New York, NY (December 1, 2015)—The Audio Engineering Society is mourning the loss of Norman C. Pickering, a pioneer of innovations in phonograph cartridge design and the first secretary of the AES.
Pickering was instrumental in the formation of the AES. At a meeting held in the RCA Victor recording studios in New York the evening of February 17, 1948, Pickering discussed the need for a professional organization to foster the growth of audio engineering. He cited the lack of exchange of knowledge caused by absence of a common meeting ground and of a medium for interchange of ideas in the audio field. The group immediately agreed that such an organization should be formed. A motion was carried to form the Audio Engineering Society.
Also known for his research on violin strings, bows and violin acoustics, Pickering, who was frustrated by the audio quality of recordings, in the mid-1940’s developed a better-quality phono pickup and styli for records: the Pickering pickup. Later manufactured as the Pickering cartridge, this design was initially developed by Norman Pickering for his own use, before he began manufacturing cartridges for broadcast and recording studios.
“Norman Pickering changed the audio landscape with his invention of the Pickering cartridge,” stated Bob Moses, executive director of AES, “then again with his key role in founding the AES. Professionals and music fans owe Norman a ton of gratitude for the hours of listening pleasure his designs provided. His contributions to AES and the industry, both personally and professionally, will never be forgotten. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.”
Pickering was awarded a Fellowship by the AES in 1952 for his contributions to the field of audio engineering and an AES Award in 1955 in acknowledgement of his role in the formation and advancement of the Society.
Audio Engineering Society