Ohio University Lecturer Kyle P. Snyder was recently featured by Yamaha Commercial Audio and Steinberg in an interview detailing the new Ohio University School of Media Arts & Studies and Scripps College of Communication post-production studio. The interview is now on SYNC: SteinbergYamahaNetworkChannel.
This year at the 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention, Focal Press will be hosting an Author Panel (complete details) on the main Project Studio Expo Stage where Focal authors will discuss “Mixing Perspectives: Tales of Achieving Big Studio Results on a Project Studio Budget.”
The panel will feature the likes of Mike Senior (Mixing Secrets & Recording Secrets for the Small Studio), Alex Case (Mix Smart & SoundFX), Jason Corey (Audio Production & Critical Listening), and David Miles Huber (Modern Recording Techniques, 7e). I’m particularly pleased to announce that Focal Press has once again asked me to moderate this panel of great authors, which I think will be a great session for all in attendance. I’ve worked with Focal Press for some time now and have always been impressed with the immensely high level of technical expertise that their authors bring to the table, and this panel is sure to further that reputation. It’s worth noting that the 137th AES Convention will bring other non-panel related Focal press from me as well, so stay tuned for that as well!
If you have questions for these authors, either for someone specific or in general on the topic of the author’s panel, I’d invite you to leave your question in the comments below (or via twitter directed to @KylePSnyder) as I absolutely welcome suggestions from our audience.
I hope to see you at the AES Convention, and I’d invite you to join us on Sunday, October 13th at 11am. For more details, be certain to consult your AES program.
Over the past several years I’ve posted frequently about an exciting partnership between Ohio University Media Arts & Studies students which again continued into the Spring Semester of 2013-2014 and provided an internship / independent study opportunity to complete an exciting audiobook / radio dramas, an ongoing content initiative of the WOUB Public Media.
I’m pleased to report that our amazing team of students have completed production on The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and production is underway on Arch Oboler’s Bathysphere. Once again the results are amazing and we once pleased to announce that once again the project (now known as Ecoustic Alchemy) won a prestigious First Place award within the Media Arts & Studies Category at the Ohio University Student Expo 2014.
Cast & Credits:
Narrator / Man / Floyd Summers: Joe Balding
Mrs. Summers: Cecilia Rinaldi
Bill Hutchinson: Rob Goeller
Tessie Hutchinson: Heidi Wilhelm
Laura Hutchinson: Kate Wilhelm
Davy Hutchinson: Nora Price
Agnes Delacroix: Ruth Borovicka
Dicky Delacroix: Tess Wilhelm
Mr Martin: David J Whealey
Mrs Martin: Heather Johnson
Schoolmaster John Gunderson: Mark A Robinson
Mr Graves, Postmaster: Terrence J Smith
Old Man Warner: Jim Parsons
Mrs. Dunbar: Celeste Parsons
Mrs. Graves: Rita Greco Preston
Maggie Mitchell (Student Project Manager)
Kyle P. Snyder and Mark Robinson
Top Left: The Ecoustic Alchemy display at the Ohio University Student Expo 2014.
Above: The prize-winning expo display.
I always love to check out new documentaries, so I was especially pleased when Matt McGlynn of RecordingHacks asked if I’d like to take a peek at The Red Legacy – A Documentary on DW Fearn by Soundstrips’ Alain le Kim.
I don’t want to spoil all the details here, though it’s safe to say the documentary has earned a spot in my ever-growing list of classroom resources. For all the details including full text and a video teaser, be sure to click through to the review.
Over the past year I’ve posted frequently about an exciting partnership between Ohio University Media Arts & Studies students which has continued this Spring Semester of 2012 – 2013 and provided an internship / independent study opportunity to complete an exciting audiobook / radio dramas, an ongoing content initiative of the WOUB Public Media.
I’m pleased to report that our amazing team of students have completed production on The Ransom of Red Chief by O Henry and the results are amazing (yes, we have audio)! We’re particularly pleased as this project won a prestigious First Place award within the Media Arts & Studies Category at the Ohio University Student Expo 2013.
Cast & Credits:
Joe Balding as Bill Driscoe
Aaron Deuschle as Red Chief
David Jay Whealey as Ebenezer Dorset
James Euto as Snake Eye
Andrew (AJ) Montesano (Student Project Manager)
Kyle P. Snyder and Mark Robinson
Top Left: Elaine Hurd, Kyle P. Snyder, and AJ Montesano accepting the First Place award
at the Ohio University Student Expo 2013. Above: The prize-winning expo display.
On February 16, 2013 the Central Indiana Section of the Audio Engineering Society hosted the Second Annual Central Indiana Audio Student Workshop. The event was hosted by Section Chair Fallon Stillman, and coordinated by Workshop Advisor Kyle P. Snyder with great assistance from the Executive Board of the Central Indiana Section as well as the faculty and staff of the Indiana University Department of Recording Arts. The Central Indiana Audio Student Workshop 2013 was held on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington, in the Department of Recording Arts studios and related facilities.
Like other regional events, the Central Indiana Audio Student Workshop was modeled like a mini-convention. The goal was to provide an intimate learning environment, open to anyone interested in audio, including local professionals, university students, and high school students. The Workshop provided attendees the opportunity to improve their skills with some of the best in the business, who presented on topics in recording, mixing, live sound, and acoustics.
In planning for the event, Snyder and the Central Indiana AES Executive Committee also wanted to provide the Workshop free of charge, to give students of all means equal access to the audio instruction we were providing. Also, not only did they strive to provide high-quality instruction for free, but wanted to incentivize attendance with useful giveaways from sponsors.
Finally, they wanted to ensure that an acceptable student to teacher ratio was achieved, so that students felt less like they were part of a crowd and more like they were in a small classroom where they could ask questions.
The events pre-registration topped out at over 250, and they saw physical attendance at over 200 including numerous walk-in’s, reaching a group of audio students and professionals from every corner of the state and many from neighboring territories, who were appreciative beyond words. Snyder and his team couldn’t have been more pleased with how the event turned out.
For additional information on the event including sponsors, posters, artwork, schedules, and much more please visit the official event site.
Additionally, the official event report is available for download (pdf).
This year at the 133rd Audio Engineering Society Convention, Focal Press will be hosting an Author Panel on the main Project Studio Expo Stage where Focal authors will discuss “Can project studios really get pro results?”
The panel will feature the likes of Mike Senior (Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio), Will Pirkle (Designing Audio Effect Plugins in C++), Jay Kadis (The Science of Sound Recording), Dr. William Moylan (Understanding and Crafting the Mix, 2e), and David Miles Huber (Modern Recording Techniques, 7e). I’m particularly pleased to announce that Focal Press has asked me to moderate this panel of great authors, which I think will be a great session for all in attendance. I’ve worked with Focal Press for some time now and have always been impressed with the immensely high level of technical expertise that their authors bring to the table, and this panel is sure to further that reputation.
If you have questions for these authors, either for someone specific or in general on the topic of the author’s panel, I’d invite you to submit your question using this web form as I absolutely welcome suggestions from our audience. Of course, suggestions are also welcome in the comments below (or via twitter directed to @KylePSnyder).
I hope to see you at the AES Convention, and I’d invite you to join us on Saturday, October 27th at 10:00am. We are the first ones up! For more details, be certain to consult your AES program.
I’m always happy to receive new gear, even if its stay in my studio will only be brief. So I was especially pleased when Matt McGlynn of RecordingHacks asked if I’d like to take a pair of Microtech Gefell M221’s for a test drive!
I don’t want to spoil all the details here, though it’s safe to say the M221’s have earned a spot on my ever-growing wish list (its long…and in Excel). For all the details including audio clips and pictures, be sure to click through to the review.
This is a review of Quiztones, frequency ear training apps for Mac & iOS from Audiofile Engineering. For questions regarding reviews, please see my FTC Disclosure Statement.
As engineers, we all have particular strengths and weaknesses. Some are musically gifted and play multiple instruments, while others naturally take to composition. However, what about the most basic of skills – our hearing? Unless you have absolute pitch or synesthesia, we’re all playing with the hand dealt to us a birth. The only thing we can do is hone our auditory perception. That’s why so many forms of ear training for musicians and eventually engineers have evolved over the years. Because, according to Quesnel & Woszczyk, “there is substantial evidence…that auditory perceptual skills can be improved by controlled practice and training.”
Auditory perception is one of the most basic skills required of audio engineers as we go about our daily tasks of balancing, treating, and mixing audio. Therefore, providing new ways for engineers (especially students) to develop auditory skills is critical. Thankfully, Audiofile Engineering has created a Mac and iOS based ear training program for audio engineers, Quiztones, which does a fantastic job at helping the listener develop more acute listening and frequency recognition skills.
Deep Background: Why a Change is Necessary
First, to understand why any one solution is ideal, it’s helpful to understand just a tiny bit of history. As audio engineers, we’ve always had some genuinely useful auditory training resources available to us like Dave Moulton’s Golden Ears, F. Alton Everest’s Critical Listening Skills for Audio Professionals (Thomson Course Technology), and even Jason Corey’s Audio Production and Critical Listening (Focal Press). Each one of these is a valuable tool on their own, however they’re a very passive way of learning.
That is to say, learners would read the text and then take auditory quizzes, which then required manual grading. However, educators across all content areas today recognize the value of learning technology within the classroom, which includes a broad range of communication and related technologies used to support learning, teaching, and assessment. So, why not bring this into audio education? A wonderful parallel example of this comes to us from music education in the use of MacGamut, which allows for mastery-based drill and practice in Aural Skills of Intervals, Scales, Chords, and much more.
As is illustrated by the success of MacGamut in music curricula, auditory training too must consist of truly interactive learning technology for learners to benefit the most, and this is precisely what Quiztones has accomplished.
The Solution: Quiztones
Quiztones has overcome the shortcomings of previous auditory training resources because it is a truly interactive training resource, presenting learners with auditory examples, multiple answers, and real-time feedback in the form of weighted grading. Interestingly, the product was born out of an undergraduate music production program internship and is the product of someone who understands exactly the needs of undergraduate music students. Both the iOS and Mac OS X versions contain the following trainers, which are truly impressive:
- Easy Frequency Boost (+10 dB)
- Hard Frequency Boost (+5 dB)
- Hard Frequency Cut (-10 dB)
- Expert Frequency Boost (+5 dB) – 1/3 Octave*
* Included in Mac App / In-App Purchase in iOS App
Over the course of using Quiztones, I was positively blown away. Initially, I didn’t perform as well as expected on some quizzes, however with consistent practice I’m pleased to say I’m now performing at the level I’d anticipated. This only further supports the already sound evidence that consistent practice at auditory drills will yield a dramatic improvement. And really, isn’t that what we’re all after?
However, what’s most impressive is the road ahead for Quiztones. In speaking with the apps’ creator, Dan Comerchero, it’s clear he intends this app to benefit engineers of all ages; whether they’re a seasoned pro looking to brush up their skills or a student just beginning ear training. This is evidenced by the development road-map which includes the addition of a practice mode to both apps, as well as content additions like reverb, delay, and compression trainers which will truly make the tool “feature complete” even when compared to the current industry standard of ear training, Golden Ears.
The most interesting thing Dan revealed to me, however, is the current development of a product called “Quiztones Author”. This is a utility which will give educators the ability to customize quizzes based upon the needs of their students and curricula. Currently in beta, this will be a separate utility that educational institutions can purchase as an additional tool for their faculty. The creation of this utility is significant because it will provide university faculty the ability to utilize Quiztones directly as a part of their curricula; allowing the design, distribution and retrieval of scores for quizzes instead of simply recommending the tool as a supplement to classroom instruction. If you are an educator interested in beta testing Quiztones Author, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might be asking yourself what can “Quiztones really offer me? It’s seems too educational” or even “Why do we need to improve the old systems that were working so well”. To be perfectly honest, those sentiments and many more are understandable. We’re a legacy industry that doesn’t often accept change easily. However, the reason is quite simple; everyone benefits from having better training tools, and the fact that Quiztones is built upon solid educational theory is only one of a dozen reasons to adopt it within your training regimen. Every engineer knows that better frequency recognition helps him or her in the development and discussion of sonic ideas, so why not train and improve aural skills with a system that provides immediate feedback? And, fundamentally, fast frequency recognition helps engineers decide how to react if, for example, they hear X problem in the Y frequency band. So, using a system that helps engineers improve their accuracy over time with varied scenarios in a controlled environment is a tremendous asset.
Can I say that Quiztones is the absolute perfect aural training solution for you? Perhaps not quite yet, as I’d love to see more options in the quiz answers, and I think a “Match the Sound” style trainer would be incredible. Audiofile Engineering tells me this is the direction Quiztones is headed: hearing a modified audio loop and letting users utilize on-screen controls to try and match the modified sound while receiving feedback on accuracy. However, I can say without reservation that Quiztones is by far the best aural training solution currently available, and I urge you to give it a try in your studio or classroom curricula. I’m certain you find the tool worthwhile.
Disclosure: Audiofile Engineering provided me with a copy of Quiztones for review (see my FTC Disclosure Statement), however I’ll gladly pay for any forthcoming upgrades because it’s truly that compelling.
1 René Quesnel and Wieslaw R. Woszczyk, ‘A Computer-Aided System for Timbral Ear Training’, Audio Engineering Society Convention 96, 1994. <http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=6376>
2 What is Learning Technology? The Association for Learning Technology. <http://www.alt.ac.uk/about-alt/what-learning-technology>
3 What is MacGAMUT? MacGAMUT – Music Software International. <http://www.macgamut.com/about/>