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: Jazz and Classics in Surround

Jim Anderson

Jim Anderson

November 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm

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

Speaker(s): Jim Anderson Professor, Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music Tisch School of the Arts, New York University


Recording Engineer/Producer Jim Anderson will present an evening of his recordings of jazz and classical music in surround sound. Musical artists will include saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom, Chicago vocalist and songwriter Patricia Barber, US Army Jazz Ambassadors performing compositions by Sammy Nestico, and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra of Norway.

Genelec has graciously provided a 5.1 monitor system for listening.

Jim Anderson is an internationally recognized recording engineer and producer of acoustic music for the recording, radio, television, and film industries. He is the recipient of numerous awards and nominations in the recording industry: his recordings have received ten Grammy and Latin Grammy awards and 27 Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations; his radio recordings have received two George Foster Peabody Awards and there have been two Emmy nominations for television programs. In 2013, Jim won the Grammy for Best Surround Album and was nominated for Best Surround Album in 2014.

A graduate of the Duquesne University School of Music in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jim has studied audio engineering at the Eastman School of Music and Sender Freies Berlin. During the 1970s, he was employed by National Public Radio. Since 1980, Jim has had a career as an independent audio engineer and producer, living in New York City. He has been a frequent lecturer and speaker for the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and master-class guest faculty member at leading international institutes. He is a professor of recorded music with the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and was the department’s Chair from 2004 – 2008.

He has served as Vice President for Eastern Sections of the AES, chaired the NYC Section and was Chair of many AES conventions. Jim is a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society, has received five AES Board of Governors Awards, and was President of the Society in 2008-2009.

Jim and his wife, tonmeister Ulrike Schwarz, collaborate as Anderson Audio New York and specialize in surround and immersive recording.

Other Business: Dinner (optional, but please RSVP) will begin at 6:30pm.Contact Giles Davis ( by Wednesday, November 29th if you would like to join us. Sandwiches and chips from Jimmy John’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).

Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017

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Past Event: Perception and Measurement of Headphone Sound Quality: Is There a Preferred Headphone Target Response?

October 12, 2017 at 7:30 pm

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

Speaker(s): Sean Olive, Ph.D. Past President, AES Acoustic Research Fellow, Harman International


A recent paper by Jeroen Breebaart* reported no correlation between the retail price of 283 models of headphones and their measured frequency response (i.e. the single best predictor of how good it sounds). Clearly, the headphone industry has decided sound quality doesn’t matter or else they haven’t a clue what it is or how to measure it.

Dr. Olive’s talk will summarize Harman’s 5-year research effort towards better understanding the perception and measurement of headphone sound quality. Hundreds of listeners participated in controlled listening tests where different models of in-ear and over-ear headphones were rated based on preferred sound quality. From these studies we’ve discovered (much like loudspeakers) most listeners prefer neutral sounding headphones, with some small variations in preferred bass and treble that are related to the quality of the recording, and age and training of the listener. Most importantly, listeners’ headphone preference ratings can be accurately predicted based on how far the headphone’s frequency response deviates from a preferred target response. In summary, the science exists to improve the consistency and sound quality of headphones, but do consumers and the industry care enough about sound quality to affect change?

*in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America



Sean Olive is Acoustic Research Fellow for Harman International, where he has worked since 1993. He directs the Corporate R&D group, whose research has mainly focused on the perception and measurement of sound reproduction including loudspeakers, room acoustics, automotive audio, and currently headphones. From 1986-1993, he was a research scientist at the National Research Council of Canada where he worked with Dr. Floyd Toole.

Sean received a Bachelor degree in Music from the University of Toronto, and his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Sound Recording from McGill University in Montreal. Dr. Olive has written over 50 research papers on his research for which he was awarded the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Fellowship Award in 1996, and two Publication Awards (1990 and 1995). In 2012, Sean received the Harman Achievement Award, and in 2013 the ALMA Titanium Driver Award for scientific contributions to the loudspeaker and headphone industry. Sean is active in several AES Technical Committees, has co-chaired two AES conferences, and is Past AES President. He currently serves as an AES Governor.


Driving:  When arriving by car, approach from the east by heading west on Touhy, then turn right into the parking lot just east of the Shure building, which is on the corner of Touhy and Lehigh. DO NOT turn left into parking lot from Touhy heading east, as this is illegal and you may get a traffic ticket.

CTA Blue Line:  Get off at Jefferson Park transit center, and take bus lines 85A, 225, or 226 to Shure (be sure to check the bus schedules for return trip).


CTA Red Line:  Get off at Howard and take bus line 290 to Shure (be sure to check the bus schedules for return trip).


Other Business: Dinner (optional, but please RSVP) will begin at 6:30pm. Contact Giles Davis ( by Wednesday, October 11th 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

Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017

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Chicago AES Section on Twitter

 The Chicago AES Section is now on Twitter.

Chicago AES Section on Twitter

Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017

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AES - Audio Engineering Society