At AES: Exhibitors Revel In Return

By Strother Bullins. The 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention and its complimentary Exhibition is teeming with excitement, largely due to a return to Los Angeles after 12 years. The rich selection of audio professionals living and working in Southern California may very well be the biggest beneficiaries, yet no one could be more excited than pro audio gear manufacturers filling the exhibition floor. In the midst of Thursday booth setups, manufacturer representatives expressed why an LA return is important to the entire audio community-professionals, academics, students and manufacturers alike.
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Exhibitors set up for the 137th Audio Engineering Society convention yesterday in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles, CA (October 10, 2014)—The 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention and its complimentary Exhibition is teeming with excitement, largely due to a return to Los Angeles after 12 years. The rich selection of audio professionals living and working in Southern California may very well be the biggest beneficiaries, yet no one could be more excited than pro audio gear manufacturers filling the exhibition floor. In the midst of Thursday booth setups, manufacturer representatives expressed why an LA return is important to the entire audio community-professionals, academics, students and manufacturers alike.

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"I am so happy that AES-the de facto recording show-has returned where most of the recording happens," succinctly comments Brad Lunde, owner of TransAudio Group. "It's about time."

This timeliness syncs well with some recent advancements within audio production fields-for example, new immersive audio technology, the epicenter of which is most certainly Southern California. "We're really pleased that the AES Convention is back in LA," states Peter Chaikin, Director of Recording and Broadcast at JBL Professional. "There's a thriving post production community here; everyone knows that Hollywood is post production. Now we can reach some of those people because this is a home game for them. Whether they slip out on a lunch break or come down on the weekend to see us, we can spend more time with the post production community along with the music community."

The Society's conscious effort to place a larger spotlight on live audio and sound reinforcement issues is complimentary to those like Karl Kussmaul, Product Support Manager for Lawo Group USA Inc. "Lawo makes products used for live events, television and radio," he offers. "Southern California is such a large market for us. Having the show centered here makes a lot of sense; we'll connect with more customers and often those we won't see if we exhibit in another city. So this year's AES is a big opportunity for us in that way."

Admittedly, explains Kussmaul, the modern realities of audio production budgets also impact convention attendance, thus location is more important than ever. "A lot of customers these days may not be able to travel to another city for both scheduling and budgetary reasons," he notes. "Having the show near where they work will help everyone considerably."

Some exhibitors are already predicting increased foot traffic at their booths, like Mike Deming, owner of Charter Oak Microphones. "I think you'll find most, if not all, of the manufacturers will be happy that we're back in LA," he says. "We've all been asking for it for many, many years. Higher-end users will be more interested in what we're showing here at the Exhibition of the Audio Engineering Society-rather than the 'pro-sumer' brands at some shows-where sound quality is still more important than price."

Audio Engineering Society
www.aes.org