SAN FRANCISCO:Attended by nearly two thousand visitors, the Project Studio Expo at the 133rd AES Convention proved itself a compelling new addition to the venerable pro audio show. Created in partnership with Sound On Sound Magazine, the two-day event was a "show within a show." Presentations included practical clinics, authoritative Q&A's,in-depth dialogues focused on emerging recording techniques, workflow, technology innovations, and, invaluable advice on best practices from leaders in the field.
"I was really impressed with the PSE. As in, REALLY impressed," enthused Electronic Musician, Executive Editor, Craig Anderton. "I can't believe how well the concept was realized. I gave it an Anderton Award for my November Pro Sound News column. The Home Run At The First At-Bat Award, along with some serious kudos, went to the AES Project Studio Expo track. Lots of seminars, standing-room only crowds, wireless headphones for best fidelity and no ambient noise, enthusiastic attendees . . . AES has discovered its fountain of youth,"
One highlight of the Project Studio Expo was an illuminating address by multi-Platinum engineer/producer Young Guru (Jay-Z, Kanye West, etc.) about the origins of hip hop and insights into his role as a producer/engineer and... psychologist to bring the best performance out of superstar artists. Other presentations covered small room acoustics, microphone techniques, tracking, mixing, editing, mastering, performance, and use of mobile devices such as the iPad in music production.
"The Project Studio Expo represents a new direction for the AES, in bringing high profile audio community leaders directly to end-users for training and mentorship," AES Executive Director Bob Moses explained. "We realized that our conventions bring together luminaries in the field to share all the advanced technologies and techniques, but one very important group was being neglected - the folks working in small studios grinding out music, commercial jingles, etc., on a daily basis," AES convention exhibitors and sponsors want to see lots of customers. For every platinum producer/engineer we showcase, there are thousands of audio professionals doing good work, but needing support and training to improve their craft. The Project Studio Expo is our way of serving them. AES is an incredible educational resource, and we want to make it available to everyone."
A collective of senior editors from major trade publications enthusiastically endorsed the Project Studio Expo in advance of the show and appeared together in a panel at the event, including: Paul White (SOS), Gino Robair (EM), Frank Wells (PSN), Mike Metlay (Recording), Strother Bullins (PAR), Larry Crane (Tape Op) and Tom Kenny (MIX). "This support is extremely important and validating as we refocus AES on the critical mass of the audio field," stated Moses. "I deeply appreciate the fact that everyone realizes our joint efforts will float all the boats in the industry for universal benefit. An educated industry is good for everyone - magazines, manufacturers, engineers, and even the people who buy music!
"I also want to offer a special thank you to our sponsors: M-Audio, Akai Professional, Presonus, AVID, Lynda.com, and Sennheiser for taking a risk on something new, and supporting this event," said Moses."And of course, Sound On Sound was a very strong partner in putting it together. We couldn't have pulled it off without them."
A follow up event is already in the planning stage for the 134th AES Convention in Rome, and the 135th AES Convention set for NYC's Javits Center Oct. 17-20, 2013. "We would be crazy not to keep this going," Moses concludes. "In fact, the upcoming Nashville Recording Workshop Feb 15-16, 2013 is pretty much the same event but with a different name. Look for a lot of practical training at future AES events. This is the wave of the future."
1. SRO Crowds jam AES Project Studio Expo
2. PSE Editors Panel (l-t-r) Mike Metlay (Recording), Frank Wells (PSN), Paul White (SOS), Strother Bullins (PAR), Larry Crane (Tape Op) and Tom Kenny (MIX) Not pictured, Gino Robair (EM)
3. Craig Anderton and Young Guru
About the AES The Audio Engineering Society was formed in 1948 by a group of concerned audio engineers. The AES counts over 14,000 members throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Japan and the Far East. The organization serves as the pivotal force in the exchange and dissemination of technical information for the industry. For additional information visit http://www.aes.org