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At L.A. AES Show, the Network Awakens

AES67 digital audio networking will be big at the 141st AES Convention

The 141st AES Convention is scheduled for Sept. 29–Oct. 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

If there’s a theme it might be “networking,” specifically IP-based networking. A whole track is being devoted to “Networked Audio.” That track will no doubt be of interest to broadcast engineers attending.

But the usual focus of interest for the radio engineer is the Broadcast and Streaming track; its chairman, Dave Bialik, has set his mind again to creating useful sessions.

Thursday, Sept. 29, features “Listener Fatigue and Retention,” 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. The Aphex man, Marvin Caesar, will moderate a panel that includes recording producer and engineer Bruce Botnick focusing on “the epidemic of hearing loss among both the producing and consuming population. It is essential for the producers of audio content to understand what listener fatigue is and what causes it.”

Friday, Sept. 30, 1:30–3 p.m., features what a highlight for radio processing buffs, an “Interview With Bob Orban.” The processor guru will be interviewed by colleague Greg Ogonowski.

Saturday, Oct. 1, provides several interesting sessions.

Running 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m., “Implementing IP Wiring for Audio Applications” takes on the increasing pervasiveness of IP technology. Have you heard about Cat-8? You will when Belden’s Steve Lampen is joined by Kevin Gross of AVA Networks, Dan Mortenson of Dansound, Tony Peterle of WorldCast Systems and Tim Pozar.

Tapping into a new content format for many will be “Considerations for Podcast Audio,” 5–6:30 p.m. Led by NPR’s Tim Byers, several successful podcast producers will provide their thoughts, predictions and tips on the podcast practice.

The Broadcast and Streaming track also includes sessions on TV audio (4K and 8K TV audio), surround sound in many flavors (are you ready for 22.2?), consumer audio and other elements of broadcast technology. There’ll also be a fun session, “Grease Live — The Mixer’s Perspective.”


For the engineer wanting to be on the cutting edge, many of the sessions to be at are in the “Networked Audio” track. Admittedly much of the material is aimed at installation and live sound applications, the miracle of digital makes much of the technology capable of being cross-platform and there’s no doubt that broadcast as already seen digital audio network capabilities bleed into the broadcast plant.

To whit, there’ll be several sessions examining AES67, the seemingly all-purpose networking standard seeking to bring peace and harmony to digital audio networks.

Leading the way will be Sept. 29th’s session, “Rolling Out AES67 Into Real-World Applications” with Andreas Hildebrand of ALC NetworX. Following in the same path are two sessions on Sept. 30 — “AES67 and the Audio Industry” and “AES67 Discovery.” Of interest to more advanced engineers might be Oct. 1’s “Optimizing Audio Networks” and Oct. 2’s “AES67 Interoperability Testing — The Plugfest Report.”

This list does not exhaust the networking sessions, many of which are multi-application.

It needs to be added, as always, there is much more at an AES than broadcast-oriented sessions and events.

Besides a show floor second only to the NAB spring show, there will be interesting and fun sessions on recording technology and practice along with looks at musical instruments (e.g. Heyser Lecture with keyboard synthesizer expert Dave Smith), venues (e.g., “The Great British Recording Studios”) and audio equipment (“Historic Microphone Technologies and Their Connection to Vocal Performance Techniques”). Being in Los Angeles, there will also be some outstanding tour opportunities such as trips to Sony Computer Entertainment America, ESPN, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Recording, Dolby Theater, NRG, Capitol Studios and the Iron Mountain Entertainment Services storage and restoration facilities (which allegedly has legacy machinery for playback of most any known entertainment format).

Separately, the National Association of Broadcasters and Audio Engineering Society announced they will collocate fall conferences in 2017. The AES East Coast convention, with its emphasis on audio, and the NAB Show New York, slanted to video and content distribution, will be side by side in October of 2017 at the Javits Convention Center. The move is likely to help the events benefit from one another rather than compete for attention and audience at about the same time. Organizers expect a combined total of 25,000 attendees.