From 25 January to 2 February 2019, four Audio Arts & Sciences (AAS) students – David Chew, Johann Tan Kay Ann, Teng Wye Shin (all Year 3), and Aw Wei Zheng (Year 4) – received Conservatory support to travel to the Netherlands. They attended a six-day course on Sound Systems Design and Optimisation, taught by Merlijn van Veen at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague.
The opportunity was kindly offered by Paul Jeukendrup, Head of the Royal Conservatoire’s Art of Sound department, after he conducted a fruitful seminar about sound reinforcement in classical music during his visit to YST in November 2018.
Over an intense six days, the course covered topics and tools such as acoustics, psychoacoustics, the dual-channel FFT analyser, acoustics, filters, speaker line arrays, and subwoofer configuration. The first four days focused on general concepts, while the last two days were spent on more advanced applied techniques such as how to choose loudspeakers and position them for a live event.
Wye Shin commented, “I enjoyed being able to learn about phenomena that we seldom have the chance to experience in a studio setting. One example was the Haas Effect, where if we all stood in single file in the middle of two speakers and moved laterally, there would be a point at which we heard the source coming from a single speaker. This seminar was really helpful in strengthening my foundation in live sound, and the knowledge I gained will be very useful for my future work.”
Johann noted, “While some concepts were challenging to grasp (such as resolving timing and phasing issues for loudspeakers), we got to understand them from theoretical as well as practical standpoints. Merlijn’s teaching helped me connect the dots between electroacoustics and acoustics that I had learned but never related to each other. This was an enriching experience that will stick with me for a long time to come!”
Zhou Xiaodong, Senior Lecturer (Audio Arts & Sciences), shared, “We are truly grateful for this partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, which has enabled opportunities like this course with the Art of Sound department, as well as wider platforms like our student exchange programme. We look forward to further collaboration and learning!”