The Atlanta Section of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) conducted an audio workshop for high school and college students on September 17, 2005. The program was developed in association with students from the newly formed AES Atlanta Student Section, and was geared toward individuals interested in pursuing careers in the audio industry. The full-day workshop was held at Turner Studios.
A total of 43 students attended the workshop from schools and organizations including Dekalb School of the Arts, Druid Hills High School, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Grady High School, Harrison High School, Media Mind Productions, Messenger Media Systems and University of South Carolina.
The workshop included multiple sessions on topics including: “Mixing on a Console,” “Technical Troubleshooting Techniques,” “Pro Tools: Beyond the Basics,” “Microphone Placement Techniques” and the workshop concluded with a career panel discussion with the session instructors.
The “Mixing on a Console” session was conducted by Selah Abrams, a production engineer from Turner Studios. Abrams started the session by going over console signal flow on a Mackie mixer then moved to the similarities and differences between analog and digital consoles. He demonstrated mixing techniques using tracks recorded on a Pro Tools|HD2 system with 24 tracks of digital I/O and a 96-channel Studer D950 digital mixing console.
In “Technical Trouble Shooting Techniques,” taught by Turner Studios production engineer Peter Young, students learned how to isolate poor audio performance from sync issues, poor connection and incorrect system gain. Young also demonstrated the proper way to “make a cable,” exhibiting proper soldering techniques using Switchcraft XLR connectors and Canare microphone cable.
“Microphone Placement Techniques” was taught by Turner Studios sound designer Arno Baars with assistance from Jeff Brugger, Turner Studios director of audio post, and Moriz Oepen, also a Turner Studios sound designer, along with the help of musicians from performing arts magnet school Grady High School, The session started with a microphone primer presented by Brugger. The students were then encouraged to listen to each microphone through a headphone monitoring system to hear the differences in each. Once the baseline was established, different microphone scenarios were discussed by Oepen and Baars. After the discussion, musicians then played to demonstrate how different microphones and miking techniques affected the overall sound of recording.
“Pro Tools: Beyond the Basics” was presented by Michael Cruz, of the Pro Tools Training Center, using a Pro Tools system provided by Digidesign. This session covered details on transporting sessions to other studios and systems. Plug-ins, advanced routing and navigation in the Pro Tools environment were also covered.
A Career Panel Discussion was held at the end of the day included a question and answer session with all the instructors. Door prizes were awarded, including a training session courtesy of Pro Tools Training Center and three pairs of MXL microphones from Atlanta Pro Audio. Other workshop sponsors included Comprehensive Technical Group (CTG), Digidesign, Joseph Electronics, Techrep Marketing, Switchcraft and Turner Studios.