The 144th Audio Engineering Society convention descended upon us at the end of May 2018. More specifically it descended upon Milan, so we in turn descended upon it.
Our party consisted of Founder Richard Wear and R&D Engineering specialist Jo Hutchins, and in this article we cover both our collective memories!
It wasn’t a great start – the public bus from the airport took us to the centre of Milan, but following the directions from the hotel we were left wondering if the metro map had South at the top! This set the scene for getting around Milan!
Our first evening was spent at the convention hotel, where we had drinks with some of the fine people from Genelec and with e-coustics founder Steve Barbar, We also met an awesome Audio History Museum historian and good friend of Interfacio and AES Education Committee Chair, Kyle Snyder.
We soon realised why we should have stayed here. 12.30am is not the time to walk across the overpass back to your hotel. The shutters to the station came down and we were stuck on a bridge over a motorway and climbing down. This wasn’t in the recruiter job description!
The next day we hosted our careers seminar to a roomful of (mostly) interested people (see pic). This was a first time event for the students and any other delegates looking for a new opportunity. We allowed at least half of the allocated hour to questions and answers which made for an informal, student led experience. We’ll definitely be repeating this at future conventions.
We then attended the official AES student party at Massive Studios for which we had the honour of being co-sponsors with Genelec. Things got off to a somewhat sticky start as we managed to run out of beer and wine after 45 mins and had to run to the local corner shop to buy some more!! Once this was sorted, everything seemed to warm up and conversations were going on inside and out well into the night, with sessions going on as there were for a little extra entertainment.
This is always a key event for students, who we were assured all had a great time. It was also an opportunity to chat to some of the more mature students who take an academic route later in their careers in order to follow their passion for audio
After the party we had the most amazing pizza and pasta with Kyle and the gang from the AES Education board, and we both attended the President’s reception hosted by our friend and current AES President David Scheirman.
The Presidents banquet on Friday evening was an exclusive event which took place at Grand Hotel Et De Milan an 18th-century mansion best known as the Milanese house of Giuseppe Verdi, where he wrote the operas “Othello” and “The Falstaff.” It is a beautiful room and amongst the guests was Alberto Pinto, who had performed the traditional AES organ recital earlier in the week at Chiesa Cristiana Protestante.
One of the highlights of the convention for us is always the Student Design Competition and we were able to judge and award our Product Management Mentoring prize for the third time since launching this award at the AES in New York in 2016. We were clearly totally out of our depth in mathematical acoustics, which proved to be somewhat of a mental strain for us both! This year the award went to Denys Volkov of Le Mans Université who had developed an excellent prototype modular speaker system using magnetically connected multi-geometric enclosures allowing a variety of physical configurations. It was great to see some of the students from last year’s convention in Berlin back with new projects and a year’s worth of knowledge under their belts.
The final Student Delegate Assembly is where the new committee members are voted in and the prizes for the Student Competitions are awarded. It’s so inspiring to see the amount of talent that is coming through the audio education courses, and to see the enthusiasm that the out-going generation have for passing on their knowledge and wisdom.
As we look forward to the next AES convention in New York in October, the association is very much in the news following the recent announcement that Executive Director Bob Moses has decided to stand down. The UK’s very own Bill Foster, illustrious mastering engineer and founder of Tape One Studios back in the 80s, has taken over as Interim Executive Director and we understand that the association are very keen to ensure that whoever is newly appointed into this important management and leadership role will continue the very important developments and innovations which have been so evident within the AES in recent years. We look forward to seeing many of you in New York and in Vienna next year.