The professional audio industry turns its attention to New York City later this month for the 131st Audio Engineering Society convention, and there will be plenty to see and hear, much of it beyond the exhibitor aisles. Jim Anderson, an NYU professor in the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, returns for his third term as New York City convention committee chair, and he and his team have assembled quite a series of events and programming.
“For the past 10 years, there has been a real effort within our workshops and tutorials to stay ahead of the curve, to keep the topics relevant to where we are and where we are headed,” Anderson says. “Our Gaming line is a perfect example, where it’s been the most rapidly growing area of our membership and our content reflects that. The Education market, too. This year we’re particularly excited about the Archive track, where each day we will have a different focus. With all the digital information coming out, people don’t always know how to take care of it—archiving, metadata, storage. If you can’t monetize your assets over the next 50 years, that will be a problem.”
A series of Special Events is sure to draw a lunchtime crowd, with keynotes by Karl Heinz Brandenburg, Ron Carter and Skip Pizzi; Master Classes include presentations by renowned producer Tony Visconti and film mixer Gary Chester; and the Live Sound Series includes what is sure to be an entertaining exchange between mixers Robert Scovill and Dave Natale. The show opens Thursday with a showcase featuring Phil Ramone and Tony Bennett discussing the making of Duets II.
“The industry has changed, no question,” Anderson says. “And we are busier than ever tackling the issues that face engineers today—areas like streaming audio while maintaining high quality. Or the White Space issues that [affect] everyone from concert sound to Broadway. At the same time, we can’t forget our foundations. That’s why we’re presenting our Oral History Project: every day a new video for the 50 days leading up to the convention. By signing up, members can have a three-minute excerpt streamed to their mobile device each day, or visit the AES site for the full interviews. People like Phil Ramone, Ray Dolby, Bob Ludwig—these are the kind of people who built our modern industry, and we want to have them on record.”