To address audio engineering professionals seeking to expand their knowledge of product development best practices and techniques, AES has expanded this year’s Product Design Track at the 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention, which runs Thursday, October 9, through Sunday, October 12, 2014, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.
The Product Design Track will take place all four days of the convention, bringing a wide variety of topics to today’s engineers, managers and product management professionals. The Track is organized by Chairman Scott Leslie, founder of PD Squared, who has held previous positions in the industry including VP of Engineering at JBL Pro and CEO at Renkus-Heinz. Audio Precision is the sponsor for the track.
The two-theme approach combines audio design topics and product development practices into one track. Theme 1 addresses key audio design topics such as D/A and A/D design for modern high-resolution audio formats, how to best leverage DSP, the most effective way to go about optimizing active loudspeaker systems, and measuring loudspeaker systems.
Attendees will also learn about the criticality of testing product designs for the real world, where problems like hum, buzz, clicks, pops and other unexplained misbehavior can be traced to design issues, such as internal grounding schemes or conceptual misunderstandings of signal interface circuitry, and that cost little or nothing to remedy.
Theme 2 targets audio engineering professionals who face the challenge of getting new products to market faster, while costing less and building a competitive advantage. The theme focuses on how today’s engineers and managers must develop the skill sets necessary to deal with the complex world of global availability of manufacturing and supply chain partners, design services, engineering services and community development.
The theme opens with an observational panel that explores this topic at a high level and is followed by a number of track sessions that provide depth and insight in areas such as DSPs, power supply and amplifiers, transducer selection, system engineering, software integration, production test techniques and succeeding with external engineering partners. Additionally, the Product Design Track will offer an off-site Technical Tour to QSC’s state-of-the-art production facility, giving a behind-the-scenes look at one of today’s top manufacturing facilities.
Finally, the next generation of product designers will benefit from the Product Design For Students presentation, which will offer insight to the pro audio community’s newest members about career ideas and how they might just help change the audio world.
“Product development has become a mix of engineering, sourcing, partnering and business skills,” observes AES Product Design Chair Scott Leslie. “What we’ve done this year is included more of the business aspects of the product development process, as well as addressed how globalized the process has become from supply chain to development partners. Anyone who designs and builds audio products, or is contemplating doing so (or even if they’re just curious as to what it takes to create a product), will benefit from attending these sessions.”
AES Executive Director Bob Moses concludes, “"As a former product designer myself, I always found my experiences at AES Conventions to be invaluable in connecting with top recording engineers and learning what they struggled with in the studio. Several products I created were inspired by these conversations. And, of course, I learned pretty much everything I know about audio hanging with these folks.”