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: 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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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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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

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Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2016

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AES - Audio Engineering Society