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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: 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).

Posted: Monday, April 11, 2016

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Past Event: Tour of Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders, Inc.

February 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Location: Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders, Inc, 2151 Madison Street, Bellwood, IL 60104

Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders Inc. has grown to become a leader in the design and construction of fine liturgical and performance oriented pipe organs. The company continues to explore the art, form and role of the pipe organ in today's environment and maintains its commitment to building instruments that define the state of the Art of Organ building.  Please join us for a behind-the-scenes view of the building and restoration of these magnificent instruments.

Our tour will include presentations on:

Pipe organ design - Berghaus designer, Michal Leutsch, will show how he uses AutoCAD to design everything from the decorative casework to the steel support structure to the chestwork layout (where the pipes are located.)  Tonal Director Jonathan Oblander will discuss how the "sound design" of each instrument is conceived.

"Behind the Façade" - an opportunity to view and explore a pipe organ erected in the shop.  Support structures, enclosures, chests, and winding systems all are visible.   (Pipe organs take up entire rooms!)

Mechanics - there are many different ways that a pipe organ plays, called "chest actions".  Some of these will be on display.

Electronics - learn about how the console (where the musician plays the keyboards) communicates with the chests and pipes.

Voicing - learn how Berghaus artisans work with each pipe (there can be thousands in a single organ) to achieve the desired tone and timbre according to the unique location, size and style of the instrument.

Other Business: Due to scheduling, 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 FatDuck Tavern & Grill (about 3 miles east on Madison St. at Elgin Ave). No reservation is required. Everyone is responsible for their own check. FatDuck Tavern & Grill 7218 Madison St Forest Park, IL 60130 (708) 488-1493

View Official Meeting Report

More Information

Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2016

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Past Event: Judging Individual High Resolution Audio Perception Capabilities

November 24, 2015 at 7:30 pm

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

Speaker(s): Bob Schulein


With the introduction of the CD in the early 1980’s and the evolution of digital audio technology, there has been an ongoing quest to improve what some called the “ultimate music storage format.” This quest for such systems is not new and has been occurring since the invention of the Edison cylindrical disc. In general it has been felt that more bandwidth, more dynamic range, and less distortion is always better, with no apparent limit. Have we, however, reached a point of diminishing returns for even the most discriminating listener? People keep asking “can you hear a difference?”

This presentation will describe a different approach to answering the question by presenting three tests that are easy for individuals to implement (assuming they have capable equipment). The question will be transformed into: “How sensitive is the combination of my listening acuity, and my various listening environments regarding two of the major aspects of High Resolution Audio - Dynamic Range and Bandwidth?”

By answering these questions, individuals can better decide for themselves as to the value and importance of acquiring high-resolution audio systems and recordings. In addition to these three tests, other tests will be discussed regarding the hearable aspects of the various low pass filters used in digital audio systems. These tests were presented as a part of Workshop W20 at the recent 139th AES Convention in New York, which included a break-out room that allowed a number of individuals to take the tests. Following the formal presentation, several demo/test stations will be available for those wishing to take the tests.


Bob Schulein has been involved with the design, development, manufacturing, and marketing of electro-acoustical products for over 40 years. He is currently the owner of RBS Consultants, an international consulting firm which provides consulting services in areas of acoustics, product research, product design and development, project management, and audio/video recording engineering and producing. His areas of specialization include professional and consumer audio products and applications, telecommunications and the hearing-health industry. Bob has been granted 25 patents in the fields of acoustics and electro-acoustics and has 2 patents pending.

Bob has been active in a number of professional organizations within the audio and hearing industries. He is a Fellow and Past President of the Audio Engineering Society, where he received the Publications Award in 1977, the Board of Governors Award in 1990, and the Bronze Medal in 2013. He currently serves as a vice-chair of the AES Technical Council, and is chair of the AES Technical Committee on Hearing and Hearing Loss Prevention.

Other Business: Dinner (optional, but please RSVP) will begin at 6:30pm. Reservation required - contact Treasurer Giles Davis at by Monday, Nov. 23rd.

View Official Meeting Report

Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2015

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AES - Audio Engineering Society