AES Section Meeting Reports

Atlanta - September 20, 2008

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Atlanta Section of the AES Holds 4th Annual Audio Workshop for
High School and College Students

Atlanta, GA — The Atlanta Section of the Audio Engineering Society held its 4th annual Audio Workshop for Students on Saturday September 20th, 2008. The workshop, held in the post production facilities of Turner Studios, was geared toward high school and college age students with career goals in the audio industry.
There were a total of 32 students in attendance representing ten schools from Atlanta and the Southeastern U.S. Participating schools included Brookwood High School, Central Gwinnett High School, Clemson University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Grady High School, Grayson High School, Loganville High School, SAE, Savannah College of Art and Design and the University of Georgia.
As in past workshops, multiple classes were held on the following topics: Protools Fundamentals, Microphone Techniques and Tracking, Mixing Fundamentals, and Critical Listening. The workshop concluded with a panel discussion on Careers in Audio with the session instructors.
Students were treated to master classes in mixing by Grammy Award winning recording and mastering engineer, Roger Nichols. Mr. Nichols brought many examples of his own work in various stages of production to help illustrate the process of building a mix. He discussed the proper use of compression to subtly increase loudness, the effective use of EQ, making the most of microphone bleed into other tracks and he shared many stories and anecdotes from his prolific career in the recording industry. All of Mr. Nichols examples were brought as ProTools Sessions and classes were held in Turner Studios Sound Design Room 28.
The Critical Listening session was taught by Turner Studios Broadcast Engineer Selah Abrams in Turner's Sound Design Room 27. In this session, students took a tour of audio recording and mixing philosophies from the 60's to today's full production mix downs. Mr. Abrams focused on broadening the student's vocabulary, making a clear distinction between engineering terminology and utilizing a more common descriptive language with which clients and producers might feel more comfortable. Students were also asked to provide feedback and discuss their opinions on music samples regarding tonal content, texture and the role engineers play in shaping sound. The class also touched on stereo field placement, balancing frequencies, basic EQ methods and avoiding ear fatigue.
The Microphone Placement Techniques class was taught by Turner Studios Sound Designer Bob Gillespi and Director of Audio Post Jeff Brugger. The purpose of this class was to familiarize students with the various types of microphones, proper applications for each mic, and placement options for different musical instruments. Listening stations were setup in Turner Studios' Music Recording Studio where students had the opportunity to hear the difference in sound quality of various microphones. Mics available for demonstration included, Shure SM81, Sennheiser MDH416, Sennheiser MD421, Neumann u87, Neumann u89, Neumann TLM 149, Neumann KM 184, AKG D112, AKG 414-ULS XLII, AKG 451, Sound Deluxe u95, Sound Deluxe 195, and Sanken WMS5. Musicians from the performing arts magnet school, Grady High School were present to play their instruments allowing attendees to hear different instrumentation through a variety of microphones.
Pro Tools Fundamentals was presented by Michael Wynne, a composer and sound designer at White Dog Studios in Atlanta and also an instructor for ProMedia Training. This two hour course covered how to quickly navigate and control Pro Tools using a three point technique, Rewire with Reason, Elastic Audio manipulation and workflow in music production.
A Career Panel Discussion was held at the end of the day which included Q&A with all the instructors. The importance of mentoring was expressed. Students were encouraged to find mentors in the business and gain as much experience as possible. It was noted that resumes don't get jobs in the audio field, experience does. Many door prizes were awarded including a training session courtesy of Protools Training Center, microphones from Atlanta Pro Audio and Bias SoundSoap Pro sound restoration software from Comprehensive Technical Group (CTG). Other workshop sponsors included, Techrep Marketing, and Turner Studios.
The Atlanta Section would like to thank all of the sponsors and instructors who made this workshop a success! And a special thank you goes to Roger Nichols for making the trip to Atlanta and sharing his knowledge and expertise to all.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society