Monday, December 2, 2013

Student Records Some Serious Drums

Now here's a good way to follow up our drum unit: Audio Production student, and soon to be graduate, Dan Stefanich set out to do a senior project that would document how to tune, setup, and produce a full recording of a drum track.

Dan chose the song, "Curl of the Burl" by Mastodon. It was a project that combined skills in production, mixing, video editing, and performance. It is a great demonstration of what goes into creating a solid drum recording in the studio.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Drum Recording Project in Recording Sessions

One of the more challenging parts of recording and live sound can be properly setting up and miking a drum kit. There are many factors to be aware of, such as how to achieve the best tone from each piece of the kit, and how to most effectively position each individual mic.

Derek showing off his mad skills.
Last week, the students assisted with a full studio drum setup. Even using a fairly compact kit, we still found use for 11 different microphones. Some microphones played very specific purposes, such as a pair of stereo overhead mics to capture the entire kit (and mainly cymbals). Other decisions were made to give a variety of sounds, such as placing a microphone on both the top and bottom of the snare drum.
Dan and Nolan admire the full setup.
The results were excellent! We made use of the large space in our adjacent lecture hall in order to capture the reverberation of the room, and the acoustics were great. Everyone seemed to come away with a deeper knowledge of microphone technique and added confidence for when they may be presented with a similar challenge.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

AVIAN Returns Again to the DSU Underground

DSU Live was thrilled to once again welcome Avian (formerly Avian Sunrise) to perform in the Underground with special guest acoustic musicians, "Every Breath". Both bands rocked out some great tunes, including some amazing brand new songs from Avian.

As usual, the DSU live students worked very hard to put on a great sounding show, with the help of Avian's touring sound engineer. Enjoy the highlight vid from the show, including a time lapse of the full 5-hours of setup, performance, and teardown:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Recording Vocals in the Studio


As a part of our Recording Sessions course, we were excited to invite student Alexandria Monroe (pictured on right) to perform vocals for a session in order to demonstrate the technical setup and show proper voice recording techniques.

Some of the skills involved include proper routing and gain, sending the correct level and reverb to the vocalist, and creating "playlists" in order to do multiple takes. Alex was a good sport as we experimented with various routing configurations to demonstrate all of the possible sonic combinations. It was a good learning experience that the students can now pass on to their own independent projects.

Friday, September 27, 2013

DSU Talent Rocks the Underground

As a part of our homecoming week festivities, DSU Live hosted "DSU's Got Talent" in the Trojan Center Underground.  We were thrilled to have a huge turnout, with every seat filled! We were also lucky to have three ingenious (and quite hilarious) judges: Professor Michael Gaylor, Angela Behrends, and Susan Conover. The acts were impressive and diverse, including musical acts, comedy, and magic.

An anonymous posting from a student summed up the experience: "The DSU Talent show was amazing! Everyone there was nice, and well talented! For the first time I felt a feeling of bonding together and school spirit! From the very talented musicians, to the dorky hilarious comedians, over the bad ass rappers to stage breaking magicians, everyone was amazing! For the first time I can remember the school showed a sense of community. Everyone who missed this show better figure out what it was about! This year the events were joined in by so many people, it was a once in a life time event. The dance last month and many of the previous attractions were so well visited with such enthusiasm, this year is going to be a great one."

The scores were tallied from the judges, and the winner was Andrew Gross, followed by John Niesen and Billy Hofer. We can't wait for our next big event when we welcome Avian Sunrise back to the Underground in October! (All photos taken by Tiffany Sommer)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Students do Promo at the Activities Fair

Dakota State had the annual activities fair this week, where clubs and organizations set up their booths and entice students to join them and attend upcoming events. DSU Live and KDSU Radio were two of the groups out chatting with students and drumming up excitement.  Discussions are in the works for bringing in some great musical talent, so we are all looking forward to what the school year has in store.

On a separate note, congratulations are in store for Audio Production program graduate Tyler Steele. He is now Multimedia Specialist for Information Technology Services here at DSU!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The First Week Gets Kicked Off Right!

View from the DJ Booth at the year's first Black Light Dance hosted by KDSU.
We have already had a packed schedule of live events as the semester got started this week!  Students filled the DSU Underground for our annual GO Karaoke night, saw a show from dancer "Xclusive" hosted by the Student Activities Board, and KDSU hosted nearly 200 students in the first Black Light Dance of the year.
Karaoke singers perform for a full house.
The group of DSU Live students have a lot of great ideas for the upcoming school year, and we can't wait to put our plans into action and keep the excitement going!
A full crowd for DJ Kor.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gearing Up for the 2013 School Year!

It's hard to believe that in just over a month we will be returning to the excitement and busyness of the school year!  I'm really looking forward to working with incoming students, and continue to do lots of exciting projects and live music events throughout the year.

Keep an eye on our blog for periodic updates as things start to get going.  For prospective students and parents, you can also learn more about us, check out our course layout page, and see what careers are possible for audio production students.

Also be sure to check out our DSU Live website.  It's going to be a packed school year!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Students create "Welcome Home Music"

DSU students Adam House, Jacob Johnson, and Matt Lyon have created and developed a YouTube channel over the course of the semester titled, "Welcome Home Music". The concept of the channel is to find and promote electronic music that is positive and "chilled" in style. Much of the music falls under the category of EDM (Electronic Dance Music), and is great for discovering new artists or even just playing as background music.

Some of the videos have also featured high-definition video backgrounds to further enhance the relaxed mood. The creators of the channel plan to also develop a website and continue to increase their following through their subscribers, facebook page followers, and via twitter. Make sure to check it out and subscribe!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

First video from the Show

Enjoy this fantastic video produced by Nathan Fields, with assistance from numerous DSU Live members. Watching in full HD is highly recommended:

Folk & Bluegrass Bands Rock the Underground

The crowd had a great time last Thursday night when DSU Live hosted Burlap Wolf King and The Tinder Box in the DSU Underground.  Not only was it a spectacular show, we also captured the audio and six different camera angles of HD video in order to create a video production of the event.  Check out these awesome pics from DSU student (and soon to be Audio Production Grad) Nathan Fields:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sioux Falls Bands Visiting DSU!

This Thursday, DSU Live is excited to be hosting two fantastic folk and bluegrass bands from Sioux Falls: The Tinder Box and Burlap Wolf King! They are playing a show in the Trojan Center Underground that is free and open to both students and the public.  We are also excitedly anticipating a show later this month featuring Amos Slade and June Embers.

These bands have been featured on a recent podcast episode of "Here in the Middle", which is produced by DSU instructors Nathan and Cassie Edwards. Be sure to give it a listen and check out the shows if you will be in the area!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Students Remix Tracks in MIDI Class

In the Spring 2013 MIDI Techniques class, students were provided with a short sample of an electronic track, and they were given the task of creating a short remixed version.  The tracks were arranged using the software Reason, which provides a series of virtual synthesizers, drum machines, and effects.  The students did an excellent job, and here is the result:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

NAMM Conference Highlights

From left: Jordan Nyenhuis, Matt Lyon, Austin Lee, Dan Stefanich, Bruce Schulz, Tyler Steele, Professor Nathan Edwards (also in attendance: Tristen Boyte, Daryl Becker)
Eight students and I packed in a whole lot into the three days of the National Association of Music Merchandising show this past January in Anaheim.  I'm excited to share the highlights! You can link to them below on my personal website:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Audio Students go to "Pensado's Place"

In late January, eight Audio Production students attended the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchandising) trade show in Anaheim, California.  While there, we had the opportunity to be audience members in the front several rows of the internet video show, "Pensado's Place".  In the show, Grammy award winning mix engineer Dave Pensado, presents tips and tricks for mix engineers.

During this special 100th episode, many guest recording engineers made an appearance.  Needless to say, we were all very excited and inspired following the show.  Full details of the NAMM show are soon to come!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Gear for DSU Live!

Our live sound organization on campus, DSU Live is really excited to have some great new gear this semester, including an all-new 24-channel Presonus StudioLive Digital Mixer!  With our new equipment, students will have the opportunity to record every individual channel live to a computer via firewire, and create multitrack mixes.  Needless to say, we'll be recording a lot of live music this semester, and also shooting a lot of HD video.  We're looking forward to some great guest musicians this semester, as well as cultural awareness events, and a Battle of the Bands.  There's a lot to look forward to!
Students Tyler Steele, Nathan Fields, and Daryl Becker help to unbox the digital mixer.