AES Section Meeting Reports

Pacific Northwest - March 3, 2022

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PNW Section ventured out with another hybrid meeting March 3, with Professor Micah Hayes presenting "How Seattle Pacific University Creates Streamable Online Concert Archives." SPU is a private university of about 3,600 students in Seattle, WA USA. People could attend in-person at SPU or participate on Zoom. Some 46 persons attended (34 on Zoom and 12 in-person at SPU, with 23 AES members).

PNW Chair Greg Dixon opened the meeting, noted upcoming meetings in April and May, then Committeeperson Dan Mortensen spoke about the more casual PNW Zoom meeting he moderates on most Saturdays, Tea Time Topics.

A common problem faced by organizations that present concerts where recordings are made for archival or other reasons is creating an organized and logical system for storing and then retrieving the program sometime in the future. Not only is there the problem of storing the physical media of the recordings, but also the problem of cataloging and granting access to the materials.

Micah outlined their program at SPU. Today's online cloud storage offerings make local media storage obsolete, he stated. He gave some guidelines based on SPU's needs.

First, they are mainly interested in getting a decent stereo mixdown uploaded and archived quickly, with minimal set-up and post-production time. While they may save a live, multitrack ProTools session for the time being, he recommended concentrating on a live stereo mix, even if imperfect. This can also be sent to video teams if they are shooting and/or livestreaming.

Live to stereo files at 24b-48kHz can be quickly and minimally processed - mainly trimmed and normalized. He recommended not cutting the file up into pieces so it can be used for replacement video sound if necessary. A standardized filename is given, a folder is created with the archive name, the PDF of the program is added and the folder is quickly uploaded to their cloud storage - for them, Microsoft Sharepoint. Sharepoint offers SPU a big storage allotment, automatic backup, easy browser access and options for security and access. They do not yet allow open access to the public due to a host of legal questions. Any video shot gets uploaded to a Vimeo account.

Micah then brought in Craig Miller of the SPU CIS Department, the IT expert who helped implement the Sharepoint operation. Several Q & A were done, and while the live participants had a refreshment break, Zoom participants continued to discuss archiving issues.

After the break, Micah took the Zoom audience through a tour of the SPU music and audio production facilities via mobile phone, and ended with introductions by attendees and the SPU student crew: Genevieve, Joseph, Adam, Sam, Tobi, Matthew, and Cameron, along with Lacey Brown, SPU instructor. While the SPU operation packed up, the Zoom audience gave self-introductions to end the meeting.

Micah Hayes is an Assistant Professor of Music Technology and the Director of Music Production at Seattle Pacific University — a position he began in Fall 2020. He is a recording engineer and composer who began his musical career as a guitarist in his native Southern California. Micah began recording and composing music as a student at California State University, Chico where he completed a BA in Music with an emphasis in Recording Arts. After college, he continued his audio career with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida where he was the Recording Engineer Fellow from 2000-2002. After receiving a master's degree in music composition from the University of Oregon, Micah moved to New York where he worked as the live sound engineer for Redeemer Presbyterian Church's Upper West Side services and freelanced as a composer, recording engineer, and educator for a couple of years before moving to Texas. As a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington from 2007-2020, he was the primary creator of the Music Industry Studies area, overseeing the area's growth from 8 to 75 majors. He also engineered music at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2001 and the Aspen Music Festival where he was a Senior Recording Engineer from 2003-2005.

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