Berlin, Germany (May 23, 2017)—Returning to Berlin after a three-year absence, the 142nd AES Convention’s carefully crafted program of technical programs, seminars and workshops, plus a companion exhibition, ended here on Tuesday at the Maritim Hotel. According to AES executive director Bob Moses, attendance at the event co-chaired by Sascha Spors from University of Rostock and Nadja Wallaszkovits from the Austrian Academy of Sciences was around 1,800, with All Access advance registration up by 10 percent compared to last year in Paris.
During the opening ceremonies, current AES president Alex Case stated that “AES conventions represent an ideal interactive meeting place,” whereas “social media lacks the one-on-one contact that enhances our communications bandwidth with colleagues and co-workers,” he considered.
Keynote speaker Dr. Alex Arteaga, whose research integrates aesthetic and philosophical practices, addressed the thorny subject of “Auditory Architecture: Bringing Phenomenology, Aesthtic Practices and Engineering Together,” arguing that when considering the differences between soundscapes, “our experience depends upon the listening environment.” His underlying message was that a full appreciation of the myriad way in which we hear sounds requires a deeper understanding of how listeners interact with that space.
As part of his Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture, Prof. Dr. Jorg Sennheiser outlined “A Historic Journey in Audio-Reality: From Mono to AMBEO,” during which he reviewed the basis of audio perception and the interdependence of hearing with other senses.
“Our enjoyment and appreciation of audio quality is reflected in the continuous development from single- to multi-channel reproduction systems that are benchmarked against sonic reality,” he offered. “Augmented- and virtual-reality call for immersive audio, with multiple stakeholders working together to design The Future of Audio.”
Emil Mitov & Lyubomir Nedyalkov of Antelope Audio with the Goliath HD Interface
Antelope Audio unveiled the new Goliath HD interface, which features 16 pre-amps and precision A-to-D converters, 64 channels of analog and digital I/O with simultaneous streaming of 24/192 kHz data via Avid HDX-format for Pro Tools or USB 3.0 ports, together with MADI (to Dante Bridge), ADAT, S/PDIF and DB25 connections. A 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking technology with word clock I/O plus the Antelope Audio 10M Atomic Input is included.
The Avid booth at AES Berlin
Avid Technology demonstrated native support for the new 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos channel-bed format—the 9.1-channel bed using two dedicated height channels—for editing suites and Blu-ray remastering. Pro Tools now included panning software for audio objects plus switching between automatable object and buss/channel outputs. Full integration for Atmos workflows is now offered for Avid S6 control surfaces and other devices.
Nugen Audio's Jon Schorah at AES Berlin
A new update to Nugen Audio’s Halo Upmix plug-in for Pro Tools—as well as the familiar stereo to 5.1, 7.1 or 9.1 conversions—now delivers 7.1.2-channel mixes for Atmos sessions. Also to be seen: a prototype DAW plug-in for higher-order Ambisonics mixing.
Genelec’s new The Ones series of studio monitors.
Genelec Audio unveiled The Ones near-field monitors, which comprises the current three-way Model 8351 together the new two-way Model 8331 and new three-way Model 8341. A co-axial MF/HF driver is combined with two LF drivers for horizontal or vertical orientations. All three active speakers feature a new Minimum Diffraction Enclosure, and full compatibility with the firm’s loudspeaker management and alignment software.
The new mc296 Grand Audio Production Console from Lawo features an IP-based networkable topology targeted at large-format post production and live TV mixing. Available with up to 200 on-surface faders, new features include automatic gain control across multiple channels, and TFT color displays above each fader that show LiveView thumbnails of the incoming sources.
Stage Tec is now offering additional processing functions for its Crescendo Platinum TV production console, courtesy of V4.3 software, including an automixer with gain sharing that can be implemented on all inputs; a de-esser on every channel path; EBU R128 loudness metering for sum and group channels; together with scene automation that offers individual user-adjustable blend curves and times for each signal source.
A dedicated Dante Pavilion comprised several firms that offer networkable products, including Bosch RTS, whose intercoms incorporate cascadable Dante ports that also carry OCA system control; Focusrite, whose RedNet series of modular networked pre-amps and converters offer “enhanced reliability, security and selectivity” via Dante, according to Dankmar Klein, product specialist for EMEA/Germany; Heinz Electrodynamic Designs/HEDD, whose Series One monitor speakers feature both Dante and AES67/Ravenna ports for enhanced networking; Klang, whose Fabrik Series of IEMs—currently out on tour with both Linkin Park and Justin Bieber—feature multi-channel Dante-capable I/Os; NTP Technology, whose DAD Series DX32R and RV32 Dante/MADI router bridges and control-room monitor controllers are fully compatible with Dante-compliant consoles and outboards; and Solid State Logic, whose Tempest processing engine is now fully Dante-ready with unique arbitration and ownership capabilities for both T Series control surfaces and Live consoles.
Frederic Menetrier and Theo Gardin with Recording The Masters' Kerwax replica at AES Berlin
Recording the Masters unveiled the Kerwax Replica, which is a processor based on circuits used in an all-valve console installed at a famous residential studio of the same name in north-west France. The dual-channel pre-amp includes two separate 12AX7 valves for each channel’s pre-amp/EQ and overdrive signal paths; MS and left/right merge controls also are included. According to product manager Frederic Menteri, “Our new non-tape division is dedicated to the development of similar products that extend our expertise in analog audio connectivity.”
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