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At AES: An ‘Unparalleled Experience,’ AES Rolls On

By Clive Young. The AES Convention has been a hot ticket in New York this week; here’s a look back and at what’s ahead.

New York, NY (October 18, 2019)—The 147th AES Convention has passed the halfway point, but there’s still lots going on as we head into the tail end of the show. Friday and Saturday have a slew of great programs, panels and workshops on offer, but the exhibitor floor closes today, so make that last mad dash down the aisles to grab literature, trade business cards and check out that piece of gear you’re on the fence about (but which you already know in your heart you’re going to get).

If it feels like there’s more to see on the show floor than in the past, you’re right. “AES New York has 47 new Exhibitors, and in all, 236 exhibitors–all the leading international professional audio brands are here,” noted Graham Kirk, AES Director of Sales and Marketing. “The Exhibition is covering the largest footprint with the most exhibitors we’ve had in any of the last three years. The AES Exhibition Hall is an unparalleled experience for audio professionals of today and tomorrow, and the convention is the flagship of our growing roster of events worldwide.”

At AES: Honoring the Development of Hip-Hop

While you’re on the show floor, make sure to sit in on a few sessions at the Inspiration Stages, which have hosted more than 130 sessions throughout the Convention between the new Electronic Dance Music Stage, the Recording Stage, the Live Production Stage and The AES Mix with The Masters stage, along with the AV-over-IP Theater and the [email protected] Theater.

There’s been plenty to enjoy and learn about outside the exhibition floor, too. Grammy- and Emmy winning drummer, producer and musical director Steve Jordan gave Thursday’s Keynote Address, “The Love of Recording,” discussing his entrance into the industry, what he learned from others and how a desire for his drum sound to be accurately captured on record led to a second career as a producer–one that’s found him working with everyone from Keith Richards to Sheryl Crow to John Mayer. Elsewhere, an AES Historical Session became a Hysterical Session on Thursday with the retrospective “Spike Jones: Preposterous Precision,” where panelists Mike Wisland, Arlen Card, Emily Taggart and Grammy-winning producer, engineer and director of music recording and scoring at Skywalker Sound, Leslie Ann Jones (yes, Spike’s daughter) looked back at his career and continuing influence.

There’s still plenty to do Friday and Saturday around the convention, however. Today features such must-see events as the new R&B and Hip-Hop track, featuring great sessions like “Engineering for The Abstract: Recording Q-Tip and A Tribe Called Quest” at 4:30 p.m. in 1E12. Live sound pros will want to check out the RF Spectrum Update on the Live Production Stage at 11 a.m., while recordists should catch super producer Sylvia Massey discussing the secret ingredients to a great session on the Recording Stage at 1 p.m.–and everyone should do themselves a favor and hit the AC Power, Grounding and Shielding Super Session (1E12, 9 a.m.).

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Saturday will serve up fascinating sessions like “Archiving the 90s” (1E21; 9 a.m.); “Producing High-Quality 360/3D VR Concert Videos with 3D Immersive Audio” (1E08; 9 a.m.); and the sure to be eye-opening “Emergency Preparedness and Safety for Broadcasters” panel (1E07; 1:30 p.m.). And once the show’s over, if you’re still aching for more audio insights, exhibits and awesomeness, fear not–the AES Convention will return to the Javits Center next fall, October 21-24.