AES Student Blog

December 2012

Student Recording Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Daniel Casas Buitrago & Cindy Takehara Ferrucio

We are happy to post some interviews with the student recording competition winners of the AES133 in San Fransico. Congratulations again!

gold award winner of category 4 (Sound for Visual Media): Daniel Casas Buitrago & Cindy Takehara Ferrucio

SDA: Tell us a little bit about you.

Daniel: I was born in Tunja, Boyaca, which is located in the center region of Colombia. Right now I am based in Bogotá, capital city of Colombia and I’m into sound design and music production. ?

Cindy: I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan but currently, I’m based in Bogotá, Colombia. We both studied Music with emphasis on sound engineering at Javeriana University. At college, we learned about every field related to audio engineering from classical/non-classical music recording to live sound reinforcement, and for each field, there are lots of interesting things, but I am definitely into sound design and post-production for visual media.

SDA: Tell us about the production of your competition entry. How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? Stories? Inspirations?

Daniel: That’s right; we put a lot of ourselves in this project, so we decided to participate in this competition.

Cindy: It took about 1 month of researching, recording every sound to create our own sound library, 3 months of editing, recording music and working for the pre-mix, and finally about a month for mixing in surround 5.1. It sounds like we spent a lot of time on this project but actually, we worked on several projects during that time and we had academic responsibilities to fulfill, so sometimes it was hard to find enough time to complete all the tasks we had.

Daniel: We had to handle lots of stress caused by all the work we had ahead of us, there were days we were not able to get any sleep. Sometimes we had to work on the project at night and the next day we had to go to class and deal with other assignments. This situation happened quite often.

SDA: What initiated your passion for audio?

Cindy: My passion for audio grew while I was studying at college. And that’s because of my fascination for Music (which is why I decided to study music) and all the admiration I have for my teachers who taught me so much. In a similar manner, my interest for audio increased when I saw the making of “The lord of the rings” for the first time. I was astonished when I saw how they worked the sound design aspect and, in that precise moment I said, “Wow, I want to do that! “

Daniel: Well, it all started when I was 13 o 14 years old. I played music with a couple of friends and one day we wanted to record one of our songs. We didn’t have any kind of DAW or digital interface, but there was a Home stereo system at my place with a cassette deck, which had the option of playing and recording for 2 cassettes, so we took this old mic and started recording the drums, then alternate cassettes and do bass, and guitars, creating a new mixdown every time. We repeated this process until we had our song finished on one of those cassettes. This was very exciting for me and my friends, the fact that we created our recording, had it in our hands and were able to listen to it every time we wanted, was simply amazing!

SDA: How did the AES help you on your way of being a successful audio engineer?

Cindy: I'm way far from being a successful audio engineer... I mean, you never stop learning being as a sound engineer, that’s for sure. There are so many things to do and learn! I think the role of the AES has been to encourage students to keep learning and share knowledge through all the workshops, conferences and conventions that go through around the world. Besides, the AES has given us opportunities to meet pioneers and the greatest audio engineers and that is the most amazing experience we could ever have...At least for me :)

Daniel: Cindy is right; we are not any close to becoming successful audio engineers. This was a notable accomplishment on what is the beginning of our professional careers as engineers. However, we have lots of things to learn, but we like to thing that we are on the right path. Also, with every convention comes the opportunity of being a part of it, we are getting tons of knowledge from the masterminds of Audio.

SDA: What are your highlights of the AES133 in San Francisco?

Cindy: The students recording competition, certainly. It was a great space to appreciate the incredible work of the finalists, and the feedback from the amazing judges gave us a lot to learn. There were also interesting talks in paper sessions and some others like Sound for picture sessions and Engineering briefs.

Daniel: Exactly, the fact of being able to show your work and to get different opinions about how to make it better, it’s a unique opportunity.

SDA: What was your funniest experience as an engineer so far?

Cindy: During ADR recording, there are always some bad takes that make us laugh a lot. I never recorded professional voice actors, but there is always a friend who can make different voices at the class. He makes an effort when doing some of them, and he has to make funny faces when he’s recording a line. I know I should not laugh, but I can't help it.

Daniel: I was recording some songs that a friend asked me to. We were tracking vocals and everything was going fine until my friend got his voice really messed up, because he was making a huge effort while singing some of those songs. At that point I thought it was no big deal, but then he started making this involuntary chicken sounds! I couldn't hold it and started laughing. I was fortunate he was my friend and we have trust in each other so he didn’t get upset with me for it.

SDA: Can you tell us your biggest mistake you made during a production?

Daniel: Probably was the day I wanted to experiment in a drum recording, by using a room mic, placing it outside the studio hall. It sounded really nice but there were a lot of people there, and I couldn’t get a clean capture with that mic.

Cindy: I remember a concert when I was working as a monitor engineer, the drummer of the band asked me to send more of secondary guitar to his monitor, so I sent more of it, but actually, I was giving him more of bass. He kept telling me that he couldn’t hear the guitar, and I was doing this gesture that I already sent it full. After a few minutes, I realized that I was exploding his ears with bass, poor guy!

SDA: What is the best recording of all time?

Cindy: Tough question, there are so many. I would say Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Christipher Hogwood in 1980. Definitely, one of the finest performances ever! I have another one, I wouldn’t say this one is the best recording in the world, but the last album from the Foo Fighters “The wasting light” is one of my favorite too. I think it was a huge challenge to be tracking in the front man’s garage, and still make it sound brutal!

Daniel: I’m with Cindy on this one, as a sound engineer and a Foo Fighters fan, they did an incredible job on that last album. Also, I must say that, looking to the past, I love to see when artists, bands, composers and musicians in general experiment and try new stuff. That’s why I want to include The Beatles’ White Album. Everything they accomplished on that record was incredible!

SDA: Do you play any instruments?

Cindy: I play some, mostly dabble, but I play piano, acoustic guitar, trumpet, and a little bit of ethnic instrument such as Quena and Zampoña.

Daniel: I play guitar, piano, a little bit of drums, and I’m trying to improve my voice.

SDA: Any other hobbies?

Daniel: I’m into photography, making videos movies, and I constantly like to buy music records, even If I already have their music on my computer, not just to get good quality audio material but, for the delight of appreciating the art and visual concept on every record.?

Cindy: I'm a big movie buff from mainstream movies to independent films.

SDA: Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Cindy: Hopefully, working at Skywalker Sound with Ben Burtt, Lora Hirschberg and Christopher Boyes… You never know, right? ;) In short, I see myself at television studios or working as a sound engineer for independent film or maybe for some big feature films.

Daniel: Working professionally as a sound designer or a folley artist. Hopefully, I’d be creating music for film or any other visual media. I'm really interested on everything related to films since I started studying “Film and T.V.”. Anything could happen in 10 years from now!


Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012

| Permalink

Student Recording Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Adam Primack

We are happy to post some interviews with the student recording competition winners of the AES133 in San Fransico. Congratulations again!
 
 
silver award winner of category 4 (Sound for Visual Media): Adam Primack
 
SDA: Tell us a little bit about you.

Adam: I'm from Claremont, CA- a suburb of the greater Los Angeles area. I recently graduated from Vancouver Film School's Sound Design for Visual Media program in Vancouver, BC. During the program that spans a year, I was introduced to all aspects of audio post production for linear and interactive media. As a result, recording and designing sound, be it for a short film or video game, have since become true passions.

SDA: Tell us about the production of your competition entry. How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? Stories? Inspirations?

Adam: This was my first entry to the recording competition- my final project at Vancouver Film School. I was given about 8 weeks to find a piece to work with and realize an original surround mix. After endlessly searching for a short film, I first tracked down some animation students at Supinfocom Arles in France who had recently created their thesis film, "Hambuster". I spent 2 or 3 weeks recording foley, dial, hard effects, and backgrounds ( I made a real effort to use original recorded material, though some library effects would find their way in there). 3 weeks were spent editing and designing sounds, and another couple of weeks were spent on the mix stage. 

SDA:  What initiated your passion for audio?

Adam: Like many sound geeks out there, I come from a musical background. However, I wasn't introduced to digital audio theory until my final year of undergraduate studies at UC Santa Barbara. I was majoring in Film Studies but I hadn't found any direction to take within that interest. It was actually during a year-long electronic music course, in the Music department with Curtis Roads, where my entire world was thrown upside down and I discovered the true role that sound can and does play in our storytelling. Learning from such a profound figure in the audio community as well, was an inspiring kickstart to my ambitions with sound. 

SDA: How did the AES help you on your way of being a successful audio engineer?

Adam: I found the AES conference (my first) to be a unique opportunity to socialize with a massive group of people with very similar interests. In daily life, I'm very much aware of how annoying my "sound rants" or audio-centered conversations can be with friends and family. But for a few days, it was so refreshing to be surrounded by others who couldn't get enough of it- not to mention, having the chance to sit around with sound designers and engineers that I really look up to and admire. I'd say then, that in this light, AES really helped me in the beginnings of creating a professional social network.

SDA: What are your highlights of the AES133 in San Francisco?

Adam: The real highlight for me was hearing all of the pieces from the student recording competition and hearing about their production from the students themselves. Sharing drinks and laughs with some pretty iconic sound professionals was also a significant highlight. 

SDA: What was your funniest experience as an engineer so far?

Adam: Funniest experience - recording foley for my project, I was faced with the task of creating sound for a baby's soother. The first thing that I turned to was an actual pacifier...The image of me sucking on a rubber nipple over and over is probably still engrained in my recordist's memory, and it was hard to keep from just erupting in laughter as I squeezed, sucked, and slobbered all over it. The things we do for the love of sound...

SDA: Can you tell us your biggest mistake you made during a production?

Adam: My first day on set as a production sound mixer, I armed the recorder but failed to actually record the first take of a scene. Thankfully, I was spared any sort of scolding or lecture because someone had spotted a major continuity error that required shifting of lights and makeup. Still, I felt like a goof.

SDA: What is the best recording of all time?

Adam: According to Wikipedia, it was originally slated as "man getting bit by an alligator, and he screamed." We all know it as the "Wilhelm scream". 

SDA: Do you play any instruments?

Adam: I was raised playing piano, and now I enjoy playing all kinds of instruments- whatever I can get my hands on, really. 

SDA: Any other hobbies?

Adam: A recent hobby that has somewhat taken over my social life is home-brewing beer. In just over 6 months, I've brewed over 100 gallons of beer and there's no end in sight...all of the friends and family that receive free bottles certainly aren't complaining.

SDA:  Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Adam: In 10 years I'd like to be sound editing/designing full time at a studio here in Los Angeles- ideally working on feature films.



Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012

| Permalink

Student Recording Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Scott Levine

We are happy to post some interviews with the student recording competition winners of the AES133 in San Fransico. Congratulations again!

 


gold award winner of category 1 (traditional acoustic recording): Scott Levine

SDA: Tell us a little bit about you.

Scott: I grew up in Santa Barbara, California, about an hour north of Los Angeles. After doing a lot of music (marching band, yes, marching band) in high school, I went to study at the University of California, San Diego on a pre-med track. After a few years of studying science, I was pulled back into the music world with my job at the school's recording studios—I ended up graduating with a BA in Music and was accepted into McGill's Graduate Sound Recording Program. I'm currently living in Montreal as a second year student in the program, focusing on music production and spatial audio research.

SDA: Tell us about the production of your competition entry. How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? Stories? Inspirations?

Scott: This recording (Third Construction by John Cage) came from a collaboration with the Architek Percussion Quartet (http://www.architekpercussion.com/). The guys came to me looking for a different way to reach listeners aside from the standard CD or iTunes release, so we ended up producing a Blu-Ray with 96k/24b lossless surround sound. Because the goal was always surround delivery, the piece was tracked with 5.1 in mind—surround main pickup, individual spots, and surround ambient mics. We tracked the piece with video in late January 2012, spent 3 months editing the audio and video (editing audio gets a lot more complicated when you need video continuity!) and a week of mixing for the disc release. Because it was my first competition entry, I remixed the recording in August mostly out of paranoia!

The inspiration for the recording was driven by the musicians; they wanted to produce a recording that sounded like nothing else—a close and detailed, hyper-real sound coupled with this huge, interactive ambient environment. The quartet kept telling me "We want the listeners to not understand why they believe the recording", so we kept pushing the aesthetic farther and farther from traditional perspectives in listening.

SDA: What initiated your passion for audio?

Scott: There's no feeling that's the same as being in the middle of a group performing a piece of music—I realized that with audio, we can work to get listeners as close to that experience as possible, delivering not only content, but the emotional and physical experience taking someone out of their listening world and into a completely new context, whether it be for music, film, or live sound design.
 

SDA: How did the AES help you on your way of being a successful audio engineer?

Scott: I have been lucky to be awarded a grant from AES Educational Foundation for my studies at McGill. This grant has not only made it possible to attend the program, but has also demanded that I live up to the expectations! The AES has provided incredible resources to me through connections in presenting research papers, as well as recording tips and techniques from the masters in convention roundtables.

SDA: What are your highlights of the AES133 in San Francisco?

Scott: Of course I'm required to say the Student Recording Competition! Receiving critique from the judges was absolutely invaluable, but also listening to the other entries and the judges' thoughts during the entire competition gave a great idea to what works, and what doesn't—these are people who actually make money for their recordings!

Also, the paper sessions were really informative and impressive—it seems like there are more organizations and young researchers presenting each convention. Being able to present an engineering brief for the first time allowed me to have conversations with the research giants I've read papers by for years!


SDA: What was your funniest experience as an engineer so far?

Scott: So we're in the studio with a band, and they want to track some backup gang vocals for the end of one tune. Five engineers go into the live room and try it out, but we all keep singing the line too "pretty", so the band asks us to "rough up" the lines. That doesn't work either, because somebody keeps singing like Elmo from Sesame Street. Eventually, we ended up laying down on the studio floor and singing the line up to the ceiling, and it worked! Talk about "laying down" some vocals...

SDA: Can you tell us your biggest mistake you made during a production?

Scott: The latching Talkback button is the worst invention ever made...

SDA: What is the best recording of all time?

Scott: I've got to say Earth Wind & Fire's September—how can you get cooler than that?

SDA: Do you play any instruments?

Scott: I'm a trombone player, but I still haven't gotten that perfect trombone sound on a recording yet...

SDA: Any other hobbies?

Scott: The other engineers and I play squash here at McGill—it keeps us sane with all of the work. It's also a pretty good release for aggression when somebody slams your recording!

SDA: Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Scott: I'd love to be recording for film or music, and still working in development for new audio systems and practices—we need to keep moving forward as an industry!


Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012

| Permalink

Student Recording Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Denis Martin

We are happy to post some interviews with the student recording competition winners of the AES133 in San Fransico. Congratulations again!

gold award winner of category 3 (modern studio recording): Denis Martin

 

SDA: Tell us a little bit about you.

Denis: I'm from the east coast of Canada, Halifax, Nova Scotia. I started my studies in Nova Scotia at Acadia University with a Bachelor of Music in percussion performance. From there I went on to the Masters in sound recording at McGill, which I'm currently completing. I would definitely consider myself focused on music recording, particularly rock/pop, however I do a lot of classical and jazz recording as well!

SDA: Tell us about the production of your competition entry. How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? Stories? Inspirations?

Denis: My competition entry is from a session at the Banff Centre, Canada, during their Summer Jazz Workshop. The tune I entered was one of three from the session, which lasted roughly 6 hours. All-in-all things had to be accomplished quick! I couldn't have done it without the whole production team. The mixing took place in september at McGill over the period of a couple weeks. The mix was totally in the box, so I could easily work on it for about an hour at a time here and there. As for inspiration or references, I couldn't think of much! One image that stuck with me, mentioned by the composer, was that he wanted it to sound like an epic Lord of the Rings scene, enter Lexicon! 

SDA: What initiated your passion for audio?

Denis: My passion for audio was initiated and continues to be sustained by a passion for music. Honestly, without music I wouldn't have a whole lot of interest in the field. 

SDA: How did the AES help you on your way of being a successful audio engineer?

Denis: The AES is a great place to meet new people, and it gives the chance to present your current work. Whether that be a recording, a research paper, or a new product.  

SDA: What are your highlights of the AES133 in San Francisco?

Denis: San Francisco! It was my first time in California. My flight home ended up being delayed by a couple days as well, and I had a great time in the city!

SDA: What was your funniest experience as an engineer so far?

Denis: There's been quite a few, I can't necessarily think of the best. A recent one would probably be a guitar solo I was tracking a couple weeks ago. The musicians had one of their friends come in and lay down the most abstract "out" solo possible on a funk/pop tune. I guess you'd have to hear it, but the first pass was pretty hilarious. I'm pretty sure that's the solo that has to stay on the track...  

SDA: Can you tell us your biggest mistake you made during a production?

Denis: Something I've definitely be trying to work on lately is to concentrate on the musicians/music at all costs. Some of the bigger mistakes I have made have been due to getting too caught up in the engineering.

SDA: What is the best recording of all time?

Denis: I don't think I can answer that, that's a tough question. Looking at my itunes, some of my top play counts are on Mother Mother's new album The Sticks!

SDA: Do you play any instruments?

Denis: Yes! I play a lot of percussion, drums, and I used to play quite a bit of piano. I try to play guitar sometimes.

SDA: Any other hobbies?

Denis: Yes! The most recent one is squash, we play 2-3 times a week for a couple hours. I also love longboarding, hockey, and mountain biking.

SDA: Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Denis: Ideally, still here in Montreal or Toronto, working as a freelance engineer/producer for rock/pop music. Although I'd be down to go pretty much anywhere!

 


Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012

| Permalink

AES 133 Convention San Francisco | Student Recording Competition Sponsors

After having a great time at the 133 Convention in San Francisco and participating in an exciting and vibrant Student Recording and Student Design Competition, all the hard working finalists got their prizes. The prizes were various and provided by many wonderful sponsors who were so kind to give away many great prizes.

Clicking on the links you can see the photos in no particular order from the SDA 2 meeting where the finalists were recieving prizes and meeting sponsors.

Telefunken

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/56.html

Harman International

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/57.html

Focal Press

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/63.html

Auralex

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/64.html

THAT Corporation

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/65.html

Digikey

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/66.html

Izotope

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/67.html

XMOS

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/68.html

Reaper

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/69.html

Texas Instruments

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/74.html

Sennheiser

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/75.html

Solid State Logic

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/61.html

Sontronics

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/50.html

Earthworks

www.aes.org/events/133/pictures/Students_Education/images/60.html

We also thank D16, Quiztones, Blue Microphones, Slate Digital, Sweetwater, Hal Leonard, Merging, Schoeps, Sonic Studio...

 


Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012

| Permalink

RSS News Feed
 
Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Google+   YouTube   RSS News Feeds  
AES - Audio Engineering Society