VPA Hub Information for VPA Students, Staff and Faculty Wed, 18 Jan 2023 19:17:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 VPA Hub 32 32 110406916 VPA Photos Sat, 02 Oct 2021 22:19:03 +0000 [...]]]> Adobe Portfolio will be used for showcasing the best photos from each event. It will be updated with new photos as they get reviewed. Individual galleries showcasing all photos can be found through the Lightroom links below. They will be sorted in chronological order

Adobe Portfolio

Academic Years:

2663/3663 Career Development Courses Mon, 06 Sep 2021 14:31:21 +0000 [...]]]> Travel Classes

These are courses that help students connect to the profession and peers outside of Michigan Tech. Students in SFET, SFAT, and SFSD must take:

  • (2) credits of 2663: Students attend the festival or conference, learn from workshops, expos, productions, and practice networking.
  • (2) credits of 3663: Students do all of what they did for 2663 AND they must present their work to professionals.

— Experiences Covered By Course Fee —

These travel opportunities are usually covered by the course fee, except for food. Faculty will arrange for travel, lodging and registration.

KCACTF – Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

This is a theatre focused, regional festival with productions, workshops, and opportunities for students to present their work.  At the festival the best presentations are selected for a variety of awards including full scholarships to the Kennedy Center National Festival where students get to do design intensives with broadway designers or USITT.  Presentations also allow students to connect with potential employers, and some students have been offered job opportunities based on their work.

KCACTF Region 3

Course: THEA 2663/3663

When to take the class: Fall

When the conference is: Early January, usually before classes start.

Audio Engineering Society (AES) Student Summit in St. Louis

This is a sound focused, regional conference and each year the mix of workshops is slightly different. It usually has lots of studio recording with some live sound, acoustics, film sound, and usually a few other topics. As part of the conference students will submit work to the mix competition which always has great prizes that have included microphones, headphones, software, acoustics products. It is usually a small pile of really great stuff.

As part of the trip we usually tour a regional production company and catch a show.

However, this conference will not count toward 3663 as the competition does not receive a rigorous review or presentation opportunity.

Central Region Audio Student Summit — Audio Aesthetics and Technology

Course: SND 2663 only

When to take the class: Spring

When the Conference is: Spring, usually in March

— Experiences that cost more than the Course Fee —

These opportunities all cost more than the course fee. They are exceptional opportunities, well worth the cost but require financial planning. With receipts you can be reimbursed up to the amount of your course fee for travel, lodging, and registration fees. All of the course fee is your money and we will work with you to keep the overall expenses as low as possible. You may not be reimbursed for any food related expenses.

Audio Engineering Society (AES) International Convention

These are the largest gatherings of audio professionals in the world. There are two each year, one in the US and one in Europe. The topics covered from the top experts are wider than you can imagine, even if you have been before. From low level engineering of new technologies, to studio recording sessions with top engineers, to mastering, to film sound, to video game sound. If it involves sound there will be multiple sessions with the most knowledgable and accomplished people in the world and probably exhibits from a several companies creating products.

WARNING – presentation registration is in the middle of the summer!!!


Course: SND 2663/3663

When to take the class: Fall (presentations must be ready the spring before you register for the class)

WARNING – conference presentation deadlines are in the middle of the summer!!!

When the Conference is: Fall, usually in October

United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference and Stage Expo

This is the place to talk about theatre technology and design. Many manufactures are represented and there are full tracks of programming for each tech/design area, including engineering and architecture.

USITT – A Lifetime of Learning | United States Institute for Theatre Technology

Course: THEA 2663/3663

When to take the class: Spring

When the conference is: Spring, usually in or close to March

Other Opportunities

Sometimes students find important professional development opportunities outside of the normal department trips. In the past these have included film festivals and the Game Developers Conference. Students are encouraged to find activities that connect to their specific interests and the full value of the course fee will be available to reimburse for costs other than food.

Game Developers Conference (GDC)

Rozsa 215: Recording Studio Tutorials Mon, 19 Oct 2020 16:48:46 +0000

A collection of videos demonstrating the various ways we can record audio using Rozsa 215, including Analog, and Digital signal flows, as well as Pro Tools, Console, Headphone Mixes.

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Rozsa 215 Recording Studio Documentation Fri, 03 May 2019 02:37:10 +0000 vpa_audio> 2019 Spring>FA3662_Rozsa [...]]]>

WordPress does not support uploading AutoCAD files. To download the .DWG files for this project go to the VPA Facilities Google Drive in the folder “Rozsa 215 Recording Studio” or the multidrive (multidrive>vpa_audio> 2019 Spring>FA3662_Rozsa 215 Recording Studio Documentation)

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Enterprises and Student Orgs Wed, 01 May 2019 23:00:56 +0000 [...]]]>
KFest 2019 Load In
photo credit: Tyler Quinn

There are many other opportunities to gain hands on experience in the audio and theater fields at Michigan Tech. For those looking to learn more about a specific field or wanting to work as part of a student team to run and operate a project, consider joining one of the various student orgs and enterprises on campus. Below are details on the orgs most related to our department with accompanying contact info to learn more.

Husky Game Development is a student-run organization focused on the development of video games. Joining the Husky Games Sound Team gives you the chance to work as the audio lead for one or multiple games. As a sound team member you can gain experience with recording, editing, music composition, and audio integration into video games.

General Meetings held Thursdays at 5pm in Fisher 135. 
For more information contact Drew Stockero at or email HGD management at

Above the Bridge Records is a student run record label. Members take on projects brought to them by local musicians to work through the entire process of recording, mixing, and mastering.

Meetings Tuesdays at 5:30pm in Walker 212
For more information contact David Peterson at

WMTU 91.9fm is Michigan Tech’s very own college radio station. Joining WMTU general staff provides chances to gain experience in many different aspects of audio from radio, to commercial editing, to working on live events such as K-Fest.

Meetings Wednesdays at 6pm in the WMTU lounge (Wadsworth Basement)
For more information contact

SoundGirls is an all inclusive (men, women, non binary identifiers) organization about the promotion and empowerment of women and minorities in the audio field. Members of SoundGirls can gain experience through the workshops and projects put on by the organization. In future, SoundGirls plans to be bringing in guest speakers from different sectors of the audio industry to talk about their experiences.

Meetings are held monthly at the discretion of the org.
For more information contact Sarah Calvert at

USITT, or United States Institute for Theater Technology, is a national organization with both regional and school chapters aiming to connect young professionals and college students going into the theater or entertainment tech and design fields with each other and provide cool opportunities for students

For more information contact Kent Cyr at

CinOptic Communication and Media Enterprise works closely with clients to develop creative and effective communication strategies and products, specializing in video production, photography, and graphic design. Team members enjoy the support of a strong creative community, educational opportunities, and access to production resources.

For more information contact faculty advisor Erin Smith at

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Inventories for VPA Wed, 01 May 2019 20:34:02 +0000 Speaker InventoryDownload

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Student Equipment Fri, 12 Apr 2019 18:41:06 +0000 [...]]]> We find that students who have their own equipment spend more time investing in their education and explore a greater number of creative avenues. Because of that we are dedicating resources to equip students early in their education with powerful tools and we recommend that students come to school with a laptop and a few other pieces of computer hardware.

  • Provided Equipment:
    • Students in the Michigan Tech sound programs are provided with several pieces of exceptionally useful equipment to insure they are always able to get work done and to creative explore their own passions.
    • Zoom H5
      • This is a small handled recorder capable of recording 4 tracks of high quality audio. It can also be used as an audio interface for your computer.
      • Students will also receive the accessories kit which includes wind protection for the H5 recorder, a remote control for less handling noise, and a power supply. And they will receive the shotgun microphone attachment.
    • Headphones
    • Speakers
      • Each student will build their own high quality mini-monitor loudspeaker during their first semester in the program.
    • Stands & Cables
      • Each student will receive a mic stand and various cables to make all of their equipment work.
  • Recommended Equipment:
    • Portable Drive:
    • Back-up plan:
      • Google drive provides students with lots of storage space for back-ups but does require more hands on planning to use reliably and can lead to students not backing-up critical information. However, it is provided by the University at no extra cost.
      • More reliable, and highly recommended, at a modest cost is Back Blaze which will automatically back-up the students computer AND external drives when they are active on the network. We cannot stress enough how important back-ups are.
    • Hearing Protection:
      • Healthy ears are the most important equipment for students in this major. Anytime they are in an environment louder than 80dB SPL they should consider wearing hearing protection. And they should always carry hearing protection with them. Custom molded musician earplugs from an audiologist are recommended but simple foam earplugs from any pharmacy work great, and are much cheaper. Buy a small pouch so that you can always have a clean pair in your pocket.
  • Recommended Computer:
    • We recommend a Macintosh Laptop, especially for those students interested in the artistic side of the business. We use some cross platform software, a lot of Mac OS only software, and some Windows only software. Students can use a windows computer and depending on their focus this may be easier or harder. Students with a deep investment in Windows should probably stick with Windows.
    • Short Reccomendation:
      • Minimum: MacBook Pro 13″, M1 processor, 8GB unified memory, 512GB SSD storage.
      • Recommended: MacBook Pro 13″, M1 processor, 16GB unified memory, 1TB SSD storage.
      • Upgraded (especially for students interested in video): MacBook Pro 14″, M1 Pro 10-core processor, 16GB unified memory, at least 1TB SSD storage.
    • Detailed Specifications:
      • We recommend students get a MacBook. The MacBook Pro is more powerful and expandable and will probably last longer as a powerful computer. As our work requires extended high processing loads the additional cooling in the MacBook Pro models will also probably help their longevity. However, the M1 powered MacBook Air is also a very capable computer.
      • Processor:
        • We recommend that you do not buy an intel based Mac.
        • The new M1, M Pro, and M Max computers are incredibly powerful and quiet, and the battery life is amazing.
      • Storage:
        • We recommend at least 1TB of internal storage as the applications we use require a lot of space.
        • This is probably the most important aspect of a computer for our work.
        • In addition to internal storage students are encouraged to purchase an external drive as detailed above.
      • Memory (RAM):
        • We reccomend 16GB of RAM since this isn’t upgradable and can make a big difference to the lifespan of a computer.
        • However, 8GB likely will do everything you need to do because the new M1 processors are much more memory efficient.
      • Graphics
        • All of the apple chips provide significant graphics power. This doesn’t make much difference to sound work. If students are interested in video editing or video game work the M1 Pro and M1 Max represent significant upgrades for reasonable pricing.
      • Adaptors:
        • We recommend a USB C to Ethernet adaptor for the MacBook Pro 14″ and 16″ models.
        • The MacBook Pro 13″ does require more adaptors. We recommend an affordable USB-c hub with USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet, and SD card ports. The Wirecutter has some good recommendations.
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Rozsa 213 CAML Tue, 15 Jan 2019 21:55:00 +0000 [...]]]> This room system is operated by the Apogee Quartet (pictured).

Output Settings

Logic Pro X Output Physical Output
1 L
2 R
3 C
4 Sub
5 Rear L
6 Rear R

  • Logic’s surround settings should correspond to the correct outputs.  


The SM7B is the Mic 1 input
The SE2200 is the Mic 2 input and needs phantom power (48V)
– To control gain and phantom power for both microphones you can open the Apogee Maestro app on the computer.

<– Apogee logo to look for

Other Toys

There is an M-Audio TriggerFinger Pro <– linked to manual

  • Can be used for layering anything from sound effects to composing with samples.
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Walker 212 Tue, 15 Jan 2019 21:53:07 +0000 [...]]]>

This room is operated by the RME Fireface UFX II.  All of the routing happens on the RME TotalMix FX application on the 212 Computer.

Surround Routing

ADAT Output 212 Speaker Output Logic Pro X Surround Output
1 L Output 15
2 R Output 16
3 C Output 17
4 Sub Output 18
5 Side L Output 19
6 Side R Output 20
7 Rear R Output 21
8 Rear L Output 22

*these are the bottom most row of faders in TotalMixFX 
  • Main LR Controls are used with the RME USB controller
  • NuForce Inputs – make sure volume isn’t too hot before playing your content
    • CH-1 – RME
    • CH-2 – DVD Player

Headphone Wall Patches

Headphone Wall Jack Room Headphone Jacks Patch RME Outputs
A1 & A2 A PH 9/10
B1 & B2 B PH 11/12


Wall Patch RME Input
1 Mic 9
2 Mic 10
3 Mic 11
4 Mic 12

*set gain in RME by clicking on the c-wrench icon

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Stockero Soundscape Generator Wed, 19 Dec 2018 21:56:22 +0000 [...]]]> The Stockero Soundscape Generator is a Max patch that when combined with an Arduino (or other external form of input) allows for the creation of an interactive soundscape for display in a public setting. Using iPad interface as well as serial input, this patch works by remembering the millisecond in the larger loop (or soundscape) at which an event was triggered so that it can be continually triggered as the content loops. As participants interact with the exhibit, the soundscape being played continues to change as new event sounds are being added with each interaction. To avoid an overabundance or crowding of the soundscape, it is possible to parameterize how many loop locations are being held by each event trigger.

The clock subpatch works by reading in the information about whatever file was dragged into the first loop buffer. After reading in the length of the file, it adjusts the speed at which the phasor counts from 0 to 1. The phasor output is what acts as the universal clock for letting the rest of the patcher know where in the loop the playhead is.

The serial input subpatch allows the main patch to read in serial data from an external device. In the prototype build that device was an Arduino outputting acceleration data. Note that in Max when reading serial data you must get rid of the 13 and 10 numbers that appear before each data read.

The live record subpatch operates on a set threshold to know when to start and stop recording into a buffer. When recording begins the subpatch also marks the clock value so that the buffer can be played during the next cycle of the loop. This patch also remembers when it stops recording so that it can add a fade to the end of the recording.

The random player subpatch plays a sound from a group of files based upon a randomly generated number. Much like live record it also remembers when these sounds were triggered so that they are essentially added to the loop. Lastly a reverb plugin is in place that can have it’s setting adjusted through externally triggered “snapshots” of various reverb presets.

The fade subpatch is the simplest of the subpatches as it simply changes the output level of the loops based upon which input receives a bang. 

Want to investigate further? Feel free to download this zip containing the Max patch and Arduino code used on the project.

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