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AES events to trace audio evolution

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) will sponsor a series of programming events focused on industry history during the upcoming convention in San Francisco, Oct. 2-5. “Audio history has always been an intrinsic element of AES Convention programs, but as we celebrate our 60th anniversary, it seems even more relevant,” said Valerie Tyler, co-chair of the 125th AES Committee. “Historical Events Chair Tamara Horacek collaborated with AES members Marina Bosi, Gene Radzik and Steve Fields to develop an absorbing program, which lends a timely perspective to three of the most significant sectors in today’s professional audio industry.”

The events will include:

“Evolution of Video Game Sound” — From the discrete-logic build of “Pong” to the multicore processors of modern consoles, video game audio has made giant strides. This panel, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 3, will address the challenges of landmark game platforms, techniques used to maximize the audio experience, the dynamics leading to modern video game soundtracks, and where the game audio experience is heading.

“The World’s First Audio Recordings: Their Recovery and Restoration” — During a lunchtime keynote by Dave Giovannoni of First Sounds, on Friday, Oct. 3, Giovannoni will discuss how First Sounds, an informal collective of audio engineers and historians, recently corrected the historical record and made international headlines through its successful playback of a phonautogram made in Paris, 17 years before Edison invented the phonograph. The technical challenges in the recovery and restoration of these primitive, nearly accidental audio recordings will be presented.

“Perceptual Audio Coding — The First 20 Years” — Who could have imagined in 1988 that everyone would be clamoring for pocket-sized devices with MP3/AAC perceptual audio decoders? What made this possible and where is this going? This Friday panel will present an overview of the technology, address the consumer market evolution from niche to necessity, and discuss where the field is headed.

For a full schedule of AES panels, workshops and presentations, visit