Historical Panel Discussions at 121st AES Convention

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Bill Wray, AES Historical Committee Chair

The 121st AES Convention, scheduled for October 5, 6, 7 and 8, 2006 in San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center, will provide attendees with a number of historical presentations. “Historical Committee Chair Bill Wray (pictured) has developed a compelling series of panel discussions, film screenings and technical demonstrations designed to provide attendees with an invaluable perspective on the evolution of the art and science of pro audio,” says Committee Chair John Strawn. “His knowledge of the local community coupled with his keen sense of the ‘big picture’ enabled him to assemble one of the most intriguing series of historical events in recent memory.”

“Seventy Years of Stereo Optical Movie Film Soundtracks” is a two-hour summary of the evolution of 35mm stereo optical film soundtracks presented by Ioan Allen, senior VP at Dolby Labs and a pioneer in the introduction of many breakthrough film audio formats. Topics to be covered will range from the first experimental recordings made by Alan Blumlein in 1934 to today's digital soundtracks. This event will be held in the Loews Metreon Theatre, a short walk from the Convention Center.

Author and Mix magazine contributing editor Heather Johnson will moderate an all-star panel of studio veterans interviewed for her recently published book, If These Halls Could Talk—A Historical Tour Through San Francisco’s Recording Studios. Panelists will include Leslie Ann Jones, Dan Alexander, Fred Catero, Tom Flye, Pat Gleeson, Jack Leahy and acoustical consultant Tom Scott. The discussion will range from the evolution of studio design to the seismic technological and economic storms that have buffeted the industry in recent years.

Kevin Ryan, music producer/arranger and co-author of Recording The Beatles, will moderate “The Abbey Road Sound—75 Years in the Making,” a discussion of the process, technologies and personalities behind the London studio’s success. A video presentation will highlight the history of Abbey Road Studios. Recording engineers Ken Townsend and Peter Cobbin, and Dave Holley, the managing director of EMI Studios Group, will provide personal accounts of development of audio production technologies and recording techniques that embody the “Abbey Road sound.”

KNTV reporter Scott Budman will present a documentary film by Don Hardy titled Sound Man Jack Mullin—From WWII to MP3. Friends and associates including Les Paul, Greg Kihn, Chuck D and Stephen Stills will discuss Jack Mullin’s pivotal contributions from the early days of tape recording to the origin of Ampex in Silicon Valley.

For a calendar of 121st AES Convention event dates, times and locations, visit www.aes.org.