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Meet the Masters – lecturer Nick Harrison

SAE Meet the Master's profiles continue this week with SAE postgraduate lecturer, Nick Harrison.
Man with facial hair. Text reads Nick Harrison faculty masters

Nick has over 20 years of experience in the creative industries as a DJ, music producer, event promoter, photographer, audio recordist, and educator.

– Faculty –

Nick Harrison

“I completed my Bachelor’s Degree through SAE in 2008, and a Master of Communication in 2011 with a minor thesis focused on auditory perception.

I am a Pro Tools Certified Instructor, and a Unity Certified Developer and Instructor.

My research interests are focused on immersive and interactive sound, and the development of audio-based applications via the Unity & Unreal game engine. My current project is tracking turntablist scratching techniques using low latency IMUs (inertial measurement unit) on records, into Unity for a side-scrolling space shooter.”

Quaternions from IMU to OSC over WiFi with MIDI and scratching - Nick Harrison
Could you please share some details of past projects that you have worked on?

Through my location sound work, I’ve lucky enough to produce recordings for Bart Willoughby over several years. Our most recent project involved ten days making location audio and video recordings around the Kimberly’s.

This involved making recordings of Bart playing various musical instruments amongst the natural acoustics of places such as Cathedral Gorge at the Bungle Bungles, along with soundscape recordings throughout Purnululu National Park.

What do you most enjoy about teaching the Master’s program?

I get a big buzz when students have lightbulb moments. I teach the Immersive Audio module, which focuses on sound design for VR and I really love the pace this technology is developing at. In the next few years, VR headsets will become common entertainment & learning household devices, and that will spark a steep increase in demand for audio professionals able to deliver head tracked, spatialized sound design and production solutions.

So, it’s enjoyable being part of the student’s journey in that development.

What drew you to work in the creative industries?

I really enjoy the entrepreneurial nature that’s common in the creative industries, and that drive many creatives have to make a change in unique and surprising ways.

Of course, there is still a lot of competition in the industry, and the cycle of creative work often involves failure, but that often adds to the excitement and drive in peoples work. I really enjoy seeing people at the start of their careers, and being a part of their learning journey Ð and I particularly like seeing past students who have gone on to do great things in the industry.

I’m constantly inspired by a whole range of different people, but most often these tend to be musicians, event promoters, recording engineers, producers, programmers, photographers, turntablists, record store and record label owners. It’s great playing a small part amongst it all.

Can you speak to the intersection and impact of technology in the creative industries?

Technology is a huge driver of change in the creative industries, and of course, the pandemic is speeding up the improvement of remote collaboration tools.

This doesn’t replace the real thing, but we can assume that virtual and augmented reality will develop more rapidly, and this will chisel out new and unexpected options for entertainment, creative expression and learning.

Film students working with a camera

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