Education & Career

AES Student Blog

July 2014

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:

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 136 - Student Competition Sponsors: Women's Audio Mission


The Student Delegate Assembly wants to thank Women's Audio Mission for their generous support.

WAM provided us with a number of fantastic prizes for our Student Competitions at the 136th AES Convention in Berlin and helped us make it such a great success.
        Women's Audio Mission is a San Francisco based, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and the recording arts. In a field where women are chronically under-represented (less than 5%), WAM seeks to "change the face of sound" by providing hands-on training, experience, career counseling and job placement to women and girls in media technology for music, radio, film, television and the internet. WAM believes that women's mastery of music technology and inclusion in the production process will expand the vision and voice of media and popular culture.
For more information visit:


Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014

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