125th AES Convention Historical Events Chair Tamara Horacek. Photo by Alex Storm, courtesy of Dolby Labs.San Francisco, CA (September 19, 2008)–“Audio history has always been an intrinsic element of AES Convention programs, but as we celebrate our 60th anniversary this year at the Moscone Center Oct. 2 – 5, it seems even more relevant,” remarks 125th Committee Co-Chair Valerie Tyler. “Historical Events Chair Tamara Horacek collaborated with AES members Marina Bosi, Gene Radzik and Steve Fields to develop an absorbing program which lends a timely perspective to three of the most significant sectors in today’s professional audio industry.”
As a Dolby Laboratories research librarian since 1993, Ms. Horacek oversees Dolby’s Technical Library, Archives and Museum programs. Her research skills coupled with her deep insights into the field of sound development has contributed to a trio of intriguing panels:
Evolution of Video Game Sound: Thurs. Oct. 2, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. From the discrete-logic build of Pong to the multi-core processors of modern consoles, video game audio has made giant strides in complexity to a heightened level of immersion and user interactivity. Since its modest beginnings of monophonic bleeps to the high-resolution multi-channel orchestrations and point-of-view audio panning, audio professionals have stretched the envelopes of audio production techniques, as well as the game engine capabilities. The panel will address the challenges of landmark game platforms, techniques used to maximize the game audio experience, the dynamics leading to the modern video game soundtracks, and where the game audio experience is heading. Organizer: Gene Radzik, Audio Engineering Society, Historical Committee Co-Chair; Moderator: John Griffin, Marketing Director, Games, Dolby Laboratories, U.S.; Panel: Charles Deenen, Sr. Audio Director, Electronic Arts Black Box, Canada; Will Davis, Audio Lead, Codemasters Software Co. Ltd., UK; Tom Hays, Director, Technicolor Interactive Services, U.S.; Simon Ashby, Product Director, Audiokinetic, Canada
The World’s First Audio Recordings: Their Recovery and Restoration (Lunchtime Keynote: Dave Giovannoni, First Sounds). Friday, Oct. 3, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. First Sounds, an informal collaborative of audio engineers and historians, recently corrected the historical record and made international headlines by playing back a phonautogram made in Paris in April 1860–a ghostly, ten-second evocation of a French folk song. This and other phonautograms establish a forgotten French typesetter as the first person to record reproducible airborne sound 17 years before Edison invented the phonograph. Primitive and nearly accidental, the world’s first audio recordings pose a unique set of technical challenges. David Giovannoni of First Sounds discusses their recovery and restoration.
Perceptual Audio Coding – The First 20 Years: Fri. Oct. 3, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Who could have imagined in 1988 that everyone would be clamoring for pocket-sized devices with MP3/AAC perceptual audio decoders? These communication/entertainment units have become integral to our daily lives, via DVD players, cell phones, mobile devices and broad/webcasting, etc. What made this possible and where is this going? This panel will present an overview of the technology, address the consumer market evolution from niche to necessity and where the field is headed. Moderator: Marina Bosi, Consulting Professor, Stanford University, author of Introduction to Digital Audio Coding and Standards. Panelists include pioneers who helped advance the field of perceptual audio coding: Karlheinz Brandenburg, Fraunhofer-Institut Digitale Medientechnologie and Institut fuer Medientechnik, TU Ilmenau; Bernd Edler, University of Hannover; Louis Fielder, Dolby Laboratories; J. D. Johnston, Neural Audio; John Princen, BroadOn Communications; Gerhard Stoll, IRT; Ken Sugiyama, NEC.
The History of Audio Processing: Friday, Oct. 3, 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. Moderator, Emil Torick, CBS Laboratories (ret); Participants: Marvin Caesar, Aphex; Frank Foti, Omnia; Bob Orban, Orban/CRL; Glen Clark, Glen Clark & Associates; Eric Small, Modulation Sciences; Mike Dorrough, Dorrough Electronics; Dick Burden, Burden Associates. These pioneers in audio processing developed the tools still used today. A lively discussion of the ongoing “loudness wars” is anticipated. This session is a must for understanding how and why audio processing is used.
Innovations in Live Sound – An Historical Perspective: Sunday, Oct. 5, 2:30 – 5 p.m. New techniques and products are often driven by changes in need and available technology. Today’s sound professional has a myriad of products to choose from. That wasn’t always the case. What drove the creation of today’s products? What will drive the products of tomorrow? Sometimes a look back is the best way to get a peek ahead. A panel of industry veterans will take a look back at past live sound innovations with an emphasis on the needs and constraints that drove their development and adoption. Chair: Ted Leamy, COO, Pro Media | UltraSound. Panelists: Ken Lopez, University of Southern California; John Meyer. Meyer Sound; Hartley Peavey, Peavey Electronics; Graham Blythe, Soundcraft.
Audio Engineering Society