More than 200 audio professionals descended on the Universal City Hilton in mid-June for StudioPro99, Mix magazine's second annual technical and business conference. This year's theme, "Emerging Technologies and the Future of Audio Production," proved more than appropriate, as the two most well-attended panels were Audio Production for the Web, moderated by Richard Elen, and Sound Design for Interactive Entertainment, moderated by longtime Mix contributor Larry the O.
The two-day event kicked off with a panel on Mix Formats and Conversion Issues, moderated by Mix editor George Petersen. Not surprisingly, most on the panel, including Allen Sides and Dave Reitzas, agreed that nothing in the digital domain beats 11/42-inch analog. At least not yet. Mix contributor Bob Hodas then led the first of his two panels on studio acoustics. The buzz word of the day, with nods to Dr. Peter D'Antonio, was "optimized."
A luncheon forum was held each day, the first moderated by Mix L.A. editor Maureen Droney and focusing on how music producers balance creativity, commerce and technology. The second-day lunch was devoted to surround mixing for music, film and DTV, moderated by Mix film sound editor Larry Blake.
Other panels included Independent Engineers/Producers-Taking Care of Business, in which moderator Dan Daley hosted a lively discussion that ranged from contracts with new bands to potential pitfalls in dealing with labels; The Hybrid Workspace: Integrating Consoles and Workstations; and day two's closing session, which amounted to a tutorial on New Audio Formats-DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD, with engineers who have worked in 5.1 for DVD and representatives from Sony/Philips on hand.
Sponsors for StudioPro99 included Dolby Laboratories and Genelec, which together hosted a 5.1 demo room that proved exceedingly popular; Quantegy; Alesis; Audio-Technica; Mackie; and Sony, which hosted the evening cocktail reception. Audio tapes were made for each session. For copies, call 800/747-8069.
Plans are under way for StudioPro 2000, to be held next June. Watch these pages for updates.