Each academic year, EARS is involved in a number of projects, which enable the students to realize and present works, and collaborate in a number of ways. Projects can be submitted on a for-credit basis, as a degree oriented research project, or as an experimental voluntary project.
One of the projects currently being assembled at EARS is the Eastman Mobile Acousmonium, or "EMA". This installation consists of an ensemble of individual custom-built loudspeakers, designed and constructed by students from Eastman and the University of Rochester. Each speaker has the capacity to tilt, rotate, or change its direction, in various ways, powered by servos, steppermotors, controlled by Arduino. This offers the possibility of dynamically altering sound reflection patterns in a given space. (Please check back soon for more information and images).
[EAR] Eastman Audio Rig
One of the focal areas covered by EARS courses is spatial audio. This entails multi-channel diffusion strategies using surrround sound setups, Vector Based Amplitude Paning, 3D-Ambisonics, 5.1, 7.1, as well as binaural and transaural encoding, and other mixing strategies. In order for the students to gain first hand experience of working with multiple loudspeakers, installed in a space, we equipped ESM room 514 with a flexible matrix of 16 loudspeakers + 1, with the possibility to add more. This flexible rig can be modified and expanded, according to students' needs, and will be expanded by a Dante-protocol controlled array of smaller speakers in 2017.
Aside from the academic syllabus, EARS courses are focused on student's compositional and/or research projects. There is a large reservoir of software programs, hardware, materials, audio gear (analog and digital) etc, that each participant can can work with. We aim to teach by doing, creating, and analyzing. In addition to the individual projects, each year, two projects are offered, which are linked to a performance or venue outside of the Eastman School. Participation in these projects is encouraged, but is not mandatory. Current and previous project cooperation partners include the University of Rochester, Memorial Art Gallery Rochester, the Strong National Museum of Play, Spectrum Gallery in New York City, and the SinusTon Festival in Magdeburg, Germany.