Why did you choose the Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences - Acoustics and Audio Technology?
I play the guitar, and in high school, I had a dream of being a musician. After high school, I thought that maybe I should get a real job, so I went to the University of Edinburgh to study music technology. When I was doing the final project of my bachelor’s degree, my supervisor encouraged me to visit Aalto University for a week to see if the Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences - Acoustics and Audio Technology was right for me. It was February, and the weather was very cold, although I later found out it was the warmest February in years! Despite the weather, I really enjoyed the place and realised the programme was exactly what I wanted to do, so I decided to apply.
What was the most interesting part of your studies?
I really enjoyed the course Audio Signal Processing; we were taught about a variety of audio effects, how they work and how they are implemented. It was also very interesting to get to know more about acoustics; it blew my mind to find out that rooms can be modelled virtually.
All in all, studying acoustics and audio technology was very interesting, rewarding and challenging. The courses include a lot of teamwork, and all the teachers are super helpful. I always felt that I wasn’t alone with my studies, and that I could always ask for help if needed.
What did you learn studying in an international environment?
The programme had a lot of international students and due to how I applied to Aalto, I was included with exchange students. The environment was fun and interesting because I had a chance to learn so much about people from different backgrounds and get to know the similarities and differences between cultures.
What tools did you get from your studies to working life?
Among other things, I acquired skills in scheduling, management, coding, and speaking in public and making presentations. I used to hate speaking in public, but at Aalto there were a fair number of group presentations and because you had other people with you speaking it made the presentations easier and also improved my own presentations.
Where are you working now?
After my studies in Aalto, I moved back to Scotland but after a year, I came back to Finland when I got an opportunity to work in a company called NeuralDSP. NeuralDSP specialises in making audio plugins which simulate guitar and bass pedals, amplifiers and cabinets, with a focus of those used in metal and rock music. In my job, I need to understand how musicians use their amps as well as the nitty-gritty digital signal processing used to model the amps.
What kind of employment opportunities are available for those studying Audio and Acoustics technology?
There are different routes you can take. You can study acoustics and, for example, become a consultation expert for building companies; you can also choose digital signal processing and become an expert in the field of audio technology. Nowadays, virtual reality has become more and more popular, and a demand for audio technology experts is growing to create a more realistic and immersive experience. Additionally, there are a lot of different tools we are using every day, like different online meeting tools, which always require someone to code the ability to speak there.
What tips would you give to the students starting their master’s studies?
Learn to schedule, try different study techniques and choose the methods that work best for you. Allow yourself to take breaks from studying. And don’t stay up all night, it never helps. Oh, and also, have fun!