Outgoing AES President Andreas Mayo (far left) moderated the Platinum Latin Producers & Engineers panel, bringing together multiple Grammy winning pros to discuss the current status of the industry and to interact with audience members via a Q&A segment. In addition to Mayo, the panel included (from left): Ari Lavigna, Valeria Palomino, Salvador Tercero, Carli Beguerie, Stefano Vieni and Andres Landinez.
This has been a very busy year for Andres Mayo, a multi-award-winning mastering engineer with his own audio facility in Argentina, and, for the last 12 months, AES President. Juggling the demands of the position with running his own business, often working into the early hours of the morning, Mayo was nevertheless able to successfully advance the goals of the AES this year.
Two achievements stand out for Mayo, he says. Firstly, he helped establish the Financial Planning Committee, comprised of Bill Foster (Chair), David Josephson and Glenn Lorbecki. “This Committee has put a huge amount of time to analyze our current financial status, which is key to making wise decisions in the shortand midterm future,” he says.
Additionally, a study group coordinated by mastering engineer Bob Katz and TC-TB Chairman David Bialik has put together a Technical Document detailing Streaming Loudness Recommendations to be delivered in time for the New York convention. “That is a huge step towards setting a point of reference in a key issue like this,” says Mayo.
Education and networking are the two main pillars of the AES, Mayo believes. “Everything I have done, every single day during my term, has been related directly or indirectly to one of those two areas, or both. From mentoring a student to judging in the Recording Competition and from helping to create a local section to actively procuring ‘joint ventures’-co-chaired activities-with similar organizations, such as SMPTE, it all leads to new and rich networking possibilities for our membership.”
When he took the reins of the AES, Mayo observed that, as the first Latin American to hold the position of President, he was experienced with handling crisis. A year later, he says, “No time is crisis free in this industry, especially in the last 15 years. We had many tough decisions to make, and I am proud to say that I would make them again if needed. When you come from a distant region such as Latin America, not so much geographically as conceptually speaking, you learn to use that background to your benefit, thinking of new ways to overcome problems.”
Membership is any society’s lifeblood, so how has the AES fared? “I don’t think we had especially strong growth in a single country this year,” reports Mayo, who personally spread the word of the AES to more than a dozen countries this year. “But I know the numbers are increasing and there is bigger interest in the Society’s activities, also reflected in an unprecedented pre-registration for the 139th Convention.”
Membership might increase in a given country, but it needs to be sustained, he also noted. “We had that situation in many countries in Latin America, but steady growth only happens after a number of years of consistently showing the industry that there is a very good reason to join the AES.”