New York, NY (October 28, 2015)—Always a notable presence at any AES Convention, this year finds Alex Case, associate professor of sound recording technology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and AES incoming president-elect, taking it to a new level as he hosts four panels and participate in two others at the 139th AES International Convention, to take place at the Javits Center in New York, October 29–November 1.
Case’s panels will help kick-off each morning of the Convention with an entertaining series of presentations that will both study, and celebrate, the art and science of audio. Case has dedicated his life to the studies of aesthetics, perception, signal processing, electro-acoustics and room acoustics for the creation and enjoyment of recorded music. A Fellow of both the Audio Engineering Society and the Acoustical Society of America, Case is an educator, engineer and author with degrees in mechanical engineering, music and acoustics who works at the intersection of audio art and science.
Here’s a rundown of the sessions Case will be participating in:
Thursday, October 29, 9:30 – 11:00 am
Vox Pop – Transducer Technologies and Their Connection to Vocal Performance Techniques
Case will present this seminar on recording the all-important lead vocal. For the first century of recording, the fidelity of the recorded voice was hindered by technological limitations, but current mics and gear provide far better fidelity and a dazzling array of creative choices. Case points out what we might learn from audio history to drive our decisions in getting the right vocal sounds today.
Friday, October 30, 9:00 – 10:30 am
80s Redux – The Science Behind the Sound of Gated Drums, Yesterday and Today
Gated drums were one of the defining sounds of the 80s and the effect – part serendipity, part engineering technique – is still relevant today. Historically, the effect was often overdone – presenter Case wants you to hear it in its present-day form and how gated drums can work extremely well in a contemporary mix.
Saturday, October 31, 9:00 – 10:30 am
Counter Clockwise – The Aesthetic Wonder and Technical Merit of Sounds Played Backwards
It’s one of the most ear catching if unnatural effects in pop music – the sound of audio played backwards. There will be no secret hidden messages in this seminar presented by Case, just a demonstration of the strong musical value, artistic expression and intriguing technical and perceptual advantages of backwards recording.
Saturday, October 31, 12:30 – 2:00 pm
Saul Walker – The Rocket Scientist in the Recording Studio
Case will moderate this session with Saul Walker, co-founder and chief engineer of API and creator of the first 500 Series audio modules. He is also the inventor of the 2520 Op-Amp, which paved the way for modern audio technology. Walker was formerly a rocket scientist who designed digitally controlled spectrum analyzers for NASA and the US Navy and much more.
Sunday, November 1, 9:00 – 10:30 am
Righting a Wrong – Distortion, From Recording Accident to Rock and Roll Requirement
Engineers obsess – as well they should – about proper gain staging and careful equipment calibration and maintenance, lest distortion should accidentally corrupt the audio. On the other hand, engineers embrace the deliberate use of distortion to express musical feelings that can’t be conveyed without it. Distortion has become de rigueur for so many styles of pop music, and presenter Case will cover the creation of distortion and the technical and artistic ways to make it most effective.
Sunday, November 1, 12:30 – 2:30 pm
Analyzing and Recording Soundscapes: Theory and Applications
The total sonic palette of the environment at a particular location that conveys identity and meaning is known as its soundscape. The particular immersive quality of a soundscape is the combination of the sounds of people, animals and nature and is of great interest from musical, naturalistic, community, legal and political perspectives. Case will be part of a distinguished panel that will bring together experts in the field to address their particular work and its implications for the audio engineering industry and the world community.
“Alex Case has presented many of the most popular sessions at AES in recent years, and we are delighted to have him share his knowledge and experiences with attendees on all four days of the 139th AES,” said Jim Anderson, AES Convention Co-Chair and Special Events Coordinator. “He has an engaging personality, a captivating presentation style and above all, an encyclopedic grasp of the art and science of recording.”
Audio Engineering Society 139th Convention