced drums to synthesizers and keyboards. In the spirit of this being an educational project, I wanted to incorporate some of the actual recording knowledge I had obtained from my classes at NEIA. In short, this started out as a simple sequenced drum beat, and then I brought a guitarist and bassist in to record. I chopped up the best parts, sequenced them into a 16 bar verse, 8 bar chorus format, and everything just fell into place from there. The whole album has a very live feel, with the vocalists writing to my beats in the studio based on the vibe they get from each song.

 

What was your most significant/funny/inspiring experience as an audio engineer? 

Up until I started my work on this album, I had never really thought of recording as being a passion. About three sessions in I realized how much more focused I was on the making of this album than anything else I had ever done. That was a powerful moment for me. Until that point I didn’t really know I wanted to be an audio engineer; I just happened to enjoy audio related things. Seeing the production of a project through from start to finish is an incredible feeling for me, much more than just making an instrumental track by myself.

 

Accidents happen: What was your biggest mistake in a production and what did you do to redeem the situation?

All of my worst accidents production-wise have happened by not saving often. Do yourself a favour and make sure whichever DAW you are using is backing up automatically, if possible. One time, after getting the best drum sounds of my life, I deleted an entire session. Fortunately, the drummer was able to come in the very next day and we got even better sounds - but next time I might not be so lucky.

 

What's your advice for engineers who are just starting out?

Do whatever you like to do as much as possible. I can’t stress enough how lucky I am to have gotten the opportunity to produce, record, and mix an entire album. Repetition brought me where I am today, and it is the one thing that will take me to where I want to be. If you like anything enough you’ll do it as many times as it takes, and then a thousand more.

 

Tech talk: What are your favourite pieces of equipment, and why?

Production: Akai MPCs, and drum machines/sequencers of the sort. In an age where computers are so heavily used in electronic music production, it’s so nice to be able to step away from the big screen. This is where almost all of my beats start.

Outboard: The Empirical Labs Distressor might be my desert-island compressor. It can be transparent or give sounds a completely different character. I could mention so many more pieces of gear that are right up there for me, but the Distressor sticks out as being a magical thing in my mind having just used it on bass today.

Microphone: Beyerdynamic M160. An underrated little guy with so many different applications, and not too expensive to boot.

Plug-Ins: The SoundToys time-based effects. Wacky, weird, and wonderful.

 

Can you name one or multiple of your favorite recordings or productions and tell us why you like them/what you like about them?

“Donuts” by J Dilla is an example of how great recordings can be so well done, yet raw at the same time. Recycling older recordings and turning them into something new by sampling is such an incredible thing, and I believe this record was very important for that art form. I still go through phases of listening to this record exclusively for weeks at a time.

 

What do you like about the AES? How does it help you to become a better and more successful audio engineer? 

The AES is an incredible organization. The most valuable thing about it is that becoming an AES member makes you a part of the biggest community of audio engineers in the world. What one person might not know somebody else will, and that’s a beautiful thing.

 

Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 136th AES Convention in Berlin!

AES 136 was my first convention. Just being there and feeling the worldwide presence gave me a whole new respect for the AES. I’m really glad I got to meet fellow student engineers from all over the world.

 

What is your favourite frequency?

If I have to pick one frequency, I’d rather feel it than hear it. 25 Hz.

 

What do you do when you’re not in the studio or doing anything music related?

Hanging out with friends, often talking about things studio-related. I need to go outside more.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

In a studio somewhere recording, making beats, and mixing. Not necessarily in that order. But that’s how I’d like to keep a roof over my head.

 

Once again, the SDA congratulates you to your excellent achievement. Any closing comments?

I’d like to thank Pete Peloquin, Barry Marshall, and Al Shapiro, who directly made this project possible, and all of my other incredible professors at The New England Institute of Art who continue to inspire young engineers every day. You guys are amazing.

 

Have a listen to Daniel's submission on Soundcloud

 

If you want to get in touch with Daniel, send him an e-mail. Also, make sure to check out the following links: 


Posted: Monday, August 4, 2014

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AES 136 - Student Competition Sponsors: Telefunken

 

The Student Delegate Assembly would like to thank Telefunken for their generous support.

The legendary microphone company, Telefunken, provided us with a stellar prize for this year's recording competition. Please join us in thanking them!



TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik strives for absolute perfection. By offering historic recreations of classic microphones alongside their own proprietary designs based around the distinctive tube mic sound, they have established a product line that perfectly blends vintage style and sound with the reliability of a modern-day microphone. 
Built to a standard, not to a price, TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik microphones are the world's finest microphones. Ranging from meticulously engineered, handcrafted historic replicas of classic vintage microphones to the R-F-T series of tube condenser microphones utilizing American designed electronics in conjunction with New Old Stock tubes, plus the latest innovations in dynamic microphones including an exceptional dynamic microphone for live and studio vocal performance. 

Please visit their website at: http://www.telefunken-elektroakustik.com









Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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AES 136 - Meet the Winners #5: Miquel Cuxart

Meet Miquel Cuxart from Barcelona, Spain, who received a Gold Award in Category 3 of the Student Recording 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’m from Barcelona and I study Sonology at the Superior Music School of Catalonia (ESMUC). Currently I’m spending a year in Berlin as an Erasmus student in the Tonmeister Institute at the Universität der Künste (UDK). This also is where I met my friend Felix Epp, with whom I collaborated on the production of my entry.

I discovered my passion for music when I started producing hip-hop music as a teenager. I was using this very simple program for PC called e-jay, as well as Ableton Live. I became interested in the world of music recording and production, and then I heard about this degree at the Superior Music School. This is where it all started. Currently, I'm most excited about music recording and mixing, and digital synthesis.

 

Are you a musician yourself? What instruments do you play and in what musical context?

I don't know if I would consider myself a true musician. I’m more of a "music interpreter". I used to play violin, but I stopped about two years ago. I only play it for myself sometimes. But of course I have musical knowledge and I compose music in an academic context from time to time, mostly with digital synths and live processing. I also play some guitar - but just for fun, and not too well.

Felix, on the other hand, is a true musician and a superb guitarist. Apart from co-producing the song, he also played acoustic and electric guitar on the track. It’s very important to me to mention this, as he did such an extraordinary job.

 

Tell us about the production of your submission. What is the story behind it? What was it inspired by? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? 

Well, in fact it's quite a long story. In the beginning of my time here in Berlin I heard about this module for which students have to produce a cover version of a pop song. We had to work in groups. As I didn't know anyone here, including musicians, Wolfgang Loos, our teacher in this subject, suggested I work with Felix. Felix had a clear idea of what he wanted to do: a “minimalistic and dark” cover of "Tainted Love", based on Soft Cell’s version of the song. There had to be this dark slide guitar, and the strings should do that strike that can be heard on the Soft Cell track. 

So we started working. In the beginning we had vastly different ideas, but after a few days we found common ground and everything, especially the composition, turned out really nicely. We devised separate tasks for both of us: I was working mostly on the synths and Felix took care of the guitar parts. We met up weekly to discuss which ideas worked and which didn’t, which elements we should add to the piece and how, and which instruments suited our musical ideas. We made heavy use of overdubs and worked with a number of musicians trying different things, and experimented with combining different ideas in different ways. We worked on it for a whole semester under the supervision of Wolfgang, who also provided great ideas – and we had a blast doing it.

 

What was your most significant/funny/inspiring experience as an audio engineer? 

I would say that every time something works out and sounds as expected, and one can purely focus on musical aspects it's inspiring. 

For example, I once worked on a latin percussion-based piece with a single percussionist doing overdubs with different instruments in the room just with an AB-setup and some spots mics. We had so many cool and great sounding ideas together… I’ve never had so much fun recording music in my life up to this point.

 

Accidents happen: What was your biggest mistake in a production and what did you do to redeem the situation?

If you don’t plan a session properly, mistakes are bound to happen. 

Time is a limited resource in the studio and if something doesn't work or doesn't sound as you expect, you’re tempted to just go on and think “I will fix it in the mix”. There is a lot of pressure when there is still lots left to record and the musicians are waiting... 

Once I recorded the rhythm section of a band, and the piano didn't sound the way I had imagined. However, I decided to keep on going, because I was stressed out, we didn't have much time, and I thought I could fix it with EQ. When I started mixing I realised that there was comb filtering on the piano track, and that it was out of tune. There was nothing I could do about it. It just sounded like hell. Luckily the musicians and other people who listened to the mix said: “Wow, you really wanted to give the impression of an old, totally broken bar piano. It's kind of cool.“   

 

What's your advice for engineers who are just starting out?

As I’m a student and therefore kind of starting out myself I would say: never surrender, never think that your ideas are worse than others’. Experiment and try out everything that comes to your mind. It may work, although it may not be the usual way of doing thigs. If it doesn't work, you will find out and move on the next thing. Be creative!

Ah… And plan your sessions properly and with enough time. Never agree to do something that you don't think is possible to achieve - you will have a bad time. 

 

Tech talk: What are your favourite pieces of equipment, and why?

My favorite microphone is the Neumann U87, especially for voice recordings and vocals, but also because it works great with every kind of instrument and in any studio situation. I also like the versatility of the Shure SM57.

Waves plugins are the ones that I use normally. I would say my favorite one is the H-Delay. I always get something good out of it. Brainworks plugins are amazing as well, especially when mastering.

Most of the time I use Protools and the preamps of the Yamaha DM2000 at our university studio.

 

Can you name one or multiple of your favorite recordings or productions and tell us why you like them/what you like about them?

There's a lot of them, but lately I'm working on a cover of "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang  with Lisa Harnest, one of the winners of Category 4 at the last convention. I think the ogirinal is such an amazing production, mostly because it has so many elements that are not obvious right away, but which create this happy gospel-funk atmosphere together. As it sounds kind of lo-fi to my ears, I think that it’s easy to miss the amazing work behind it.   

 

What do you like about the AES? How does it help you to become a better and more successful audio engineer? 

The AES makes it easy to meet students in your field that you can learn from and have a good time with. The conventions are very nice and help you discover new ways to record, mix and produce. 

Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 136th AES Convention in Berlin!

Well, the most significant one was the moment I got to know that I was one of finalists in the recording competition. Due to a mistake I wasn’t told until just before my presentation so I wasn't prepared at all. I just explained what Felix and I had done in the production, spontaneously, as well as I could. It was kind of weird but funny at the same time. The judges and the audience really made me feel comfortable, though.

Also, I met lots of people and attended many interesting lectures and talks. I particularly liked the ones given by Alex Case - I found them really useful and interesting.

 

What is your favourite frequency?

60 Hz

 

What do you do when you’re not in the studio or doing anything music related?

Mostly spend some time with friends, go out, watch movies and so on. 

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

I hope I’ll be working in a studio or building my own. Maybe it's just a dream, but I would like it to become true.

 

Once again, the SDA congratulates you to your excellent achievement. Any closing comments?

The AES convention was an excellent experience and I'm looking forward to the next one. I don't know if it's possible yet but I would like to participate in the competition again, in the same category. 

 

You can listen to Miquel's submission on Soundcloud.


Posted: Monday, July 28, 2014

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AES 136 - Meet the Winners #4: Matthias Kronlachner

Meet Matthias Kronlachner from Graz, Austria, 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 software design?

I am from Austria and have just finished my master studies in Electrical Engineering and Audio Engineering at the Technical University Graz and the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.
I grew up in a musical family and since my childhood I was interested in playing and recording music, as well as electronics and computers. As such, you would always find me either operating a soldering iron, the computer keyboard, the clarinet or the electric bass guitar. And this is still the case, although the computer keyboard is now the most likely.
My motivation for developing audio software is to implement my sonic ideas. If I can not realize my concepts with the available tools or it is too cumbersome I create those tools by myself.

 

Tell us about your project. What is it? What is the story behind it? What was it inspired by? How long did you work to design and implement it? Was it your first entry?


I developed audio plug-ins for creating and modifying surround recordings and listening to them using Higher Order Ambisonics. This toolset allows to position sound sources around the listener in 3D or to record and modify sound scenes with microphone arrays. The surround recordings are independent of the loudspeaker placement and you can render them for various loudspeaker layouts as well as for headphones. Furthermore, I implemented some general purpose multichannel plug-ins for manipulating arbitrary numbers of input/output channels which is very convenient if you work with a large number of loudspeakers or dense microphone arrays.
I have been working intensely on spatial audio since about two years and various unreleased prototype plug-ins popped out during this time. I keep changing and extending the project, so it is hard to estimate how long exactly it took me to develop this suite. 
This project was my first entry to an AES competition.
 

Accidents happen: What was your biggest mistake during a project what did you do to redeem the situation?
 
At some point you have to decide which limitations you impose on your design in order to make it easily usable. I try to make things as general purpose as possible. While this is great for expert users, it makes it very hard for the less experienced. I still don't know how to solve those problems and I am not sure if it is a mistake either. Ask me again in 5 years.
 

What’s your advice for software or hardware designers who are just starting out?
 
Follow your concept, talk to as many people as possible about your ideas, but listen to your inner feeling in the end. Look what is out there already and try to understand the design decisions as well as the technical aspects behind it.
 
 
What do you like about the AES? How does it help you to become a better and more successful designer and audio engineer?
 
The conventions bring together a wide variety of people. You can learn about the experience of practical users as well as getting deep insights into the algorithms from scientists and developers who build the foundation of the audio industry. After attending a convention you will definitely think different about your daily tasks and it will help to improve your work.
 
 
Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 136th AES Convention in Berlin!
 
Talking to the judges of the Design Competition and getting feedback from them. Great personalities with a lot of experience from different fields of audio engineering!
 
 
What are you up to when you’re not doing anything related to audio?
 
Hiking in the mountains, enjoying nature and jumping into water, cooking, listening to the environment and to people.
 
 
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
 
Working somewhere on making things sound better, whether it is music, cars or your living room.
 
 
Thank you, Matthias, and congratulations again! Any last words?
 
Thanks for providing the opportunity for students to present not just recordings but also their technological achievements from this sector. I think the design competition is at least as valuable as the recording competition as it is providing tools the recording people can use in the first place.
 
 
Watch the plug-ins in action in this compilation of surround sound compositions by students of the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy.
 
The software is available from Matthias's website

 


Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014

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AES 136 - Meet the Winners #3: Hasan Sercan Atli

  

Meet Hasan Sercan Atli from Istanbul, Turkey, who received a Bronze Award in the Student Recording Competition, Category II (Traditional Studio Recording).

 

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 Turkey’s Capital, Ankara, where I also graduated from Atilim University as a civil engineer last year and then I moved to Istanbul for my Master’s degree. I'm currently studying Audio Technologies at Bahçesehir University. I'm also working on the CompMusic Project (Computational models for discovery of the World’s Music) as a research assistant for the Turkish Makam Music team.

In high school, I had a rock band with my friends. I both sang and played guitar. We attended many local and big competitions. This was my first experience with mixers, recording and live music equipment, at music studios and concerts. My interest started at that time.  

I’m very new to sound technologies. I have been working in the studio for just 8 months: recording, mixing, and a little bit of mastering. I love working in the studio, but I'm also eager to learn live sound engineering. 

 

Tell us about the production of your submission. 

The project that I submitted, "Sabah", is one of Nil Ipek Hülagü’s songs. I told my supervisor about the Recording Competition and we asked Nil to record her to attend competition. Nil is a singer-song writer and famous in Istanbul. She has a great voice and has been working with great musicians. She will be recording an album this summer.

I recorded two of her songs for the Recording Competition, and “Sabah” was selected to be submitted. It was my first project as an engineer, which made it very special. 

 

What was your most significant/funny/inspiring experience as an audio engineer?

One of these happened during Nil’s vocal recording session in the department’s music studio. I set up a condenser microphone and set its polar pattern to cardioid. But I didn’t recognize that I placed its backside to Nil. We were very short on time and I could not solve the problem for a while. It sounded like her voice came from the next room and I had to set the preamp gain very high to hear her. I was afraid that I broke Neumann U87 for a moment. Then we solved it and continued the recording.

 

Accidents happen: What was your biggest mistake in a production and what did you do to redeem the situation?
 

I once recorded a jazz trio for a documentary. It was my first time recording for a movie and I completely forgot to record it with 48kHz samplerate. It was not a major problem but the director did complain about it.

 

What’s your advice for engineers who are just starting out?
 
I’m also a very new engineer, but I would advise them to try new things, and not to depend on rules and books – just trust your ears, be patient, always listen and work hard.

 

Tech talk: What are your favourite pieces of equipment (microphones, outboard, plugins), and why?
 
Condenser Microphone: AKG C-414 because of its frequency response.

Dynamic Microphone: Electro-Voice RE20

Outboard: CraneSong STC8 Compressor because of its great presets, and Manley Massive Passive Stereo Tube EQ for tube color.

Preamp: Universal Audio 2-610 Tube Preamplifier, of also for the tube color

Apogee converters and Dynaudio Air Series for reference monitors. 

 

Can you name one or multiple of your favourite recordings or productions and tell us why you like them/what you like about them?
 
Jamie Cullum's album "The Pursuit". It sounds very natural. I don’t like too processed works that damage the musicians' performances. I love its dynamic range. 

 

What do you like about the AES? How does it help you to become a better and more successful audio engineer? 

The AES brings together both academia and industry. Also, AES gives you the opportunity to meet, talk and listen to many exceptional and experienced people. This was my first time in both the convention and the competition, but I want to attend all of the conventions in future.

 

Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 136th AES Convention in Berlin!

The recording competition, of course. Presenting my work and receiving feedback from the judges was the highlight of the convention.

 

What is your favourite frequency?
 
2 kHz and the 'air' region are my favourites.

 

What do you do when you’re not in the studio or doing anything music related?
 
I spend time with my friends and my family. I go out to parks for walking or running with my dog and reading.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In a university as academic staff and in a studio as a sound engineer.

 

Listen to Hasan's submission here

 

Find Hasan on Facebook, Linkedin, or send him an email


Posted: Monday, July 14, 2014

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AES 136 - Meet the Winners #2: Diego Fagundes

 

Meet Diego Fagundes from London, United Kingdom, 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?

Diego Fagundes at the award ceremony

I had my first experience with sound recording in 1994, at the age of 12, in my hometown Bagé in Southern Brazil. As a piano player, I formed a band with my two brothers and started recording rehearsals with a Tascam Porta One four-track cassette tape recorder given to me by my father. During the following years we wrote and recorded a number of tracks and submitted them to several record labels, which helped us to secure a deal with Antídoto/Polygram Records in 1996. Later that year, I did my first recording at ACIT studios in the city of Porto Alegre. That was a huge learning experience as I had the opportunity to observe and learn about recording techniques, microphones, analogue consoles and tape recorders, and got to work with professional sound engineers and music producers in a professional recording studio environment. In 2000, I started a degree in Marketing and Advertisement at URCAMP University in southern Brazil and simultaneously set up my own recording studio, called SG Studio, where I recorded local bands, produced jingles and created commercial audio content for radio and television.

In 2009, I came to the United Kingdom to undertake a degree in ‘Sound Engineering’ at SAE Institute London. There, I started exploring ‘Pure Data’ visual programming language to create interactive applications and multimedia works. Since then I have developed numerous applications strongly influenced by music, animation and cinema; usually mixing live performances and immersive environments with real-time interaction. I am currently developing new projects as well as working towards my PhD in Arts and Computational technology at Goldsmiths University in London.

 

Tell us about your project. What is it? What is the story behind it?

The ‘Interactive Art Gallery’ was my second entry in an Audio Engineering Society Student Design competition and I am trilled do have received the ‘Gold Award’ for the second consecutive year. This year, my project consists of an interactive screen-based platform to display works of art. My original idea was to translate paintings into sonic landscapes created with the combination of music score and sound design. During the development process I have also started exploring the use of narrative; ultimately, it opened up a new set of possibilities and after six months of work I created the ‘Interactive Art Gallery’.

The Interactive Art Gallery: an exploration of Picasso's Guernica

Diego's App: The 'Interactive Art Gallery'. Shown here is an exploration of Picasso's Guernica

 

What's your advice for software or hardware designers who are just starting out? 

Follow your intuition, work hard and be patient. 

 

·      What do you like about the AES? How does it help you to become a better and more successful designer and audio engineer?

The best thing about the AES is that it is a gigantic network. Therefore, it allows you to be in contact with other professionals and have access to the latest research and developments in the audio field.

 

Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 136th AES Convention in Berlin!

My favourite experience was the opportunity to display my work to a wide audience and to receive valuable feedback from recognised artists, engineers and researchers from the audio industry.

 

What are you up to when you're not doing anything related to audio?

I like being with my family and friends, reading, running and travelling.  

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In the recording studio. 

 

Check out the Interactive Art Gallery and an excerpt from A Walk Through the History of Bagé in this video

 

Diego's music production work: 

Chapa / Glimpse of Light - Drums Recording @ SAE London

Chapa - The Best In Town

Chapa - interview (Creation Room)

 

If you want to get in touch with Diego, just send him an e-mail.  


Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014

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AES - Audio Engineering Society