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Live From AES!

Paul McLane and long-time Radio World contributor Al Peterson prowl the floors of the Javits Center

A dress of cables

Radio World Editor-in-Chief Paul McLane and long-time Radio World contributor Al Peterson are prowling the floors of the Javits Center in New York at the AES Convention. They are supplying irregular updates.

From Al: Fresh off the bus and already working the floor at the 135th AES convention in N.Y.C. Getting here late didn’t mean I missed the crowds. The floor has been busy all day with a kaleidoscopic mix of audio pros from all disciplines — young beat-mixers, aging pony-tailed hippies and everyone who shares a passion for good audio, broadcast or otherwise.

Friendliest face on the floor thus far has been this lovely maiden in the Redco Audio booth with a dress woven completely from audio cables.

Radio personalities who love the sound of their own voices could probably lose themselves in this sea of bright, shiny Cascade microphones. Mic manufacturers present here include Neumann, Cloud, Audio-Technica and others. There’s plenty of boutique and exotic mic builders here.

A cascade of mics at Cascade Microphones

I ran into a knot of people blocking one aisle.

Many booths demonstrating their wares have one thing in common: they all are running Avid’s Pro Tools as their audio source. Can there be any question now as to there being a de facto DAW standard in audio environments? It’d be hard to argue against. Last time Avid rolled through New York for an AES show, they presented Pro Tools 10. Now at version 11, the crowds keep coming to see what else the software can do.

Demo at Harman’s Studer/Soundcraft Area

An audience listens to producer Jimmy Douglass

German console maker Lawo still believes in radio.

Future historians will look back and note that the evolution of the Borg began at the Brüel & Kjaer booth, AES Convention 2013.

The All-Seeing Kaotica

More from Al: It’s amazing what happens when you turn your eyes away for a brief moment — dozens of innovative products and technologies sprout up that just stop you in your tracks. It’s hard not to squeal like a little schoolgirl sometimes!

I got nailed by the Kaotica “Eyeball” — a spherical absorber/isolator which wraps around a mic and eliminates the external environment. For any broadcaster needing to cut ads or voicetracks and doesn’t have a foamed, soundproofed room at their disposal for a clean recording, this is a very cool, very portable solution. You can VT your station from a hotel room and sound like you are in a studio.

A company called Slate is showing off the Raven MTX, a huge touchscreen production console that uses direct control of all DAW functions right on the touchscreen. No mouse, no trackball are needed. Touch what you want directly adjusted, and it’s done.

About 13 years ago, Colorado Digital and Arrakis had a touchscreen broadcast console that worked well, so it’s nice to see the dream alive in the production realm.

Tree Audio lives in the past. A very cool past.

The latest and greatest isn’t for everyone, If you miss your old tube-driven Gates Yard mixer, check out the Roots” audio console from Tree Audio of Los Angeles. Real live firebottles drive this baby, with big rotary knobs, analog meters and chickenhead knobs.

Now that the fun, “Oh, wow!” stuff is out of my system, it’s time to get serious. Coming up over the weekend, the workshops and presentations … all the important things you should know about.