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AES145 Student Design Competition Interview: Adam Szwajcowski

 1) Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?

I'm from Gorlice, a small town in southern Poland, currently pursuing a MSc degree in Acoustic Engineering at AGH UST in Cracow.

2) What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?


I've been always very interested in physics of musical insturments and sound in general. This passion lead me to study acoustics, which quickly got me into audio after realising how powerfull of a tool digital signal processing can be.

3) Tell us about production of your submission? What is the story behind it? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry? What kind of problem can it solve or improve?


Provious to the drum project, I was working for quite a long time on sound of a glass (like in glass harmonica, glass harp or even regular wineglass), which can provide either harmonic or non-harmonic sound, depending whether it is rubbed or struck. This duality inspired me to look for other interesting instruments that could have its spectrum easily modified, and that's how I started my adventure with drums.

I started the project in January 2018 and after 3 months presented the first version on domestic student conference OSKA with quite a success. This motivied me to continue the work and prepare better algorithm, which ultimately produced much better results, that were eventually presented at AES NY in October. While the drum of my design won't probably change the world in any significant way, I do believe, that it could be utilized in many genres of music and be of a great value to drummers and composers who like unconventional sounds.


4) Have you considered commercializing your project? Are there any business or product possibilities?



I thought that it would be nice, if my simulations turned into real insturment, but didn't put that much attention to it. However, at AES I won an Interfacio Award, that aims to help me commercialize the project, so hopefully this will come true.

5) Do you know or consider any future steps? Will it be linked with the project you’ve presented?


While the harmonic drum is an interesting concept, I don't want to limit myself to just this project and I look forward to new challenges. Not sure what exactly it will be, but there are still many things to do, so I'm sure I'll pick up something interesting soon.

6) Tell us about your favourite experiences at the 145th AES convention in New York!


The poster sessions were great, both as a presenter and as a listener. Interest of the visitors and their willingness to discuss various topics with authors, either by asking for some details or giving ideas for further development, really exceeded my expectations and overall made a great atmosphere of a place.

Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2018

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