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The 145th AES Convention Anderton Awards

Duck and Cover, because the Anderton Awards are back. You’ve been warned.

After the fiasco at last year’s Anderton Awards banquet (but to be fair, how were we supposed to know that salmonella wasn’t baby salmon?), it was an uphill battle to find a venue for the industry’s only virtual awards show. Fortunately, the long-abandoned Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital provided the perfect environment—so once again, the Anderton Awards were ready to bestow a few column inches of recognition in this otherwise prestigious publication!

In an amazing coup for the awards, our celebrity presenter this year was none other than Tom Cruise! (And it wasn’t easy to find someone with the same name as the famous actor on such short notice.) So please, Tom, without further ado…the automation envelopes, please.

The Frank Sinatra “I Want to Be a Part of It, New York, New York” award goes to AES. Undeterred by hosting the convention in a city where the “6” in Motel 6 stands for $600, but buoyed by the crowds, new exhibitors, and a super-positive vibe, next year’s convention will again be hosted in the Big Apple.

iZotope garners the Just What the Doctor Ordered—Here Are Your Meds award for the aptly-named RX7, which fills the prescription for healing stuff—noise, hum, crackles, and now, “music rebalancing.” Wish the bass or vocal had been a bit hotter? Was the percussion overwhelming? Move the appropriate slider to fix it in the mix…no invasive surgery required.

The 143rd AES Convention Anderton Awards

The Oxymoron in Marketing award goes to Soundtheory’s Gullfoss, which is billed as “an intelligent EQ modeled on the human brain.” But…if it’s modeled on the human brain, how can it be intelligent? Well, they must have found an intelligent person somewhere (perhaps Iceland?), because it does an effective job of increasing clarity and depth.

Alteros picks up the Put Some Fiber in Your Diet award for enhancing the Alteros GTX 6.5 GHz Ultra Wide Band digital wireless microphone system with a direct-to-fiber extension. The Who said “I can see for miles”—well, now they can send audio over miles, too.

The Tie a Yellow Ribbon ’Round Your Brain award goes to the RAAL Requisite SRH-1A ribbon headphones. Yes, ribbon headphones. They sound great, but they’d better—they’ll set you back $3,500.

Taking its name from the infamous Stormy Daniels tweet, the Game On, Tiny! award goes to DPA Microphones for its 3 mm mic capsule that features CORE technology. Although only near-sighted people could actually see it, it really was there.

Once again, Zynaptiq wins the Best Reverse Engineering of Alien Technology award—this time for Wormhole, a plug-in that’s been a staple of Alpha Centauri’s movie industry to create special effects and soundtracks. This year, it finally made its terran debut.

The Keith Richards “I Love My Connection!” award goes to…well, just about everything at AES. Here’s a complete list of products that didn’t include networking ports: Large mic stands, contact cleaner and pop filters. Oh…small mic stands, too.

DiGiCo wins the More Channels than DirecTV on Methedrine award for the SD7 Quantum engine, which expands the SD7 to over 640 channels of processing at 96 kHz, and can also connect to the outside world for almost 3,000 potential I/Os.

The So Fast, It Goes Backwards in Time award goes to Universal Audio for its Thunderbolt 3-based Apollo X interfaces. UA seems determined to spell “l-a-t-e-n-c-y” as “l-e-g-a-c-y.”

Genelec earns the James Brown Memorial “Say It Loud” award for its high-SPL Smart Active Monitors. AES insiders, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the convention backed out of Los Angeles for 2018 because of fears that demos of the 7382 Smart Active Subwoofer would trigger earthquakes along the Newport-Inglewood fault, as almost happened in 2016 during the AES subwoofer demos.

Sennheiser and Neumann pick up the ‘Cutting the Cable’ Isn’t Just for Getting Rid of Comcast award for bundling the G4 mic system with Neumann’s KK 205 true condenser capsule. Pretty soon the only place where things will be wired is Starbucks on Monday morning. And people attending AES.

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And that just about wraps up the Anderton Awards! As the curtain falls (it really should have been attached better to the curtain rod…oh well), please remember that you signed a release form when you arrived. So we hope you liked the salmon dinner, there won’t be any more of those silly lawsuits, and we’ll be back again in 2019!

Craig Anderton’s new book series, the Musician’s Guide to Home Recording, is now available from Hal Leonard in softcover, and as a series of eBooks. Please visit for more news.