New York, NY — Los Angeles is a world center of audio production, and 141st AES International Convention attendees will have the unique opportunity to visit some of the most storied audio-related locales in the area, including Sony Computer Entertainment America, Dolby's Umlang Theatre Atmos Post Production, 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios Hollywood’s WaterWorld Attraction, Sunset Sound, Capitol Studios and other legendary LA locales that include first-time visits as part of the AES Technical Tour events.
This year, veteran Technical Tour Chair Jessica Livingston has once again put together a varied itinerary of off-site experiences at some of world’s leading production and entertainment facilities. “I always strive to blend some classic venues with great history and introduce attendees to new tours where AES has never visited, while touching on most of the tracks included in the convention program,” states Livingston. “For the recording studios, this year I’ve been fortunate to have Los Angeles recording engineer Francis Murray (Train, Taylor Swift, Wiz Khalifa) help curate a really remarkable collection of studios with fantastic histories, which are still turning out abundant music, including DTLA Recording and NRG.”
Murray comments, "DTLA Recording is a unique recording studio: It's open space, high ceilings and daylight create a warm atmosphere with an exceptional vibe, which is so inspiring for creativity. They offer a large choice of instruments, as well as a great selection of vintage and boutique gear." Among the other studio highlights, Murray notes that “NRG Recording Studio is a world class recording and production facility with 3 rooms equipped respectively with vintage Neves 8068, 8078 and an SSL9000J. A large choice of quality gear is available, notably a great collection of guitars, amps and guitar pedals. Studio B's Moroccan motif and Studio C's Gothic Revival decor are gorgeous and make working at NRG a uniquely inspiring experience."
Beyond the recording studios, Livingston elaborates that, “Two new live sound-related tours this year– the Microsoft Theater and the Universal Studios Hollywood's WaterWorld Attraction – in addition to our return to the Dolby Theater, offer more options on the sound reinforcement side, which was in high demand. And another new tour to the Dolby Atmos Production facility offers a rare opportunity for post-production engineers and sound designers who work in sound for picture to see the integration of Atmos tools used in a real work flow.”
AES Technical Tours will be available on a first come, first served basis, and often sell-out during the first days of the convention. Anyone with an All Access badge can purchase tour tickets during normal registration hours at the 141st AES Convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center, September 28 – October 2. Tour times are “curb-to-curb,” beginning at the bus departure time from the LACC and ending at bus return time.
“There are always technical tour aficionados who go on multiple tours every convention,” says Livingston. “We invite everyone to try out one or more of our Tech Tour experiences if they never have, and see what’s new for this year, or visit a venue you may have missed in past years. See you on the bus!”
Stops on the Technical Tour will include the following:
Thursday, September 29, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Sony Computer Entertainment America
This walkthrough tour of Sony’s state-of-the-art audio facilities – the game studio behind the hit God of War franchise – will include an explanation of their tools, processes and workflow, and samples of the studio’s audio work in recent releases.
Limited to 30 people; attendees will need to sign a non-disclosure agreement
Thursday, September 29, 2:00 – 4:30 pm
Iron Mountain houses more than 200,000 square feet of archived materials inside its beautiful 1921 Art Deco building. Attendees will get an in-depth look at how Iron Mountain Entertainment Services works with film and television studios, record companies and industry professionals to promote best practices for preserving assets, from original masters to fully digitized copies.
Limited to 25 people; attendees will need to sign a non-disclosure agreement
Thursday, September 29, 2:15 – 3:45 pm
Take a tour behind the scenes of the Microsoft Theater at LA Live! Further adding to the selection of sound reinforcement related events, this tour includes a backstage view of the audio patch room, stage, and sound system rigging details. After a walk through the facility, a listening session will include playback of select music on the JBL Vertec sound system, using the Soundcraft house console. Installation team and operations personnel will be on site to answer questions and provide further insight into the challenges of the space.
Limited to 30 people
Thursday, September 29, 2:15 – 4:00 pm
ESPN Broadcast Center at Staples Center
This walking tour will take participants through ESPN’s entire broadcast facility including the control rooms, master control area, audio rooms and studios. Participants will learn about the daily workflows and everything that’s required to get ESPN’s diverse sports programming on the air.
Thursday, September 29, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
20th Century Fox
The legendary studio that first introduced sound on film continues to provide leading-edge audio technology for film and television. Attendees will visit original Fox sound stages (now housing post-production facilities) plus ADR, Foley and editing stages, the fully updated, historic Newman Scoring Stage and more.
Space limited to 25 people
Friday, September 30, 8:15 – 11:00 am
Sunset Sound Recording Studio
More than 50 years of iconic music has been created in Sunset Sound, one of the last independent LA studios with its original ownership. Attendees will be able to visit the same room where Janis Joplin, the Doors, the Rolling Stones and countless others recorded and get a first-hand look at Sunset Sound’s enviable collection of vintage mics and rare gear, balanced with the very latest studio tools.
Limited to 25 people
Friday, September 30, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre is one of the world’s premier entertainment venues, an ongoing showcase for Dolby’s latest technological innovations. The elegant 3,400-seat theater is home to the Academy Awards and other high-profile events. This behind-the-scenes tour will be led by the theater’s top technical and audio staff.
Limited to 30 people; the tour will involve a lot of walking and stairs
Friday, September 30, 9:15 am – 12:00 pm
Paramount Recording Studio
This legendary eight-room complex has been a favorite destination for audio engineers and artists from The Jackson Five and Frank Zappa to Justin Timberlake and Celine Dion. The tour will encompass Paramount’s four pre-production suites, mastering room, two mixing/overdub studios and its large 20-foot-ceiling tracking room.
Friday, September 30, 1:15 am – 4:45 pm
Dolby Atmos Post Production
This visit to Dolby's Umlang Theatre in Burbank will offer a special tour designed for AES attendees, giving a rare, first-hand look at Dolby's RMU (Rendering and Mastering Unit) tools for immersive audio in cinema, and show how they integrate into consoles and third-party tools, with time for Q & A. Experienced engineers will demonstrate a live Atmos theatrical mix where attendees can see and hear the process in a Dolby aligned theater.
Limited to 36 people
Friday, September 30, 2:15 – 7:00 pm
Universal Studios Hollywood’s WaterWorld Attraction
Experience Universal Studios Hollywood’s WaterWorld - the #1 rated stunt show - with jet skiers, firefights, pyrotechnics and an airplane crash; then get a behind the scenes live audio production tour led by the technical staff of Bose Professional and Universal Hollywood’s Tech and AV teams. They will be discussing the challenges of achieving a strict noise abatement requirement while providing coverage of the 3200 seat arena, the ability to control sound effects, increase intelligibility and show energy while not impacting the overall SPL requirements, all in a very challenging outdoor venue.
Limited to 44 people
Friday, September 30, 3:00 – 6:00 pm
NRG Recording Studio
NRG Recording Studio’s stunning Moroccan and Gothic Revival décor and extensive collection of vintage guitars, amps, mics and outboard gear have served as inspiration for a diverse range of artists including Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, Run DMC and many more. Owner and award-winning producer Jay Baumgardner will take attendees on a complete tour of this one-of-a-kind facility.
Limited to 45 people
Saturday, October 1, 12:00 – 1:30 pm
One of LA’s newest studios, DTLA Recording has its roots in audio legend -- multi-GRAMMY-winning producer/songwriter Dennis Herring (Counting Crows, Elvis Costello, Buddy Guy) moved his classic Sweet Tea recording studio from Oxford, Mississippi to LA’s Historic Arts District. DTLA’s 25-foot wood ceilings, old brick walls and natural sunlight combine with a vintage Neve 8038 console and a dazzling selection of analog and digital gear to create an outstanding recording space.
Sunday, October 2, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Housed in Hollywood’s landmark Capitol Records building, Capitol Studios has been a staple of the recording industry for 60 years. Its commitment to sonic excellence has never wavered, as evidenced by Studio A’s adjustable louvered wall panels that control variable decay time, eight underground echo chambers designed by Les Paul, up-to-the-second production suites and additional unique features.
Limited to 45 people
To view the AES 141st International Convention full Technical Tour schedule please visit the AES website at http://www.aes.org/events/141/tours/ or launch the AES Events mobile app (iOS and Android), which also offers convention maps, scheduling, social media interaction, and other helpful guides to making the most of the convention. All AES Technical Tour attendees must check-in and travel with the group, via chartered bus, from the L.A. Convention Center for admittance.
Register now to receive a FREE Exhibit-Plus badge (apply promo code AES141NOW at checkout) or purchase a premium All Access badge for the AES Los Angeles Convention at aesshow.com.
Find out more about the Audio Engineering Society at aes.org.
Photo Caption: DTLA Recording