AES Student Blog

January 2013

Central Indiana Audio Student Workshop 2013

CIASW 2013 — Just two weeks away!

Scheduled for February 16, 2013, the conference is a chance for audio enthusiasts in the Midwest to mingle, network, and learn more about the art and science of audio. Attendees will have access to a full day of presentations and demos by folks like Mark Rubel of Pogo Studios, educator and author Gary Gottlieb, Daniel Porter of Auralex, and Marc DeGeorge of SSL. Recording critiques, business tips, career seminars, and a whole lot more! And it's all FREE for students, pros, and hobbyists!

The event will be held at Indiana University – Bloomington.

Learn more and register at http://centralindianaaes.org/


Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013

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Student Recording Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Pouya Hamidi

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 2 (traditional studio recording): Pouya Hamidi

 

SDA: Tell us a little bit about you.

Pouya: I moved to Toronto, Canada from Iran at the age of 12 to pursue my composition and piano performance career. I got a Bachelor's degree, double majoring in Composition and Piano Performance at University of Toronto. During my studies at U of T I composed the music for a number of independent films, some making it to international film festivals. I also founded an 8 member rock/electronic group called Sacred Balance similar to Radiohead and Massive Attack, composing and arranging the music for it with the singer/songwriter Chloe Charles. I also co-founded a quartet called Ladom Ensemble, inspired by Persian and Balkan music consisting of accordion, cello, hand percussion, and myself as pianist and composer.

At an intersection in my life, I chose what path to focus on: sound recording at McGill. It has become a passion and a real educational journey being at McGill University's excellent graduate sound recording program. I've done some projects and research on 22.2 surround sound and started an audio/video series called Audiolens (www.audiolens.ca) that aims to have studio quality sound with live video performances.

 

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

Pouya: The recording is my first entry in the AES student competition. The recording was done by contacting my good friend Maneli Jamal (www.manelijamal.com) who lives in Toronto to see if he was interested to have his songs recorded and produced by me at McGill university. He is a super-talented finger-style acoustic guitarist who makes sounds from the guitar that seem impossible to do with two hands. One of the sonic focuses of the recording was to capture the diverse playing technique that involves making percussive sounds by hitting the body of the guitar and using both hands to play melodic content. As a producer I worked with Maneli a few weeks before the recording at his home in Toronto, going through all of the songs that we were going to record, working on things like phrasing, dynamics, and form. I find the pre-production meetings (before stepping inside the studio) had a very positive influence in the outcome of the recording.

 

The recordings were done during freezing winter nights in Montreal. We could only get the studio during the overnight slot from midnight to 7am. Staying focused and sane was critical! The temperature in the studio would fluctuate session by session and, as we know, this not only puts strain on the acoustic instrument but it also affects the positioning of the microphones. So every session we had to use our ears to make sure we matched the sound of the other songs we were recording.

 

SDA: What initiated your passion for audio?

 

Pouya: My passion for audio was initiated by listening to a lot of music. I was always fascinated by the way sounds were translated to electric signal and reproducible in speakers. Also I liked the way it is a creative art where there is no one right way to record and it can be individualistic.

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

 

Pouya: A big part of being a successful audio engineer is being influenced by other inspiring audio engineers. The conventions are a place to see this in action and hear about the latest technological advances in the audio world. AES also has a wealth of resources that can be easily accessed on their website. Their competitions also provide a great opportunity to get useful feedback from world renowned guests and also to be motivated and rewarded for our efforts.

 

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

Pouya: The many informative lectures and the student competitions. Meeting many other people who have the same passion for audio. A highlight was especially having the privilege of playing a mix I did in 9.1 as part of a presentation of other surround mixes and getting inspired by other people's effective approach to this medium.

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

 

Pouya: When an artist in the studio was too hot (the temperature wasn't adjustable) and had to take off their pants to compensate.

 

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

 

Pouya: When I set up all of the studio for an overnight session then realizing that it was the following night!

 

SDA: What is the best recording of all time?

 

Pouya: Very hard question to answer. It's like what is the best composer. Every good recording has a special flavor. I like Mark Spike Stent's work on Bjork, Muse, and Massive Attack albums.

 

SDA: Do you play any instruments?

 

Pouya: I play the piano, violin, and other keyboards.

SDA: Any other hobbies?

 

Pouya: I'm into watching films, especially a lot of documentaries recently. I also enjoy bicycling. Last summer we did some bicycle camping. And I like camping and mountain hiking.

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

 

Pouya: I would like to be part of a studio that records diverse artists. I also like to be a producer that works with various bands and collaborate on live and studio projects.

 


Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013

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Recap: AES 133 Student Design Exhibition

Hey, folks! Check out these awesome projects from the AES 133 Student Design Exhibition!

 

 

 

Get ready! The AES 134 Student Design Competition is coming soon. Check back for more information.


Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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Student Design Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Marc Messier

We are happy to post some interviews with the student design competition winners of the AES 133 in San Fransico. Congratulations again!

honorable mention of category 1 (Undergraduate): Marc Messier

 

SDA: Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from? Where and what do you study?

Marc: I am originally from Fall River, Massachusetts. I currently study Electrical Engineering at the University of Miami.


SDA: Tell us about your Design Competition entry. What were your inspirations? How long did it take to implement your concept? Any interesting stories?

Marc: My Design Competition entry started out as a project for my Electronics class. The assignment was pretty open ended: design something cool using the material covered in class. I had always wanted to design an analog audio synthesizer. My friend Jordan and I started out by playing around with a lot of different designs for oscillators and distortion effects, and the project grew from there.


SDA: What initiated your passion for audio software or hardware design? What was your first project?

Marc: I have been playing guitar since age six. I got really into electric guitar in high school. I loved playing with effects pedals. I didn’t understand how they worked though. To me, it was magic. That’s how I got into electrical engineering. Believe it or not, this was my first real hardware design project.


SDA: What is the biggest mistake you made during a project?

Marc: I generally feel that I should have spent more time researching other designs and implementing them to get a feel for what I was going for when I work on a project. Being a full-time engineering student involved with various clubs and organizations, it can be difficult to make time for such research projects though.


SDA: What are your highlights of AES 133 San Francisco?

Marc: I had a lot of good experiences during the AES 133 San Francisco Conference. I was thrilled to be a finalist in the Design Competition. I also got to spend time meeting other students who had a lot in common with me. I learned new things from the various sessions on product design. Overall, it was a great experience, and I think I’ll be attending many more AES Conferences to come.


SDA: How has the AES helped you on your way to becoming a successful engineer?

Marc: AES helped me out by giving me networking opportunities to meet people in the fields where I want to be one day, establishing a design competition where I can both showcase my talents and meet other passionate students in engineering, and bringing in distinguished speakers to provide learning experiences to students like myself.


SDA: Any other hobbies?

Marc: I have always been into music, but a new hobby that I am beginning to foster is traveling. I enjoy going to different places and experiencing the lifestyles of others. I spent some time in Mexico over the summer and Portugal this winter. I have had positive experiences.


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

Marc: I want to be working for a well known technology company on the west coast in 10 years. I’d like to have a job that involves traveling to different cities around the world.


Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013

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Student Recording Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Brian Parsons

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 (audio for visual media): Brian Parsons

 

SDA: Tell us a little bit about you.

Brian: I'm from Martinez CA and am a former power lifter. I have been into audio my entire life, from being a guitarist, pianist and sax player. I had a pretty bad injury during a power lifting session which caused me to cool down with my power lifting dreams and led me to delve even deeper into my passion for audio. I started attending Utah Valley University in 2009 and have excelled well in my Audio Production program! My original plan was to be a composer, but during a project I was asked to sound design and immediately fell in love with sound designing/post mixing!

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

Brian: The Lizard and The Ladder project was my first entry and 5.1 surround mix. Among being a full time student and having 2 part time jobs, it took me about 2.5 months total to complete the project. All the ambient sound was recorded in surround in Utah, and the music was an original score by Ryan Shupe from Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband! The one story or challenge I faced is driving all the way to the top of Squaw Peak (one of Utah's gorgeous mountain ranges) to get unpolluted critter and bug sounds!

SDA: What initiated your passion for audio?

Brian: My Grandparents owned Parsons Music store on Willow Pass Rd. in Concord CA back in the 70's & 80's and my family lived in the back of the store. So while most kids had toys to play with, I had drums, guitars and other instruments to enjoy. My father also played guitar back then and still does today. He was  guitar instructor at Brigham Young University back in the 70's. I attribute my love for audio to my rich musical background along with receiving one of the first Playskool tape recorders when I was about 5. I just loved speeding up and slowing down my voice. It served as a great tool to record my mom scolding me then playing that back to her only to make her laugh and get me out of punishments! 

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

Brian: The tips, tricks and feedback I got at my first AES conference this fall were invaluable. It was great meeting and hearing from the very professionals with whom we try to aspire to be like.

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

Brian: The mere fact that Richard King, Shawn Murphy, and Lora Hirschberg heard my work and approved of it with critiques was absolutely fantastic and humbling! 

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

Brian: Probably when I was recording ambience for The Lizard & The Ladder, I used a Holophone and had it cranked pretty high. I was in the  mountains gathering critter sounds and could hear couples talking about couple things halfway up the trail which is about 1/2 mile up. I got a good chuckle out of the things I heard them talking about...by the way these are (BYU Mormon couples)!

SDA: What is the best recording of all time?

Brian: My favorite recording ever would have to be Boston's Greatest Hits and film Lord of the Rings Trilogy in surround sound!

SDA:Do you play any instruments?

Brian: Yes I play Guitar, Piano, and Alto Sax. It's been awhile...rusty on the Sax :) 

SDA: Any other hobbies?

Brian: I still lift to maintain strength, but go easy on the power lifting...I enjoy spending time with my wife!

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

Brian: I want to be working in sound for big picture. I want to be working Skywalker Sound!

 

 


Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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Student Recording Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Luiz Fernando Kruszielski

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

bronze award winner of category 1 (Traditional Acoustic Recording): Luiz Fernando Kruszielski   

SDA: Tell us a little bit about you.

Luiz: I am from Curitiba, a city in the south part of Brazil. I graduated from a music-sound production course, but by the end of it, I was feeling hungry for more knowledge in the field of audio technology and the psycho-physics of audio perception. Japan seemed to be the right place to study it. So I did my masters and am now doing my PhD at Tokyo University of the Arts, in the field of audio and video interaction in the perception of audio.


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


Luiz: There is a regular concert at my university, were very good students play a concert with the University professional orchestra. The quality of the musicians is very impressive. If you just heard it, you would never imagine that this huge violin sound came from a Japanese girl about 20 year old.  I recorded one of these concerts, and it was the first time I used suspended microphones. I was trying to create a sound that gives you a more immersive feeling than a regular surround recording were a orchestra is in the front and the hall reverberation in the back, however without loosing the traditional orchestra panoramic sound.

SDA: What initiated your passion for audio?


Luiz: It was when I went to a  studio for the first time. I was 10 and went for a try out of a jingle were they needed a kid singing. I didn't passed the test, but seeing a mixer console with a million buttons and a tape deck rolling fascinated me. Just like the control panel of a spaceship. 

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


Luiz: The AES papers are more than half of my university reading materials. I also believe that an AES convention is worth  six months of university classes.  There is no other way I could learn so much in so little time about audio.

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


Luiz: I liked very much the lecture from Poppy Crum "
Noise on the Brain—Hearing Damage on the Other Side: Part II" about the ground breaking researches of the chemical process in the inner ear, and how it could help to prevent hearing loss in the future. I also liked very much the panel "New Multichannel Formats for 3-d Cinema and Home Theater", were there was in the same room all probable standards of the "audio of the future".

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


Luiz: I think it was when I went traveling the whole country of Brazil (from the amazon to deep south) doing the sound from a documentary and getting to know some of the best Brazilian musicians.

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


Luiz: I think It was during the first time I recorded a live concert for a documentary movie. I used a CD recorder and a DAT tape as the backup. However the DAT signal was coming from the line out of the cd recorder, and when I changed the discs, there was no signal going to the DAT. So, I lost about a  minute of music. Good thing they decided not to use that song in the documentary. 

 
SDA: What is the best recording of all time?


Luiz: I don't think I can select a single recording and say it is the best. It depend very much in genre, style and what are the objectives. That being said,  most of Pink Floyd albums still give me goosebumps.

SDA: Do you play any instruments?


Luiz: I play classic guitar since I was four. Also, I played drums in a rock band when I was a teenager.

SDA: Any other hobbies?


Luiz: I like to play with photography.


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

Luiz: I would like to be working is something involve both audio and video, developing new techniques that help to create a better entertainment content.


Posted: Sunday, January 6, 2013

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Student Design Competition Finalist and Award Winner: Steven Dale

We are happy to post some interviews with the student design competition winners of the AES 133 in San Fransico. Congratulations again!

honorable mention of category 2 (Graduate): Steven Dale

 

SDA: Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from? Where and what do you study?

Dale: I grew up in Brooklyn, went to school upstate at SUNY Albany for computer science and recently completed the TransDesign MFA program at Parsons. Along the way, I learned many aspects of sound design and production, so I've been exploring ways to connect these together.


SDA: Tell us about your Design Competition entry. What were your inspirations? How long did it take to implement your concept? Any interesting stories?

Dale: I designed a working prototype of a sound map that allows people to navigate the sound of a space in realtime without having to physically move through it. My research was focused on public libraries, as I had fond memories of spending lots of time there when I was younger, and because of their importance to communities.

My goal was to explore the possibilities of using sound in new and unexpected ways, and privacy is undeniably an element of this that can't be ignored. Without a doubt, a lot more work would need to be done to implement something like this.


SDA: What initiated your passion for audio software or hardware design? What was your first project?

Dale: I've always loved music, though my spark to create came when I first started college. I had been experimenting with inexpensive tools like FruityLoops and software synths and shared a rough demo of a techno song with some friends. One of them had a studio and invited us to collaborate on writing it. I took the bus down to NYC on weekends, and anyone who works in a studio knows that time flies. And it's never enough. So back at school in between sessions, I tried to write on a maddeningly slow PC.  I remember spending hours bouncing tracks to disk, repeating, layering. It was masochistic, yet somehow I stuck with it. Thankfully writing and recording in software is now exponentially better.

What started as a love for electronic dace music transformed into an appreciation for many styles of music, and eventually into sound itself. I began recording instruments, and later vocalists I met online. In the last few years my interest in sound expanded to the hardware side, specifically installation work. I think this is the key to learning - finding a spark from within and then following all the trails it leads to.


SDA: What is the biggest mistake you made during a project?

Dale: I've gotten in over my head in several client-based projects, by over-promising and under-delivering. Those were good lessons on getting better at communicating clearly and setting expectations. It's still very much my philosophy that it's better to say yes, even though we may be uncertain how we plan on doing it, or even if we can.


SDA: What professional designers do you look up to? Why?

Dale: I have hard time with words, like 'design' and 'art' - these are artificial boundaries. I draw inspiration and ideas from seemingly disparate worlds, as I see them as all connected.

Reuben Margolin, who does incredible flowing wave pieces. In public art, Christopher Janney for designing for multiple senses. In film, Tim Burton for portraying the dark side of life honestly. In immersive performance: PunchDrunk's Sleep No More blew my mind. In music, Phillip Glass, Dan Deacon, for crazy melodies and dense arrangements. And on the more conceptual and technical side, Oliver Sack's writing on sound and perception and Blesser & Salter's Aural Architecture were hugely influential on me.


SDA: What are your highlights of AES 133 San Francisco?

Dale: Meeting really talented people from around the world, who presented a variety of projects. Particularly fellow students; I heard amazing music and sound productions, and met people working on great software and hardware projects. I found a place to stay one night in a bind through a generous new friend, and found the entire AES community as friendly and welcoming.


SDA: How has the AES helped you on your way to becoming a successful engineer?

Dale: I don't quite know what my next steps are, though I'm certain it'll revolve around the world of sound and music. Meeting people from all aspects, the technical side of hardware/software/sound engineering to performers, composers, and musicians. In terms of career path, it has helped me create a mental map of possibilities.


SDA: Any other hobbies?

Dale: I'm really interested in the tools people use to sketch, take notes, and share ideas. I've recently started development of a visual storytelling and mapping application to help people collaborate, research and share ideas, and I'm applying for grants to build a team to help realize it.

I love travelling, and being out in the middle of nowhere is a great place to recharge and spend time thinking. I write poetry and lyrics too, though I can't sing, so maybe in the future they'll be software to let us all sing. Oh wait, it already exists: AutoTune.


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

Dale: First and foremost, I'd be very happy if my hearing (and other senses) hold out unharmed. If I could sustain a practice that consists of creating installation work, collaborating with people from different disciplines continuously and teaching, I'd be very happy and lucky.

 

Check out Steven's projects and hear his sound creations.


Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2013

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