Christian Steinmetz of Clemson University
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?I am originally from South Carolina in the US where I studied Electrical Engineering and Audio Technology during my undergrad at Clemson University. Currently I am a master’s student at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona studying Sound and Music Computing within the Music Technology Group (MTG).
What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?My interest in audio came out of my interest first as a music listener. Early on I became involved in building speaker enclosures, demoing different headphones, and experimenting with amplifiers to try and build a better sounding listening system. Eventually, this lead me into the world of music production and audio engineering because I was interested in making recordings that sounded the way I wanted. Throughout high school and my undergrad, I have worked as a recording, mixing, and mastering engineer. At the same time I have been focused on applying engineering in the construction of tools that advance the field of audio engineering, aiming to develop tools that assist in and extend the workflow of audio engineers. I am continuing this line of research in my thesis here at the MTG, with the application of deep learning to tasks in music signal processing.
Tell us about the 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 project, flowEQ, aims to provide a simplified interface to the classic five-band parametric equalizer. In order to effectively utilize the parametric EQ, an audio engineer must have an intimate understanding of the gain, center frequency, and Q controls, as well as how multiple bands can be used in tandem to achieve a desired timbral adjustment. For the ametuar audio engineer or musician this often presents too much complexity, and flowEQ aims to solve this problem by providing an intelligent interface geared towards these kinds of users. By applying some of the latest techniques in machine learning, like the disentangled variational autoencoder (β-VAE), we can utilize data of equalizer settings collected from audio engineers (via the SAFE-DB) to learn a well structured, low dimensional representation of the parameter space of the EQ. This low dimensional space then allows the user to control all thirteen knobs of the equalizer with only two controls, for example. For the inexperienced user this presents a powerful way to search across possible EQ configurations, where they can use their ears to find the desired effect, using knowledge aggregated from trained audio engineers. If you are interested in learning more about how all of this works check out the project webpage (https://flowEQ.ml) where I go into all of the nitty-gritty details. This was not my first entry at AES. Last year I presented my reverb plugin, NeuralReverberator, in the MATLAB plugin competition, and the year before that I presented a phase analysis plugin that aims to help audio engineers improve microphone placement for better drum recordings.
What/Who made you join AES?I first learned of the AES through my audio technology professor at Clemson. After discovering the journal and diving into all of the interesting research being published, I decided to join. Shortly after learning about the yearly convention held in NYC, I set a goal for myself to find a way to attend. I came up with a project idea and built a plugin to present during the Student Design Competition. After sharing it with my professor, I was able to receive funding from my department to travel to the convention. Attending the AES convention for the first time in 2017 was one of the major moments in my development as a researcher, and solidified my interest in continuing my research in this field.
Tell us about your favorite experiences at the 147th AES Convention in New York!My favorite part of the convention was getting to present and share my project with other people interested in audio engineering. Getting to meet new people with the same interests and their own unique perspectives is, for me, one of the highlights of a convention like AES. In addition, I enjoyed attending many of talks and paper sessions where I got to hear from some of the most influential researchers in the audio community.
Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?I'm Jared Richardson, from Provo Utah. I recently graduated with a Bachelor's in Media Arts from Brigham Young University, and my goal is to work in post-production sound for film and animation.
What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?My passion for audio came partially from my little siblings. In 2014, when I was on a 2-year mission in Chicago for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I rarely got to talk to my family back home, so my little brother and sister would send me emails with attached audio recordings. They were essentially podcasts, but they always went the extra mile and included background music, fun segments, and little fictional skits. These really inspired me, and ever since I got home I've wanted to participate in all sorts of audio-related creative projects with sound effects, voice over, and mixing.
Tell us about the 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 was my first time entering the Student Recording Competition at AES on a recommendation from my professor. The submission was an animated short film, Grendel, produced by BYU's animation program. Typically students don't do the sound for BYU's animated shorts, but I persuaded the faculty to let me do it, and I'm so glad I did! Production was long (several months) and pretty monotonous at times, but I enjoyed all of it. Between voice over work, Foley, sound design, overall mixing, and many meetings with the director and composer for the film, we eventually reached a place we were happy with. It's a lovely film, and I hope people who watch it feel that the sound does the quality animation justice. I am absolutely honored to have received a Silver Award for it.
What/Who made you join AES?I attended and joined AES because of my professor, Aaron Merrill. He was the one who gave me feedback on the film, and felt like I should submit it as an applicant. Without him, none of this would have been possible.
Tell us about your favorite experiences at the 147th AES Convention in New York!The convention was really fun! I'm not used to big cities, but being around industry professionals and those who are excited about audio and music was an exceptional experience. It felt like there was something for everyone, both on the showfloor and in the many classes/panel discussions. I would love to attend again someday in the future!
Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2020
1) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?
Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2020
Alex Dobson, from McGill University, received an Honorable Mention in the Remix category of the Student Recording Competition.
Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Bo Pang accepts her Gold Award in the Sound for Visual Media category.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?My name is Bo Pang. I grew up in Qingdao, an upper east coast city in China known for its rich artistic environment film industry. I grew up with music and film and knew I wanted to do something with both of those areas, so I applied to the Beijing Film Academy. I received my foundational knowledge of filmmaking there, specializing in skills regarding sound, gaining hands on experience in shooting film and nurturing my passion. During the last year of school I went to London to study sound arts and design. The artistic environment of national museums and galleries and sound installations expanded my imagination. They helped me overcome language barriers and realize that filmmaking is a universal concept. I became more confident in my skills and determined to come to the United States to further my education, continuing my journey at Chapman University where I completed my MFA in sound design this year.
What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?Music has always been a part of my life since a young age when I started playing the piano. Pictures would always come to my mind when playing different melodies. This not only helped me develop my sensitivity to sound, but also encouraged me to explore my imagination. I became interested in sound design in primary school. One of my favorite things to do was close my eyes and listen to the sounds on my grandma’s balcony. It brought everything to life; happy birds in the spring, cicadas in the summer, dry leaves rustling in the autumn, and the cold wind in winter. I remember how dramatic it felt during a storm when the rolling thunders came with low-end rumbling and how raindrops brightened everything when they hit the tin roof. Sound is very important to me because it makes my memories so vivid. As I learn more about audio and have more experiences, I am discovering how much it is already a part of my life and engrained in my heart.
Tell us about the 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 is from a sci-fi short film that I worked on during my time at Chapman as sound designer, supervising sound editor, and re-recording mixer. The film tells the story about a young shipping pilot, searching for his missing wife. It was a new world with hundreds of visual effects, challenging me to explore my imagination to create good storytelling. One of the most interesting parts of this project was to record as many sound as possible for the sound design. I did several Foley sessions to record and experiment different sound elements ranging from something as tiny as a water drip to as loud as thunder. I went into the field and recorded more elements, including metal chains on a train and the whirring of plane engines. As there were many sound effects everywhere in this film, it was challenging for me to find the right balance for dynamic mixing. I learned a lot while using my technical skills to make my ideas come alive. I worked on this film for two months. It was my first entry.
What/Who made you join AES?The first time I was introduced to AES was in 2018 when one of my friends told me of the many opportunities this organization provided for learning in classes, events, and journalism. After I found out more information I applied for student membership. During my time as a member I was able to volunteer for AES at the 2019 NAMM Show. I felt very appreciated like I was part of a family.
Tell us about your favorite experiences at the 147th AES Convention in New York!I had two favorite experiences at the 147th AES. The first was the student competition panel, which allowed me to show my work and also learn from industry professionals and other students. The second moment was the amazing classes AES had. I learned many new specialized skills and techniques, as well as having the chance to meet many people from all over the world who were passionate in audio, sharing our experiences and ideas with each other.
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Sean Newell stands with fellow winner Russell Scarborough and several Belmont University colleagues.
1) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?
My name is Sean Newell, originally from Miami, Florida, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2016 to pursue a degree in Audio Engineering Technology. I quickly fell in love with the software and DSP side of audio, and thus, took a lot of computer science and signal processing classes.
2) What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?
I have always loved music and always wanted to be a part of it. It began with me learning an instrument, and lead to me becoming interested in audio tech.
3) Tell us about the 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?
I submitted a VST plugin for the MATLAB competition. I loved the process of creating it as I learned so much. It was inspired from a school assignment where I had to create a parallel distortion effect with two algorithms, each bringing out different harmonics. It took me about 1.5 months to complete. This was my first AES submission.
4) What/who made you join AES?
Many audio professors at Belmont lobby for AES memberships.
5) Tell us about your favorite experiences at the 147th AES convention in New York!
Posted: Monday, November 25, 2019
Dear all AES Student Members!
Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2019
As the deadline for submissions is coming closer be sure that you are familiar with rules for Student Recording Competition. Check them here.
At the upcoming 147th, AES Convention in New York students will be able to compete in a new category which is Immersive!
We wish you all good luck! Remember we are waiting for your submissions till the 18th of September 2019!
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019
MATLAB Plugin Student Competition was first time hosted on 145th AES New York Convention. From the 4 submissions qualified to the final presentation, Judges selected one gold, two silver and one bronze award winners. For the 147th Convention Matlab Competition is going back – you are invited to participate, keep the deadlines! Updated competition rules are available here:
For this competition cycle, Mathworks provided special mentoring list for students interested in taking part in competition. Please sign up for the newsletter by sending the mail to email@example.com. AES MATLAB Plugin competition have separated page on MathWorks site, everyone interested in the competition updates and future webinars/tutorials should be updated with the information on the page:
All previous submissions are available on MatlabCentral (https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/) by searching for tag: “aescomp”.
One of the competition rules is to upload short video presenting your project possibilities. Now it is a great opportunity for you to take a look at it before submitting to get the knowledge about Matlab possibilities in plugin creation. Please take a look on previous submissions videos on youtube:
1st place – Plate reverb –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lSVdCZhfrk
[Aalborg University, Denmark]
2nd place ee – Neural Reverberator – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gJ-e1SsPkE
[Clemson University, US]
2nd place ee – Binaural Piano – https://youtu.be/HUh6qq0oPyk
[RWTH Aachen, Germany]
3rd place – Escalator – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_vV2ysFgX4
[York University, UK]
Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2019