AES 2013

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DDA Profile Mixing Console
This past Saturday, October 19, I attended the AES show at the Javits Center in Manhattan in the company of my good friend Slade Kennedy.   AES, or the Audio Engineers Society is "the only professional society devoted exclusively to audio technology".  The annual show it sponsors, which has been hosted by San Francisco and Berlin in recent years, is primarily a gathering of manufacturers of audio equipment who are there to exhibit their wares.  I should stress that this is not a forum for viewing the latest audiophile gear for your home hi-fi system but rather, an opportunity to get a leg up on developments in sound recording and sound reinforcement (aka live sound engineering). So if you are a musician who is interested in recording or performing, chances are you will find plenty of things to engage your interest at AES.  If you have the good fortune to be accompanied by someone with the breadth of expertise of Slade, who is retired Supervising Engineer, Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, you'll have a formidably knowledgeable guide as well.

Seemingly every microphone manufacturer in the business had a presence at AES this year--Advanced Audio Microphones, ADK, AKG, Audio-Technica were all there, and that's just the A's.  Stand alone digital audio work stations (DAWs) were also well represented among the vendors, for those interested in home studio setups, although the technology has become so sophisticated that many major current releases were recorded on DAWs.  At the other end of the spectrum was the Studer truck. Studer, a name to be reckoned with in professional recording desks brought a plushly appointed semi trailer filled with the company's full sized consoles, each loaded with recorded program material so it was possible for the visitor to run the equipment through its paces.  The big find for me, however, was comparatively low tech, albeit high quality.  I had been looking for microphone stands of a less flimsy construction than those most commonly available and the Triad-Orbit company's line of beautifully engineered and constructed gear was just the thing.  For a full list of exhibitors at AES, click here.

In addition to the exhibits, AES also features appearances by eminent practitioners of the audio arts such as Bob Ludwig (the Maharajah of  Mastering and three time Grammy winner) and  Bruce Swedien (5 time Grammy Winner and recording engineer for Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Duke Ellington and Count Basie among many, many others).


 This was the second AES show I have attended at the Javits Center.  The fact that admission to the event is free if you pre-register online, was sort of reverse-defrayed for me by the overpriced in-house food concessions and a $50 charge for four hours of parking. However this should not deter you from a visit when AES comes back to the Metropolitan area if you have any interest in audio recording or live sound.  The "gee whiz" factor and friendly and informative manufacturer reps will be enough to bring me back next time around.


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This page contains a single entry by Dave Waring published on October 23, 2013 8:15 PM.

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