Joshua Reiss, Daniele Barchies, & Chris Athens (Sterling Sound)
The inaugural episode of SC is an examination of a breakthrough in reverse engineering.
Reverse engineering can be sitting at your console trying to figure out how to achieve a specific sound based on another engineer’s work. I’ve probably tried 100 times to get the open and powerful drum sound of You are a Runner, and I am My Father’s Son. Never quite gotten there, but by obsessing over it I’ve discovered new ways to make drums sound great.
Reverse engineering can also be straight-up replicating someone’s workflow/signal chain/circuit design in an effort to steal their mojo.
Joshua Reiss and Daniele Barchiesi of the Center for Digital Music at Queen’s Mary University in London have had a breakthrough in research that pertains to reverse engineering. They’ve developed an algorithm that can analyze an engineer’s prior mixing/mastering work and replicate the gain, panning, and equalization settings that engineer used. Which type of reverse engineering will their research support and what type of impact will it have?
I spoke with Joshua and Daniele about their research, as well as Bennett Kolasinski, the engineer/programmer who was searching for a way to alleviate some of the mundane tasks of session setup and inadvertently created the basis for the reverse engineering algorithm. Then Chris Athens, of NYC’s Sterling Sound, gives his opinion about the research and it’s potential uses.
Intro Music: Missy Elliott Work It
Outro Music: Red Fang Reverse Thunder