Who: Mark Yonge
Position: Manager, AES Standards Committee
Main Responsibilities: My primary task is to make sure that the work of [the specialist groups] is properly supported and encouraged, and that due process is observed such that the standards and other documents they produce will have the necessary international stature. I will also be a point of communication to a number of standards bodies, including SMPTE, EBU and IEC.
- product manager, Solid State Logic (Oxford, England), 1988-2001
- application engineer, Dolby Laboratories (London), 1978-1988
- sound engineer, Granada Television (Manchester, England), 1972-1978
I became involved with the AES Standards Committee…through a rising sense of frustration, I suppose. Everybody in this industry depends on being able to store and exchange recordings. It seemed to me that the lack of such a basic thing as interchangeable audio files would soon stand in the way of developing smarter and more valuable applications of digital audio. I started to show up at a series of AES standards meetings, and I suppose I must have shot my mouth off once too often, because I was, some while later, asked to chair a new group [AES31] to continue the work within a new subcommittee on computer audio.
My best moment in this industry was: July 1995. Months and years of intense effort came to a head with the BBC's first broadcast using the [SSL] Axiom. The occasion was the first Promenade Concert of a series of 70 concerts that summer. It featured Mahler's 8th, the Symphony of a Thousand, a huge orchestra, multiple choirs, live-to-air from the Royal Albert Hall; no retakes, no excuses. We had installed the console [Yonge was Axiom's product manager at the time] into the BBC truck at SSL's premises near Oxford just a few weeks previously. I was in the truck with Keith [Wilson, BBC sound balance engineer] that evening, mostly trying to keep out of the way. The concert ran flawlessly.
The first concert ticket I ever bought was: King Crimson, early 1970, at the Greyhound Pub in Croydon — packed, hot and loud, but the best sound I'd ever heard up to that point.
Currently in my CD changer: Paul Simon, always. Steely Dan, of course. JS Bach, Vaughan Williams and Thomas Tallis, Afro-Celt Sound System, Daily Planet.
The last great book that stirred me was:Almost Like a Whale, by Steve Jones, is an updated look at the Origin of the Species in the light of modern scientific discovery.
I enjoy…when I'm not in the office: Walking, gardening and photography — not necessarily in that order.