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April 19, 2008 by Devon
It should come as no surprise that we're computer geeks here at SPCR
that's a given for almost any tech site. But, bearing in mind the Silent
part of our name, we're as much audio geeks are we are computer geeks. So, it
was with great excitement that we accepted an invitation to participate in a
Student Summit for the AES (Audio
Engineering Society). Our participation was twofold: A presentation on building
silent PCs for studio applications, and an actual, bona fide SPCR-built silent
system awarded as second prize for best pop mix. Best of all, we got to spend
a weekend geeking out over microphones and recording techniques.
First, some background: The Audio Engineering Society is a professional organization
dedicated to recording and reproducing audio. Its members have pioneered many
of the technologies and techniques that are used to produce modern recordings.
The summit was hosted by the
student chapter of the AES at Webster University in St. Louis. Topics ranged
from microphone techniques and stereo recording to sound design for games and
film to recording the Beatles and, of course, building silent PCs.
When we weren't initiating the impressionable student audience into the ways
of no-noise computing, we spent our time hobnobbing with industry names such
as Ron Streicher and Bob Katz and attending their talks on stereo recording
and dynamic range compression. We also spoke to several microphone manufacturers
in hopes of expanding and improving
our test lab.
Less boring than it looks...
We also got a peek at the university's recording studio including their
brand spanking new, drool-inducing SSL Duality mixing console. The enterprising
students have even modified the cooling system with a pair of undervolted fans!
However, we noticed that their computer systems needed to be locked in a glass
box to keep them quiet...
Here's one to set your geek juices running.
Last of all, we were proud to present a nearly silent, SPCR-built computer
to the second-place winner in the pop category of the event's mixing contest
(first place was a matched pair of high end Sennheiser microphones I'm
SPCR writer Devon Cooke presents a 19 dBA@1m prize
system to Richard Chilcott of Ohio University.
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