Acoustic Design - AES Report
The London Student Section of the AES held their second event of 2012 on Monday, March 12th at Fanshawe College. Presenting was Terry Medwedyk of Group One Acoustics in Toronto on acoustic design for home studios.
To begin the presentation, Terry presented his considerations when assessing a particular design challenge: Function/Purpose of the space; Noise Criteria; Ergonomics; Structural Considerations; Budget; Ventilation and finally "general" considerations which include resale value of the space, building code and neighbours etc.
Since the focus of the event was on acoustic design for home studios, Terry brought with him some recent projects from home studios including technical drawings of components and floor plans. Some of the highlights included a garage designed for Dolby Surround specifications, a basement with low ceilings and incessant plumbing noise, a mastering room in an apartment with troublesome weight restrictions and finally a two room studio in a Victorian house on a busy street in Toronto. As an added treat, Terry presented a few slides on a film production facility in India call Annapurna Studios that features fully loaded film and dubbing stages as well as having a wealth of editing suites.
In a question period following the main presentation Terry answered many queries about specific acoustic issues that some audience members faced, including explaining the criteria to be met in order to have the provincial government dig a ditch and de-couple your house or studio from a source of excessive vibrations such as a highway. As well, when prompted, Terry explained the way in which he became an acoustician, which he described as being a combination of working at studios where he learned the most, learning construction skills from his father and seeking out more in depth knowledge in his own time.
To conclude the meeting, Terry parted with some wise words for the largely student audience who tend to be afraid of the costs associated with acoustic design : "Budgets matter less and less, as long as people are cooperative". In other words, if you know what you require for a space and are forthcoming with your plans any good acoustician can produce a design that fits your requirements and budget.
The London Student Section of the AES was very happy to have hosted Terry Medwedyk and hope to have him again in the future.
Guitar Summit - AES Report
On January 29th approximately 35 souls braved a snow storm and met at the Ontario Institute for Audio Recording Technology for the London Student Section's ﬁrst event of the year: A guitar summit. The event saw the gathering of a multitude of electric and acoustic guitars and amps, as well as a guest lecture from guitar wizard/studio owner/musician Rainer Weichmann.
The day started off with a meet-and-greet...of guitars! Different stations throughout the school were organized by brand so that one could experience the sound of a speciﬁc brand, then see how it varied from model to model. Once every guitar had been properly gawked at and noodled upon, everyone took their seats and Mr. Rainer Wiechmann began his presentation. The topics of discussion were varied and colourful, to say the least. Rainer discussed the use of amp modelling systems, and while they were obviously not the real amps themselves he was optimistic for the future of them and expressed his own satisfaction with his own Fractal Audio Axe-FX system. Rainer also surprised some by mentioning that the electric guitar is in fact an acoustic instrument that beneﬁts from being played loud, as well as gaining very unique tones according to it's position in relation to the amp and the resulting feedback. The discussion, however, was not limited to just guitars. Rainer touched upon the analog/digital debate, conceding that while analog multi-tracks do have a particular sound they are much more unwieldy than DAWs and the sonic gap between the two is rapidly being closed.
To conclude his presentation aeiner demonstrated the number one issue he encountered as guitar technician: improper stringing. While showcasing his re-stringing power tools on one lucky guitar (think: power drill meets string winder) he managed to ﬁnd a brand new defective string. While far from ideal this was not going to stop Rainer from stringing this guitar. A quick "Macgyver" and the guitar was all set. This concluded the ofﬁcial events of the day, and while some left to dig their cars out of the snow many stayed to chat with Reiner and marvel at his own custom built electric guitar that featured a body shaped like a spider.
All in all, it was a very informative and enjoyable event that will only be matched by the next one hosted by the London Student Section of the AES.
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