Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most often asked questions by the WolfSound audience. Over the course of time, this list is expected to grow longer and the answers will get updated according to your or my best knowledge.

If you have any questions or remarks, please, word them in the comments section at the bottom.

To help you find just what you need, I have included links to the particular sections below.

Enjoy!

Table of Contents

  1. General Questions.
  2. ASC at FAU Questions.
  3. Audio Programming Questions.

General Questions

Questions about Jan Wilczek and WolfSound.

My name is Jan Wilczek and I'm an audio programmer and an audio researcher.
My audio programming background is:
  1. I have graduated with distinction from Acoustic Engineering at AGH University of Science and Technology with the title of a Bachelor of Engineering.
  2. I then went on to obtain (also with distinction) the Master of Science in Advanced Signal Processing & Communications Engineering at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen-Nürnberg.
  3. I have also completed two years of Computer Science B. Eng. at the AGH UST.
  4. During my Bachelor studies I have worked for 1.5 years as an audio C++ developer at Techmo sp. z o. o. where I was developing Soundtoolkit, a sound spatialization engine for computer games.
  5. I also worked for 6 months in the "Audio Processing Using Distributed Acoustic Sensors" grant at the AGH UST, where I investigated the application of Nonnegative Tensor Factorization to the multichannel speech separation problem.
  6. At FAU in Germany, I worked for 6 months as a tutor of the Statistical Signal Processing laboratory.
  7. For my Master Thesis, I visited the Acoustics Lab of the Aalto University in Espoo, Finland. I worked there under Alec Wright, Vesa Välimäki, and my supervisor and mentor Emanuël Habets on a thesis entitled "Virtual Analog Modeling of Audio Effects via Neural Ordinary Differential Equations". We then extended the results of the thesis and published them on the Digital Audio FX (DAFX) 2022 conference in Vienna, Austria.
  8. Since December 2021, I have been working at Loudly GmbH based in Berlin, where I am the audio developer of the Music Maker JAM looping app for Windows, Android, and iOS.
  9. Since October 2019, I have been running the WolfSound blog and the YouTube channel deepening my knowledge and understanding of audio programming.
  10. I also read numerous books and articles on audio processing in my free time.
If that doesn't convince you, then please, read through my articles on this blog and the videos on YouTube; trust me, you will find them educative, entertaining, and inspiring!
Yes, but I only accept a limited number of coached students. If you want to be taught the concepts presented on this blog personally, then contact me via email. The easiest way to do it is to subscribe to my email list and reply to the welcome message.
Yes, I can do consulting work within the area of my expertise. If you want to send me a consulting offer, please, contact me via email. The easiest way to do it is to subscribe to my email list and reply to the welcome message.

ASC at FAU Questions

Questions about Elite Master's Programme Advanced Signal Processing & Communications Engineering at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen-Nürnberg.

Check out my video on YouTube, where I explain what ASC is.
Yes.
As for the interview, there are some (unofficial) questions on the web and also some suggested literature on the course website; I highly recommend checking these two out. There's no need to read the books, just skim through them to see if there's any basic knowledge you lack (for example, I had to learn what is a matching filter).
Be prepared to be asked about
  1. Linear algebra (determinants, eigenvalues),
  2. Modulation types,
  3. Probability and Stochastic Processes (time average, ensemble average),
  4. Digital Signal Processing, and
  5. Your personal motivation to join ASC.
You probably will be asked a question on each of these points. You don't have to impress anyone with your knowledge. The key points to show are:
  • You have the necessary basics for the program. Even if you are not fluent in all of the areas listed above, it is relatively easy to revise the key concepts and prepare. That's what I did because I lacked some fundamental knowledge in Random Processes and Telecommunications.
  • You are dedicated to actually complete the degree, i.e., you are strongly motivated. For me the reason was to become an expert in the audio industry, for others it's the desire to obtain a PhD.
If you need to revise DSP, some materials are present on my channel:(see also the corresponding articles).
You are also encouraged to ask the interviewing professor about the program, so be prepared to ask your own questions.
While studying ASC, you are guaranteed to be able to get a mini-job in the group of one of the professors. This job will either involve research work (e.g., running some computational scripts) or teaching work (e.g., preparing slides, Jupyter notebooks, etc.). You will be able to decide what you want to do. Research work pays higher than teaching work. The salary is fixed by the government and non-negotiable. If you're interested in how much you can earn, you can check out the E13 German salary level; that's how much you will earn in the teaching assistant mini-job. Be aware of the fact that you cannot work more than 20 hours per week as a student in Germany.
As a student of ASC, you are guaranteed to be able to get a student job. Just approach the professor or the researcher you want to work with.
It is not necessary to know how to code to complete ASC but it is highly advised to know either Matlab or Python beforehand. The program's curriculum does not include any programming language courses. Matlab and Python are needed to run computations and model simulations for various courses and labs. Don't worry if you don't know these languages; the tutors typically do some sort of an introduction to the given language prior to the course start and they are super understanding if you're having any difficulties.
The ASC committee will consider your candidacy and send you their final decision via email.
Being accepted by the ASC committee means that you are fully accepted to the programme; no more interviews or tests are needed. The formal application is simply providing all the required documents to the university's application office. It's just a necessary formality. Rest assured, no one can reject your application at this point.
No.

Audio Programming Questions

Questions about learning audio programming.

It's best to start by learning what audio programming is. To help you get started I have prepared the Ultimate Audio Plugin Developer Checklist which you can download for free here; it gives a thorough overview which areas of science and which bits of knowledge are needed for audio programming. Then you can browse through my articles and videos to learn these bits. If you want to receive weekly audio programming educational materials directly to your inbox, I encourage you to subscribe to my email list.
There are many ways to do it. One of them, is using the C++ programming language and the JUCE framework. I have created sample tutorials showing how to use JUCE:
No, you don't. However, I am not the kind of person, who will tell you that studies are a waste of time. On the contrary, I owe much to my university studies and if I had the choice again, I would probably go exactly the same route.
What university environment gives you are the necessary basics to get started, knowledgeable people to ask for help, and fascinating human beings around you that can inspire you to do great things. The bits and pieces of knowledge from the university have helped me on numerous occasions.
If you haven't studied audio programming or anything related, then you must seek your knowledge somewhere else. At WolfSound, I try to fill this gap in the internet resources concerning the common ground between Computer Science, Digital Signal Processing, and Music. All the resources that I personally find useful can be found on the resources page.

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