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: Stereo Mic Technique for Augmented Ambience Gradient

October 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm

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

Moderated by: Jamie Tagg

Speaker(s): Assistant Professor of Recording Arts, Indiana University

Born out of a need to overcome the difficulty of listening exclusively on headphones while working on location, as well as the dominance of headphone listening by today's consumers, Jamie has developed a four-microphone configuration called the Stereo Mic Technique for Augmented Ambience Gradient. This technique allows the recordist to make easy adjustments to the amount of direct and reverberant sound from an ideal microphone placement, capturing an improved sense of spatial envelopment when presented over headphones, while still maintaining quality for loudspeaker listening.

Starting with the idea in application, followed by research and development through extensive experimentation and subjective listening tests, this technique has come a long way since its conception in 2010, and is now being used by engineers in several locations across the country in temporary and permanent installations for stereo and surround archiving and broadcast.


A singer, pianist, and saxophonist, D. James Tagg (Jamie) received his bachelor's degree in music from the University of Miami in Music Engineering Technology, a master of music in Sound Recording Technology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and has studied engineering and production with Martha de Francisco at McGill University in Montréal. He has taught audio production at SUNY Oneonta, Syracuse University, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and McGill University. He now lives in Bloomington, IN where he is an Assistant Professor of Recording Arts at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

In addition to the stereo mic technique which is the topic of his presentation (Stereo Technique for Augmented Ambience Gradient), Jamie has developed spatial processing tools through digital signal processing (DSP) for his own use, as well as for THAT Corporation's dBx-TV, used by many major TV manufacturers.

Having recorded three GRAMMY®-nominated albums, received multiple internationally competitive recording awards from the Audio Engineering Society, and having worked across the United States and Canada, Jamie is not only passionate about presenting spatial realism in recordings, but also bringing the heart of the performance to the listener.

Other Business: Dinner (optional, but please RSVP) will begin at 6:30pm. Contact Giles Davis ( by Wednesday, October 19th 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).

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Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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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).

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Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2016

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AES - Audio Engineering Society