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Hitting the AES Show Floor: Day 1

In this guest blog post, Mix’s Editor in Chief Tom Kenny shares his thoughts from the show floor of AES.

New York, NY (October 17, 2018)—AES 2018 has already started out better for me. Southwest now has a nonstop from Oakland to Newark, and with NJ Transit into Penn Station for $13.50, in half the time of a cab at the end of the oft-delayed SFO-JFK route, I was having dinner with David McGee at a reasonable time last night and talking about what we were planning to see today.

I am scheduled first thing today to see API’s top-secret, “significant” new product announcement at a “let’s start this thing” press conference. Dan Zimbelman has never been one to hold back news when he has a hot product: First day, before noon, get the word out. Rumor is that the “whatever it might be” model on the floor has already been sold. Secret or not, it’s API. I could hazard a guess…

Then I’ll be stopping by SSL soon after to get a look at Fusion. When I joined Mix in 1988, SSL was on top of the analog world, king of the large-format studio console. Over the ensuing 30 years, the company dived into digital and helped to define the hybrid workflow, with both software control and real electronics. Fusion is a two-space outboard unit that includes five all-new analog processors that can be used discretely or combined: Vintage Drive, SSL Violet EQ, High Frequency Compressor, Stereo Image Enhancer, and SSL Transformer. All analog. Designed for a hybrid workflow.

A visit to Sennheiser/Neumann is scheduled next, to wish the company a Happy 90 Birthday! That’s amazing in any market. In technology, it’s even more rare. At the show, you’ll see the best of both companies in the release of a special wireless bundle: ew 500 G4-KK205, which combines the top evolution wireless system with the acclaimed Neumann KK 205 stage capsule. I’ll go back Thursday to see Graham Kirk, AES International Sales Director, and Al Schmitt, the legend, present Neumann and its President Wolfgang Fraissinet with a “Service to Industry” award.

After that, it’s Avid, RME, Sonarworks, Waves, Focusrite, Genelec, Audio-Technica, Brad Lunde with his ATCs, Audionamix, and countless others.

And while it’s not tomorrow, I definitely plan to stop in Friday at 6:30 p.m. when John Meyer delivers the Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture. If you haven’t heard John talk, it’s a real treat. He can weave together the most disparate ideas, sources and theories and make them whole. He’ll be talking about taking the room out of the equation with the research and development behind the Meyer Sound Bluehorn System, a stunning monitor on display in Demo Room 2D08. I’m going to have a listen, both to the speakers and the man behind them.

More tomorrow once I’ve walked the floor. See you there!