Pictured at the San Francisco
Conservatory of Music are (standing)
George Massenburg and fellow
METAlliance directors (seated, l-r)
Phil Ramone, Frank Filipetti, Al Schmitt,
Elliot Scheiner and Chuck Ainlay.
San Francisco, CA (October 28, 2008)--Audio recording professionals worldwide gathered in San Francisco for the first METAlliance Educator Summit, hosted by the Music Engineering and Technology Alliance to promote quality in audio production and reproduction. Educators participating represented institutions in the U.S. and abroad, as the Alliance continues to partner with those who share similar goals.
"Our first Summit was an exciting opportunity for audio educators and audio professionals to hear the many facets of an extremely important dialogue. We are off to a great start," remarked Jim Anderson, NYU Professor and AES President.
Charles Boswell, Director of Media and Entertainment for Advanced Micro Devices, which sponsored the summit, added, "Our support of this prestigious event follows with AMD's long-term commitment to quality and education. AMD and the META team share a common commitment to both the artist and consumer of preserving quality and aesthetic throughout the entire production process."
Colleges and universities attending included New York University, Berklee College of Music; Univ. of Massachusetts at Lowell; Univ. of Michigan; Webster University; Belmont University; McGill University; and the University of Southern California. Additional international educators from Mexico, South America, Japan and Europe also participated in the one-day event.
Educator Summit topics included a discussion with educators about their methods and challenges in demonstrating and teaching the essentials of audio excellence. Attendees enjoyed critical listening samples and discussions about interactive learning with METAlliance founders. Educators also met with METAlliance ProPartner manufacturers to develop relationships to further their programs and develop their learning environments.
"We are moving forward with an aggressive agenda and working closely with the educational community," emphasized Jim Pace, METAlliance Director of Business Affairs. "There is no time to wait--educators today are under pressure to elevate audio consciousness in the recording community. Today's students will be tomorrow's engineers, producers, and technology designers."
Producer/engineer George Massenburg summed up the inaugural summit: "META is justifiably proud to have brought together this group of educators, manufacturers, and journalists. Our overall objective is to significantly raise the standard of making music recordings to demonstrate the benefits of quality recording and reproduction, and to also characterize those elements, technical as well as artistic, that are important in that process. A quality music recording agenda for schools and educators, as well as direction in critical listening and analysis, is foundational to this goal. It's our hope that our students become the evangelists to amplify this effort."
AES outgoing education committee chairman Jason Corey, University of Michigan, commented: "The first Educator Summit marked an important step in developing a critical link between music engineering and production industry veterans and educators. An as educator, I found it interesting to have such luminaries in the field of music recording take a serious interest in audio education and some of the issues that educators face.
"One specific piece of information that was very useful was a list of reference recordings used by the panelists to evaluate new listening situations and equipment," Corey added. "It is clear that the METAlliance members possess a high level of technical and artistic expertise in music recording and production and have promoted audio quality throughout their careers. What I hope this summit eventually leads to is widespread dissemination of their expertise to the next generation of audio professionals in order to uphold the standards of quality they have worked so hard to achieve."
Alex Case, AES education committee chairman, University of Massachusetts Lowell, added: "It's painfully ironic--raising the quality of audio should not be the challenge that it is. We have, today, the technology needed to make the best-sounding audio ever achievable in the history of recorded music. Yet, for now, the market has selected convenience over quality, and there appears to be no valid business model to form a niche for high-quality art. One lever to pull in search of better sound quality is education. If we get things right in education, we can raise the quality of the talent pool and thereby raise the quality of their future productions. The METAlliance provided a very high-quality forum for discussion of ways to get out ahead of the frustrating trend toward lower quality music productions--putting the seven founders in a room with more than 50 sound recording educators.
"Meeting the challenge of higher quality in audio education is not just about curriculum and talented professors," Case added. "I believe we educators are obligated to go well beyond project studio quality in everything we do. We need to set very high standards in the quality of listening environments we provide, and the critical listening courses we run. We want our students to hear, understand, and enjoy recorded music in our facilities as never before. Through the design of our classrooms and studios, and the selection of all production and playback equipment, we need to reveal the full potential for high quality audio.
"If we do this right, we can convert the typical student's lust for gear into lust for sound quality," Case continued. "They may graduate and work in a mediocre facility at first, but a student won't soon forget how great it could sound. They will always pursue that goal, based on unforgettable experiences of high-quality sound provided by their institution of higher learning."
The METAlliance is comprised of audio engineers and producers who have been involved in establishing techniques and technical standards that are the foundation of modern music recording. The METAlliance Board of Directors is Chuck Ainlay, Ed Cherney, Frank Filipetti, George Massenburg, Phil Ramone, Elliot Scheiner and Al Schmitt.
Manufacturers who have become Pro Partners with the METAlliance include Audio-Technica, Cakewalk, GML, JBL Pro, Lexicon, Manley Labs, Millennia Media, Neumann, Prism Sound, Royer Labs, Sanken Microphones, Sonnox, tc electronic and Universal Audio.