It’s been four years since the AES (Audio Engineering Society) convention has been in Los Angeles. Finally, the event is back and I’m skipping the RMAF to stay around to participate in the working group on High-Resolution Audio and check out the panels, papers, and exhibits. There are a number of specific things that should prove very interesting.
The DEG has partnered with the AES to produce a series of panels on Friday under the banner “Digital Entertainment Group Presents High Resolution Audio Sessions”. From the descriptions on the AES Convention website, these sessions look very similar to the panels that happened at CE Week last June in New York City.
The first session starts at 10:00 am and lasts for 50 minutes. Here’s the description:
“Hi-Res Audio Devices for Every Lifestyle: Learn more details about the growing number of hi-res compatible devices available today from some of the biggest names in hi-res devices including Astell & Kern, dCS, DTS, Kimber Kable, Meridian, Mytek, and Sony. Subjects will include how to demonstrate hi-res audio at retail; the latest options for enjoying hi-res music on-the-go; and how to educate and engage young music enthusiasts. Moderated by Marc Finer, the panel includes Owen Kwon, John Quick, Fred Maher, Ray Kimber, Bob Stuart, Michal Jurewicz, and Aaron Levine.”
I’m not sure how demonstrating the available options for high-resolution, music servers and portable players are the most suitable things for audio engineering professionals but that’s what this panel promises. The panelists all represent manufacturers of these devices.
The second session is a rehash of the panel held in NYC. It happens from 11:30 – 12:20.
“The New Business of Hi-Res Music: Get an inside look at the opportunities and challenges associated with hi-res music from Mark Piibe at Sony Music, Howie Singer at Warner Music, and Jim Belcher at Universal Music. Topics will include licensing hi-res files; the latest distribution partners; ingesting and archiving digital assets; new subscription models; and the best ways to promote hi-res music.”
Unless the assembled audio engineers are looking to set up another HDtracks, PonoMusic, or SuperHiRez, the business of licensing existing tracks from the big three might better be directed to a business of music convention.
At 1:00, the focus shifts to the production of high-resolution audio. The Recording Academy’s P&E Wing (of which I’m a member) is co-sponsoring this session. They describe it as:
“Hi-Res Audio Production Workshop: [co-sponsored by the Recording Academy P&E Wing] Join top producers and engineers as they discuss the music creation process and best practices when recording, mixing and mastering in high resolution. The panel moderated by Leslie Ann Jones features Chuck Ainlay, John Burk, Ryan Ulyate, and Bob Clearmountain who will review the key aspects of various audio formats in context with their latest music projects.”
The represented professionals are all big name persons in the audio engineering or record business and they work with the Grammy winning artists. I inquired about participating on this panel but was politely informed that they wanted to focus on mainstream music production. I took that to mean that the stuff that I’ve been doing for 15 years is on the edge of the music business…and I wouldn’t disagree. I’m not aware of everything that this group has done, so I’ll stop by and check out what they have to say.
The last session is scheduled for 3:00 – 3:50 pm. It’s going to be a Super Session.
“High Resolution Audio—Super Session: Meet and mix with some of the brightest minds in the business including Bruce Botnick, George Massenburg, and Andrew Scheps as they explore a number of the most challenging issues facing the recording industry today concerning the adoption of high resolution audio. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear from these opinion makers!”
I can only assume that it takes celebrity status to make it onto a panel…something I recognize that I lack. But I know that there’s no one that has been working and promoting high-resolution audio longer or harder than I have. Sometimes simply knowing your stuff isn’t enough. You have to have worked with a big name recording artist.
Tomorrow, I’ll clue you in on the papers that will be presented that look to address the perceptibility of high-resolution audio.