Santa Monica, Calif. — The fall 2021 meeting of the Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® Manufacturer Council was held virtually on Thurs, Dec. 9, 2021. Traditionally a biannual meeting, this group of industry leaders — who is dedicated to the advancement of sound quality and overall growth of the professional audio industry — shares ideas and discusses issues of interest to all parties in attendance, with the goal of raising awareness about the importance of high-quality audio, credits and recording metadata, new developments in music streaming, and other related topics.
The following manufacturers and organizations were represented at the meeting: AES, David Angress Consulting, Apple, Audeze, Audio-Technica, Avid, Dolby, Fraunhofer, Genelec, G-Tech, Harman International, Iron Mountain Entertainment Services (IMES), Izotope, KRK at Gibson, Little Labs, Manley Laboratories Inc., Melodyne, MPG UK, MQA, NAMM, NUGEN Audio, One F Sound, Pioneer DJ Americas, Pyramix/Merging Technologies, Roland, Sennheiser & Neumann, Shure, Sonic Studio, Yamaha/Steinberg/Nuendo, Communication Research, Digital Data Exchange, and RIAA. P&E Wing Advisory Council Members were in attendance, including Anna Frick, Chuck Ainlay, Joe Chiccarelli, Gavin Lurssen, and Michael Romanowski, as well as AES Executive Director Colleen Harper. Additionally, the following P&E Steering Committee Members participated: Maria Elisa Ayerbe, Jeff Balding, Leslie Ann Jones, Piper Payne, and Ebonie Smith.
The program included opening remarks from P&E Wing Senior Managing Director Maureen Droney as well as Leslie Ann Jones and Piper Payne, who, in addition to being Steering Committee Members, serve as current Co-Chairs for the P&E Wing. Jones discussed the important role that the P&E Wing plays in the industry and paid tribute to the late Mark Brunner, who, before his passing, was a prominent member of the Manufacturer Council, where he frequently reported on legislative wireless white space and broadband issues as well as other industry matters. Each attendee then introduced themselves and shared their organization’s goals in the industry.
Producer/Engineer Ebonie Smith served as keynote speaker, describing her background in the industry and raising awareness for the non-profit organization that she founded, Gender Amplified. Gender Amplified provides a platform for the promotion and advancement of women in music production and to identify and motivate the next generation of women music producers.
Mark Isherwood with the DDEX Secretariat spoke next, discussing new developments in standards for recording credits and metadata. DDEX (of which the Recording Academy is a member, under the auspices of the P&E Wing) is the international standards-setting organization dedicated to improving the exchange of data and information across the music industry.
Next came multiple reports on P&E Wing initiatives. Balding gave a report on the in-progress update to the document “Recommendations for Delivery of Recorded Music Projects,” forthcoming in 2022. Michael Romanowski, co-chair of the committee behind a separate document, “Recommendations for Immersive Audio Production,” contributed a report on that committee’s recent work. Piper Payne offered an update on guidelines for vinyl production, and Anna Frick reported on disaster preparedness for recording studios. Finally, Meg Travis, who serves as director, global head of marketing, for Iron Mountain Entertainment Services, shared preliminary findings from an industry-wide survey on best technical practices related to the archiving and preservation of music, spearheaded by IMES and the P&E Wing earlier this year. Travis also reported on the two organizations’ recent closed-door virtual summit, “Protecting Legacies: The Art, Science and Value of Music Archives,” held this past summer with music industry leaders.
The session wrapped up with a lively back-and-forth between the participants, sharing information and perspectives, contact info and ideas for further discussion.
Droney remarks, “It is a highlight of our yearly itinerary to meet with the brilliant minds of our manufacturer partners and the other organizations doing the hard work of moving the industry forward. This year’s session was particularly special, with the distance between us of the last 18 months doing nothing to diminish the broad exchange of ideas. We hope that next year we can resume meeting in person, but this meeting was a triumph regardless. I thank all who participated and look forward to the next session.”
Photo caption: Pictured are several of the attendees to the fall 2021 meeting of the Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® Manufacturer Council, which was held virtually on Thurs, Dec. 9, 2021.