Chicago AES Section

Upcoming Meeting

April 16: Adding Active Noise Control to Wireless Headsets (Virtual Meeting)

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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Upcoming Meeting: Adding Active Noise Control to Wireless Headsets (Virtual Meeting)

Tom Miller

Tom Miller

April 16, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Location: Zoom Meeting (Virtual; See description for details)

Speaker(s): Tom Miller, Senior Principal Engineer, Knowles Electronics

Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 969 420 078
Password: 6039AES

Note that this meeting will be limited to 100 participants.



As you may have noticed, this month's meeting is a bit of a departure from our normal mode of operation. Even though Governor Pritzker has extended the “stay-at-home” order for Illinois until April 30, the Chicago AES Section is indomitable, and will continue our meetings online! 

We will be hosting this meeting using Zoom. The one drawback we are facing is that participation is limited to 100 people. We plan to have a recording of the meeting available online afterwards, however. Please be sure that Zoom is installed on your preferred device prior to the meeting time (app store for iOS/Android, or the meeting link should prompt you to install the app on Mac or PC). You can either use the audio on your device, or call in for the audio with 
these instructions

The meeting will be introduced and moderated by Andrew Bellavia (Director of Market Development, Knowles Electronics). Most participants will have audio and video muted during the meeting. The moderator will un-mute participants in turn to ask a question during the Q&A period. This will be explained again at the beginning of the meeting.


Many companies wish to add Active Noise Control (ANC) to their wireless music headsets. ANC makes wearing insert earphones more pleasant, and makes the music easier to hear clearly. Unfortunately, most publications on noise cancelling lack practical information needed to make many key design decisions, and the experts are quite reluctant to share their methods. This presentation will help fill some of those gaps, covering many of the factors needed to provide good noise reduction in small headsets. It will cover the basics of ANC operation, then go onto discuss design factors such as headset acoustics and venting, filter design, and transducer selection. Tom will discuss how to keep an ANC system stable across a variety of wearers, dispelling some myths about latency and stability. He will show how to make good use of balanced armature devices in ANC systems, including how to add a tweeter without disrupting stability. The discussion will conclude with a brief description of transparent pass-through operation and some more advanced ANC techniques that adapt the headset to users and certain use cases.

Tom Miller is a Senior Principal Engineer at Knowles Electronics, and has been there for nearly a quarter century. Over those years he has helped to create many of Knowles’ balanced armature receiver designs and has been granted over a dozen patents. More recently he has been studying how Knowles microphones and receivers affect system level issues, such as the control of wind noise pickup and active noise cancellation. Tom is a former Regional Vice President of the AES, and has held every local office except treasurer. Back in a previous century Tom obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Upon graduation, he worked for a dozen years as chief technical engineer of Universal Recording, a major Chicago recording studio in its day. After that, he spent a few years working on signal processing for loudspeakers at International Jensen before moving on to Knowles. In his spare time he creates electronic music under the name Shadreaux, having released several albums on Bandcamp (but selling almost none).



Other Business: From AES HQ: AES Helps "Socially Distancing" Members Worldwide Listen, Learn, and Connect with Discounted Membership Rate Extended Through April 30. To help audio professionals stay connected as the world enters a period of isolation, the Audio Engineering Society is offering 3-month membership for $25, or a 3-month bonus at the standard yearly rate, through April 30, for both new and renewing members. Enrolled audio students receive an even bigger discount with AES Student Memberships starting at just $10 – find out more here.

More Information

Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

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Past Event: (CANCELLED) For Better or For Worse: Drugs That Can Help or Harm Your Hearing

Dr. Colleen Le Prell

Dr. Colleen Le Prell

March 19, 2020 at 7:30 pm

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

Speaker(s): Dr. Colleen Le Prell, University of Texas at Dallas



There are hundreds of drugs that have the potential to induce unwanted auditory side effects including not only tinnitus and hearing loss, but also dizziness and other balance disorders. Two of the drugs best known for inducing hearing loss and tinnitus are the chemotherapeutic drug cisplatin and various members of the aminoglycoside antibiotics family which are used to treat major life-threatening infections. Although the hearing loss induced by these “ototoxic” drugs compromises quality of life, the life-saving benefits of the drugs outweigh the unwanted side effects. In an effort to reduce hearing loss caused not only by these ototoxic drugs but also the hearing loss caused by exposure to loud sound, laboratories around the world have engaged in sustained research activities targeting the development of new “otoprotective” drug agents that ameliorate the harmful effects of noise, cisplatin, and the aminoglycoside antibiotics. In this talk, I will provide a brief overview of how noise, cisplatin, and aminoglycoside antibiotics induce cell death in the inner ear, and how investigational drug agents have protected the inner ear against cell death and hearing loss, preserving auditory function not only in pre-clinical lab studies completed in rodent models but also in early stage clinical trials. Although there are not yet any drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for prevention of hearing loss, multiple promising agents are progressing through the clinical testing process and there is hope that new drug solutions might one day provide a new tool within the hearing loss prevention toolbox.


Dr. Colleen Le Prell is the Emilie and Phil Schepps Professor of Hearing Science at the University of Texas at Dallas, and head of the UTD Communication Sciences and Disorders area, which includes programs in Speech, Language, and Hearing. She has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, several foundations, and industry. Translational research in her laboratory is directed at prevention of noise-induced hearing loss.  She has published more than 65 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and is an Associate Editor for both the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and the International Journal of Audiology. She contributed 19 book chapters to various texts, and she has edited 3 books.  She is a Past-President of the National Hearing Conservation Association, a current member of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Hearing Loss Prevention Cross Sector Council, and she has contributed to the World Health Organization “Make Listening Safe” annual consultation annually since 2017.

Other Business: DINNER: Dinner (optional, but please RSVP) will begin at 6:30pm. Contact Brandon Cudequest ( by Wednesday, March 18th if you would like to join us. Pizza and salad from Lou Malnati’s will be provided. Please let Brandon 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). SAVE THE DATE: Our next meeting will be on Thursday, April 16, 2020. Oliver Masciorotte (Co–Founder & CMO at MAAT Digital) will present on the topic of Loudness & Dynamic Range Metering. Meeting will be held at Shure Inc.

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Posted: Saturday, March 7, 2020

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Past Event: Tour of Symphony Center, home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Charlie Post

Charlie Post

February 18, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Location: Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60604

Speaker(s): Charlie Post, CSO Recording Engineer


Charlie Post moved to Chicago in 2014, having accepted a position with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He is recording CSO performances for archival, for potential future commercial release on the CSO Resound label, and for the CSO broadcast on the WFMT radio network. The weekly radio broadcast can be heard on WFMT and around the world on or SoundCloud, and has upwards of 250k listeners.

The Tanglewood music festival is a large part of his career. For 10 years he spent his summers in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts, supervising a team of engineers covering multiple venues, He recorded and mixed sound for hundreds of performances each season, ranging in scope from solo and chamber to full orchestras with choir, as well as jazz groups and rock shows. At the request of the CSO, he changed to a full-year-round position following the 2016 season at Tanglewood.

Alongside working with the Orchestra, he records, edit, and mix classical music for his company PostProductions Audio. He engineers and produces remote recording sessions, and offers live sound mixing services. He has a home studio where he edits and masters recordings, utilizing a high resolution Merging Technologies Pyramix-based digital audio workstation. He uses other software when working on different genres.

Before moving to Chicago, Charlie lived in Miami, mixing live sound at IATSE Local 500 venues such as the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts, Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, the Colony Theater and the Miami Dade County Auditorium. He also mixed many shows for the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center and the Miramar Cultural Center / Artspark, assuming the position of head of sound at these venues on an interim basis.

Specialties: Charlie has over 20 years of professional experience in studio engineering and live sound. He worked in NYC commercial recording studios for 10 years, splitting time between engineering and studio management. Although he has been specializing in classical and acoustic music since 2006, he also has years of experience in jazz and rock plus big band, opera, Broadway cast recordings, R&B, etc. Charlie has eclectic tastes in music. Besides engineering, he studied music formally and still plays the saxophone and clarinet. Music is his life!


Other Business: SOCIAL HOUR: Social hour will begin at 6:00pm at the Threshold Acoustics office (a short walk from Symphony Center). -- Sandwiches from Jimmy Johns as well as beverages will be provided. Please indicate your attendance at social hour when you RSVP for the tour so that we can get an accurate count for food. Please also indicate if you have a preference for vegetarian, gluten-free, etc. -- Price is $10 for non-members or $8 for members and students (please bring cash). (if you want to partake in the sandwiches, simply attending the social hour and tour is free!) -- Threshold Acoustics is located in the Board of Trade building at Jackson & LaSalle, 141 West Jackson Boulevard. By CTA, use the LaSalle/Van Buren stop and enter the building from the Van Buren St. entrance. -- Parking lots are available with attended parking on Financial Place between Jackson and Van Buren, or on Federal street in the same block. -- Once in the building, proceed to the 2nd floor, and if you have RSVP’d, your name will be your ticket to enter through security. Please bring a valid state or federal ID for admittance into the building. Threshold is on the 20th floor in the Northwest corner of the building.

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Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2020

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