The AES Convention was back with a vengeance on its return to Los Angeles, 12 years since it was last in the city, with 15,000 visitors registered by the end of the second day and reportedly setting a new west coast attendance record.
Attendees were clearly excited that the convention was back after its long absence. Several of the 300-plus exhibitors reported that they were seeing visitors, particularly from the post production business, that they never saw when the show was held in San Francisco.
We participated in a busy career and education fair on Saturday, where current engineering and production undergraduate students met with education institutes and manufacturers to explore and discuss their next study and career opportunities. The AES has a superb education chapter and we are continuing to see excellent attendance from students attending or graduating from institutes across the Americas, north and south.
Away from the exhibits, the wide-ranging, four-day technical program offered a host of new features, such as Raw Tracks, a dissection of classic recordings; a Spanish-language panel of Grammy winners from the Latin community; and presentations on High-Resolution Audio (HRA), which also got a push from Sony and Tascam on the floor.
The network audio program doubled in size this year, and included several presentations promoting AVB, as well as a detailed explanation about the Dante network implementation throughout the Microsoft Production facilities. The show also saw the launch of the Media Networking Alliance, a group of 20 pro audio and broadcast companies advocating the adoption of the AES67 AoIP interoperability standard.
But the buzzword of the show was “immersive.” Panelists discussed the inevitable—indeed, imminent—migration of immersive, object-based audio formats onto next-generation streaming and broadcast services, and tutorials focused on mixing 3D audio for film, games, and music.
More than a handful of exhibitors also went back to the future, with Geoff Tanner’s Aurora Audio, Geoffrey Daking, Harrison, Neve, and SSL all introducing analog mixing