Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Folk and Country musicians visit DSU

There's been a ton of great live music at DSU this semester, including a fantastic show with acoustic musicians John Statz and Zachary Lucky. Zachary is from Saskatchewan, Canada, while John resides in Denver. They teamed up for a month-long national tour that had its final night here at DSU.

Zachary and John’s music covers a wide-range of topics, many about traveling and various locations, and some quite serious and deep, such as a song from John about a man suffering from a head injury following a career in football. As a part of the show, my wife Cassie’s “Design II: Color” students created abstract paintings that were shown on the projector screens. DSU professor Wayne Madsen also displayed his artwork around and behind the performers.

Adam Hammer paid another visit to DSU to talk to students about music career and perform an acoustic show. I was also excited to play an opening set that night for Adam, which gave me the opportunity to perform some of my new songs!

Lastly, we had a really stellar show featuring the bands Burlap Wolf King, a folk rock band from Sioux Falls, and Expatriate, an alt-country band from the Twin Cities. We had a great turnout, and the show was excellent!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Audio Student does Internship at the Washington Pavilion

The stage set up for the Green Day Musical "American Idiot" - Photos by Matt Lyon
Soon-to-be DSU graduate Matt Lyon spent the past several months as an intern at the Washington Pavilion Performing Arts Center in Sioux Falls. Over the course of the internship, Matt focused on learning skills in live audio production, but helped in nearly every facet of event production.

Some of the major events that Matt helped with included the "American Idiot" touring musical, featuring the music of Green Day, "Rain", a Beatles tribute concert, and several performances by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.

Matt said that the internship was a huge learning experience. Safety was always a key concern, and they would wear hard hats whenever working on constructing a set or making other changes to the stage. He said that he was really overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge that the audio engineers possessed, but was able to take in as much as he possibly could. Matt also said that his experience with DSU Live was a huge help in terms of knowing how to host a live concert event, even though the events at the Pavilion were on a larger scale.

Now that his internship is complete, Matt has just recently accepted a job with Daktronics and will be starting there soon. We wish him all the best!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Interested in Audio Production? Come and "Discover DSU"!

Periodically throughout the year, DSU has a day to invite prospective students and their families to tour DSU, meet with faculty, and see what our University has to offer. For any of you out there interested in Audio Production, this means that you can chat with us about the program and check out the recording studio!

Our upcoming Discover DSU Day is coming up on Friday, February 14th (Valentine's Day), and you can check out the information page for the daily schedule, as well as future dates.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Audio Students visit the South Dakota State Capitol

We were thrilled this week to be one of several majors and specializations from DSU that were invited to a day-long event in South Dakota's capital, Pierre, to meet with legislators and show off our cutting-edge technology-based programs.

Checking out the main atrium in the State Capitol
During our visit, we toured the Capitol building, as well as the state forensic laboratory and police training center. We also had the opportunity to meet briefly as a group with Governor Daugaard and observe a legislative session.

In the evening, the students set up a display that included student-produced live concert videos and an interactive audio mixing station. Throughout the course of the evening, the students talked with a number of legislators about what we learn in the audio program and the careers that can be pursued in the field. We all had a great time and found it to be a very beneficial and educational experience. It was rewarding to be able to show off our great program!

A group photo op with President Borofsky

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: