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A Few of My Favorite Things

By Tom Kenny. The editor of Mix editor shares “a few of his favorite things” at this year’s AES

As I write this on the eve of the 2019 AES NYC Show, my Google Calendar is nearly all filled up with appointments up and down the aisles of the Javits Center. New products and new technologies certainly drive development and workflow advancements in the modern pro-audio industry. And the papers and panels absolutely deliver on the commitment to ongoing education and up-close-and-personal exposure to our heroes.

But seeing as I haven’t yet been on the show floor, and I’ve just checked into the Yotel Hotel on 10th Avenue, I’m thinking about what lies ahead these next few days. After 30 years of attending AES as an editor at Mix, those thoughts inevitably drift to the people and personalities I run into. Many of them colleagues, many of them friends, and all of them with at least one story to tell from the past 12 months.

Expansive & Comprehensive, AES 2019 is Ready to Launch

For me, the official reunions begin on Wednesday night with a semi-private dinner hosted by master studio designer and near household-name John Storyk, and his wife and life partner, interior designer Beth Walters, in celebration of 50 years in the business. Yes, Electric Lady Studios is now 50 years old, and so is the Storyk legend.

John Storyk is without doubt one of the icons of the modern recording industry, and not just because he helped to usher in the acoustics and design aesthetic we all take for granted today. He’s also a benefactor, an entrepreneur and a forward-thinking individual who always stayed ahead of the technology curve. He was at the forefront of the surround revolution, he maintained a client-centered focus and he expanded internationally by “partnering” with talented designers around the world rather than “hiring” an international staff.

And today, as he eases out of the day-to-day operations of the Walters-Storyk Design Group, he has a plan to turn over the company, lock, stock and barrel, to the team. Plus, he’s a genuinely nice guy, and a dinner with him and his friends is always a treat.

Then, Thursday night, I’ll be at the Sony Ballroom to celebrate with API as they wind down their own 50th anniversary celebration. API is a one-of-a-kind company, with 50 years of analog innovation in a largely digital world, and still going strong as ever. From the early days under Paul Wolff, through the invention of the Lunchbox, and now nearly three decades under the stewardship of the humble yet driven Larry Droppa, API has thrived.

On the August cover of Mix just a few months back, we profiled Dave Trumfio and Gold Diggers Studios, with the first installation of the API 2448 console. This month, at AES, Mix features Strange Weather out of Brooklyn, who a few years back took delivery of the first Legacy AXS console. The company is vital, strong, inventive and steeped in the concept of musical electronics-and they know how to throw a party. Last time they did something like this, Sonny Landreth and Bob Weir showed up to play at the Roseland Ballroom. I can’t wait to see who shows up on Thursday.

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And finally, on Friday night, I’ll be having dinner with Troy Germano, who was just a boy when the famous Hit Factory Studios rose to the heights of the New York recording scene. He’s rolled with the changes in the industry and about a decade ago launched Germano Studios farther down the island. Still going strong, and still a New York recording guy through and through, Troy has built his own legend out of the shadow of his famous father, the late Eddie Germano. He’s done it his way, and his life in recording parallels the heights of what New York City means to this industry. A good man.

So, my nights are laid out, and I do realize that as editor of Mix, I’m a pretty lucky guy. Now I can’t wait to hit the show floor and see what else lies in store. See you there!