Pacific Northwest AES Section Blog

Past Event: 3D Audio — A Virtual Meeting

May 27, 2020 at 4:00 pm

Location: Digipen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA (NOTE: Virtual Meeting!)

Moderated by: Greg Dixon

Speaker(s): Brian Schmidt - DigiPen Institute of Technology

 Audio is a sometimes overlooked and often misunderstood element of the VR/AR/XR experience. This session will cover the theory, practice and limitations of 3D hearing for augmented and virtual reality systems as well as some brief history of commercially deployed 3D audio systems. Better understanding the limits not only of current 3D audio technologies but also human hearing perception itself can lead to greatly improved VR/AR/XR experiences, and reduce frustrations all around.

This talk is in two parts. The first part considers the traditional science of 3D hearing, with a contrast made with the visual system. The second part explores the inherent limitations of a physics/DSP approach, and some of the other elements that are hard (impossible) to solve by 'just throwing a bunch of DSP at it.'

This is a Zoom meeting. Note the earlier meeting time (4pm). Visit the section website for RSVP instructions and the Eventbrite link for the Zoom meeting URL.

Other Business: June Election reminder

More Information + RSVP instructions

Posted: Saturday, May 16, 2020

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Past Event: Mixing on Glass

April 28, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Location: Seattle, WA USA

Moderated by: Dan Mortensen

Speaker(s): Dansound Inc.

                                                                               Online Webinar

Mixing On Glass: Tablet Control of Digital Mixers

Presented by
Dan Mortensen - Dansound Inc.
The University of Washington School of Music
The AES Pacific Northwest Section

A livestream webinar (using Zoom).
Tuesday, April 28th, 2020, 7:30PM (Pacific TZ, GMT -7)

Digital mixers are here, alive, and flourishing, all the way from only a few inputs and outputs to replacements for Yamaha PM4000 analog desks. They hit all price points now, from affordable to <gasp>. Most feature some way to access them via Wi-Fi using some sort of tablet computer/controller. Some have no physical control surface; instead they depend on computer displays and a mouse, or touchscreens. The feature set at the input level is extremely deep, with control capabilities formerly reserved for only the elite of the analog mixer world. In this world, small does not mean limited capability.

Dan's presentation features the basics as well as an advanced look at the components of the system, including

  • Wi-Fi setup and operation at live events (assuming we get to do those again),
  • app features necessary and/or lacking,
  • router setup and security details,
  • operational techniques and tricks while at the gig.

This presentation will cover both tablet control of regular consoles as well as consoles that can only be controlled by tablet or laptop computer, although laptop mixing will only be tangentially mentioned. Relatively inexpensive digital mixers have changed Dan's workflow almost entirely for the better, and he is continually astonished to be able to mix a show out front or onstage without touching and physically moving a mixer and snake at all. In a normal year, that could be 20-30 times, and for another another 80 or so shows is using a tablet to do virtually the entire soundcheck while standing close to the artist or wherever he needs to be in the auditorium to get the job done, while mixing during the show on a combination of tablet and full console.

Other Business: Election Notice We will hold our annual officer and committee member election at our June meeting. Officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer) are typically nominated from the existing Committee. Committee members can be anyone interested and willing to help your section produce meetings. Officers serve for one year. Committee members serve for two years, with half electing on odd numbered years, and the other half electing on even numbered years. The current list of officers and committee members can be found here. If you are interested in participating, please contact anyone on the list. You must be a member or associate member at the time you assume the position.

View Official Meeting Report

More Information + RSVP instructions

Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

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March Meeting Announcement

Call it an overabundance of caution... With the coronavirus (covid H19) going around, rumors, news, and fake news flying like ... we've decided that it's better to simply not have a meeting this month rather than risking you, our audience, with something like this.

It turns out that our favorite venue has suspended classes anyway, likely in yet another overabundance of caution. Make no mistake: caution is good. This thing is playing out like the opening scenes of a disaster movie.

We hope to pick up our meeting schedule again in April.  Stay tuned, we'll let you know.
Stay Healthy!

Posted: Sunday, March 8, 2020

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Past Event: Creating A New Loudspeaker Design

February 26, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Location: Digipen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA

Moderated by: Greg Dixon

Speaker(s): Gary Gesellchen | Vanatoo

 Loudspeaker designers and the music lovers who use their products share a similar dilemma. When confronted with a clean sheet, the designer must ask themselves "what's possible?" When shopping for a new set of speakers the music lover would like to know "what's reasonable". They would both like to know what to expect from a system just by looking at it.

While overall sound quality is what defines a system, the bass response is typically what dictates the size, power requirements, and a good deal of the cost of a loudspeaker system. Looking at the family of designs typically possible from a "bass reflex" loudspeaker allows the designer to quickly home in on the requirements for a proposed system. The results can also be used to assess what to expect from an existing design. Another question asked is which bass reflex designs can be realized with a ported cabinet versus the family of very attractive design options that are only realizable with a passive radiator design.

Join us on February 26th to learn more about the yin and yang of creating a commercially viable loudspeaker system.


About the presenter

Gary Gesellchen is a Mechanical Engineer who built his first pair of custom speakers while still in high school. He launched his own speaker company, Vanatoo, with partner Rick Kernen after a 25 year career in design, manufacturing, and management with electromechanical computer peripherals makers (disk drives and printers). After a lifetime of studying, building, and testing, Gary is beginning to understand speakers. He lives in Seattle with his wife Claire and two kids, and as a native born Northwesterner enjoys the great outdoors and all it has to offer.

View Official Meeting Report

More Information + directions

Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

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Past Event: Old Problems, New Solutions: Architectural Acoustics in Flux

January 8, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Location: Digipen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA

Moderated by: Greg Dixon

Speaker(s): Ron Sauro, NWAA Labs Inc

 A short, (ha!), review of major changes in the field of architectural acoustics. These changes should be applied to future designs of acoustic spaces both large and small. It seems that many of these changes have been discussed at ASA and INCE meetings for many years but much of it does not get heard at other meetings such as AES and CEDIA. These changes affect ALL of us and need to be disseminated everywhere acoustic spaces are used or designed.

Topics to be discussed

  • Major changes in Absorption, Diffusion (diffraction), and Transmission loss measurements.
  • How can these changes best be used.
  • Directivity measurements of speakers and diffusers and their implementation into computer aided designs.
  • A short video tour of NWAA facilities and the research into acoustics performed there.


Please join us at our January meeting for what should be an informative update in the field of architectural acoustics.

View Official Meeting Report

More Information, presenter's bio, directions

Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2019

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Past Event: Acoustics: The Dark Magic of Architecture

October 29, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Location: Stantec offices, 400 Fairview Ave N. Seattle, WA 98109

Moderated by: Dan Mortensen

Speaker(s): Katie Gray - Stantec

What exactly is architectural acoustics?

Why is it important, and how does it impact us all?

Come explore the "black magic" of architectural design, and learn about the world of acousticians. This presentation will cover acoustic isolation, interior room response, and mechanical system noise control as it applies to different types of buildings and projects. Learn how a building is typically designed and all of the different acoustical design decisions that go into each construction project. This presentation will include demonstrations of acoustic modeling, and examples of several project designs.

View Official Meeting Report

More Information

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2019

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September Meeting: The Current State of Production Sound Recording

 Production sound is sound that is recorded in the course of filming or video recording any live action event. It could be on location, for example a news report, or the sound recording on the set of a motion picture. Then again, it could be the audio recording of a live musical event, with or without picture. Even further removed, how about the audio for a reality TV show, such as Survivor? The techniques and tools available to the location sound recordist continue to evolve and there is a steady stream of new and improved equipment available to today's location sound recordist. This presentation will take you through the evolution of these tools and then introduce you to some current offerings. To say the least, we've come a long way from a Nagra III.

Our Presenter

Jon Tatooles is co-founder of Sound Devices LLC, a specialty electronics manufacturer based in Wisconsin. Sound Devices audio and video products are used worldwide for film and television production. Jon developed and managed sales, marketing, finance, technical support, and brand strategy for the company. He was managing director for its first 15 years.

Jon is a regular lecturer and industry expert on audio and video production tools and technology, including best practices for audio dialog recording, surround sound recording, and production workflow for television and film sound. He is a member of the AES (Audio Engineering Society), SBE (Society of Broadcast Engineers), and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Jon is a mentor with Madison Entrepreneur Resource, Learning, and Innovation Network (MERLIN), an organization of the University of Wisconsin-Madison which serves as a resource to entrepreneurs in the Madison and UW communities. He is also an advisor to the Sound Arts and Industries program at Northwestern University.

Jon is a 1989 graduate of Northwestern, with a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film from the School of Communications. Prior to starting Sound Devices in 1998, Jon worked for Shure Inc. of Niles, IL. His first job at Shure was answering customer service calls on their 800 number. He held several positions, including manager of Shure's mixer and signal processing products group. Jon was introduced to motion picture shooting and editing as a young boy by helping his physician-father hot-splice 16 mm films of experimental open heart surgeries. A self-described gear geek, he continues to be actively involved in video production, still photography, and music. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his family. 

More Information at Sound Devices Web

Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019

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Past Event: An Unhinged Evening with Sylvia Massy

July 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Location: DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond WA, USA

Moderated by: Bill Gibson

Speaker(s): Sylvia Massy - www.sylviamassy.com

 Unhinged Recording with Sylvia Massy

View Official Meeting Report

Map & Directions / Section Website

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2019

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Past Event: The Music of Destiny

March 27, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Location: Digipen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA

Moderated by: Steve Turnidge

Speaker(s): All are with Bungie Studios: Skye Lewin, Michael C. Salvatori, and Josh Mosser

Three members of the composition and mixing team team from Bungie give us a rare glimpse behind one of the most popular games of this generation. Skye Lewin (Music Director and Composer at Bungie), Michael C. Salvatori (Composer at Bungie), and Josh Mosser (Senior Music Mixer/Editor at Bungie) discuss their inspiration, workflow, and the concept of creativity on a deadline when delivering live symphonic soundtracks containing hundreds of minutes of original music, elaborately sound designed cinematic sequences, and dialog in umpteen languages.

Skye, Michael, and Josh will ply us with tales of the past, present, and future of gaming through the prism of Destiny and Destiny 2.

Further details at our website: http://www.aes.org/sections/pnw/

View Official Meeting Report

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019

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Past Event: Interview with Bob Ezrin

February 20, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Moderated by: Steve Turnidge

Speaker(s): Glenn Lorbecki, independent engineer and PNW Committee member. Bob Ezrin, producer/engineer.

 Video Interview with Bob Ezrin

Presented by
The AES Pacific Northwest Section



Campus Theater, Building 1600
Shoreline Community College
Wednesday, February 20th, 2019, 7:30PM
Note: The theater is NOT room 818, where we usually hold our meetings.


On May 1, 2008, the PNW Chapter of the Recording Academy had a Studio Summit at what was EMP (now MoPop) in Seattle. The guests of honor were Bob Ezrin and Alan Parsons. The day was recorded, but the tapes never were captured — until now.

Steve Turnidge, AES PNW Vice Chair said, "Glenn Lorbecki's interview with Bob Ezrin's was the very best that I've ever witnessed." It's been 10 years since, and Steve still has not changed his mind about the interview. In the interview, Bob discusses, in depth, his varied production and mixing career ranging between Alice Cooper, Kiss, the first Peter Gabriel album, and Pink Floyd's The Wall and much more!

Now you can see for yourself at our February meeting.

About Bob Ezrin

Bob Ezrin might be a bit less known than Alan Parsons, although he certainly has a large and impressive body of work to show for. His common point with Alan Parsons is his work with Pink Floyd as producer for their album, The Wall.

You can find a comprehensive biography and discography for Bob at Wikipedia.

View Official Meeting Report

Section Website

Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2019

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