AES Student Blog

AES 136 - Meet the Winners #1: Per Loenicker

 

Meet Per Loenicker from Düsseldorf, Germany, 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?

My name is Per Loenicker, I am 31 years old and was born in Hamburg, Germany. I started studying Media Technology in Düsseldorf three years ago. Prior to that, I worked as a sound engineer at the NDR (North German Radio & Television Network) and played guitar in a rock band.

Until I started studying I never thought I would become a software developer, having merely been a software user for years. I started playing guitar when I was seven years old and always wanted to become a professional musician. However, as I wasn’t interested in jazz or classical guitar, I decided to put more effort into sound engineering, and to keep playing guitar as a hobby.

An avid music producer, I find myself using a lot of software instruments, however I love my Dave Smith Instruments Mopho analogue synthesiser as well.

 

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

My project, the CHAiOS SYNTH, is an easy to use synthesiser for iOS, which plays random melodies.

The idea for the CHAiOS SYNTH came to me when I was at a party at which the DJ was playing minimal electronic music. I thought it might be cool to develop a tool to create such music in an intuitive way, rather than playing single notes on a keyboard. So I developed an algorithm, which plays notes somewhat randomly but still follows certain rules so that the result doesn’t just sound like chaos.

I found some colleagues at university who were interested in participating in this project, so we became a group of five people, including me and David Bau doing most of the development. It took us about four months to design the initial version of the CHAiOS SYNTH.

Per's App: The CHAiOS SYNTH

 

There was one big problem: the synth wasn’t “tight”, meaning it played the notes sloppily, with many waveform discontinuities resulting in audible clicks. David and I kept working on it for another three months and finally released it on the Apple Appstore last November. Those last three months where very frustrating at times - especially during periods of not feeling able to solve all the problems - but we ended up with a great product that we are very proud of. 

Another challenge was the communication within the team, and the fact that we had spent too little time on the initial design specifications. While that slowed us down in the beginning, we managed to improve greatly towards the end. As this was the first software project ever for all of us, there was a lot to learn.

 

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

The 136th AES Convention in Berlin was my first AES convention, so that whole world is rather new to me. I really enjoyed it - especially meeting fellow students from all over the world at the SDA meetings.

Obviously, the most exciting moment was getting on stage after winning the gold award!

 

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Designing software instruments incorporates everything that has fascinated me in my life so far. It is both creative and technical and the product can be used to make music. That’s why I want to pursue it professionally in the future!

 

Check out CHAiOS SYNTH in this video teaser, and these hands-on video by thesoundtestroom and synthuniverse.com! Also, you can find demo songs on bandcamp!

Find out more about Per's App on Facebook!

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


Posted: Monday, June 30, 2014

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