Audio engineering in action
Some of the world's best audio recording engineers, live sound engineers, and record producers will be on stage at the convention, discussing how they create platinum recordings. Other highlights of this convention include a keynote by recording studio pioneer Chris Stone, on the current state of the music industry; broadcast sessions on lip sync and broadcast for handheld devices; tours of local famous centers for audio and music such as Dolby Laboratories or Industrial Light & Magic; an overview of perceptual audio coding by some of the inventors of AC3, PAC, MP3 and AAC; standards meetings; and a discussion of user interfaces for musical instruments by electronic music instrument pioneers.
Audio gear and more in the exhibits
What sets an AES Convention apart is the unique mix of exhibits and technical presentations. Readers of EE Times appreciate the precision design and manufacturing required to create pristine audio. In the exhibits, attendees have a chance to see products from world-class manufacturers, with many live demonstrations: microphones, loudspeakers, amplifiers, recording consoles, and effects devices.
The exhibits include some notable chip manufacturers such as AKM Semiconductor, Analog Devices, Cirrus Logic, Texas Instruments, National Semiconductor, and THAT. Exhibitors also offer Exhibitor Seminars--technical talks oriented to new developments in their product line.
DSP at the AES
One of the fundamentals of audio in this day and age is digital signal processing. DSP is a major theme at the AES convention, with presentations on audio compression, filter design, tradeoffs between fixed and floating point system, and implementation of coding schemes on specific processors.
Student and career events
The AES offers a significant program for students and career development. At the convention you can sign up for one-on-one mentoring sessions, a one-on-one resume review and even find jobs on the job/resume board. Students submitting a technical paper to the convention are eligible for the Student Paper Award, which leads to publication in the journal of the AES.
Free exhibits pass, technical program online
For the San Francisco convention, the technical program and list of exhibitors are available online at http://www.aes. org/events/125/. EE Times readers can register for a free exhibits pass at http://www.aes.org/events/125/vip.cfm?348.
If you can't make it to San Francisco, the AES will hold a convention in Munich, Germany, in May. The next AES convention in the United States will be held in New York, in October of 2009.
John Strawn has since childhood straddled the two worlds of engineering and audio, starting with piano lessons and learning to solder. After a Fulbright in Berlin and a Stanford Ph.D., Dr. Strawn maintains a consulting practice (S Systems), working as a programmer and expert witness in signal processing for audio. He is co-chair of the 125th AES Convention.