AES honors pro audio history

Honoring the past and learning from it is a long-standing AES tradition. The 121st Convention, scheduled for Oct. 5-8 in San Francisco’s Moscone Center, will provide attendees with ample opportunity for both pursuits. The convention will offer a series of panel discussions, film screenings and technical demonstrations designed to provide attendees with an invaluable perspective on the evolution of the art and science of pro audio. Historical events include:

Seventy Years of Stereo Optical Movie Film Soundtracks: Ioan Allen, Dolby Labs sr. VP and a pioneer in the introduction of many breakthrough film audio formats, will present a 2-hour summary of the evolution of 35mm stereo optical film soundtracks.

San Francisco Studio History: Author/MIX magazine contributing editor Heather Johnson will moderate a panel of studio veterans interviewed for her recently published book, “If These Halls Could Talk – A Historical Tour Through San Francisco’s Recording Studios.”

Sound Man Jack Mullin – From WWII to MP3: KNTV reporter Scott Budman will present a documentary film by Don Hardy. Friends and associates including Les Paul, Greg Kihn, Chuck D and Stephen Stills will discuss Jack Mullin’s pivotal contributions from the early days of tape recording to the origin of Ampex in Silicon Valley.

Digital Restoration of Mechanical Recordings: Dr. Carl Haber, senior scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will discuss new imaging methods for mechanical sound carriers.

From Carbon to Computers – The Evolution of the Broadcast Audio Chain: Mike Adams, Chairman, Department of Television, Radio, Film and Theatre, San Jose State University, will trace the evolution of broadcast audio equipment from Lee deForest, Charles Herrold’s use of carbon to tube amplification in the early 1920s, early Western Electric mixing boards, and electronic recording and disc playback.

The Abbey Road Sound – 75 Years in the Making: Kevin Ryan, music producer/arranger and co-author of “Recording The Beatles,” will moderate a panel in a discussion of the process, technologies and personalities behind the studio’s success.

Disc Cutters: Highland Laboratories principal Barry Brose will present a narrative history of the Western Electric disk recorder head from the first cutter used in talking motion pictures circa 1930, to the achievement of full-fidelity disk recording and the world-standard 45-45 stereo system.