Berlin (February 19, 2004)–The AES Convention will confirm its position as a major platform for the European professional audio business at its upcoming 116th Convention, to be held in Berlin between May 8-11 of 2004. The Convention will feature an extensive program, and its workshop coverage will range from the basics of professional audio to the results of the latest research, appealling to a large audience.
The 2004 Convention will once again give a large place to Workshops and at present, more than 15 workshops will cover a variety of subjects. In keeping with the traditions of the AES Conventions, the workshops will be presented by internationally renowned authorities, who in turn, will be accompanied by panels of experts for their presentations and discussions. The following is a brief overview of the Workshop Program.
“Comparison of Existing Archiving Tools” by Klaus M. Heidrich will focus on archiving issues in broadcasting centers. The networking of broadcast centers and their archives requires the implementation of fast and reliable audio networks and this is of growing significance. This subject will be dealt with in Peter Henkel’s workshop “High Speed Audio Networking,” where elements such as Ethernet and IP, DTM, SONET, and ATM will be discussed. For many AES visitors, “Digital Radio Mondiale” (DRM) presented by Peter Senger, will be a novelty. However, this will also be noteworthy as DRM will be a substitute for costly analog short-, medium- and long-wave transmissions over the long term. As a digital system with MPEG 4 AAC+ encoding, DRM offers superior audio quality.
Two workshops will be devoted to microphones. In “Subjective Microphone Evaluations,” Jürgen Wahl will present the different variables in acoustic transmission and recording techniques and will also introduce a method for comparing microphones. Very much a practical session, Martin Schneider will explain the proper use of microphones in “The Do’s and Don’ts of Microphones.”
Safety evacuation and announcement technology is a rather inconspicuous but vital branch of modern audio. “For some time now, the significance of safety evacuation systems has been perceived by public authorities and has been emphasized by high safety regulations. The technological implementation of these high requirements is now up to the engineers and users,” says chairman Wolfgang Ahnert, in response to the high interest concerning the expertise for this technology. The workshop, “Emergency Announcement and Paging Systems: Loudness and Intelligibility,” directed by Peter Mapp, will deal with this issue with a special focus on the question of intelligibility.
Four more workshops will cover the fields of electro-acoustics. In “Touring Sound Systems,” Uli Mall will ask whether today’s speaker concepts still meet user requirements and will hopefully start a lively discussion on demands in sound reinforcement technology. The issues discussed in “Perception of Loudspeaker Nonlinear Distortion: An Open Discussion” with John Stuart, will include a presentation of the auditory threshold of nonlinear distortion in loudspeakers and will present appropriate test and measurement signals. The participants will be encouraged to get more actively involved than usual in the debate during this session.
A workshop on wavefield synthesis is considered a “must” at an AES Convention. A first class panel consisting of Günther Theile, Diemer de Vries, Renato Pellegrini, Frank Melchior and chaired by Karlheinz Brandenburg, will introduce the basics of WFS and will go into the production of WFS-enabled recordings. In Jan A. Pedersen’s workshop “Interfacing Loudspeaker and Room,” a panel of experts will deal with the interaction of loudspeakers with the room and how this affects the quality of signal reproduction.
During recent years, surround sound has become one of the key workshop subjects. This field requires audio engineers to evolve their way of working and new sonic aesthetics and recording techniques are constantly emerging. One major focus of the AES convention in Berlin will be on recording techniques and the compatibility of the various recording, storage, and replay systems. These issues will be discussed in the workshop “Advanced Recording and Reproduction Paradigms Compatible with 5.1 Media,” directed by Ralph Glasgal. The use of the subwoofer will be the subject of a special debate. Is it advantageous to use a second subwoofer signal? How should that signal be handled? What should be done when no subwoofer signal is available at all? The workshop “Role of Multiple Low-Frequency Signals in the Perception of Reproduced Sound” was established by the AES Technical Committee and directed by William Martens. Featuring the panelists Geoff Martin and David Griesinger, this workshop will almost certainly be one of the highlights of the convention.
The workshop chairman, Wolfgang Ahnert, and the whole Convention Committee have attached great importance on covering a large spectrum of subjects, including a number of special issues such as “Sound Systems for Hearing Impaired people,” “Audio for Games” and “Multichannel Audio Playback in Automotive Environments.” For the first time, a workshop titled “Auralization: Tool or Toy?” will analyze the question of the limits of acoustic simulations concerning room design.
Traditionally, the AES sets up a convention program based on three main sectors: a large exhibition where the latest products from the world of audio are on show; an extensive papers program that provides information stemming from the results of the latest research; a forum for the exchange of ideas and techniques that are relevant to the everyday needs and practices within the world of professional audio. This ‘practical program’ has gained much importance during the last conventions and also includes new tutorial and exhibitor seminars, as well as the workshops that have been a key feature over recent years.