All About the 139th International Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York

October 19 2015, 04:00

This year’s 139th AES International Convention, October 29 – November 1, 2015, at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, offers a full program of Special Events and professional presentations open to all attendees. AES139 will offer three full days of pro audio manufacturer exhibition, as well as free specialized presentations on the convention’s Live Sound Expo (LSE) and Project Studio Expo (PSE) stages.

On the first day of the Convention, Thursday, October 29, the AES will hold Opening Ceremonies featuring presentations by AES 139th Convention Chairs Jim Anderson and Paul Gallo, AES President Andres Mayo, Executive Director Bob Moses, and the AES Awards Committee. The Opening Ceremonies will be capped off by the Keynote address, “Virtual Reality, Audio, and the Future,” delivered by Oculus Chief Scientist Michael Abrash.

At the 139th AES International Convention, the Platinum Engineers and Platinum Producers Panels will feature a host of top industry pros, providing real-world insights into creating chart-topping recordings. This series is sure to be among the most popular events at this year’s AES.

Thursday activities continue with an all-star Platinum Latin Producers and Engineers panel hosted by Andres Mayo, as well as two other in-depth presentations: “Producing Across Generations: New Challenges, New Solutions – Making Records for Next to Nothing in the 21st Century,” moderated by Jesse Lauter, which takes a candid look at the business of maximizing modern production contracts and budgetary considerations; and also an interesting historical discussion on the “50th Anniversary of the Master Antenna on the Empire State Building,” moderated by Scott Fybush.

Friday offers another full day of free-to-attend panels and events, beginning with the Platinum Producers panel, “The Big Payback,” hosted by Errol Kolisine, and a presentation by the AES’ next President Elect Alex U. Case, titled “The Rocket Scientist in the Recording Studio,” exploring the achievements and techniques of Saul Walker, API co-founder and former Chief Engineer. Other featured events include the Platinum Engineers panel hosted by SonicScoop’s Justin Colletti, and a discussion moderated by Howard Massey on “The Great British Recording Studios,” as well as the return of the DTVAG (Digital Television Audio Group) AES Forum where the hottest issues in broadcast audio will be analyzed following a Keynote speech from Tom Sahara, DTVAG Chairman Emeritus and Turner Sports Vice President, Operations and Technology.
Mixing Engineer Ed Greene will deliver
the 139th AES International Convention’s
Friday lunchtime keynote
on October 30 at 12:30 pm.
Ed Greene, sound mixer for “The Price Is Right” and the improvisational comedy show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” will deliver Friday’s Lunchtime Keynote on October 30 (12:30 – 1:30 pm). Greene will address how the most recent audio technologies are enhancing the TV game show experience.

The day will conclude with the early evening Heyser Memorial Lecture given by Forensic Audio Analyst Bruce E. Koenig, titled “Acoustic Forensic Gunshot Analysis – The Kennedy Assassination and Beyond,” which will take a look at the important role of audio forensics technologies and techniques both past and present.  

Saturday’s events at the 139th Convention kick off with the popular AES Platinum Mastering panel hosted by Bob Ludwig, followed by a panel discussion hosted in collaboration with The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing titled “Your Credits, Your Money, the New Data Standards and DDEX – What YOU Need to Know!” hosted by Paul Jessop. The day continues with a broadcast audio theme, beginning with a lunchtime Keynote from television game show broadcast mixer Ed Greene, followed by the GRAMMY SoundTables presentation, “After Hours – Mixing for Late Night TV.” The final event on Saturday is the traditional after-hours organ concert at the historic Central Synagogue.

Sunday at AES will host a discussion with GRAMMY-winning Jazz bassist Christian McBride, “Leader – Sideman: The Life of a Jazz Musician,” moderated by Harry Weinger, and the Convention’s Exhibition Floor will remain open until 4 pm for attendees to network while browsing the audio equipment and services being represented.

“With such a diverse and engaging group of presenters and events, we hope that everyone will take advantage of our free Exhibits-Plus badges and really take a look at what the AES Convention has to offer,” stated AES Executive Director Bob Moses. “These events, which have been wildly successful year-after-year, along with our Live Sound Expo, Project Studio Expo and hundreds of Exhibitors, offer an amazing experience for everyone involved with, or interested in, audio. And those who wish to take it to the next level with the All Access badge are offered a penetrating look down the rabbit-hole into the inner-sanctum of audio research and development - a truly unique opportunity.”     

Tech Program Details
This year’s 139th International AES Convention is also slated to host the most in-depth Technical Program of the year for audio professionals. Bringing together individuals of all skill and experience levels from around the world, the AES139 Convention offers attendees four full days of comprehensive Technical Program presentations including Workshops, Tutorials, Paper Sessions, Student & Career Development Events, Special Events and more. These diverse events offer unprecedented access to the latest technologies and techniques in the fields of recording and production, live sound, broadcast and streaming, mixing and mastering, audio for gaming, system integration and other leading topics.

Paper topics this year include timely subjects ranging from Audio Education and Forensic Audio, to Cinema Sound, Sound Reinforcement, Spatial Audio and more. Tutorial topics are slated to include “Interactive Music: Past, Present and Future,” “Main Microphone Techniques for 2.0 and 5.1,” “Listening Tests – Understanding the Basic Concepts,” and other in-depth topics of interest.
Additional topics in the Workshop series will include “Low Frequency Behavior in Small High Accuracy Listening Environments,” “Perceptual Evaluation of High Resolution Audio,” “AES67 Interoperability Testing,” “Hot Topics in Intellectual Property” and many more over the convention’s four days.

Many facets of the AES139 Technical Program are directly linked to the series of specialized, topical Tracks, which offer direction to related events and presentations in a specific audio field. This year’s Tracks, representing several of the major areas of focus for attendees, include Archiving and Restoration, Broadcast and Streaming Media, Game Audio, Live Sound, Networked Audio, Product Development, and Recording and Mastering.  

In addition to the full schedule of educational opportunities and technical presentations, AES139 also offers unprecedented opportunities to network with industry legends, up-and-coming professionals and peers on the Convention floor, as well as through the offsite Tech Tours and other events around New York City, hosted by exhibitors and sponsors. Opening Ceremonies and other Special Events, including Keynote speakers, the annual Heyser Lecture, and a large Student and Career Development exhibition area, add to the community aspect of the Convention and present many unique and memorable experiences for all in attendance.  

“This year’s AES Convention program is set to be one of the largest and most in-depth in recent years,” remarked AES139 Convention Co-Chair and Technical Program Committee Chair, Jim Anderson. “The committee has put together a very timely and important set of presentations for our return to New York City, with the hope of reaching every attendee on a level that inspires and enlightens them. Once again, our Convention will serve as the hub of professional audio ideas and innovations for the international community.”

Game Audio Events
Gaming has overtaken movies and music as the most popular form of entertainment, and the 139th AES Game Audio Track will cover the latest developments and technologies in the field. “Game audio is possibly the most technologically advanced and fastest growing segment in the audio field and the AES has been on top of this industry sector since its infancy,” said Michael Kelly, 139th AES Game Audio Track Chair. “Our Game Audio Track is the place to keep pace with the cutting edge, whether you’re a professional working in the field or looking to it as a career or an alternate source of income.”

The 139th Convention’s Game Audio Track features a diverse program of topics and presenters beginning with the Thursday, October 29 keynote speech to be given by Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist of leading virtual reality company Oculus VR. Thursday’s sessions kick off with “Reinventing the Sound for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” presented by Sledgehammer Games – Activision’s David Swenson. Among the other Thursday sessions is “Audio Shorts – Indie Edition,” with presenters covering topics from the sound design of music creation game Cosmic DJ to the latest software tools for creating an immersive 3D audio experience for browser-based web games.

In Friday, October 30’s Game Audio paper presentations, “Real Time Morphing of Impact Sounds” will host Sadjad Siddiq of Square Enix, presenting a paper on a new method of morphing two sounds to synthesize entirely new ones. Leonard J. Paul of Toronto’s School of Video Game Audio will also discuss the use of Pure Data (Pd) as a free game audio engine for game studios with limited budgets and for educational purposes.

Aspiring game sound designers will want to check out Saturday’s “Game Audio Careers – Blazing a Path to Your Future,” where a panel of five top creative professionals will give advice on how to get that first gig in the big business of games, whether you’re a newbie or a film, TV or music production veteran. “Game Audio Education – New Opportunities for Students” will host Steve Horowitz from San Francisco’s Game Audio Institute, Berklee’s Michael Sweet and others who will talk about degree programs and alternatives inside and outside the traditional educational system.

Sunday, November 1 ventures into the audio worlds of artificial reality in “Virtual Reality 3D Audio – State of the Art and Vision of the Near Future” and “VR Game Audio – the Importance of Sound Propagation” among other topics to be presented. It’ll be a rare opportunity to learn about how advanced audio processing technologies are paving the way to creating totally immersive aural gaming environments.  
The opening of the brand new 34th Street
– Hudson Yards station on the 7 train
subway line, now offers the easiest way
to the Jacob Javits Center convention center.
Student and Career Development Events
For students and young professionals, an AES Convention is the most valuable resource for connecting oneself to a successful career in the audio industry,” says John Krivit, AES President-Elect and long-time AES Education Committee Chair. “There is so much going on in New York City this year that difficult choices will have to be made for those who can’t be in four places at one time.  This is the world of opportunity for anyone looking for a career in audio.”

It all kicks off Thursday, October 29 with the first meeting of the AES Student Delegate Assembly. This will mark the official opening of the Convention’s student program and offer an opportunity to make introductions to fellow audio students from all corners of the world. The meeting will announce the finalists in the Student Recording Competition categories and the Student Design Competition, and preview all upcoming student and education-related Convention events.

On Friday, October 30 the focus will be on recording in the Student Recording Critiques and the first round of the Student Recording Competition. In the former, students will be able to bring their recordings to non-competitive listening sessions and receive feedback on their projects. Friday’s Student Recording Competition is an AES highlight, where the finalists in each category will play their projects and get feedback from a panel of industry judges.  

Saturday, October 31 will be jam-packed with student-centric events including the AES 135th Education and Career Fair, which will match job seekers with companies and prospective students with undergraduate and graduate academic programs. All attendees of the Convention, students and professionals alike, will be welcome to offer a resume to participating company representatives.  Admission is free and open to all registered Convention attendees.  

The “SPARS Speed Counseling with Experts – Mentoring Answers for Your Career” session will give students, recent graduates and those interested in career advice the opportunity to interact with working professionals in Q and A sessions in a 20-minute speed group mentoring format.  

In the AES Student Design Competition participants will be able to show off their hardware and software designs, from loudspeakers and DSP plug-ins to hardware, signal analysis tools, mobile applications and more. Rounding out Saturday’s programs will be another Student Recording Critiques session and Round 2 of the Student Recording Competition.

Sunday, November 1 will feature another Student Recording Critiques session and the second SDA meeting, where among other activities, the judges’ comments and awards will be presented for the Recording Competitions and Design Competitions.

Product Development Track
Audio technology continues to move forward ever faster, and the 139th AES International Convention’s Product Development Track will offer a detailed look at the latest advancements in product design and development engineering. “Our Product Development Track will bring leading design professionals together to address a broad range of critical issues within the R and D community,” said Scott Leslie of Ashly Audio, presenter of the upcoming “Optimizing the Powered Loudspeaker System” session and PD Track chairman. “These sessions will dig deep into some of the most important considerations facing audio design professionals today.”  

The Product Development Track seminars will include the following:  
Thursday, October 29, 9:00 – 10:30 am
“Almost Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Loudspeaker Design”
Presenter: Christopher Struck, CJS Labs  
Thursday, October 29, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm
Practical Loudspeaker Processing for the Practicing Engineer
Presenter: Paul Beckmann, DSP Concepts  
Thursday, October 29, 2:15 – 3:45 pm
Designing for Ultra-Low THD+N In Analog Circuits, Circa 2015
Presenter: Bruce E. Hofer, Audio Precision
Thursday, October 30, 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Electrical and Mechanical Measurement of Sound System Equipment
Presenter: Wolfgang Klippel, Klippel
Friday, October 30, 9:00 – 10:30 am
Best Practices In Production Test
Presenter: Jonathan Novick, Audio Precision  
Friday, October 30, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm
What Happens In A Patent Lawsuit
Presenter: John Strawn, S Systems; Tom Millikan, Perkins Coie
Saturday, October 31, 9:00 – 10:30 am
Modern Digital Processing of Microphone Signals
Presenter: Paul Beckmann, DSP Concepts  
Saturday, October 31, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm
Adaptive Loudspeaker Control – An Application Tutorial
Presenter: Gregor Hoehne, Klippel
Saturday, October 31, 2:45 – 4:15 pm
Creating High-Resolution Modeling Data for Loudspeakers and Line Arrays
Presenter: Stefan Feistel, AFMG Technologies
Saturday, October 31, 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Optimizing the Powered Loudspeaker System
Presenter: Scott Leslie, Ashly Audio
Sunday, November 1, 9:00 – 10:30 am
Loudspeaker Measurements
Presenter: Charles Hughes, Excelsior Audio and AFMG Technologies  
Sunday November 1, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm
The Past, Present and Future of Coaxial and Related Transducers
Presenter: Steven Hutt, Equity Sound Investments  
The Thomas Edison Museum is one
of the available AES Technical Tour
excursions; the music room in Edison’s
preserved and restored laboratory
is shown here.
Technical Tours
Attendees to the 139th AES International Convention will have a rare opportunity to visit some of the most legendary audio-related locales in the region, including Avery Fisher Hall, NBC Universal Studios, Thomas Edison Memorial Park, Steinway and Sons, Brooklyn Phono, Sear Sound, WNYC Radio, Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives and more. AES Technical Tours will be available on a first-come-first-served basis to anyone with an All Access badge. Tickets can be purchased during normal registration hours.
“New York City offers an unmatched number of world-renowned facilities of interest to audio professionals, and this year’s Technical Tours itinerary is the most extensive ever,” said David Merrill, 139th AES Technical Tours Chair. “We’ll be offering up-close looks at some of the area’s most important studios, concert halls, manufacturers and even a Halloween-themed visit to a high-tech haunted hotel.”
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