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131st AES Convention Product Design Track: A Study In Development

NEW YORK: “While vintage gear remains a staple of our industry, new product development is the driving force behind major manufacturers and start-ups alike,” remarks 131st AES Convention

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Chair Jim Anderson. “The stakes for a successful product launch have never been higher. Our product design Co-Chairs, Bob Moses and Jonathan Novick have developed an insightful and far ranging program to help define issues faced by both the innovators and their market. Our Exhibition Hall is once again filled with new products. This year’s product design track will provide attendees with an in depth look into how they get from drawing board to equipment rack.”

AES PRODUCT DESIGN TRACK EVENTS INCLUDE:

IS YOUR EQUIPMENT DESIGN A NOISE PROBLEM WAITING TO HAPPEN? Chair: Bill Whitlock, Jensen Transformers – A design goal for all audio equipment is freedom from hum and buzz. But AC power normally creates a system environment of ground voltage differences. While a balanced interface is the first line of defense against this noise source, many engineers misunderstand that issue itself. This class will address these and other design pitfalls.

HIGH RESOLUTION AUDIO – A NETWORKED FUTURE? Chair, Vicki Melchior, Technical Consultant; Panelists: John Dawson, Arcam; Aaron Gelter, Harman International; Steven Harris, BridgeCo: Though traditionally built on point-to-point connections, high res home audio and video systems are evolving toward full or partial networking.. This panel will address a number of promising standards and protocols and consider their potential relative to current forms of interfacing.

REAL-TIME AUDIO PROCESSING CAPABILITIES OF MICROCONTROLLERS AND APPLICATION PROCESSORS: Chair, Paul Beckmann – Microcontrollers and application processors have been steadily improving in performance, to the point where they are being seriously considered by many audio product developers. This workshop compares the architectures of microcontrollers and application processors with traditional DSPs with an eye towards their suitability for real-time audio processing.

DESIGN OF A DYNAMIC RANGE COMPRESSOR: Chair, Josh Reiss – Despite being one of the most widely used audio effects, dynamic range compression, remains poorly understood. And there is little formal knowledge and analysis of compressor design techniques. This tutorial will describe several approaches to digital dynamic range compressor design. It will explain why the designs sound different, and provide distortion-based metrics to analyze their quality. It will also provide recommendations for high performance compressor design.

HOT AND NONLINEAR – LOUDSPEAKERS AT HIGH AMPLITUDES: Chair, Wolfgang Klippel, Klippel GmbH – Nonlinearities inherent in electro-dynamical transducers, the heating of the voice coil and the magnetic system limit acoustical output, generate distortion and other symptoms at high amplitudes. This tutorial provides an introduction into the fundamentals, examines alternative measurement techniques and will address the relationship between the physical causes and symptoms depending on the properties of the particular stimulus (test signal, music).

BUILDING ANALOG IN THE 2010′S: Chair Bruce Hofer, Audio Precision – will share his insights for achieving cutting edge, reliable performance from today’s parts.

AN OVERVIEW OF AUDIO SYSTEM GROUNDING AND INTERFACING: Chair: Bill Whitlock, Jensen Transformers – Equipment makers like to pretend the problems don’t exist, but this tutorial replaces hype and myth with insight and knowledge, revealing the true causes of system noise and ground loops. Also discussed will be unbalanced to balanced connections, RF interference, and power line treatments. Be aware, some widely used “cures” are both illegal and deadly.

BLUETOOTH FOR AUDIO: Chair: Andy Glass, Bluetooth SIG – Bluetooth has many applications from wireless keyboards to printing. When it comes to audio it is often associated with low bandwidth voice connections and compressed stereo. High quality is possible though. Implementers are not limited to the codecs already on the market. The limitations of Bluetooth are sometimes more imagined than real.

ADDITIONAL PRODUCT DESIGN EVENTS INCLUDE:

* ALTERNATIVE MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES
* SPECIFYING CLASS D SOLUTIONS: Chair: Brian Oppegaard, SpeakerPower. Panelists: Bruno Putzeys (Hypex), Eric Mendenhall (Extron), Gordon Wanlass (Power Physics)
* HOW TO MAKE A NETWORKED AUDIO GIZMO

Please visit the 131st AES AES Convention Preliminary Calendar of Events for more details: http://www.aes.org/events/131/calendar/calendar.cfm

Photos: AES Convention Product Design Track Co-Chairs Jonathan Novick and Bob Moses

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The 131st Audio Engineering Convention will be held in NY’s Jacob Javits Convention Center Thursday, October 20 thru Sunday, Oct. 23.

The Audio Engineering Society was formed in 1948 by a group of concerned audio engineers. The AES counts over 14,000 members throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Japan and the Far East. The organization serves as the pivotal force in the exchange and dissemination of technical information for the industry. For additional information visit http://www.aes.org

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