This year, the Audio Engineering Society (AES) returns to New York City to host its 139th International Convention, once again sharing its unique balance of craft-shaping ideas, educational opportunities and cutting- edge technologies displayed on its exhibition floor. Along with its trademark workshops, tech tours and more, popular events like the multi-day Live Sound Expo (sponsored by Pro Sound News and Mix) and Project Studio Expo are also returning, providing free classes and panels for all attendees.
Those are just the tip of the iceberg, however, which is why many attendees come to AES every year. Compared to other trade show experiences, what’s unique about AES?
“It’s a manageable show,” reasons PSN Contributor, Grammy-nominated mixer/composer/producer Rich Tozzoli, based nearby in New Jersey. “It provides enough opportunities to get good hands-on time with gear and conversations with those at the manufacturers’ booths. It helps me make decisions on what I need to help my workflow, what to purchase and what to avoid.”
Ian Schreier, chief engineer for the Triangle NC’s Manifold Recording (manifoldrecording.com) finds audio post for film is a big draw for going to AES. “Film post is becoming a larger part of my overall professional output,” Schreier explains.
Scott Wynne, associate professor and chief recording engineer at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, is bringing along 18 Music Industry Studies majors. “Besides the opportunity for students to meet the manufacturers of the equipment that they utilize on a daily basis and thank them for their support, we have made a lot of friends with the Society of Professional Audio Recordings Services (SPARS) organization and many of the studios in the NYC area,” Wynne explains. “I am also able to reconnect with many of the professionals I’ve worked with over the years; this convention tends to bring together the largest group of my colleagues in both the academic and professional communities.”
Peter Janis of Canadian manufacturer Radial Engineering explains that AES brings together audio enthusiasts: “We get to hang with a number of end-users for a few days, which brings more of a ‘street perspective’ to what we do. It also brings audio engineers to our booth that are not able, or won’t, go to NAMM; for Radial, these folks are super-important.”
Radial will unveil 16 products at AES, half making their global unveilings. The reason for so many AES debuts is simple: “There are way less manufacturers competing for attention,” Janis says, comparing the event to other trade shows. “This means that dealers, distributors and magazines there can send out e-news to their ‘tribes,’ focusing more attention on the products that are at the show. That means we enjoy a greater benefit.”
139th AES Convention