Chicago AES Section

The Chicago AES Section welcomes members, non-members, and students to its meetings which are typically held at Shure Incorporated and around the Chicagoland area. If you have a meeting idea, please contact us. Meetings are free and there is an optional networking dinner prior to meetings, which has an associated fee.

Our website also contains a list of Past Meeting Reports and an Officer List. To find earlier meeting reports, view our archive of meeting recaps from 1997 to May 2015.

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Past Event: Joint Meeting w/ ASA: "The Violin and its Discontents: Common Structural and Tonal Problems in Orchestral String Instruments and their Remedy"

April 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Location: Stage Two @ Columbia College Chicago, 618 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60605

Speaker(s): Sanford Field, Top Notch Violins

Stage Two at Columbia College

618 S. Michigan Avenue

Nearby Parking 

Professional luthier Sanford Field will explain the basic structure and acoustics of the violin family of instruments, as well as the technical difficulties frequently experienced by string players and their instruments.  He will then explore and explain the tools and techniques used to diagnose and correct these problems.  Examples of malfunctioning instruments will be daringly explored (and in some cases corrected) live on stage, tools will be displayed and demonstrated, and violins will be played, both as objects of critical listening, and to demonstrate the tangible effects of successful and unsuccessful repair outcomes.  After the talk, questions will be answered and discussed, and the tools and instruments covered in the talk will be available for examination by attendees. 

Sanford Field is a professional luthier and owner/partner at Top Notch Violins, a full-service string instrument shop in Saint Louis, MO. Sanford attended the Red Wing School of Instrument Repair, where he studied violin construction and repair under Lisbeth Butler and John Reed. After completing his training, he worked at Nashville Violins and Saint Louis Strings where his clients included Charlie Daniels, Arvel Bird, and Yonder Mountain String Band's Allie Kral, as well as countless professional musicians, teachers, and students. Prior to his career as a luthier, Sanford received a BFA in painting from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana in 2004, and an MFA in Studio Practice from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In his free time, Sanford also enjoys building furniture, studying HEMA (historic European martial arts), playing violin, banjo, and guitar and spending time with his wife Annie-Rose, and their two rescue dogs, Tallulah and Rowan.

Other Business: The Chicago AES & ASA Sections will provide (and cover the cost) of light appetizers and drinks ahead of the presentation (Starting at 6p)

View Official Meeting Report

Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2019

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Past Event: The Acoustics of Wentz Concert Hall

March 6, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Speaker(s): Richard Talaske, President and Principal Acoustics Consultant, Talaske; Brian Lynch, Fine Arts Director, North Central College


Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center
171 E. Chicago Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540

Please click HERE for detailed directions.

Street parking is available around North Central College and there are 3 parking garages in downtown Naperville within walking distance of all of our venues. Please observe all municipal street signs.

Richard Talaske will be presenting the design of Wentz Concert Hall, a 650-700-seat recital hall for acoustic and amplified music presentations. The Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center also includes a flexible black box theatre with 150 to 200 seats; instrumental and choral rehearsal halls; a dance studio; art gallery; and numerous practice rooms and classrooms.

Topics he will cover:

  • The use and mis-use of reactive systems in spaces for music halls
  • Running liveliness and its relationship to subjective preference of music halls
  • Applications of these design principals to the design of the Wentz Concert Hall.


Richard Talaske, President and Principal Acoustics Consultant, Talaske

Rick Talaske relishes great soundscapes.The engineer-turned-scientist-turned-acoustician routinely explores the world’s great concert halls and theatres. Surveying a hall’s soaring spaces and elegant architectural expressions, his mind translates a room’s geometry, the character of its surfaces, its materials, and spatial dimensions into acoustic possibilities. Analysis, investigation and reverence converge to plumb the space’s possibilities—to take away whatever secrets and lessons it might reveal.Talaske is someone who is never satisfied with what he already knows.

Talaske’s rigorous technical and scientific education resulted in exacting methodology and specific design standards. He is cheerily unapologetic about what might be experienced as “obsession with sound.” People don’t hire a world-class acoustician to achieve only fair results.What surprises some people is his passionate and enthusiastic advocacy for both performers and audience members. As an avid lover of live performance, he strives to create spaces that enhance live events.Talaske serves as project principal and directs all of the work in the office.

Brian Lynch, Fine Arts Director, North Central College - TBA

Other Business: DINNER: Dinner (optional, but please RSVP) will begin at 6:30pm. Contact Giles Davis ( by Tuesday, March 5th if you would like to join us. Pizza and salad from Lou Malnati's will be provided. Please let Giles know if you have a preference for vegetarian, gluten-free, etc. Price is $10 for non-members and $8 for members and students (please bring cash).

View Official Meeting Report

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Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2019

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A Houses of Worship Case Study: Soul City



Laz Rios, Soul City Tech Director and
Ron Cook, Chicagoland Worship Audio Engineers 


A Houses of Worship Case Study: Soul City 

Soul City, in the West Loop, is a fine example of well applied tech. They have all the pieces.... Live cameras with IMAG and live stream, wireless ears and mics, well installed line arrays that actually sound good. Virtual Soundcheck. Just enough lighting to be cool. A backstage tech crew with clever ways of communicating. Lots to talk about, all of it a notch above entry level, but implemented so well you might mistake them for having an unlimited budget. 

Laz and his team will give us a tour of their facilities and demonstrate their Virtual SoundChecks. Ron is ideally placed to give those of us new to Worship Audio a sense of how Soul City fits in the larger context. 


Laz Rios, Soul City Tech Director

Lazarus Rios is the Technical Director for Soul City Church. Laz spent many years on the road touring as a front man for a metal band, where he gained a love for music, and production. After touring he transitioned into special event management where he spent 5 years building and managing teams. It was in that season that he felt a call into full time technical ministry. Laz joined the Soul City Church Creative Team in March of 2018. He now recruits and trains all production volunteer teams and oversees AVL for weekend gatherings and throughout the building.

Ron Cook, Chicagoland Worship Audio Engineers

Ron Cook is a Front of House, Monitor, and Mix Engineer. For 15 years Ron was a staff audio engineer at Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago Suburbs. In late 2015 Ron left Willow Creek to form Split The Difference Audio, LLC working with production companies and churches locally in the Chicago area and across the Country as well. In addition, Ron provides studio and live webstream mixing services. Ron is a DPA Microphones Master Club Member and was the 2018 Vice President of the Chicagoland Chapter of the Engineering And Recording Society (EARS)

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Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2019

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AES - Audio Engineering Society