The Anderton Awards, the virtual awards ceremony that hits AES every year like a 24-hour intestinal flu, got off to a great start! First, all charges were dismissed stemming from the melee at last year’s ceremony (live and learn—never say something is “da bomb!” with TSA agents present). But even better, the city of Secaucus (which in Lenni-Lennape translates as “land of frightening odors” and is located conveniently across the river from the Javits Center) allowed us to occupy the charming, historic Vince Lombardi Service Area for our awards ceremony! To anyone who hasn’t experienced what travel cognescenti call “The Taj Mahal of the New Jersey Turnpike,” suffice it to say that the supposedly non-lethal combination of food-like substances provided by Nathan’s, Cinnabon, and Auntie Anne’s achieved a new level of gastronomic excellence in our catered dinner.

We tried to hire Donald Trump again as our celebrity presenter, because it’s a two-for-one deal—you get him and his ego—but unfortunately, he took offense at last year’s introduction when we described him as the only person in the history of time to lose money running a casino. We asked several other celebrities, but oddly, most of them had to do their laundry that night. Fortunately at the last minute we were able to grab Frankie Donatello from the Kiss tribute band that plays at Chez Trixie’s in nearby Ho- Ho-Kus, NJ—so with a $20 I.O.U. and a bottle of Sangria, we had our presenter!

And what do the winners get? Nothing, except a few column inches in this otherwise extremely prestigious publication. So Frankie, put down the bottle and hand us the first envelope...

The So Obvious No One Ever Thought of It Before award goes to Aphex for the USB 500, an audio interface that connects to your computer and lets you insert 500 series modules into your DAW project. Think of it as a host for hardware plug-ins that insert into a “plug-out” which you use as a plug-in within your virtual host. Or something like that.

Studio monitors earned the Star Trek “Trouble with Tribbles” award (although it was a very tight race with AAX plug-ins). There were unconfirmed rumors that after the show closed, various monitors started breeding and created even more models. But that’s just a rumor. Maybe.

The award for Product Name Most Likely to End Up in a John le Carré Spy Novel goes to RedNet from Focusrite. Matt Damon has already signed to play the lead in The RedNet Conspiracy, where the entire universe is connected via ethernet and Damon has to stop the NSA from sucking all the data from it.

In a new category, Tri-Orbit Mic Stands garnered the Legos Meets Transformers award for re-inventing mic stands. Four components stretch, swivel, ratchet, and rotate to let you do things with mic stands that may be illegal in some states.

Breaking Bad was filmed in New Mexico and used Lectrosonics wireless mics, and Lectrosonics is located in New Mexico. And if you’ve ever been to New Mexico during a dust storm or when the temperature hits double digits below zero, you’ll understand why Lectrosonics won the Mics that Are Mars Mission-Ready award—so expect product placement in Gravity II.

The Muhammed Ali Outstanding Achievement in Boxing award goes to Universal Audio and API for implementing out of the box audio inside the box, with the box being UA’s Powered Plug-ins platform (say that five times fast) running their API Vision Channel Strip plug-in. UA has always had the analog mojo thing down, but this one’s a...uh...knockout.

DSD technology earned the coveted By Grabthar’s Hammer, by the Sons of Worvan, You Shall Be Avenged! award. First Sony came out with a bunch o’ new DSD stuff, then TASCAM showed up at AES with the DA-3000 mastering/archiving recorder, which does conventional PCM and DSD as well as DSD multi-tracking. Now all we need is listeners who can tell the difference between DSD and an MP3....

And finally, AES itself won the Martha Stewart/Robert Downey Jr. Miracle Comeback award. The show had been on a downward spiral, but between the efforts of outgoing AES president Frank Wells (who also edits this magazine, so Frank, don’t be modest and edit that out!) [I didn’t edit it out, but credit where due goes to the amazing AES Staff; legions of volunteers, including Jim Anderson and his convention planning team; and to AES’ fab new marketing team headed by Clyne Media--Ed] and the continuing success of the most excellent— and always mobbed—Project Studio Expo spearheaded by Sound on Sound magazine and AES’s Bob Moses, the show has been growing the past two years. Take that, naysayers!

We had several more awards to present, but unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until next year when Frankie will have hopefully regained consciousness. Thank you for attending, and on the way out, please remember to leave your signed releases waiving all liability for attending the awards. See you next year!