The 141st AES Anderton Awards

It’s been said the only survivors of a nuclear war would be cockroaches and Cher’s career…but then there’s the Anderton Awards, "honoring" the best at this year's AES Convention. The class action lawsuit regarding the main course at last year’s awards dinner could have shut down the ceremonies permanently—but at the trial, expert witness Buggles the Man-Clown proved that cooking sewer rats at extremely high temperatures can in fact eliminate most pathogens. So there! With the judge throwing out the suit, the Anderton Awards are again poised to recognize products that might not otherwise gain recognition. The prize: a mention on this otherwise prestigious website, and of course, the grand prize is…well actually, there’s no grand prize. Nevermind.
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Craig Anderton
It’s been said the only survivors of a nuclear war would be cockroaches and Cher’s career…but then there’s the Anderton Awards, "honoring" the best at this year's AES Convention. The class action lawsuit regarding the main course at last year’s awards dinner could have shut down the ceremonies permanently—but at the trial, expert witness Buggles the Man-Clown proved that cooking sewer rats at extremely high temperatures can in fact eliminate most pathogens. So there! With the judge throwing out the suit, the Anderton Awards are again poised to recognize products that might not otherwise gain recognition. The prize: a mention on this otherwise prestigious website, and of course, the grand prize is…well actually, there’s no grand prize. Nevermind.

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This year, celebrity presenters Peter Plague and Veronica Vomit (from SoCal’s premier punk band, The Snot Puppies) dazzled the crowd with songs from their new album, Idiocracy is a Documentary. But it’s time for the awards, so please pass the envelopes….

The “I’ve Seen the Light” Award goes to Corning for its optical USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt cables. 170-foot cable runs? Yessiree! Now you can put your machine room in a different area code.

Mic Parts picks up the “Never Solder with Shorts On” Award. Can’t afford to buy a Neumann? Want to retrofit the circuit board in your existing mic? Implement some mods to increase performance? DIYers, look no further.

The “Self-Driving Audio” Award goes to iZotope for its Neutron software. “Track Assistant” analyzes your tracks, then revs up your mix’s audio engine with suggestions about EQ, dynamics and other processors. Vroom!

RME’s Fireface UFX+, with analog, MADI, ADAT, AES/EBU, word clock, MIDI, Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and of course Kitchen Sync (kidding!), wins the coveted “Screw Standards, Let’s Just Connect with Everything” Award.

In a new category, AES itself garners the “Super-Scary Subwoofers” Award. Seismologists say otherwise, but we know it was all those subwoofers that triggered an official Heightened Earthquake Alert for Southern California concurrent with the AES convention. Coincidence? You decide.

Once again, Manley Labs picks up the admittedly oxymoronic “Excellence in Marketing Tag Lines” Award for “Made in Chino, Not China.” Can’t do much better in five words…or much better than their products, for that matter.

Industry veteran (with the scars to prove it) George Petersen garners the “Most Tweetworthy Line of the Show” Award for “Ever notice there’s no such thing as vintage live sound gear? It all gets destroyed.” You mean there isn’t a huge market for Bogen PA system preamps? Reverb.com fans will be devastated.

The “Demo Room with the Secret Thing I Can’t Tell You about or I’d Get Shot” Award goes to Eventide. But I can’t tell you about it. Actually I may not be able to say it was Eventide…so if I get shot, you’ll know why. Well, where I stayed in LA notwithstanding.

Audio Fusion scores the “VR Doesn’t Have to Look Like You’re Trapped in a Commodore-64” Award. They stuff a huge, traditional studio into virtual reality, where you can run the console, use outboard processors, patch devices together, etc. with VR controllers. It’s designed for education, but the “gear porn” factor is impressive.

For the fifth straight year, the Project Studio Expo wins the “A Little Knowledge Is a Dangerous Thing, but a Lot of Knowledge Messes with Minds” Award for lifting the veils of audio ignorance among attendees. Good job!

In an unprecedented development, the “Clash of the Titans” Award is a statistical dead heat between Focusrite and Apogee, both of whom introduced new lines of Thunderbolt interfaces. They’re rumored to be so fast Superman has replaced his tagline “faster than a speeding bullet” with “faster than Thunderbolt on a 10 GHz i16.”

The “So They’re from Colorado—That Explains It” Award goes to RackFX. It’s like an Air BnB for Signal Processing: There’s a community of people with vintage gear. You send a file to them, they process it (although if you don’t know what settings to specify, you’ll need to go back and forth), and you pay based on how the host sets their price—flat fee, file size, etc. Wacky and weird? Or the Studio Instrument Rentals of the future? Time will tell.

And so the curtain closes, sadly hitting a few people in the process, on another Anderton Awards. As always, please remember to sign the forms releasing us of all potential liability. And if we can somehow circumvent that pesky restraining order, we’ll see you next year in New York!