131st AES Convention Announces Historical Events Itinerary

August 22, 2011

New York - Aug 22, 2011 - The 131st AES Convention final plans are being set, and the list of historical events has been announced. "The goal of the AES Convention Historical Program is to revisit the accomplishments of pro audio past masters within a context which makes them relevant to next-generation audio practitioners," states 131st AES Convention Chair Jim Anderson. The convention will be held Oct. 20 - 23, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York.

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Following is the current historical events schedule.

  • Leopold Stokowski and the History of Analog Recording
    Presented by Robert Auld
    A prolific recording artist from 1917 until 1977 - virtually the entire period of analog music recording - Stokowski's passion for the art and technology of recording inspired a constant dialogue with engineers and researchers developing new techniques and technology. This 60-year time line illustrates major developments in analog recording from the perspective of a single (and singular) artist. Auld's presentation features rare recordings, still photos and film clips drawn from Stokowski's extensive archives. Highlights include his pioneering work with multi-channel sound recording; his collaboration with Bell Labs starting in 1932; his work with Walt Disney for the film Fantasia; and his encouragement of quadraphonic sound recording in the 1970s.

  • A Tribute to Walter Sear
    Presented by Noah Simon
    Since his death in April 2010, Walter Sear's world-famous Sear Sound recording studio has continued to thrive as a champion of analog fidelity. With its reputation for meticulously selected and maintained equipment and a superbly trained staff, Sear Sound has attracted such clients as Paul McCartney, Wilco and Norah Jones. Walter Sear's encyclopedic knowledge of and unbridled passion for audio quality set a platinum standard for studios around the world. This panel will address Sear's life and accomplishments from audio engineering and music composition, to his experimentation with theremins and synthesizers. Simon is a Brooklyn-based engineer/producer/arranger and long-time AES member.

  • Classical Recording in America: From One Microphone to 24 Tracks
    Presented by Thomas Fine
    An exploration of the history of recording techniques and equipment from the 1954 heyday of monophonic full-range high fidelity. Beginning with a single mic, evolving to early stereo's golden age of recording and the increasing complexity of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Columbia and EMI won Grammys for classical recordings made with as many as 32 mics and 24 tracks. Highlighted by a rare, comparative listening session featuring Grammy-winning recordings of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe recorded over three decades. Thomas Fine is a member of the ARSC and owner of an analog-to-digital audio transfer studio. With a primary base of archival and education/ institutional clients, Fine specializes in transferring magnetic and grooved-disc media to high resolution digital formats. He is an avid collector of music recordings and student of recording-industry history.

  • Audio Archiving and Preservation 101: Two Important Broadcast Collections
    Presented by James Sam
    The audio preservation program at the Hoover Institution Archives of Stanford University is a real-world implementation of archival best practices. Two large collections of the Archives are the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Commonwealth Club of California collections. These are eerily similar in their recording formats and time spans. Despite being generated on two different continents, their archival approach remains the same. Sam will discuss this approach and its implications for both legacy and new recordings. He will also describe preservation methods used, employing fascinating examples from the collections. From 2003 to 2006, Sam was a sound preservation engineer at the Cutting Corporation in Bethesda, MD. In 2006, he joined the Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University.

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