IADT Digital Audio Production Team Wins Award at AES Nashville Spring Mixer

May 14, 2009

First-time win for School Marks Significant Achievement

Nashville (May 14, 2009) – The annual Nashville Audio Engineering Society (AES) Spring Mixer competition was won by three Digital Audio Production program graduates of International Academy of Design & Technology (IADT). Dayan Raily, Josh Spencer and Scotty Baker were in the final term of their studies at IADT when they were chosen by the faculty to represent the school at the event. This year’s competition included: IADT, the Art Institute, Belmont University, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and SAE Institute. In the previous years, MTSU had taken the trophy twice and Belmont University won 3 times. This year, 5 teams from local colleges and universities competed and were provided the same, professionally-recorded tracks 2 weeks prior to the Spring Mixer. The teams then mixed in identically-equipped rooms at MTV studios in Nashville. Each team had 8 hours to work on its project which was to result in a 5-minute final mix that was presented to the judges.

This year's judges, Benny Quinn, Steve Tillisch, Randy Poole, Garth Fundis, and Vance Powell played excerpts of the submissions for the audience and also publicly gave their critiques to the contestants. A list of artists that these men have worked with reads like a Who’s Who of music across many genres, a sampling includes: Alabama, Backstreet Boys, Jimmy Buffet, Eric Claption, George Clinton, Elvis, Aretha Franklin, Wynonna Judd, Martina McBride, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, and CeCe Winans.

Jeff Tackett, who is the chair of IADT’s Digital Audio Production Department, has been a member of AES since 1982, having joined when he was a student. He is currently a member of the AES Nashville Executive Committee and he has been very actively involved with the organization throughout his career. "We are proud of the efforts of our students," said Tackett. "This event provided a terrific transition as they embark on their careers."

The five audio industry professionals from Music Row evaluated the productions on:

  • Sonic Integrity-Lows to highs
  • Depth – Front to back
  • Stereo Stage or environmentv
  • Dynamic Range
  • Presentation of lead vocal/lead instrument
  • Emotional content or feel of the mix
  • Preparation for mastering-dynamic range available for mastering process
  • Creativity
  • Documentation

"This year was significant as IADT unseated the longstanding wins shared only by Belmont and MTSU," said Mike Porter, chair of the AES Nashville section. The Spring Mixer is a highly anticipated event each year. Nashville is fortunate to have industry professionals who are willing to critique the work of those who are working toward becoming mixers and recording engineers in this profession.

The Audio Engineering Society, now in its sixth decade, is the only professional society devoted exclusively to audio technology. Its membership includes leading engineers, scientists and other authorities and it provides education, events, publications and other resources for its members.

About The International Academy of Design & Technology
IADT provides educational programs that are designed to prepare students for professional opportunities and career success in select design and technology fields. IADT has been an established institution for more than 25 years and has 10 other campuses across the US. Since the Nashville campus opened in 2004, IADT has served the needs of students for employment and career advancement and the needs of industry for qualified professionals at the Associate of Applied Science and Bachelor of Applied Science degree levels.

The programs focus on career and design areas, such as Digital Audio Production, Fashion Design and Merchandising, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Digital Media and Animation, and Digital Photography. Courses are currently conducted within the college; however the campus is transitioning to a "Blended Learning" delivery approach which will permit students to take courses both in-house and on line.

The International Academy of Design & Technology - Nashville is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and is authorized by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.