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: Tour of Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories

September 21, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Location: 1512 S. Batavia Avenue, Geneva, IL 60134

Moderated by: Eric Wolfram

Speaker(s): Laboratory Manager, RAL


Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories (RAL) is an internationally respected research facility located in Geneva, Illinois. Constructed in 1918, RAL became the world's first independent laboratory dedicated to the science of architectural acoustics. Riverbank owner, philanthropist Colonel George Fabyan, built the laboratory for its designer, professor Wallace Clement Sabine. The scientific efforts of this renowned Harvard physicist earned him two distinguished titles. Dr. Sabine is acknowledged today as the father of the science of architectural acoustics and the first "modern day" acoustical consultant. The (IP) unit of sound absorption is a Sabin, named in his honor. When the professor died in 1919, his distant cousin, Dr. Paul Earls Sabine became RAL's director. When he retired in 1947, Dr. Paul Sabine turned the operations over to the Armour Research Foundation (known today as Alion Science and Technology).

Today, Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories provides a wide range of acoustical testing services for hundreds of customers worldwide. RAL is accredited by the US Government's National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) as an ISO 17025 lab operation and is an approved participant in Underwriter's Laboratories Third Party Test Data Program.

The majority of RAL tests are for commercial architectural product manufacturers, but RAL also performs research for government agencies and aerospace component designers.  RAL conforms to strict guidelines for instrument traceability, handling of proprietary information (including test results), quality management, and ethics.

Also of interest to our guests is RAL's museum dedicated to the Science of Architectural Acoustics. The Acoustical Society of America officially sanctioned the museum in 1989.

More information about the program can be found at:


Eric Wolfram is the Laboratory Manager for RAL. He leads the lab’s technical and business operations. Prior to joining the RAL team in 2012, Eric served as Lead Acoustical Engineer for Riedel & Associates, an architectural acoustics consulting firm based Milwaukee, WI.  As a consulting engineer, Eric provided guidance for hundreds of architectural acoustics projects across the US.  Eric Wolfram has a Bachelor’s degree in Acoustics from Columbia College Chicago.


This event is limited in space, so please RSVP to .

Other Business: We will not be able to do a group dinner before the meeting as is typical. Instead, we encourage everyone to come to an informal social afterwards at Geneva Ale House (about a mile north in downtown Geneva, look for the large marquee). No reservation is required. Everyone is responsible for their own check. Geneva Ale House 319 West State Street Geneva, IL 60134 630-262-3877

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Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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Past Event: Developing Critical Listening Skills Through Technical Ear Training

May 25, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Location: Shure Incorporated, 5800 W. Touhy Ave, Niles, IL 60714

Speaker(s): Jason Corey Associate Professor, University of Michigan Vice President, Central Region, Audio Engineering Society


Critical listening skills are necessary for audio engineers to identify qualities such as tonal balance, dynamics, spatial characteristics, instrument/voice balances, noise, and distortion by ear. Through systematic training, listeners can learn to link perceptions of timbre and sound quality with objective qualities of sound, they can develop memories for timbral characteristics, and they can develop a greater ability to discriminate small changes in sound quality. This presentation will cover some methods for technical ear training.


Jason Corey is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Performing Arts Technology at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, where he teaches courses in sound recording, technical ear training, and musical acoustics. He is also active as a recording, mixing, and mastering engineer. The second edition of his book Audio Production and Critical Listening: Technical Ear Training will be published by Routledge in 2016. He currently serves the Audio Engineering Society as Vice President, Central Region (USA/Canada).

Other Business: Dinner (optional, but please RSVP) will begin at 6:30pm. Contact Giles Davis ( by Tuesday, May 24th 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: Saturday, May 14, 2016

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Past Event: Otoacoustic Emissions for Detection of Hearing Loss and Current Research Topics

April 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Location: Etymotic Research, Inc., 61 Martin Lane, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007. Meeting will be held in the ER Classroom, across the parking lot.

Speaker(s): Mead Killion, Ph.D (Providing Meeting Introduction), Jonathan Siegel, PhD, Northwestern University Dan Mapes-Riordan, PhD, Etymotic Research, Inc. Robert Cochran, Etymotic Research, Inc.


Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) are sounds generated in the inner ear spontaneously or in response to acoustic stimuli which can be used to detect hearing loss. Clinically, this phenomenon has several uses, especially to identify hearing defects in newborns, where conventional audiometric tests cannot be used. In addition, it is believed that OAEs may be helpful to identify hearing damage that is not measurable with a conventional audiogram.

Etymotic Research makes a variety of Otoacoustic Emission measurement systems for both clinical and research use. A new research system, the ER-10X, is available which extends the bandwidth well beyond 20 kHz.

Come to Etymotic to learn more about OAEs and current research efforts. As part of the meeting, attendees will have the opportunity to have a scan of their hearing for OAEs.


Mead Killion, Ph.D. founded Etymotic Research, Inc. in 1983. Prior to starting Etymotic, he worked for over 20 years for a major electronic component manufacturer where he designed hearing aid transducers, including microphones that were so accurate they were also used in recording and broadcast studios. Dr. Killion earned degrees in mathematics from Wabash College and the Illinois Institute of Technology, and completed his doctorate in audiology at Northwestern University. He was awarded an honorary doctor of science (Sc.D.) degree from Wabash College. Dr. Killion teaches an advanced course in hearing aid electroacoustics at Northwestern University, where he is an adjunct professor. He has also taught audiology graduate students at Rush University and has directed graduate research at City University of New York Graduate School. Dr. Killion has lectured on hearing protection and hearing aids in 19 countries. He is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and the Audio Engineering Society and has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field of hearing. He is an accomplished choir director, violinist and jazz pianist. He holds over?60 patents.

Jonathan Siegel, PhD., is a neurobiologist with a long-standing interest in auditory physiology. He is an associate professor in the Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, as well as an associate professor of neurobiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Siegel’s primary research interests are otoacoustic emissions and hair cell physiology. He is the principal investigator in the Otoacoustic Emissions Laboratory, and he is also a collaborator in the School of Communication’s Auditory Research Lab. Siegel has written and lectured widely on cochlear physiology and ultrastructure. He is a reviewer for a number of scientific journals, including Audiology and Neurotology, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and the Journal of Neuroscience. The courses he teaches include Advanced Neurobiology and Physiology, Neurobiology of Communication, and Otoacoustic Emissions: Theory and Practice.

Dan Mapes-Riordan, PhD., has over 25 years’ experience as an R&D engineer in the audio industry. His educational background is in digital electronics, signal processing, acoustics, and auditory perception. He has worked in a variety of areas including digital audio testing, transducer design, echo cancellation and feedback reduction, dynamics processing, hearing test instrumentation, speech processing, surround sound, and binaural recording and playback. He has taught both statistics and acoustics at the college level. Dan has been awarded eight patents and has one patent pending. He currently is a staff engineer/scientist at Etymotic Research, Inc. He is also an associate technical editor of the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.

Robert Cochran, MSEE, has over 30 years’ experience in audio and telecommunications, including development of sound reinforcement loudspeakers, echo cancellation, public safety radio accessories, and hearing test instrumentation. He is currently a consultant at Etymotic Research, Inc.

Other Business: Dinner (optional, but please RSVP) will begin at 6:30pm. Contact vice chair Kerry J Haps ( by Tuesday, April 26th if you would like to join us. Pizza, pasta and salad from Lou Malnati’s will be provided. Please let Kerry 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

Posted: Monday, April 11, 2016

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AES - Audio Engineering Society