AES Announces 129th Convention Tech Tours

August 16, 2010

San Francisco - Aug 16, 2010 - The 129th AES Convention Technical Tour Co-Chairs Jessica Livingston and Jeff McKnight have coordinated a series of behind-the-scenes visits to several San Francisco-area audio venues. Dates and times are yet to be finalized, but the AES has provided a preview of the events.

The close proximity of six sites inspired the organizers to provide visitors with a pair of two-for-one opportunities. The preliminary event list follows.

  • Freight and Salvage: A 42-year-old coffee house, which recently opened California's largest venue for traditional music, has hosted artists such as Country Joe and The Fish, Lightin' Hopkins and Ricky Skaggs.
  • The Berkeley Repertory Theater: This facility has helped develop many successful theatrical productions over the past 40 years, including Green Day's multi Tony-Award winning American Idiot. The Berkeley Rep features two separate theaters which run different shows simultaneously. Across the street from each other in the heart of the Berkeley Arts District, Freight and Salvage and The Berkeley Rep are offered as a single tour.
  • Tiny Telephone: Opened by John Vanderslice in 1997 to provide affordable recording to SF's independent music community and situated in the Mission District in a gated, private compound, the 1700 sq. ft. studio offers a Bob Hodas-tuned control room, a discrete Neve 5316 and a Studer 827. Tiny Telephone engineers have worked with a variety of artists ranging from Modest Mouse to Death Cab for Cutie and Elvis Costello.
  • Women's Audio Mission: A non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in music production and the recording arts in a field where women are under-represented (less than 5 percent),WAM seeks to "change the face of sound" by providing women with hands-on media technology training, career counseling and job placement. The tour will be highlighted by a visit to WAM's recently redesigned studio. Mission District neighbors, Tiny Telephone and WAM encompass another double header tour.
  • Crescendo: One of SF's premier audio post facilities is located in the historic Barbary Coast waterfront district. Designed by WSDG in a European motif inspired by old-world Italy, Crescendo is a cutting-edge audio post complex. Amenities include a Tuscan plaza and bubbling fountain, and a fully-functioning cafe.
  • Polarity Post: A five-studio full service audio post house is focused on VO and ADR recording, sound design, stereo and surround sound mixing for TV, radio, video games, film, corporate programming and special projects, Polarity and Crescendo comprise the third two-for-one tech tour package.
  • Dolby: Founded by Ray Dolby in 1965 and a benchmark of SF pro audio innovation since 1976, Dolby is synonymous with the highest quality feature film noise reduction systems. Winner of multiple Oscars and Emmys, Dolby has developed ground-breaking cinema, broadcast, game and home theater audio technology. This tour will encompass R&D labs, manufacturing and testing facilities.
  • Outpost Studios: SF's largest lock-to-picture Dolby 5.1 control room/mix stage features custom-built Foley pits and recording areas. Editor Dave Nelson pioneered the art of recording Foley directly into ProTools. Outpost boasts a warehouse full of Foley props, including the Saul Zaentz Film Center collection and a huge library of sound effects. Credits include Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation.
  • Davies Symphony Hall: Opened in 1980, this is the home of the San Francisco Symphony and musical director Michael Tilson Thomas. The elegant hall is distinguished by a unique cloud of movable reflecting panels to adjust the acoustics to the size of the orchestra and audience. Fabric banners can alter reverb time from approximately 1 to 2.5 seconds. The venue has hosted acclaimed artists such as Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Jascha Heifetz and Andre Watts.

    Other AES Technical Tours include:

  • CCRMA: Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics is a unique center dedicated to research and contemporary musical creation within Stanford University.
  • Grace Cathedral: A renowned SF landmark recognized world-wide for its extraordinary acoustics, the Cathedral regularly presents a diverse program ranging from its Choir of Men and Boys to jazz legends like Pharaoh Sanders and hit makers like Carlos Santana and Bonnie Raitt.
  • Studio D: Studio principal Joel Jaffe will demonstrate surround sound miking and mixing techniques at this Marin County studio.
  • Studio 880's new Mix Manor: Situated in a completely restored historic Victorian mansion on the picturesque island of Alameda, the studio features a Gothic tracking room, Deco edit room and a grand Egyptian Deco Mix theater. Studio owner/producer/engineer John Lucasey, whose credits include Green Day, Norah Jones, Chris Brown and Beyonce, will discuss the aesthetics of studio design during the tour.

    Tickets for Technical Tours are only available on site at the Moscone Center. Visit the AES Calendar of Events ( dates and times. Tickets are sold at the reception desk in the main lobby well in advance of departure.

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