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AES Nashville Section Reports Successful Recording Workshop

Ricky Skaggs gives the keynote address at the first Nashville Recording Workshop + Expo.

Photo: Harry Butler

The AES Nashville Section, in conjunction with the international AES organization, held a two-day conference and gear expo February 20-21, 2009, at Nashville’s legendary Musician’s Hall of Fame and Museum. The successful inaugural event focused on recording musicians, songwriters recording demos, and recording engineers working in personal production spaces. The 341 attendees came from 28 states in the U.S., Costa Rica, Canada, the UK, and Germany.

Thirteen-time Grammy Award winning artist, label and studio owner, Ricky Skaggs (pictured) gave the keynote address to set the tone for the event, reminding the audience that “it all comes back to the music.”

Skaggs also set the stage for the parade of engineers, producers and other high-profile industry professionals serving as presenters, panelists and moderators for the various workshops. This group included Rich Adler, Tim Akers, Jeff Balding, Ben Blue, David Davidson, Tony Darren, Tommy Dorsey, and Casey Wood. New York-based mastering engineer Alan Silverman gave a Mastering 101 workshop, and California-based engineers Tony Shepperd and Jeff Markham offered a Pro Tools 101 workshop. A sizeable student contingent—many from local schools as volunteer workers—also attended.

The conference was designed to give the recording and songwriting community access to the experience and knowledge of the AES and its affiliates, and to provide real-world insights into technology and techniques that can help attendees achieve professional results, even on shoestring budgets.

Exhibitors and attendees partake in networking opportunities at the first Nashville Recording Workshop + Expo.

Photo: Harry Butler

Beyond workshops, attendees could also browse the offerings of the sold-out Expo portion of the conference, with gear, products and services demonstrated by ADK, AEA, Prodigy Engineering, Purple Audio, Quest Marketing, Raxxess, RMGI, Robert Wolf, Royer Labs, Rupert Neve Designs, Solid State Logic, Sonicraft A2DX Lab, Sony Pro Audio, Source Elements, Steinberg, Tannoy, TC Electronic, Genelec, The Recording Academy P&E Wing, Sennheiser USA and Sweetwater Sound, which sponsored the reception. AES president Jim Anderson and executive director Roger Furness were among the VIP guests.

“Whether a musician recording performances, a songwriter laying down demos or a professional engineer creating in his or her own production space, NRW+E provided insights and essential information geared toward boosting the careers of attendees,” says Nashville Section chair Mike Porter. “In addition to exhibits and product demos from attendees with an outstanding networking opportunity. Essentially, we introduced a mini-AES Convention targeted to a specific audience. We are looking forward to making this an annual event in Nashville.”

For additional information on The Nashville Recording Workshop + Expo or to view pictures, visit For additional information on the Audio Engineering Society (AES), visit