In the infancy of the professional audio industry, gear was commonly constructed by the engineers who operated the hardware. This year’s 145th Audio Engineering Society International Convention, taking place in New York, October 17 – 20 at the Jacob Javits Center, will host a series of events following the tradition of do-it-yourself innovation and promoting the understanding of audio technology, in partnership with the Audio Builders Workshop – a workgroup of the AES Boston Section.
These presentations and hands-on demonstrations will offer attendees the chance to learn more about audio device design and construction, as well as the opportunity to build their own circuit to take home, while exploring a showcase of projects from other DIY audio enthusiasts and professionals.
Audio Builders Workshop events at AES New York 2018 will present an insider introduction to this popular field of creative expression through audio gear design and construction. Activities begin with an open-to-all Audio Builders Workshop exhibition and educational space setup in the Javits Center main lobby on Wednesday, October 17, offering a first-hand look at DIY projects and technologies. Following that is the All Access Technical Program’s Audio Builders Workshop mini-track on Saturday, October 20. Single-day All Access registration is available for AES New York registrants wishing to attend specific All Access events like the Audio Builders Workshop.
Sessions such as “Build Your Own Recording Equipment” will offer insight into the tools, skills and budget needed to create one’s first piece of gear, while “Design and Build Your Own Gear” will show what it takes to design a circuit, put it in a box, and power it up, featuring insight from Bob Katz and centering on his DIY project, the “tube blender.” Additionally, in “The State of the Art of Do It Yourself Audio,” Audio Builders Workshop founder Owen Curtin will take a look at ways that the DIY market has exploded in popularity and how some quality pieces are now inexpensively in reach for those willing to wield a soldering iron.
“Recording engineers walk away from our workshops with a deeper understanding of the equipment they use every day, and many get the bug to learn other forms of engineering,” states Owen Curtin, Audio Builders Workshop founder and chair for the AES New York Convention. “People come to our events having never soldered or coded, but they have a curiosity for how it all works. Introducing people to the DIY community and exposing them to experts in the field leads them to quickly pick up the skills and confidence to start building their own gear. I started these events as an excuse to assemble experts who could answer my own questions. To do that, I invited experts to come to meet each other and novices to come to learn with me, which has led to a community of teachers and students who support one another. What started out as a one-day seminar has grown into a video series, monthly meeting, and a team of members who will help foster the DIY community at this year’s AES New York Convention.”
Further Audio Builders Workshop events demonstrate the latest techniques with hands-on aspects of audio design and construction. With programming custom plugins or embedding one’s own code into hardware now being accessible to those with almost no coding experience, customizing audio gear is no longer limited to the analog domain, and DSP functions can be created that aren't otherwise feasible, as shown in the presentation “Code It Yourself: DIY-DSP.” Attendees will also get an interactive look at analog circuit design in the “Audio Builders Workshop” exhibit, which will walk through the process of designing and testing a circuit, with parts provided by Mouser Electronics, which visitors will be able to keep upon completion.
As with any AES Convention presentation, education and inspiration play leading roles at all levels. In the presentation “Educating Audio Builders,” attendees will be inspired by the wide range of possibilities brought to light by educators from an array of institutions offering review of their DIY Audio-related programs. Additionally, during the “Custom Gear Show” portion of the Audio Builders Workshop events, custom audio creators will be on-hand to showcase some of their most successful creations, along with time for questions and networking with other audio builders.
The AES New York 2018 Convention will offer four days of Technical Program presentations, workshops, discussion panels, and more (October 17 – 20), as well as the year’s largest dedicated professional audio showcase and exhibition, taking place the first three days of the show (October 17 – 19), featuring the largest-ever AES Convention offering of free-to-attend workshops and tutorials on the exhibition floor and throughout the convention’s demo room areas with Exhibits-Plus badge registration. Complimentary Exhibits-Plus badges are available to AES Members or by using VIP promo code AES18NOW with online registration though the full convention experience, including the Audio Builders Workshop are only available with All Access registration. Early Registration discounts are still available. AES Members and Student Members receive substantial discounts. Visit aesshow.com for the latest information.