Last week I noted the tenth anniversary of the introduction of the first MP3 player. It turns out that last week also marked another important event in the history of audio engineering - the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Audio Engineering Society (AES).
The organization's genesis may have been a letter to the editor in the December 1947 issue of Audio Engineering magazine, in which a reader asked, "now that the audio engineer has been dignified by a specialized publication...is it not time for him to have an organization of his own?" A few months later and after some discussion, the AES was officially formed on March 11, 1948, in New York City, and now comprises over 14,000 members and 169 sections in 48 countries worldwide.
The AES New York Section noted the occasion at an event held at the New School for Social Research in New York City. Highlighting the event was a screening of excerpts from the upcoming AES Oral History Project, a series of recorded oral histories of important figures in the history of audio engineering.
Coordinated by the AES Historical Committee, the project is intended to preserve a first-hand recording or text transcription of the recollections of those involved with important audio engineering inventions and events for future generations. A list of completed interviews and interview candidates already includes many familiar names in audio and music recording history, including Per V. Bruel, Ray Dolby, David Hafler, Tomlinson Holman, Keith O. Johnson, Walt Jung, D.B. Keele, Stanley P. Lipshitz, Les Paul, Norman C. Pickering, Kenneth Pohlmann, Neville Thiele, Floyd Toole, and Peter James Walker to name but a few.
The AES plans to begin making interviews from the Oral History Project available on DVD later this year. To learn more about the AES Oral History Project or to volunteer to work on it, contact the project leader, Irv Joel.
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