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AES Returns to LA

LOS ANGELES, CA—The AES International Convention returns to downtown Los Angeles, October 9-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, after a dozen years away.

LOS ANGELES, CA—The AES International Convention returns to downtown Los Angeles, October 9-12 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, after a dozen years away. In its 137th incarnation, the Convention promises its characteristic deep view of the industry through papers, tutorial, workshop and special event sessions, alongside the exhibition hall.

The AES i s al ready promising a bigger show in terms of both exhibitors and attendees. “The exhibition floor for the 137th AES Convention has already expanded into the next adjacent hall,” offers Bob Moses, executive director, AES. “There are more exhibitors and sponsors signing on for Los Angeles than exhibited last year in NYC; that’s unprecedented for a West Coast AES Convention. Attendee pre-registration took off faster than last year’s 135th Convention as well.”

Of special note this year are a number of dedicated subject tracks, including the topic of Networked Audio in professional workflows, focusing on the newly adopted AES67 and MADI protocols; the return of the immensely popular Project Studio Expo (PSE) on the exhibition floor, a series of panels and presentations to better educate and serve the modern “DIY” self-recordist end-user; a series of High Resolution Audio (HRA) panels and sessions ranging from content creation to playback devices; and expanded coverage of live sound, game audio and broadcast/streaming audio.

New to the 137th Convention is the Live Sound Expo. Following the model of the PSE, the LSE will take place on the exhibition floor October 10-12. The LSE stage will cover subject matter from fundamental theory and technologies, to techniques and applications, to case studies. “The Live Sound Expo stage,” says Moses, “will host some of the best practitioners of the audio arts that our business has to offer. This is a chance to learn at the feet of the masters.” The Live Sound Expo program was developed by editors from Pro Sound News and other NewBay titles. Industry journalist and engineer, Mark Frink, will play host throughout the LSE program, which is open to all registered attendees (including the Exhibits Plus badge, which is free with preregistration).

The convention is also about conceiving the future of pro audio. Bruce C. Olson, AES Standards Chair, notes that his committee will be consolidating existing audio networking standards as well as developing complimentary new ones. “The nature of audio technology is changing, driven by changes in consumer expectations and a trend towards IT-based infrastructures,” explains Olson. “It will be increasingly important to assert the needs of professional audio practitioners in order to maintain the current expectations of professional quality, and to provide expansion capacity to handle new business opportunities and future expectations. The AES is probably the only organization that can address these fundamental engineering issues in a global professional audio marketplace.”

AES standards have served us well and are arguably necessary, from the balanced analog audio interfaces that our industry was built upon to the development of the digital AES3, a precursor of the IEC 60958-3 (S/ PDIF) consumer digital audio interface, and AES10 (MADI) multichannel audio interface. “But technology doesn’t stop evolving,” notes Mark Yonge, AES Standards Manager. “Today, we are facing a future where in addition to traditional techniques, professional audio data will be recorded and transmitted using storage and streaming technologies adapted from the IT industry. Should this make us anxious? No, but we should be cautious; ‘studio quality’ audio has quite different needs compared with commercial database operations, or email, or web browsing. Standards help to ‘pin down’ the technology so that equipment designers and systems engineers can implement it with unambiguous interoperability. And that helps us all.”