MARL w/ Dr. Areti Andreopoulou

On Monday afternoon, University of Athens professor & NYU Music Tech Ph.D graduate Dr. Areti Andreopoulou will discuss the recent surge of interest surrounding spatial audio & virtual reality entertainment. With the increased interest, researchers look towards global, perceptually relevant spaces for HRTF and user comparisons. Andreopoulou will discuss the challenges and limitations that come with this mass approach to research. Students are invited to sit in on this talk on Monday at 1 pm, in Steinhardt’s 6th floor conference room.

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MARL w/ Johanna Devaney

Tomorrow afternoon, MARL invites Ohio State University professor Johanna Devaney, presenting her talk on “Cognitively Informed Music Information Retrieval for Modeling Musical Similarity.” Using her AMPACT software to predict the timing, tuning, loudness, and timbal parameters of various datasets, Doctor Devaney studies the ways in which listeners perceive similarities between musical performance and composition. Students are invited to learn more about the study tomorrow at 1 pm, in Steinhardt’s 6th floor conference room.

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Pandora Challenge w/ Common

The Music Business program is teaming up with streaming platform Pandora & Real Industry to create a marketing campaign for hip-hop legend Common, and they’ve extended an invitation to students in the Music Technology program. With opportunities to network with Pandora’s executive team, this is a great chance to explore the intersection between music technology & business while contributing to a major campaign

Admission is open to the first 50 students who RSVP for the launch event on October 11th. 

Red Bull Hackathon Call for Submissions

Interested in engineering or programming? Loved your Analog/Digital Electronics courses? Now’s your chance to turn your ideas into a reality! Red Bull is hosting their second “Hack the Hits” event for all of the experimenters among us. If your submission is accepted, you’ll be flown out to the Techshop warehouse in San Francisco to develop your prototype. With renowned mentors such as Moldover & Ean Golden, you’ll have two days to wow the judges, among them hip-hop innovators The Cool Kids and OWSLA co-owner Blaise James. Open only to students, this is an incredible opportunity for the talented tinkerers in our department! For more information on how to apply, visit the Hack The Hits website.

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Student Spotlight: Ben Lidsky

Ben Lidsky

As students get back into the swing of things this semester, we’ve been excited to learn about everything that they’ve been up to this summer! Music Technology Junior Ben Lidsky came back with stories of a mysterious internship that landed him in studio sessions with rappers such as Chief Keef, Fredo Santana, D Double E and more. We sat down with Ben to find out exactly how he ended up working with some of the top artists on Interscope Records.

Max Lord’s Secret Studio

Growing up in Denver, Ben met local dubstep promoter Max Lord, who would later join hip-hop supergroup 808 Mafia with TM88 and Southside. After a few years of sending Lord instrumentals, Lidsky got a late night phone call at the beginning of the summer asking him to come to Los Angeles and work as Lord’s assistant at his secret home studio.

Once Ben arrived, circumstances had changed and Max Lord was travelling to Atlanta to set up a new studio. Ben was told to “hold things down” in LA, and on his first day he had his first of what would lead to many encounters with Chief Keef and Fredo Santana. With nobody else around, he quickly acquainted himself with the boards and recorded “Snatch His Chain,” which is now available on Fredo Santana’s “Fredo Kruger 2” mixtape. Throughout the rest of the summer, Ben recalls “waking up at Max’s house and seeing 2 Rolls Royce roll up,” knowing that another client was looking for a last minute, low-key studio session.

This semester, Ben is studying at NYU Prague and has connected with some members of the Czech rap community. We’re all eager to see what he does next! In the meantime, check out some of his work with Walt Grizzly and B Sneaks below.

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Remembering Don Buchla

This time last year, we mourned the loss of iconic music technologist Don Buchla. Today, we remember his legacy, from work with NASA, in audiology, and of course his various synthesizers, championed by legendary composers such as Morton Subotnick as well as modern experimenters like Floating Points.

Described by Suzanne Ciani as a “Renaissance Man,” his vast body of 

work truly captures the ethos of our department, wherein musicians and engineers can learn side by side. Here in New York, we boast a Buchla 200 model in our Studio A synthesizer collection. 

Known for its rich sound and unconventional controls, it’s to this instrument that we owe such albums as Subotnick’s “Silver Apples of the Moon,” and Jonathan Fitoussi & Clemens Hourrièreas’ “Five Steps, ”

not to mention countless student compositions. Students studying in Paris through our partnership with IRCAM, with whom Buchla was a consultant and guest researcher, might get a look at the facility’s Buchla 300 model. Explore the above links for your weekend listening pleasure, and long live Buchla!



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SWiTCH September Meeting

As we enter week 2, SWiTCH (Society of Women in Technology) is hosting their first meeting of the semester! Students are invited to join in Steinhardt’s 6th Floor Conference Room at noon to meet some of the amazing women from inside and outside of our department as they discuss AES presence and upcoming MARL events.


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Gear Spotlight: LEAP Motion Controller & GECO

LEAP Motion is an American company determined to create a more fluid interaction between users and their computers. Launched in 2012, the company has launched a few iterations of their ultracompact sensors, and we’ve got a few of them here in the Music Tech program!

The LEAP Motion sensor has two cameras and three infrared LEDs packed into its tiny body to track user movement with extreme precision. The signal is sent at roughly 200 frames per second, creating essentially no latency, making it an obvious candidate for music software development. The sensors even respond down to changes of 0.7 millimeters, offering more precision than the standard MIDI controller.

LEAP Motion has been quite open with developers and there’s already a strong selection of software for what’s still a relatively new product. The Airspace app store has these various programs available for purchase, including GECO, a MIDI translator for the LEAP Motion signal. Using the GECO software, users can control up to 40 different parameters in their DAW using both hands, across 16 different midi channels. You might think of this controller as a fully programmable theremin.

The software allows you to customize the range of the MIDI signal. For instance, you might not want the software to start responding until your hand is a foot above the sensor, and you may want it to stop responding after two feet. All of this is possible to specify within GECO, which will even recognize a closed hand versus an open one, and various other positions. The only qualm one might take with this flexibility is the same as we’ve mentioned on this blog in the past—so many options can become daunting for setup. However, once you’ve got all of your gestures assigned, the possibilities for expression and showmanship using the LEAP Motion controller are really exciting. Check out some videos of the controller with Ableton below!

Useful Links:

LEAP Motion Max For Live

GECO Review

Point Blank GECO/Ableton Demo

Theremin Style Woodwind Performance

Steinhardt in College Magazine’s Top 10 Schools for Music Technology

After winding down another semester and a great year in the program, we’re elated to have been included in College Magazine’s top 10 schools for music technology! It’s great to see the incredible internship work of our currents students and the accolades of our alumni being recognized in the top five schools on this list. However, it’s not going to our heads, and 2017 promises to be another exciting year in our program!

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Thesis Presentations Continued

The senior thesis presentations continue today, going live at 1’oclock! Once again the stream will be accessible from our Youtube page. The afternoon is filled with fascinating topics on how we interact with audio, and you can get more details on each specific presentation on the presentation schedule here.

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