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127th AES Convention Announces Master Classes

AES 127th Convention Master Class Chair, Alan Silverman

The 127th AES Convention Master Class Program offers standout colloquiums by a gathering of iconic figures. “Master Class Chair Alan Silverman (pictured) has never failed to develop a must-see program, and this year he has outdone himself,” reports Convention Chair Agnieszka Roginska. “We expect the credentials of the presenters coupled with the diversity of their subject matter will attract standing room only audiences.”

Alan Silverman is principal and mastering engineer at Arf! Mastering, a New York City facility specializing in high-resolution audio. His discography lists Grammy Award–winning CDs, including the world music phenomenon Lagrimas Negras, which was nominated for Record of The Year, Album of The Year, and Best Engineered Record in the 2004 Latin Grammy Awards and voted the top CD of 2003 by Ben Ratliff of the New York Times. He recently completed re-mastering The Kinks catalog for hybrid SA-CD.

In “Platinum Mixing In the Box,” mix engineer Kevin Killen (U2, Peter Gabriel, Sugarland) will address the potential for mixing a million-selling record in a bedroom, sharing insights into his techniques. The discussion will explore how technology, budgets and experience have shaped his approach to the perpetually evolving challenges of the marketplace.

“Mastering the Motown Sound:” Presenters Bob Dennis and Bob Olhsson mastered records that helped revolutionize popular music. In conjunction with Motown’s 50th Anniversary, this Master Class will illustrate how these engineers cut the loudest and cleanest records of the early ’60’s and established a new standard for sound quality with “Where Did Our Love Go,” the Supremes first Number One hit. Their simple psychoacoustic principle for level manipulation in both mixing and mastering effectively raised perceived loudness. And, they got the job done primarily without the use of compression and limiting. In addition to describing their techniques, Dennis and Olhsson will show how the Motown approach can be applied to mastering today.

Renowned acoustician and studio musician Bob Hodas has tuned over a thousand rooms from Tokyo for Sony Entertainment, to London for Abbey Road, and in the U.S. for Lucasfilm. This master class, “Wrangling The Room,” will focus on the speaker/room interface and optimizing system performance. The frequency and phase response of proper (and improper) speaker placement will be detailed. The class will also cover integrating subwoofers with the main speaker system for both stereo and surround systems, as well as equalization and pointers on determining and implementing optimal acoustic treatments.

Bill Whitlock, president of Jensen Transformers Inc., will present “The Design of High-Performance Balanced Audio Interfaces.” For 50 years, virtually all audio equipment used transformers at its balanced inputs and outputs. Their high noise rejection was taken for granted and its cause all but forgotten because of the transformer’s extremely high common-mode impedance—about 1,000 times that of its solid-state “equivalents.” Traditional input stages will be discussed and compared. A novel IC that compares favorably to the best transformers will be described. Widespread misunderstanding of the definition of “balanced” in its underlying theory has resulted in many design errors in modern equipment and in seriously flawed testing methods. This Master Class will cover these and other important issues.

Microphone designer Dirk Brauner will present “Audiography—Writing With Sound.” Engaging audio and visual illustrations, this Master Class will present Mr. Brauner’s philosophy of recording as sonic artistry rather than a purely technical science. He will explore how microphones represent the first critical step in capturing those elusive moments that define the “classic” performance.

Dr. David Berners and Jonathan Abel of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, and Universal Audio, are two of the foremost experts in digital modeling and the software emulation of classic analog audio circuitry. For the Master Class “Analog Circuit Emulation for Plug-in Design” they will share insights, approaches and techniques engaged in their creation of some of the production community’s most widely used analog emulation algorithms.

The 127th AES Convention will be held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City October 9-12, 2009. A Preliminary Calendar of Events is posted at