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AES Sessions Change With the Times

A sampling of Broadcast & Streaming sessions

This month’s 131st AES Convention in New York offers broadcast engineers and other personnel many useful sessions. Here’s a sampling from the Broadcast & Streaming sessions, chaired by David Bialik.

Thursday, Oct. 20
“Renovation and Retrofitting,” 9–10:30 a.m. Studio design guru John Storyk guides a group discussing the changing role of studios and how they often need to adapt to multiple duties. Not to be forgotten are budgetary constraints and changes in priorities.

“Listener Fatigue and Retention,” 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. David Wilson of the Consumer Electronics Association talks to audio all-stars such as Frank Foti of Omnia Audio, Greg Ogonowski of Orban and recording engineer George Massenberg, among others, about listener fatigue and retaining listeners. The conversation will range from broadcast audio to audio experienced through cell phones and consumer goods.

Friday, Oct. 21
“Streaming & Encoding,” 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Broadcast & Streaming Chair David Bialik takes the reins in this look at current and prospective methods of encoding media. Jan Nordmann of Fraunhofer, Todd Baker of SRS Labs, Greg Ogonowski of Orban and a representative from Dolby will offer thoughts, concerns and predictions.

“A Half Century of FM Stereo,” 6–8 p.m. Bialik leads a multifaceted group in a road trip to the P.C. Richards Theater to celebrate 50 years of FM stereo broadcasting. On hand will be participants like Tom Ray, Eric Small, Arno Meyer, Richard Mertz, Frank Foti, Bob Orban and Bill Sacks.

AES Tours Audio History

One of the notable things about having an audio show in New York City is that there is a lot of interesting audio history around the convention hall. Taking advantage of that, AES show organizers and Historical Events Chair Harry Hirsch have put together a handful of historical “tours” for conventioneers.

Leopold Stokowski and the History of Analog Recording: Presented by Robert Auld. Any classical music fan knows the name of conductor Leopold Stokowski but what is not always known is that Stokowski was involved heavily in the audio engineering of his recordings. He was known for pushing the envelope of technology. Auld will offer historical recordings along with photos and film clips from Stokowski’s personal archive.

A Tribute to Walter Sear: Presented by Noah Simon. The late Walter Sear was a legendary New York City studio owner. His collection of working analog gear spanned decades and is still used in recordings made today. Lesser known was his work as a musical instrument importer and Theremin aficionado.

Classical Recording in America— From One Microphone to 24 Tracks: Presented by Thomas Fine. Recording classical music has always presented a challenge to audio engineers. The size of the performing group, scope of the music, recording location, required fidelity, et al create perplexing problems. Thomas Fine walks attendees through the primitive early days all the way through the “golden age of recording” in the 1950s to ambitious 32-microphone recordings made in the 1960s and 1970s.

Audio Archiving and Preservation 101—Two Important Broadcast Collections: James Sam of the Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University will discuss two major audio preservation/archiving projects he is overseeing: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty tapes and the Commonwealth Club of California collection.

Saturday, Oct. 22
“Working With Content Delivery Networks,” 3:30–5 p.m. CBS’ Ray Archie heads up a session that would have been unimaginable 10 years ago but is increasingly commonplace and perhaps a perennial in the years ahead.

“Improving the Streaming Audience Experience,” 5–6:30 p.m. Poorly performing streaming audio has re-created the age-old problem of bad radio reception. Contemporary listeners are less likely to put up with a poor streaming experience. Bill Sacks seeks solutions from Michael Daskalopoulos of Dolby Labs, Rusty Hodge of SomaFM, Markell Lambright of CBS Radio and Greg Ogonowski of Orban.

Sunday, Oct. 23
“New Initiatives in Digital Audio Playback and Automation,” 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Radio World U.S. Editor in Chief Paul McLane speaks with representatives of ENCO Systems, Broadcast Electronics, WideOrbit and RCS about the rapid evolution and convergence of this part of radio station operations.

“Media File Management: Storage, Backup and Retrieval of Your Assets,” 2:30–4 p.m. Another session unthinkable not long ago but now center stage. David Prentice of Dale Pro Audio and crew examine ever-changing hardware options, while considering content and software concerns now and tomorrow.

Broadcast & Streaming Sessions (full list)