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AES and NAB ‘Inspire’ in New York

AES and NAB ‘Inspire’ in New York

AES and NAB ‘Inspire’ in New York

Carrying on where the exhibition left off in October 2018, the Audio Engineering Society (AES) is once again partnering with the NAB Show New York at the Jakob K Javits Center. Successfully embracing developing technologies, the connected show floors are combining to entice a wide spectrum of visitors from podcasters to videographers, to live sound engineers.

Radio antenna exhibit from Empire State Building at AES entrance
Radio antenna exhibit from Empire State Building at AES entrance

This year’s ‘Inspire’ theme brings together an enormous amount of informative and educational workshops, panels, papers, lectures, technical tours and technology under one glazed roof. Offering the independent NAB Show New York an adjacent hall with mutual access granted for all badge holders continues to be a masterstroke for both shows, promoting the cross-pollination of resources and ensuring greater appeal for exhibitors.

SSL launched Origin
SSL launched Origin

No longer alternating from the west to the east coast each year, the AES Convention feels more at home in New York than it ever did in San Francisco or Los Angeles. Neighbouring Broadway’s world-class theatres, the Javits Center entices more than just the venue technicians and owners along to the show floor. There are always a healthy amount of studio, post-production and broadcasting engineers, in addition to international dealers that benefit from the educational seminars and the crowded exhibition aisles.

The AES opening ceremony
The AES opening ceremony

This is the 147th edition of AES. The first AES meeting took place in February 1948 at New York City’s RCA Victor recording studios. An original volunteer executive committee of five individuals worked to assist the young professional society in establishing its first ‘constitution’ known as the Society’s Bylaws, which continue to guide corporate governance efforts. Seventy-one years ago, the audio industry, and our entire culture, was very different. In 1948, technology advances in the news included the LP (Long Playing) record and the transistor radio, while the television set was just starting to become more common in private homes. Those early pioneers focused on their common interests such as public address systems, studio design, wire recording and high-quality home reproduction.

API founder and President Larry Droppa receives 50th anniversary award from AES sales director Graham Kirk
API founder and President Larry Droppa receives 50th anniversary award from AES sales director Graham Kirk

Fast-forward seven decades from that first meeting and audio professionals are gathering at the 2019 AES to discuss, learn about and advance the art and practice of today’s topical disciplines. Emerging technologies and the results of audio research continue to be highlighted in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. The continued integration of VR and immersive audio tend to be dominant themes on the AES show floor under the ‘Inspire’ banner, while A/V over IP and SMPTE 2022 play out on the NAB NY show floor under the marquee of ‘Now Casting New Perspectives’.

Once shunned market sectors such as live sound, DJing and gaming continue to make significant strides within the AES programme. Panels and workshops address live sound and project studio recording subjects, game audio and VR discussions also appear on the agenda. Their very inclusion adds new appeal – and visitors, such as students – to a show that has long been steeped in the traditional recording techniques offering less relevance perhaps in today’s commercial world. The dynamic nature of the audio business dictates that if AES is to prosper, then it must embrace how the latest generation wants to spend its leisure time. It’s a similar question that NAMM asks itself when judging whether its members and audiences are DJ, instrument or karaoke-focused.

AES opening ceremony–- Coleen Harper, AES executive director
AES opening ceremony–- Coleen Harper, AES executive director

The staging of two shows poses a dilemma for several companies, including Clear-Com, Lawo, Neutrik and Riedel. As such, they have taken the decision to exhibit at both shows concurrently once again. NAB Show New York may be a greatly scaled-down version of its Las Vegas big brother, but it manages to bring major brands such as Blackmagic Design, Panasonic and Sony to its show floor by allowing them to interact with East Coast broadcasters, dealers and production companies.

Following the opening ceremonies, a number of special event presentations are taking place, including a keynote address by the award-winning drummer, producer and musical director Steve Jordan titled The Love of Recording.

AES New York runs until 18 October, while NAB Show New York ends on 17 October.



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