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Producers & Engineers Wing Focuses On Sound Quality at Recent Events

Chuck Ainlay (left) and Dan Workman, P&E Wing Trustee Member and president and CEO of Sugar Hill Recording Studios in Texas, at “Quality Audio: The Future Is Now.”

Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy ©2012

The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing has hosted recent events featuring industry leaders who shared their thoughts on the current state of recorded music sound quality, and its related issues and challenges.

On June 16, in San Antonio, the P&E Wing and the Recording Academy Texas Chapter hosted “Quality Audio: The Future Is Now,” as part of the Grammy GPS: Texas Summer Speaker Series, featuring Grammy Award–winning engineer Chuck Ainlay. “[Mastering] for iTunes, HD Tracks and premier headphones are all new consumer indications that there is a demand for high-resolution audio,” Ainlay said. “We have to stop thinking that just because people have been listening on ear buds to low-res downloads, that is the way it will always be. The music we record today must exceed the resolution of tomorrow.”

At Grammy FutureNow, a day-long conference held on June 23 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Calif., produced by The Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter, Grammy Award–winning engineer Andrew Scheps (Adele, Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers) presented “Lost in Translation.” Scheps guided the audience through an auditory experience examining the difference between an artist’s mastered track and different consumer formats including vinyl, CD, MP3, AAC and streaming. A breakout session followed during which a standing-room-only crowd spent additional time listening to different formats and participated in a question-and-answer session.

Pictured at Conway Recording Studios for “From Mic to Mix,” from left: Joseph Wagoner, Product Manager for Wireless, Tour and Install, AKG Acoustics; Mike Clink, Producer/Engineer and P&E Wing Steering Committee Co-Chair; Maureen Droney, Senior Executive Director, P&E Wing; Nathaniel Kunkel, Producer/Engineer and P&E Wing Advisory Council Member; Peter Chaikin, Senior Manager, Recording and Broadcast Marketing, JBL; and Gregory Butler, Product Specialist, Lexicon.

Photo courtesy of the Recording Academy/ ©2012Photo: Rebecca Sapp

On June 27, P&E Wing members and their guests spent an evening at Conway Recording Studios in Los Angeles for “From Mic To Mix” with Nathaniel Kunkel, which was presented by Harman brands AKG, JBL and Lexicon. Following an outdoor reception, guests filled Studio C for welcoming remarks by P&E Wing Senior Executive Director Maureen Droney, P&E Wing Co-Chair Mike Clink, Conway Studios Owner Buddy Brundo and JBL’s Director of Marketing, Recording & Broadcast, Peter Chaikin. The main event featured two-time Grammy Award–winning engineer Kunkel manning the board in Studio C’s 5.1 surround-outfitted control room. Attendees observed as he mixed two sets by singer/songwriter Elaine Faye, who performed on stage in Studio C’s live room with her five-member band. The live room was also stocked with Aviom listening stations featuring AKG headphones, while Studio B housed Lexicon plug-in demos and offered the opportunity to be interviewed on camera for an upcoming Lexicon documentary.

On July 12 the P&E Wing and The Recording Academy Washington D.C. Chapter presented an evening with George Massenburg at Omega Recording Studios in Rockville, Md. Massenburg, the inventor of the parametric equalizer and currently an associate professor of sound recording at Schulich School of Music at McGill University, is a Grammy and Technical Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer whose credits include Linda Ronstadt, Earth Wind & Fire and Little Feat. His presentation, titled “Adapting To Sustaining Technology Without Selling Your Soul,” delved into the transformative nature of music listening and asserted that the music industry is entering a new period where increased bandwidth and other innovations open the door for new appreciation of excellence in audio.

For more information, visit the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing.