AES Preview: Top Picks for the 133rd Convention in San Francisco
October 22, 2012 by David Weiss
If you’re feeling sonic vibrations deep down in your bones, then it must be the most wonderful time of the year: AES!
For many who see audio as all or part of their calling, this annual gathering that’s held either in New York City or California (it shifts from San Francisco to LA in 2014) represents a magical few days on the calendar. Gear is in the aisles and luv is in the air, as attendees check out the latest and greatest hardware/software, and – just as importantly – forge fresh connections while getting caught up with old friends.
Meanwhile, panels and technical papers will hum quietly in the background, as math and science converge to move the auditory experience ahead.
And yes, questions will undoubtedly arise in the exhibition hall, as they seem to every year. Has the show grown smaller still? Why doesn’t Avid have a booth — again? Can the traditionally stodgy Audio Engineering Society successfully appeal to the next wave of audio engineers? Could a next-gen event be waiting somewhere in the wings? And is anyone here actually managing to make a living, or do we all just love the music sooooooooo much?
After the show floor closes, of course, is when the real AES emerges. Give us audio geeks a chance to freak, and we’ll take it. Even as the main event grows shakier, AES attendees are becoming prodigiously proficient partiers. If there’s anything cooler than getting down with 200 buddies in a recording studio – and San Francisco’s got scores of classic facilities – we don’t know what it is.
So without further ado, we present our picks for the best of AES, taking place at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, October 26-29. While official events are heavily represented here, be assured that plenty of nocturnal activities will reveal themselves to all who are onsite. Just remember that what happens in San Francisco, STAYS in San Francisco – unless you record it at 192 kHz/24-bit!
Steve Lillywhite delivers the keynote address. He’s produced everyone from U2, Dave Matthews Band, The rolling Stones, The Killers, and Thirty Seconds to Mars. Now hear him speak!
The Project Studio Expo debuts. This partnership between Sound On Sound and Craig Anderton, features “practical training and an exhibit area focused on leading edge project studio technology.” It certainly can’t hurt.
The “Wrecking Crew” Documentary. Take a rare opportunity to see a film about the musicians who backed the Beach Boys, Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkel, Elvis and many more. Licensing fees are keeping this movie out of wide distribution, but you can see it at AES.
Tech tours! If you can get on The List, you can visit Bob Weir’s $5 million Tamalpais Research Institute (TRI), Electronic Arts, 25th Street Recording, Polarity Post Production, a Dolby Atmos Demo, and much more.
Game Audio gets the love it deserves at this year’s AES. See an all-star team from Red Storm Entertainment that created Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Multiplayer, or tastier still, check in on THE FUTURE IS NOW – Mind Controlled Interactive Music. Or the Demo Derby should arrest your attention. Don’t play around – be there!
We’re literary lovers over here at SonicScoop, so we can’t resist Poe – A Life And Stories In Sound. 3-Time GRAMMY-nominated actor Phil Proctor stars in a live, hour-long dramatic audio performance as writer Edgar Allen Poe. Live and recorded sound effects, plus an original score, helps Proctor to “dramatize moments from Poe’s life and passages from the author’s most powerful prose.”
A last-second addition to the schedule was the Platinum Producer’s Panel. Three undisputed giants of sound – Jack Douglas, Narada Michael Walden and Young Guru – will work it all out with moderator Michael Romanowski.
Now stand by for a salute to The Sounds of San Francisco! Big Brother And The Holding Company, founding member/songwriter/guitarist, Peter Albin; Huey Lewis And The News bassist Mario Cipollina, and Woodstock Festival legend Country Joe McDonald will all be live and in person to flash back to the Summer of Love. LSD optional.
The Moscone will also be the site of Sennheiser’s “Al Schmitt & Friends”, featuring Elliot Scheiner, Ed Cherney, George Massenburg, Chuck Ainlay and Frank Filipetti. Hear what this platinum pack has to say on Friday, October 26, 2012 between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m, at the Moscone’s Special Events Room #134.
And we had to clue you in to at least two fiestas: The Women’s Audio Mission will be hosting their semi-annual WAM Party on Saturday, October 27th, from 6:00-8:30 pm, 111 Minna Gallery, mere blocks from the Convention Center. Music from the all-girl, all-teen pop-punk band The SHE’S and all-girl punk/folk duo The Bayonettes. Visit WAM at Booth 739 to get your free party pass.
That’s perfect timing to head over to the Brick and Mortar Music Hall, 170 Mission Street, for a slamming night of music put on by Audio Power Tools, Burl, Mojave Audio, Empirical Labs, and – that’s right – SonicScoop! Starting at 9:00 PM, jam to Afrolicious, boogie with the Samba Queen Maisa Duke, and fill up on the Late Night Taco Truck!
What more can we say? SEE YOU IN SAN FRANCISCO!!!