AES News

AESHC Project Report 2001-05-03

           AES Historical Committee Report, 2001-05-03

               for the Board of Governors, 2001-05-16

At the 109th Convention, we proposed re-organizing the Historical Committee along project lines, as opposed to the original organization along regional lines. That re-organization has been approved and completed. The new Guidelines and Officers are posted on our website (see "Committee Administration" on the website).

The Historical Committee will have an open meeting at the 110th (Amsterdam) Convention on [either Sunday, 2001 May 13, from 15:30 to 16:30, or Monday 2001 May 14, from 09:00 to 11:00 -- we're not sure yet] in the "Historical Cafe", Room R.

We do not now have any items that require BOG action.

The presently active AES Historical Committee projects [as numbered in our Guidelines] are as follows:

5 [Create a "History of the AES" subcommittee, to organize and maintain an archive relating to the history of the Audio  Engineering Society itself, ...]

The Japanese Chapter of the AES has written a "History of the AES Japan Chapter", and wants to translate this into  English. They have sent us a disk and hard copy of their history, and we will try to get the translation done at a reasonable cost.

8 [Encourage each Local Section and each Convention Committee to organize an appropriate session on the history of audio  engineering, or a display on an appropriate historical subject. When requested, provide information to help them to do so.]

A "Historical Cafe" is being presented at the 110th Convention in Amsterdam under the leadership of Stan Tempelaars, who reports as follows:

HISTORICAL PROGRAM: Although the AES-convention will be focused on the future of the audio industry, we will also pay attention to its glorious past. The HISTORICAL CAFÉ will be the meeting point for everybody interested in this past. The Café is located in Room R, directly below the Parkhal entrance and will be open all thru the Convention. The leading theme is -Microphones-. There will be a display of pictures of famous microphones and young and old are invited to come together here and discover how the experiences of the past can help us in designing strategies for the future.  From time to time well-known pioneers will give Presentations about microphone recording  techniques. These presentations are informal and will take approximately 30 minutes each, followed by ample question- and discussion-time.

Presentation schedule

Saturday, May 12                10:30 hr                Room R
The use of microphones in radio broadcast technique
 Henk de Wit

Saturday, May 12                13:30 hr                Room R
Omnidirectional microphones are the best choice; the fewer the better
Onno Scholze

Sunday, May 13          10:30 hr                Room R
From B&K measurement microphones to studio models D.P.A.
Wim van Barneveld

Monday, May 14          13:30 hr                Room R
Use of soloist- and support-microphones
Gerard Hali

Tuesday, May 15         10:30 hr                Room R
Wireless microphones; frequency problems; use in theater and TV

AESHC members under the leadership of Irv Joel are beginning to organize a historical exhibit (similar to the "When Vinyl Ruled" display at the 109th Convention) for the 111th Convention in New York. John Chester has set up a password-protected administrative website for organizing this project.

10 [Create an AESHC web site and an FTP site on which to publish the information compiled in the following sections.]

Please see our website at -- there are new things every now and then.

12 [Devise a catalog for classifying the inventions and developments made in audio engineering, based on the work of  HK Thiele.]

HK Thiele's documents have gone to the TU Berlin, where Prof. Manfred Krause and his students are organizing them. He reports: "We have tried to prepare an ACCESS data base for gathering the non-standard data." Parts of this database were demonstrated at the Historical Committee's meeting at the 109th Convention in LA. This project continues.

13 [Record oral histories (sound only, sound with video, and/or sound with still photographs) of important figures in the  history of audio engineering.]

The HC web page now has a link to the description of the oral history project, which in turn has links to the list of completed interviews, and the list of recommended interviewees.

Irv Joel started recording video taped oral-history interviews at the 107th Convention in New York in 1999 and continues that work with the help of John Eargle during the 109th convention in L.A. and Ross Snyder and Peter Hammar in San Francisco.  Irv reports that to date we have completed 44 interviews.  We will also record new interviews at the 110th convention in Amsterdam thanks to the efforts of Stan Tempelaars, Peter Nuyten and Alex Balster. The recordings will continue in Germany after the convention thanks to the help of Manfred Krause and Kristina Shawarz.

Work is continuing to have three interviews edited to be shown on a rotating basis in the AESHC room during the 111th convention and we intend to continue recordings during that event.

Work is going on in New Jersey editing interviews and making working copies of the original tapes using a digital to digital transfer setup.  As we go along with the editing process three tapes will be generated, the original master recording, a digital working copy of that recording and an edited version including a floppy disc of the edit decision list. All these elements plus related materials will be stored at AES headquarters in New York. The condition of this archive will be reviewed every five years and appropriate measures will be taken to preserve the library as needed.

The editing work is being done by Irv Joel and Patrick Tamby on an Apple editing system with a Mac G4 and Final Cut Probe software.

We started out with a single recording system. Late in 2000 we added a second complete recording system and recently purchased a 3rd camera which allows us to make digital copies and affords us a backup.

Efforts are ongoing to establish recording teams worldwide, and we still need input to expand our "to be recorded" list.

14 [Collect, write, publish, and otherwise disseminate accurate historical information about the field of audio engineering.]

The AES has published in 2001 January the memoirs of magnetic recording pioneer SJ Begun.

Del Eilers and Bill Lund, of ex-3M Magnetic Tape, have provided us with historical data on 3M tapes, and we have placed this on the HC website. Thus far the canonical list of 3M audio tape types and a 3M document on print-through are there, and  we have scanned and posted all of the 3M "SoundTalk Bulletins" (originally published 1948 thru 1970), as well as an index of them. More things coming soon.

Jay McKnight, Chair
AES Historical Committee

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AES - Audio Engineering Society