The annual AES Convention is always a live sound melting pot—a place where ideas, information, and anecdotes flow freely among peers and professionals. This year’s Live Sound track, curated by committee chairs Jonathan Novovick and Michael Knowles, is a perfect example of the convention’s balanced sound reinforcement offerings, as the lineup of workshops, panels, papers, and more for this year’s show highlights everything from historical recollections to ways to deal with future technology changes.
Live Sound committee chairs Jonathan Novovick (left) and Michael Knowles
One of the most anticipated—and likely crucial—live sound events at the AES show will be the Wireless Microphones For The Future panel. Moderated by James Stoffo, the presentation will bring together panelists from Shure, Sennheiser, Line 6, and Lectrosonics.
“The state of wireless has been a moving target recently,” said Novovick, “especially with the TV Band Devices rules that were just signed off by the FCC in late September. At this point, everyone who uses wireless mics needs an update as to what’s in store for frequency planning in the coming years—and this is their opportunity to find out everything they need to know, directly from the most knowledgeable sources.”
The wireless mic panel may discuss waves, but there’s another live sound event that could cause them. Novovick expects that the Economics- Driven Change panel may raise some eyebrows—and maybe a few voices as well.
“The Economics-Driven Change panel moderated by Ken Lopez could be quite controversial,” he opined. “The idea for it was sparked by a tour accountant who was looking at a production’s costs and said ‘This is wasteful; why don’t you do it this way?’ We’re still finalizing the panel, but we’ll have people on both sides of the fence involved, and you can expect some heated comments. Ken’s a great moderator who did a fine job on our History of Innovations in Live Sound panel last time in San Francisco, so we know this will be a well-rounded, thoughtprovoking panel.”
There will be another offering, however, that will help people calm down—in particular, people who live near a venue with loud music. The new Subwoofer Directionality panel will explore optimal multiple- and singlecardioid subwoofer output patterns that can be used to place sub power where you want it—the audience— and keep it from other spots, such as the stage and nearby residences.
“It’s a relatively new field that people are becoming increasingly interested in, because some big players have done for a while, but the concepts and technology are trickling down and becoming more widely adopted, especially to help venues follow local sound ordinances,” said Novovick. “Subwoofer directionality is potentially a way to be a bit more friendly and considerate to neighbors.”
Other events in the live sound track will cover a myriad of topics, like measurement systems and microphones, “green” touring, system design for corporate events, proper use of fill speakers. and more. There’s one event in particular that Novovick is excited about, however: “I’m really looking forward to our historical panel—San Francisco Live Sound in the ’70s. That will be very interesting, because when you think of the era, with the Grateful Dead and other historic bands, there’s so much to explore!”
AES Floor Hours
Friday, November 5, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, November 6, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday, November 7, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Streaming Panels Expand
By Steve Harvey
Systems engineering consultant David K. Bialik, in his 22nd consecutive year as AES Convention Broadcast and Streaming Sessions Chair, has broadened his attention to include streaming this year, adding three panels on the topic.
David K. Bialik
Stream Formats for Content Delivery Networks, moderated by Ray Archie of CBS, will consider the impact of the lack of a standardized distribution format on the efficiency of the process. “That’s really a first for any convention, because we’re basically going to be looking at all the different streaming formats,” explained Bialik. “Every single content delivery network wants the audio delivered in a different way.”
Perennial favorites will return, including Listener Fatigue and Retention, moderated by David Wilson; the Lip Sync Issue, moderated Jonathan S. Abrams of CBNT; the traditionally standing room only Broadcast Facility Design panel, moderated by John Storyk; and discussions regarding loudness in digital television. “Loudness is a really hot topic right now, especially since Congress got in the way of it,” said Bialik.
Careers in Broadcasting, with moderator Chriss Scherer of Radio Magazine, will offer a new slant on the topic. “We needed to have a session on what an engineer has to go through to get a job, what to present in the interview, what skill sets you need,” explained Bialik.
AES Convention Platinum Events include the Platinum Artists/ Producers session, moderated by Mr. Bonzai and featuring legendary Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek (pictured) and the band’s producer, Bruce Botnick; Spanish artist, Veronica Romeo; CJ Vanston; Corey Cunningham of the Magic Bullets; and KamranV. The panel will share their vast experience and insights into the recording craft.