UK student from India wins Gold in Europe’s Sixth 3D Audio Production Competition

UK student from India wins Gold in Europe’s Sixth 3D Audio Production Competition

A COMPOSITION by a final year sound engineering student at the University of Huddersfield stole the show at Europe’s Sixth 3D Audio Production Competition after being awarded gold in the category ‘Music Recording/Studio Production’ and was the only UK student on the winning roster.

The winning track titled Zoella is composed and sung in Hindi by Rohith Sakthy, a classically trained Indian vocalist, who is set to graduate from the University’s BSc (Hons) Sound Engineering and Music Production degree this summer.

“I composed the song to act as a reminder for us to take a break and make more time for ourselves,” he explained. 

Rohith entered the competition following a recommendation from where he was working as part of his placement year, which he said without the help of the Placement Unit within the School of Computing and Engineering, he wouldn’t have been able to acquire.

“My year-long placement with Fraunhofer in Germany has been a really crucial part in my development” he said.  “The amount of experience I gained whilst working there was huge and I even had the opportunity to work on mixes for international grammy-winning artists such as Alicia Keys,” he added.

Fraunhofer are the developers of a new codec called MPEG-H Audio which is ‘next-generation audio technology providing more realism through sound from above as well as around the listener’. 

Due to the restrictions because of the pandemic, Rohith had found it difficult to secure a placement but after seeking the help of the School’s Placement Unit he was able to obtain one with a company he said couldn’t have been more perfect in the field of immersive music mixing.

The final stage of the competition was streamed live to academic breakout venues around the world organised by the Institute for Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM) in Graz Austria, in partnership with the German Association for Audio Professionals, the music festival ORF musikprotokoll and Audio Mostly.

Rohith praised the jury of the competition comprised of international experts in spatial audio recording, computer music, and audio technology.  He never imagined he would have had the chance to showcase his work to so many experienced professionals in the industry and receive such useful and constructive feedback.

“I am so grateful for all of the reviews I received about the mix from the jury and would like to thank all of the amazing artists for doing such a wonderful job in bringing the best out of my composition, Zoella,” said Rohith, adding that once he’s graduated, he hopes to pursue a music-related profession abroad.

Returning to his hometown of Muvattupuzha in India is still at the forefront of his career aspirations though and revealed that as soon as he is able, he is going to return home to India to set up an immersive studio or record label and become an entrepreneur in the music industry.

Immersive music in India, Rohith explained, is still relatively unheard of as there’s not many studios that have the facilities and technology to produce it.

“However, from everything I’ve learnt during my degree and then from all of the experience I gained when working in Germany, I know it is growing in popularity all over the world. By opening an immersive music mixing studio in India, it will not only raise awareness of the technology there but will also make it more accessible to the Indian people,” he added. 

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