History of AES Digital Audio Engineering Standardization

History of AES Digital Audio Engineering Standardization

AES involvement with digital audio engineering standardization began in 1977, and continues now with the AES Standards  Subcommittee SC-02. The current published standards are listed here, and available for download here.  The current projects are listed here.

The history of the activities of the AES in digital audio engineering and standardization from 1977 to 1984 was summarized by Bart Locanthi in "Standardization in Professional Digital Audio Engineering at the AES", delivered at the 80th Convention, 1986 March. The details of this history are told in the minutes of the meetings of the "Digital Audio Standards Committee" and the "Digital Audio Technical Committee" during that time, and in the technical reports presented to those meetings, which were published in the AES Journal, as listed on the last page of the Locanthi Preprint, and repeated below.

The Locanthi Preprint is included with the AES "Electronic Library",  but the minutes and reports have not been included there, and so that history is not generally easily available.  We have therefore obtained permission from the AES Journal and the AES Standards Committee to post the Locanthi AES Preprint 2320 , and to scan and post the minutes and reports as shown in the links below. These PDF files are in the "Searchable Image (Exact)" format.

The Preprint, minutes, and all reports, are Copyright © 1977...1986 Audio Engineering Society. This material is posted here with permission of the AES. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the Audio Engineering Society: contact Managing Editor Bill McQuaide .
By choosing to view these documents, you agree to all provisions of the copyright laws protecting them.


Date of Meetings


Minutes published in

With reports (authors and titles)

1977 Dec. 1 & 2

Snowbird, Salt Lake City, UT

JAES 26:1/2, p 52...70, (1978)

Youngquist,  "Sampling Frequency Considerations".
Willcocks,  "A Review of Digital Audio Techniques".
Heaslett, "Some Criteria for the Selection for Sampling Rates in Digital Audio Systems".

1978 Feb. 1 & 2

Atlanta, GA

JAES 26:4, p 232...256, (1978)

Burkowitz, "Comments on Technical Factors to be Standardized".
Kosaka, "Sampling Frequency Considerations".
Burkowitz, "User's Note on Digital Audio Standard Code and Procedures, Operational Requirements".
Tanaka and Ishida,  "Sampling Frequency Consideration".
Muraoka, Yamada, and Yamazaki, "Sampling-Frequency Considerations in Digital Audio".

1978 Apr. 29 & 30

 Los Angeles, CA

Not Published

1978 Aug. 24 & 25

St. Paul, MN

Not Published

1980 Nov. 4

New York, NY

JAES 28:4, p 259...269, (1980)

EIAJ,  "Consumer Use PCM Encoder-Decoder 1979-6".
IEC TC 60, "Report of SC 60A, WG 15, Digital Audio Recording, 1979 Oct.".
Blüthgen, "Questionnaire Prior to Digital Audio Standardization".


1980 May 4

Los Angeles, CA

JAES 28:9, p 615...628, (1980)

Doi, "On the Sampling Rate for Digital Audio Recorders".
Blüthgen, "Professional Stationary-Head Recorder Questionnaire on User Requirements".
Doi, "Answers to Questionnaire on Professional Stationary-Head Recorder User Requirements".
Lagadec, "Answers to Questionnaire on Professional Stationary-Head Recorder User Requirements".
Doi and Lagadec, "An Outline of the Format Jointly Supported by Sony and Studer for Statianary-Head Digital Audio Recording".
Yamaguchi, "Answers to Questionnaire on Professional Stationary-Head Recorder User Requirements".
Yamamoto, "Answers to Questionnaire on Professional Stationary-Head Recorder User Requirements".

1980 Oct. 30

New York, NY

JAES 29:1/2, p 56...78, (1981)

Kato, "Digital Audio Activities in Japan".
Doi, "General Information on a Compact Digital Audio Disk".
Rogers, "Bibliography".
Hidaka, "JVC AHD Digital Audio Disk System".
Hatfield and Dubbe, "Information for Digital Audio Signal Compatibility".
Lagadec, "Questionnaire on User Requirements for a Digital Interface for the Local Interconnection of Digital Audio Equipment".

1981 May 10

Los Angeles, CA

JAES 29:9, p 620...624, (1981)

Yougquist, Stockham, and Heaslett, "Appendix 1, Review of Proposal to IEC WG 16".
Anon, "Appendix 2, Report on Subsequent DAD Conference  Activities in Japan" .
Anon, "Appendix 3, Review of Digital Audio Machines Currently Available".

1981 Nov. 2

New York, NY

JAES 30:1/2, p 40...46, (1982)


1982 Mar. 3

Montreaux, Switzerland

JAES 30:6, p 448...452, (1982)


1982 Oct. 22

Anaheim, CA

JAES 31:1/2, p 37...40, (1983)

Reports of the Meetings of the Working Groups:
"WG on Input/Output Interfacing".
"WG on Digital Measurement Techniques".

1983 Mar. 13

Eindhoven, Netherlands

JAES 31:7/8, p 538...542, (1983)


1983 Oct. 7

New York, NY

JAES 32:1/2, p 34...37, (1984)


1984 Mar. 26

Paris, France

JAES 32:7/8, p 545...547, (1984)


1984 Oct. 7

New York, NY

JAES 33:1/2, p 55...57, (1985)


Note that the pages given are the first and last for the minutes plus any accompanying reports. In many cases, only the even pages have text of the committee
minutes and reports, with unrelated advertisements on the odd pages.

J McKnight, Chair, AES Historical Committee

AES - Audio Engineering Society