Benoit Gerard won Bronze for his submission in the Remix category.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and what do you study?My name is Benoit Girard, I live in France and I'm a student of Abbey Road Institute Paris. I had a first career in cybersecurity and this year I decided to switch to my initial vocation: be a sound engineer.
What initiated your passion for audio? When did it start?I started playing music when my parents bought me a Yamaha PSR keyboard, I was 8. I was more interested in trying to reproduce the exact same sound that I heard from different records, understanding MIDI, etc. This gave me a lot of frustration, because you can't do that much with an entry level Yamaha synth (especially when you're not a skilled player) so I switched to computer generated melodies, on ATARI at the time.
Tell us about the production of your submission. What is the story behind it? What inspired it? How long did you work on it? Was it your first entry?I'm mostly listening and mixing rock music (from electro punk to folk), but the week before the contest I was cleaning up my studio and found some old CDs from the days where I was playing synths. My remix is in that vibe: "synth wave". We were confined here in France during the whole week of the contest. I had the Abbey Road Institute courses in the afternoon and my children to take care during the morning so I worked from 4 AM to 8 AM and did the final mix on the final weekend.
What/Who made you join AES?Two previous students of Abbey Road Institute were rewarded in 2018 and when I saw their certificates at school I decided that I would try when I had this opportunity. Layan Thornton is our representative for the AES and because everything was closed at the time in France, he gave us the opportunity to work on something that we could make at home: the remix contest.
Tell us about your favorite experiences at the 148th AES convention online.I guess that this year's convention was quite new for everyone! I really enjoyed the variety of topics, from very technical aspects of scientific audio research fields to more global and artistic ideas. This is one of the think I really love in audio engineering: mixing the pragmatic approach of science and the very empiric domains of feelings and emotions.
Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2020