Sometimes I can be a little too focused—like this morning, for instance. During breakfast, I mentally drifted into planning this blog post, only vaguely listening to my 12-year-old daughter, until her comments and my thoughts suddenly synched up. She mentioned how excited she was to go to the convention at New York City’s Jacob Javits Center in October, to which I responded, “Yes, the AES Convention is going to be great.”
“Dad,” she said, slightly exasperated, “I was talking about New York Comic Con.” Which made a lot more sense in terms of my daughter, but hey, it’s true: AES will be great. When the Audio Engineering Society Convention takes place October 18-21, it will be full of workshops, panels, papers, tutorials and more—plus there will be fewer monsters and aliens, and it’ll be easier to get around (held two weeks earlier, NYCC will cram 180,000 people into the Javits, magically transforming all visitors into sardines).
AES will have some superheroes though—at least, the audio world’s version of them, in the form of legends like Andrew Scheps, Tony Maserati, Manny Marroquin, Sylvia Massy, Eddie Kramer, Joe Chiccarelli, Greg Wells, Chris Lord-Alge, Tom Lord-Alge, Jacquire King, Nick Launay, Jack Joseph Puig, Jimmy Douglass and others. They’ll be participating in the Mix with the Masters Mixing Workshops open to all visitors on the exhibition floor.
There’s a lot debuting at the AES Convention this year, including a new software@aes pavilion, created in partnership with IMSTA (International Music Software Trade Association) to showcase software manufacturers and developers of DAWs, plug-ins, virtual instruments, apps and technology.
Building on the successes of the Project Studio Expo and Live Sound Expo, this year will see the debut of the Broadcast Audio Expo and Broadway Sound Expo. All of them are open to attendees, each featuring workshops and panels comprised of top working professionals covering basic and advanced topics, sharing their best practices and hard-earned knowledge in the process. The new Broadcast Audio Expo will cover audio issues in networking, radio and TV studios, outside broadcasts and major events, while the new Broadway Audio Expo will sift through the ins and outs of tackling modern theatrical audio production.
Also on site will be another new addition: the Audio 4 VR Expo. Created to build upon last year’s Audio Engineering Society AVAR International Conference on Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality, the Expo will focus on product demonstration sessions and updates from the emerging world of VR/AR audio creation.
Elsewhere, there’s special events like Skywalker Sound’s Leslie Ann Jones giving both the annual Heyser Lecture and a presentation on her archival efforts to preserve the music of Star Wars; legend Bob Ludwig leading a panel on mastering for High Resolution Audio and Streaming; the Latin Producers panel; the Diversity Town Hall; and more. Meanwhile, tutorials and workshops will cover everything from Audio Engineering with Hearing Loss, to Podcasts: Telling Stories with Sound, and Paths to Being/Becoming a Pro—to name just a handful of the offerings.
Crucial to any AES visit are the networking opportunities, the after-hours events, the special tracks and far more than what I have room to mention here. Suffice it to say, you owe it to your career to hit the Convention and make the most of it.
And all that doesn’t even touch on the incredible experience of simply walking the exhibition floor and seeing all the latest pro-audio gear you read about in our pages up close and personal, with the people who created it on-hand to answer all your questions. New York Comic Con visitors may daydream about the Hall of Justice, but AES has the Exhibit Hall of Just Awesome.