Kreeger Studio at American University

Science and Art Flourish in Advanced Audio Technology Capstone Course

The Audio Technology Capstone is an advanced course in our undergraduate program that enables students to embrace their unique skills and particular areas of interest — to explore both the art and science of their future fields of study. It’s an opportunity to engage in discipline-specific projects in subjects such as:

  • Electro-acoustic instrument design and construction
  • Advanced live sound reinforcement techniques
  • Post-production audio for film and video
  • Music Production
  • Electro-acoustic music composition

We give our students a and equip them with tools. What’s amazing is how they turn that canvas into innovative art that reflects each person’s background and future work. Here are a few examples:

Joey Kaitany — Film, Audio Production and Physics in Unison

In spaces, such as an enclosed stairwell at the Union Arts building in Washington DC, Joey Kaitany created a Capstone experience that merged three of her passions: film, audio production, and physics. In a series of three videos, she captured musicians performing improvised pieces on acoustic instruments in locations with highly reflective surfaces, and therefore long reverberation times.

“I wanted to show the way art and creativity can connect these three disciplines into an emotional and immersive experience,” Joey said.

The goal? Use minimal technology to preserve the depth and experience of a live improvisation. The result? A hauntingly beautiful fusion of art and science.

 

Jon Whitman — A Historical Anthology of Musical Styles

With the underlying idea that characteristics of music are recycled back and forth into new music — cultivating continued innovation by composers — Jon Whitman created “The Waves Concerto,” an eight-minute composition that cycles through a historical anthology of musical styles:

Using original themes composed over several years, the concerto was crafted with samples of voices, orchestral instruments (brass, woodwinds, strings, and percussion), synthesizers, and live guitar, which he arranged and performed.

 

Logan Bancroft Boucher — Audio Technology Meets Computer Science

Sometimes a well-laid plan doesn’t play out exactly as imagined, but spearheads discovery. While Logan Bancroft Boucher, who came to AU to double major in audio technology and computer science, took a slightly different path than originally expected, he ended up achieving his goal: a working, multi-effects plug-in program that enables users to manipulate an audio track in their digital audio workstation — in real time.

Logan Plugin

The plug-in’s effects included:

  • Stereo Widener Effect — Widens or narrows the stereo field, depending on the parameter set by the engineer.
  • Reverberation Effect — Several parameters can be adjusted to change the sounds of the echoes — taking into consideration room size, wetness, dryness, damping, reverb width, and freeze mode.

Each of these Capstone projects was unique, echoing the passions and skills of the student. This course presents a challenge, but a good one. It’s an opportunity for students in our program to reach toward their goals — and, many times, adjust and add to those aspirations along the way.

 

 

Find a home for your passion at American University. Explore our Audio Technology Program

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