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134th AES Convention Zeros In On Loudness

Loudness Track To Address Critical Issues From Every Conceivable Angle

ROME: The Loudness wars have waged on air and in ear for decades, leaving millions of frustrated listeners in their wake as collateral damage. The FCC, EBU, and ITU have responded with a family of standards aimed at measuring and controlling loudness, and designed to ensure an acceptable listening experience. 134th AES Convention Chairman Umberto Zanghieri reports that the Loudness Track, anchored in a full day of focused events on Sunday May 5th, represents, “A comprehensive and authoritative overview of the many complex issues related to this enduring problem.”

To emphasize the importance of the Loudness Issue, the 134th AES Convention has declared Sunday, May 5th Loudness Day. Assembled by Florian Camerer, Chair of the EBU Loudness Group, PLOUD, these Papers and Panels will explore the latest research and practices and, address recommendations for demystifying and ameliorating this exasperating scourge. The 134th AES Convention will be held May 4 -7, 2013 at Rome’s Fontana di Trevi Conference Centre.

AES Rome: Loudness Track: Saturday, May 4

Loudness Measurement of Multitrack Audio Content Using Modifications of ITU-R BS.1770: Recipient of the Convention’s Best Peer-Reviewed Paper Award, this far-reaching primer on recent ITU and EBU loudness measurement recommendations, will be presented by Pedro Pestana who co-wrote with Josh Reiss and Alvaro Barbosa.

Loudness Papers presented on Saturday under the heading: Perception: include:

1.The Relation Between Preferred TV Program Loudness, Screen Size and Display Format 2. A Framework for Adaptive Real -Time Loudness Control

AES Rome: Loudness Day – Sunday May 5

A Hichhiker’s Guide to Audio Nirvana: Presenter Florian Camerer, ORF – Austrian TV – Vienna, Austria; EBU – European Broadcasting Union – Targeted to sound engineers, this session will bring participants up to speed regarding virtually all the key aspects of loudness control and metering.

All Loudness Recommendations Are Equal-But Some Are More Equal than Others: Presenter Andrew Mason, BBC Research and Development, London – This tutorial will offer an explanation of the different loudness standards used in Europe (R 128), the US (A/85), and such other countries as Australia and Japan.

Loudness for Commercials-How Esthetics Change(d)

Are Movies Too Loud? The Loudness Race Reaches the Cinema: Presenters: Florian Camerer, ORF – Austrian TV – Vienna, EBU – European Broadcasting Union; Eelco Grimm, Grimm Audio – Utrecht, Netherlands, Alessandro Travaglini, Fox International Channels Italy – Guidonia Montecelio (RM), Italy – Cinema audiences constantly complain that soundtracks are “too loud.” Just turning the level down results in lowered dialog levels, which leaves the movie quieter but unintelligible. EU loudness standards are starting to be applied to cinemas. There may be a need for standards to ensure that theaters receive soundtracks that meet EU laws. This workshop will investigate the issues and the work necessary to resolve them.

Make LUFS Not War: Chair, Thomas Lund, TC Electronic A/S Denmark; Panelists: Florian Camerer, ORF – Austrian TV, Vienna; EBU – European Broadcasting Union; George Massenburg, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal – Newly produced pop/rock music rarely sounds good on fine loudspeakers, commercials on TV are annoyingly loud, and a visit to the cinema may be a deafening experience. This is audio’s dark Middle Ages. However, 2013 could be the year where a renaissance again spreads from Italy. Transparent loudness normalization has arrived to radio, TV, and iPod; The panel will address the far-reaching implications this development will have on audio production.

Give Peaks a Chance: Presenter: Thomas Lund, TC Electronic A/S – Risskov, Denmark – Hearing is our most acute temporal sense, but the terms we have for describing dynamic changes in audio are not well defined. This session will explore micro and macro-dynamics in music and speech, their effects and, what it takes to actually register them as a listener. But, engineers be warned! Although audio samples will be played, this presentation will focus on anatomy, physiology, and psychology.

Loudness Work in Live Sports – Case Studies, Upmix And Downmix

Loudness In Radio – The Next Step

“We are extremely proud of this historic Loudness Track,” states AES Executive Director Bob Moses. “We hope it will produce meaningful dialogues on correcting this ongoing problem. We also recommend that attendees refer to the Preliminary Events Calendar -http://www.aes.org/events/134/calendar/calendar.cfm to confirm times and locations for all these events. Packed with descriptive abstracts of Papers, Workshops, Tutorials and Special Events, the Preliminary Events Calendar provides an invaluable overview of the first AES Convention to be held in the Eternal City.

Photo: Florian Camerer, Chair of the EBU Loudness Group, PLOUD

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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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AES Announces Sponsors For 134th Convention In Rome

New Sponsorship Program Bringing Businesses Into The Convention in New Ways

Berklee College of Music & RCF Take Gold Sponsorships

ROME: “The AES has always been the place for the audio industry to promote innovation, education, and best practices,” states Executive Director Bob Moses. “In the past, the exhibition provided a platform for companies to showcase the latest and most advanced technologies for recording, live sound, broadcast and related audio fields. But during the past decade, e-commerce, social networking, mobile platforms, economic struggles, and the increasingly rapid pace in which we work, have coalesced into a total game changer. We’re exploring a number of new ways AES can serve businesses at the convention and beyond. These initiatives are part of our new convention sponsorship program.”

Moses underscores the growing need for companies to cut through the ubiquitous online chatter to reach key customers and decision makers. “Many companies want to deliver the message that their brands stand for quality and innovation. And they realize that our industry is driven by advancing technology — innovation fuels growth. AES is the ideal place to promote a healthy audio ecosystem. Sponsored on-site training sessions and focused demos are two examples of this AES/business partnership.” Our evolving role is to nurture a vigorous community for audio professionals who demand high quality audio equipment and keep the bar high for the audio profession across the board.

“A look at the list of sponsors for the 134th Convention in Rome, will reveal astute companies partnering with AES to deliver important audio training, support standards activities, promote their brands, and supporting us because they love what AES does” Moses said.

The sponsors of the 134th Convention in Rome are:

Audio Precision, Audiomatica Srl, bd Sound, B&C Speakers, Berklee College Of Music (Gold), CharterOak, Crane Song Ltd., EKO Music Group spa, Fairlight Europe, Klippel GmbH, LAMBDA srl, Link, Microtech Gefell GmbH, Pro Audio Consulting srl, RCF (Gold), Thrax Audio Ltd., Trinnov Audio and ZP Engineering srl.

“Italian company, RCF, and the Berklee College of Music came in especially strong as our Gold Sponsors, and we are delighted to welcome them as our Convention partners,” said Convention Chairman Umberto Zanghieri. “RCF has been a leader in the development of world-class speakers, studio monitors and live sound technology for concerts, tours and theatrical performances for more than 60 years. Over the past 50 years, Berklee College of Music has evolved to a position as the world’s premier learning lab for the music of today and tomorrow. These two industry leaders top a list of eighteen outstanding sponsors committed to making the 134th AES Convention – May 4 -7, 2013 at Rome’s Fontana di Trevi Conference Centre an unforgettable event.”

In acknowledging their Gold Sponsorship, RCF Head of Marketing, Gioia Molinari remarked, “The AES is essential for engaging with our peers, developing new associations, revitalizing long-standing friendships, and participating in extraordinary Live Sound events, Workshops, Tutorials, and high level social networking activities. We are pleased to lend our support to this irreplaceable organization.”

Berklee College of Music’s Valencia Campus Director for Technology Innovation Stephen Webber adds, “In supporting our mandate for providing students with the highest standards in music education, we find AES Conventions invaluable for developing high level mentoring opportunities, for acquiring insights into technology, standards and best practices, and for providing a unique environment for students to engage with a diverse range of industry professionals.”

“We salute our sponsors and we will make every effort to ‘over-deliver’ in our efforts to serve them at the Convention,” Moses concluded. “We hope other companies jump on-board the sponsorship bandwagon at future events so we can collaborate on keeping our industry smart and strong.”

For details visit the Preliminary Events Calendar at: http://www.aes.org/events/134/calendar/calendar.cfm

Photos: RCF and Berklee College of Music Logos

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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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Mastering Engineer Nathan James Opens ‘The Vault’ In Phoenix

New WSDG Studio Geared For National Work

PHOENIX, AZ: A successful decade behind the console of his Manhattan-based
Vault Mastering Studio, convinced engineer, Nathan James that he could shift his growing family back to their hometown of Phoenix and maintain a thriving business. Having developed a strong client base ranging from rockers like The Fray to jazz vocalist, Gretchen Parlato and comic Louis C.K., James was confident his skills would continue to attract interesting national projects. After establishing temporary quarters with a local mastering house, James’ next order of business was to retain the Walters-Storyk Design Group to create his new studio.

“My clients were very happy with the quality of the various rooms I worked out of,”James says.”But, for several years early in my career I assisted Scott Hull at the WSDG-designed, Classic Sound in NY. I always dreamed of having my own
John Storyk Room. Our move to Phoenix was the perfect opportunity to make that
happen. My conversations with John convinced me it was doable, both financially and physically. We started the ball rolling as soon as we were settled in.”

WSDG Project Manager Matthew Ballos, flew to Phoenix to access the site, take
measurements and perform acoustic tests. “Nathan had purchased a handsome three – level house,” Ballos says. “The lower floor presented a perfect location for a 300 square foot studio. We had an 8-foot ceiling height, and a large window capable of providing natural light, and a sense of connectivity to the outside world. Windows are rare in studios, given the option, we take advantage of them.”

Ballos and WSDG principal/architect/acoustician John Storyk, collaborated on a studio designed to maximize the existing space and provide ceiling and wall isolation to eliminate sound leakage. “While it wasn’t necessary to ‘float’ the room, we incorporated a 2mm thick, rubberized mat beneath the hardwood floor to reduce sound transmission. “During design we envisioned a front wall treatment comprised of three overlapping curved, stretch fabric – wrapped absorptive panels,” Ballos reports. “We developed a corresponding ceiling cloud and rear wall panel which complimented the aesthetics and completed the room tuning requirements.”

WSDG also devised a 6-foot wide, absorptive acoustic window treatment built with Clearsorber Deamp perforated transparent panels. The treatment is hinged to open the window and provide James and his clients with friendly breezes, when work issues permit. The studio also incorporates a custom-designed wall sleeve, which houses the sliding glass acoustic studio door when it’s not in use.

James was fortunate to find a local contractor with extensive recording studio credits to handle the build. “WG McKenzie has built studios in NYC and Phoenix,” Matthew Ballos reports. He was extremely sensitive to the technical concerns of building acoustically pristine environments. We spoke frequently throughout the construction process, and we were on the same page on virtually every issue.”

“The new Vault Mastering Studio meets every one of my specific requirements, and when you walk in, it’s got that WSDG wow factor,” Nathan James says. “I migrated my entire mastering setup from New York, from the Custom DM console to the Duntech Sovereign/Cello amp monitoring combination that I’ve relied on for well over a decade. I brought all my trusted processing tools as well. Everything I need to get the most out of every recording is available at my fingertips. This is the studio I’ve always dreamed about. My original NYC Vault was aptly named because it radiated a sense of total sonic security. The new studio sounds and functions in a totally natural way. Sunlight enhances the creative vibe of the room during the day, and in the evening; it takes on an entirely different atmosphere. When I say I’m totally at home in my new Vault, I mean that both literally and figuratively,” James concludes.

Photos

1 WSDG designed The Vault Mastering Studio in Phoenix, AZ for engineer Nathan James (pictured)
2. The Vault Mastering Studio In Phoenix

Photos by John Brinkman.

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Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media production facilities in the U.S., Europe, the Far East and Latin America. WSDG credits range from the original Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studio in Greenwich Village to NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center performance complex, broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET, over twenty teaching studios for The Art Institutes around the US, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include Jungle City, NY’s major new destination studio; private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters, and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG is a seven-time winner of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design, including 2012 for Jungle City. WSDG maintains offices in NY, SF, Miami, Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, Germany, Mexico City, Spain and Switzerland

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134th AES Convention Preliminary Events Calendar Link Is Live

Roam Online For Comprehensive Events Details On May 4-7 Convention In Rome

ROME: The Preliminary Events Calendar for the 134th AES Convention, is live on the AES website. Packed with descriptive abstracts of Papers, Workshops, Tutorials and Special Events, the Preliminary Events Calendar offers a comprehensive overview of the first AES Convention to be held in the Eternal City.

134th AES Convention Chairman Umberto Zanghieri emphasizes, “While the Calendar covers virtually every presentation and event we have developed for the entire four day Convention, attendees should continue to refer to it on a regular basis as times and locations are still subject to change.”

The 134th AES Convention will be held May 4 -7, 2013 at Rome’s Fontana di Trevi Conference Centre. The event represents a unique opportunity for audio industry professionals to exchange ideas and information and to network with peers from around the globe in one of the world’s most historic cities.

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* Deadline for Advance Registration is April 19, 2013 click on https://secure.aes.org/events/134/visitors.cfmt to register
* Non-members who wish to join the AES may visit: http://www.aes.org/join/
* To attend the AES the technical program visit: https://secure.aes.org/events/134/visitors.cfm

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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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134th AES Convention Rome – Sound for Pictures Track

Skyfall Music Production – Moscow’s 1st Atmos Theater – Critical Standards

ROME: “The early filmmakers classic term ‘MOS’ is virtually obsolete,” states 134th AES Convention Chairman, Umberto Zanghieri. “Most audio produced today is directly associated with cinema, TV, Internet, streaming broadcasts, video games, and mobile. It is almost inconceivable to imagine pictures ‘Mit Out Sound.’ This Convention’s Sound For Pictures Track Chair, Brian McCarty, has developed a particularly compelling program of Papers, Tutorials and Workshops,” Zanghieri adds.

Scheduled for May 4-7, 2013 at Rome’s Fontana di Trevi Conference Centre, the Convention will explore emerging trends in 3-D Sound, Large Room Reproduction Systems and Acoustics. Leading international and Hollywood-based sound mixers and designers will discuss techniques and critical standards issues facing today’s sound for picture professionals.

Sound For Picture Track Presentations Include:

Music Production For Film: Presenter, Simon Franglen – Co-producer of the main theme song from Titanic with Celine Dion, Franglen has been an integral collaborator on the music production of such blockbuster hits as: Avatar, Spiderman, and Skyfall. Utilizing clips from all three films, Franglen’s Tutorial will illustrate the construction of a film soundtrack from inception, temp track and recording through final mix.

Design and Construction of The First Atmos-Equipped Dubbing Theater: Presenter, Philip Newell – Prolific author, and 35-year veteran designer of such celebrated studios as The Manor and Townhouse, Newell’s book “Recording Studio Design” (2003) is considered the definitive guide to a successful project. A Fellow with the Institute of Acoustics – Newell’s Workshop will document his latest cinema sound project, construction of the first new, Dolby Atmos Theatre in Moscow, finished just weeks ago.

Multichannel Immersive Audio Formats for 3-D Cinema and Home Theater: One of the most well attended workshops of 133rd AES Convention in San Francisco was a presentation by the four leading proponents of Immersive 3-D sound systems. Iosono, Auro3D, Dolby, and NHK. Representatives from all four of these pioneering companies will return to the Workshop stage in Rome to continue their discussion on the relative merits in each of their proposals.

Additional Sound For Picture Presentations will be posted on the preliminary program will be posted at www.aes.org soon.

In a related announcement, Sound For Pictures Track Chair, Brian McCarty, reports that two newly initiated AES Standards Committee projects are in development. AES-X218: Measurement and Calibration of Sound Systems in Rooms, is scoped to identify tools and procedures for measuring the performance of a loudspeaker system in a room, and support accurate, reliable calibration of this system to a specified performance. AES-X219: Method of Measurement for Frequency and Impulse Response of Sound Systems in Auditoria, is scoped to specify a method of measurement for frequency and impulse response of sound systems in auditoria. It is intended to produce a Standard, and the development discussions are expected to draw on modern measurement techniques.

Photo: Music Production for “Skyfall,” the recent James Bond blockbuster will be discussed at the upcoming 134th AES Convention in Rome in May.

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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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134th AES Convention Overview

Sponsors – Tracks – Workshops – Papers

ROME: Sponsors, Presenters and attendees are preparing for the first Audio Engineering Convention to be held in the Eternal City. Scheduled for May 4 -7 at Rome’s Fontana di Trevi Conference Centre, the 134th AES Convention will maximize the scenic and social advantages of one of the world’s most beloved cities. “We have coordinated a full program of distinguished speakers, timely tracks, and stimulating special events designed to provide information, inspiration in an incomparable setting,” states Convention Chairman Umberto Zanghieri. “Established audio pros and students preparing for next-generation jobs, will benefit immeasurably from this convention experience.

“In addition to an extraordinary technical and educational program, the Convention will feature special displays by over a dozen prominent Sponsors,” Zanghieri emphasizes. “We are pleased to welcome, Audio Precision, Audiomatica Srl, B&C Speakers, bdSound, CharterOak, Crane Song Ltd., EKO Music Group spa, Fairlight Europe, Klippel GmbH, LAMBDA srl, Microtech Gefell GmbH, RCF spa, Trinnov Audio and ZP Engineering srl, and we thank them for their support.”

Over 140 Papers Sessions, Workshops, Tutorials, Engineering Briefs, Student and Career Development events have been developed for the Convention. Preliminary lists of presentation titles are posted at http://www.aes.org/events/134/ click on the “Visitors” button for details. The Convention will also host Standards Committee and Technical Council Meetings. A variety of social events have been coordinated to support enhanced one-to-one connectivity throughout the four-day event.

The 134th AES Convention technical program is highlighted by Five Convention Tracks developed to provide timely, comprehensive perspectives on Live Sound, Loudness Issues, Recording Techniques, Spatial Sound and, Sound For Pictures and TV.

Papers Co-Chairs Veronique Larcher and Angelo Farina and their review committee evaluated over a hundred submissions in search of the most compelling presentations. Subjects encompass such issues as: Improving Listening Ability Using E-Learning Methods and Evaluation of Acoustic Features for Music Emotion Recognition. Click on Papers for comprehensive details.

Workshop and Tutorials Programs, will provide attendees with invaluable information on topics ranging from 3-D Audio Automotive Applications; Multichannel Immersive Audio Formats for 3-D Cinema and Home Theater; and, Creative Distortion? You Are in the Over-Driver’s Seat. Click on Workshops and Tutorials for preliminary program details.

A formal preliminary program will be posted at www.aes.org soon.

“Every AES Convention offers a unique opportunity for acquiring real-world insights from recognized leaders in professional audio,” Zanghieri remarked. “The benefits of interacting with product developers, researchers, educators, students and peers are pillars of AES events. The fact that Rome is our host city makes this Convention even more compelling,” he concludes.

For details on Convention Tracks visit: http://www.aes.org/events/134/program/

The deadline for Advance Registration is April 19, 2013 and you can register here: http://www.aes.org/events/134/registration/

Many unique and wonderful hotels are situated near the Trevi Conference Center as are unforgettable Roman ruins. Accommodations are available at special AES rates in a few selected hotels. Prices listed are good until April 5th. For information on reservations click here: http://www.aes.org/events/134/visitors/hotels/

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Photo: The 134th AES Convention will be held in Rome, Italy – May 4-7, 2013

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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Wolfgang Klippel To Present 134th AES Convention Heyser Lecture In Rome

“Small, Loud-Speakers: Taking Physics To The Limit”

ROME: 134th AES Convention Chairman, Umberto Zanghieri, has announced that Wolfgang Klippel will present the Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture. Founder of Klippel GmbH, and developer of innovative control & measurement systems dedicated to loudspeakers and transducers, Klippel is a distinguished educator and an AES Fellow. The convention will be held May 4 -7, 2013 at the Fontana di Trevi Conference Centre – Rome, Italy,

Entitled Small, Loud-Speakers: Taking Physics To The Limit, the Heyser Lecture will address the challenge in engineering diminutive speakers that can also be loud, have high efficiency and low distortion. The loudspeaker is the weakest part of the audio chain, and the basic construction and principle of the moving coil speaker has remained unchanged for a century. However, understanding of its operation and limitations has increased considerably. Modern signal processing techniques, coupled with innovative design can create small drive units with optimum trade-off between the crucial design factors. An abstract of the lecture is posted at http://www.aes.org/technical/heyser/aes134.cfm

“Considering our primary Convention Tracks: Live Sound, Loudness, Spatial Sound, and Sound for Pictures, Wolfgang Klippel’s presentation is particularly appropriate,” states AES Technical Council Chair, Francis Rumsey. “His lecture’s central topic will focus on cultivating large signal transducer performance. As a leader in research on transducer modeling, acoustic measurement and psychoacoustics, and as a pioneer in the development of critical measurement tools, Wolfgang Klippel is one of the most highly respected experts in the field.”

Celebrating its 65th year of leadership in the professional audio community, the 134th AES Convention marks the first major AES event to be held in Rome. “Arguably the very birthplace of engineering, our ‘Eternal City,’ will provide a richly historic setting for the world’s top audio professionals, educators, and students,” Umberto Zanghieri, concludes. “They will share the latest advances in audio research and practice, and a rare opportunity to listen, learn and connect with their peers, customers, and mentors.”

Photo: Wolfgang Klippel will present the Heyser Memorial Lecture at the 134th AES Convention in Rome

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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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Stephen Webber To Keynote AES 134th Convention In Rome

Internationally Recognized Professor of Music Production/Engineering & Star DJ

ROME: Stephen Webber, internationally recognized author, professor of music production & engineering, and star hip-hop DJ, will present the Keynote address at the 134th AES Convention. Scheduled for May 4-7 at the Fontana di Trevi Center in Rome, the Convention promises a rich program of educational Workshops and tutorials, research papers, standards and technical committee deliberations, and an incomparable environment for networking with the world’s audio elite. In making the announcement AES Executive Director Bob Moses remarked, “Stephen Webber personifies today’s AES membership. He combines a deep commitment to education with a high profile career as a creative DJ. An accomplished author and lecturer, Webber’s Keynote will provide a insightful bridge between the future and our legacy.”

Author of such successful books as Turntable Technique: The Art of the DJ, Stephen Webber is an international clinician who presents workshops, master classes and performance seminars on Production, Mixing Techniques, and Songwriting. An Emmy-winning composer who’s works include the Stylus Symphony, Webber was recently appointed Director of Music Technology Innovation at Berklee’s new campus in Valencia Spain. He addressed the Berklee Graduating Class of 2012, and has performed and lectured extensively in the US, China, Australia, Central America, and Europe. Webber is also an accomplished studio designer whose clients include actors Jack Black and Ben Stiller, and a producer/engineer who’s worked with NAS, Mark O’Connor, and DJ Premier.
Entitled “Inventing the Album of 2025,” Webber’s AES Keynote will seek to consider what is technologically, economically, and artistically possible, to decipher what the record album should look, sound, and feel like come 2025.

“We have high expectations for the 134th AES Convention,” Bob Moses concludes. “Attendees will find many opportunities to listen, learn and… connect with each other.”

Photo: AES 134th Convention Keynote Speaker, Stephen Webber

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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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WSDG Completes World Class Sound Reinforcement System Upgrade For KKL Luzern Concert Hall

LUZERN, SWITZERLAND: From its opening performance by the Berlin Philharmonic in August 1998, the KKL Luzern Concert Hall was recognized as one of the world’s great performance centers. An international landmark, both architecturally and culturally, the complex attracts music fans from around the world to its picturesque lakeside setting.

Designed by architect Jean Nouvel and opened in 2000 KKL Luzern is comprised of three distinctive sectors: The conference and meeting room wing, complemented by a number of lounges and restaurants; A black box-style multipurpose hall, which presents events ranging from rock concerts to general assemblies; And, a Concert Hall distinguished by world-class acoustics designed by Russell Johnson’s Artec. The Concert Hall features some remarkable acoustical properties, including an extremely low quietness level of below 20 dB and mechanically variable room acoustics employing huge echo chambers surrounding the hall. A dozen years of constant use – with an impressive yearly booking rate of more than 90% – coupled with significant technological advances prompted the KKL Luzern management group to upgrade its retractable electro acoustical system. WSDG, an international team of acoustics experts, was brought in to accomplish this essential project.

The Concert Hall

The Concert Hall’s retractable electro acoustical system is used as a high-quality sound reinforcement system during many of the events, typically jazz, world music or pop style concerts and also for speech announcements during performances. The Concert Hall has a gently rising main floor, plus four balcony levels – the lowest of which flows into the organ loft with additional seating, resulting in a total seat count of just under 2.000. The hall’s dimensions correspond to a classic 1:1:2 shoe box shape with a height of 22 meters (72ft), a width of 22 meters (72ft) and a length of 46 meters (150ft). The clear wood stage consists of 41 adjustable elements. Situated at the front end of the house, directly above the stage, the Goll organ boasts 4’387 pipes. The organ can be closed with large doors and a 12 x 8 m (40ft x 26ft) wide projection screen can then be dropped in front of it. A retractable two-part canopy is located directly above the stage. The ceiling holds 190 lights of various sizes to depict a starlit night sky.

The walls are white and many of them in fact are not walls, but touch panel-controlled hydraulic doors that can be used to modify the reverberation time for different applications. The Concert Hall itself has a volume of 17’823 cubic meters (about 630’000 cu. ft), the echo chambers (with doors in the open position) can increase the volume by an additional 6’189 m? (220’000 cu. ft) – about 1/3 of the hall’s volume! The echo chambers are treated by varying arrangements of absorbing curtains, providing a variable median reverberation time of between 2.0s and 2.8s. The walls (and/or doors,) are slightly convex and covered with a total of 24’000 custom designed gypsum relief elements. For reinforced events, the reliefs are covered by white curtains. Prior to an event, KKL Luzern’s technical team configures the room based on the parameters received from the conductor and, on their vast experience from past events. Further fine-tuning of the room’s variability is accomplished while rehearsing with a conductor. As Technical Director Tjark Kuhlmei explains, “We have conductors who know the room very well and want it set up exactly to their personal preferences. For example, Claudio Abbado knows precisely the slight change that can be achieved by varying the canopy height by 20cm to produce a subtle, yet more pronounced harp sound.”

The Requirements and The Solution

Dr. Dominik Isler, COO, reports: “The room acoustical quality of the KKL Luzern Concert Hall is on par with other world-class halls, so the main objective for the new sound reinforcement system was that we achieve the same high quality level in electroacoustical concerts as we do in classical events.”

In addition to extremely high quality acoustic requirements, further parameters had to be met. These include the ability to fully retract the loudspeaker system for non-reinforced events; eliminating the need for temporary placement of auxiliary loudspeakers for audience coverage; 360-degree coverage for spoken word events (also covering the area besides and behind the stage, including the balcony below the organ) and, a more accurate perception of directionality. Due to the complexity and logistics of the project, WSDG was mandated for a two-year project covering the consulting, planning, contractor selection, supervision of installation and calibration of the technical systems.

Dirk Noy, General Manager of WSDG’s Europe Office states: “A major issue of this hall is the wide distribution of seats on five vertical levels surrounding three of the four walls, and consequently, the coverage requirements of the electroacoustical sound system. The WSDG solution’s core idea was the realization that the KKL Luzern Concert Hall is mainly designed for acoustical sources that are placed directly on stage.” Consequently, the new main loudspeaker system is installed significantly lower and closer to the stage than the previously installed solution. The main system is supplemented by a distributed system whose elements are permanently installed but retractable by motors.

The project was divided into three phases: firstly the identification of the requirements, system planning and preparation of specifications, secondly the on-site evaluation of a total of three loudspeaker system candidates, and lastly the execution phase of installation planning, supervision and commissioning.

The preparation and specification in phase 1 and the on-site evaluation in phase 2 determined that d&b loudspeakers provided the optimum system both in the technical evaluation (acoustical measurements) as well as in the listening tests (consisting of questionnaires within a test audience of 20 persons with varying backgrounds). The procuring and installation assignment was awarded to auviso, one of Switzerland’s most significant system integrators, based in Lucerne.

The Sound System

The new sound reinforcement system consists of the Left Right main system with two line arrays of eight d&b V12 units each, suspended above the stage front edge, two additional line arrays for covering each of the balconies with five d&b V12 units, a stage edge in-fill system consisting of two d&b V-Sub and two d&b V12 units each on the right and left and a stage mounted front-fill provided by six d&b E6 units. For events requiring a 360-degree speech reproduction a retractable center cluster was provided with a front section (consisting of eleven d&b T10 units) and a rear section (consisting of three RCF VSA 2050 digitally controlled column loudspeakers).

The d&b V12 units have a nominal horizontal dispersion of 120-degrees; the vertical tilting is variable from 0 to 14 degrees. The passive 3-way units are equipped with two 10-inch low frequency drivers; a horn loaded 8-inch midrange driver and two 1.4-inch high frequency drivers mounted on a dedicated waveguide. The d&b V-Sub units hold a forward radiating 18-inch driver in a bass reflex enclosure and a rear-firing 12-inch driver in a two-chamber band pass enclosure. With this arrangement and the algorithms within the D12 amplifier a Cardioid dispersion characteristics with a significant attenuation of the energy radiation towards the stage can be achieved.

Amplification is provided by d&b D12 units that allow for precise tailoring to the installation parameters. “Beyond their sonic qualities we also really like the aesthetics of the new system, being an inconspicuous, slim line array,” Tjark Kuhlmei points out, “With the subs on stage, we can flexibly adjust the low frequency reproduction as required, or not use them at all, for example for pure speech events.” Signal transport from the Yamaha DME System DSP (digital signal processor) to the amplifiers is achieved via digital AES / EBU at a 96kHz sample rate.

All the line arrays are suspended and are equipped with their appropriate motor and cable winding mechanism. This allows the retraction of all loudspeaker arrays not required for a specific performance, to a parking position above the canopy.

Distinguished by its spectacular architecture and acoustics; its vast variable echo chambers and its unique Goll pipe organ, The KKL Luzern Concert Hall is an incomparable world-class venue. The new d&b V-Series sound reinforcement system, engineered, implemented and calibrated to the most demanding performance specifications, exceeds all quality requirements and significantly widens the hall’s usage profile. WSDG is exceptionally proud to have been associated with this important and artistically significant project.

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KKL Luzern Concert Hall photo captions

1. KKL Luzern Concert Hall Exterior photo by KKL Luzern
2. KKL Luzern Concert Hall Interior w. New System photo by KKL Luzern
3. KKL Luzern New Main System photo by KKL Luzern
4. KKL Luzern Simulation Screen Shot of SPL Sound Pressure Level Direct Sound. Image by WSDG

Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media production facilities in the U.S., Europe, the Far East and Latin America. WSDG credits range from the original Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studio in Greenwich Village to NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center performance complex, broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET, over twenty teaching studios for The Art Institutes around the US, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include Jungle City, NY’s major new destination studio; private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters, and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG is a seven-time winner of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design, including 2012 for Jungle City. WSDG maintains offices in NY, SF, Miami, Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, , Mexico City, Spain and Switzerland.

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AES E-Library Offers 14,000+ Fully Searchable PDF Files

Institutional And Individual Subscription Programs Now Available

NEW YORK: Audio Engineering Society Executive Director Bob Moses has announced new subscription formats to the AES E-Library. With over 14,000 fully searchable PDF files, the collection represents one of the world’s most comprehensive sources of definitive professional audio information. Documenting the progression of audio research and development from 1953 to the present day, the E-Library includes every paper published at each of the 133 AES Conventions and 49 international conferences, plus all papers published in the AES Journal. Engineering Briefs (eBriefs) recently introduced at conventions may also be accessed in the E-Library.

“The depth, range and authoritative nature of the professional audio subject matter amassed by the AES E-Library is unparalleled,” Moses says. “It provides a rich history of the evolution of audio technology, and carries all of the ideas, dialogue, and best practices forward from one generation to the next. This is really the crown jewel of the AES. It encompasses topics ranging from equipment design, to surround sound development, acoustic measurement, and hearing loss and protection.”

Additionally, the AES now offers an Open Access (OA) publishing option to its authors. OA papers in the E-Library are freely downloadable by anyone, including non-AES members and non-E-Library subscribers. The first OA offering is by Alex Case, “Recording Electric Guitar-The Science and the Myth.”

AES E-Library Subscriptions are available in two formats:

* Individual Subscriptions are $145 per year for AES members and $255 per year for non-members. This subscription provides downloads of any document in the E-Library at no additional cost.

* Institutional E-Library Subscriptions to universities, companies, and libraries are $1800 per year. This subscription provides all institution members with free downloads of any document in the E-Library.

* Individuals may download specific papers without an E-Library subscription, at a cost of $5 per paper for AES members and $20 per paper for non-members.

“AES Journal and Convention Program contributors are among the industry’s finest practitioners and scientific minds. Educators, students, researchers, product designers, manufacturers and historians may now track virtually every meaningful technological development introduced by our industry over the past 60+ years. They will discover extensive research and detailed findings on many fascinating subjects,” Moses concludes.

Photo: AES E-Library logo

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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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