Going Strong at 125: AES Convention
This month in San Francisco marked the 125th Audio Engineering Society Convention. Since its founding 61 years ago (AES holds multiple conventions), the convention has grown into the foremost audio industry event.
Despite the growing trade show portion of AES, the organization continues taking pains to maintain AES's core as an audio society. To that end it keeps a network of committees with members from a cross-section of the industry that oversee the technical and intellectual portions of each show.
“Sixty-one years ago, AES started with a group of guys who saw a need to gather and discuss their research; it was a collective beginning, and it has stayed that way,” says Anderson. “AES is an open and unique platform where people can look at technology and ask, ‘What else can we do with this?'”
In the past several years, AES has focused on continuing education by introducing new tracks and speakers. “We had asked mastering engineer Alan Silverman to be a member of the Convention Committee specializing in tutorials and workshops,” Anderson says. “Instead, he went a few steps further and designed six classes taught by masters in their field. Our master classes remain a sell-out success.” This fall's included “Basic Acoustics: Understanding the Loudspeaker” and “Acoustics and Multiphysics Modeling.”
More speakers have been added to each show, allowing coverage of topics like the history of FM synthesis and architectural acoustics as well as Beethoven's deafness. In 2003 AES added a series of “All About” classes—lessons about basic technology like microphone preamps, digital audio workstations, and equalizers. The “All Abouts” evolved into what are now known simply as Tutorials.
“Education is big driver for us,” says Anderson. “AES is where a budding engineer has the opportunity to present his or her first paper, recording, or poster. We need to get the next generation of young professionals to step in.”
Linda Frembes is freelance AV journalist and a frequent contributor to PRO AV.