Next month the Audio Engineering Society (AES, http://www.aes.org/) will hold its 125th convention in San Francisco, bringing together top-notch researchers, engineers (audio, electrical, software and acoustic) and manufacturers for a four-day gathering (Oct. 2 through Oct. 5).
The AES Convention has long been the premier venue to learn about new developments in audio, even if your design doesn't involve pro audio. Bob Moog's analog synthesizer, the Compact Disc, audio coding, and the AES/EBU standard (commonly known as S/PDIF in consumer devices) have all been featured at AES conventions.
The upcoming convention offers 150 technical papers on a wide variety of topics, such as audio coding, loudspeaker design, room acoustics, multichannel audio, listening tests and automotive audio. An afternoon session on Saturday, Oct. 4, called "Innovative Audio Applications," features some unusual topics, including "Design a System to Sonic Boom an Entire House" and two papers on the cutting-edge wavefield synthesis technique for multichannel sound reproduction.
Convention preprints, combined with many decades of articles in its flagship Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, result in an electronic library of more than 11,000 titles on the AES' Web site.
AES workshops (there will be 15 at the upcoming Convention) emphasize audience participation and interaction among panelists. Designers working audio into a consumer device encounter the same kinds of problems that the designers of pro audio gear face. The AES' 60th anniversary will be celebrated with a workshop called "60 Engineering Mistakes We Have Made in Audio," with leading industry product designers swapping insights on lessons learned.
Tutorials and master classes
The AES convention presents a mini-university, with tutorials and master classes on such topics as the basics of how a loudspeaker works, electroacoustic measurements, audio networks, videogame audio, filter design, power-supply design, ceramic (piezoelectric) loudspeakers, and pulse-width modulation. Presenters include such luminaries as Michael Teener, chief architect of 1394/Firewire, and Robert Pease, highly regarded analog designer.