Pacific Northwest AES Section Blog

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.

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Section Website

Posted: Thursday, February 14, 2019

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Past Event: Audition the 2019 Immersive Audio Grammy Nominees | Joint meeting with the Recording Academy

January 3, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Location: Microsoft Studios, Building B, Dolby Atmos Theater, Redmond, WA

Moderated by: Glenn Lorbecki

Speaker(s): AES PNW Section, The Recording Academy

 Apologies for the rather short notice here. The Recording Academy has an Immersive Audio Listening Session at the Dolby Atmos Theater located at Microsoft Studio B (Same place as our September meeting). On the playlist are recordings nominated for the 61st GRAMMY Awards in the Best Immersive Audio Album Category. We've been invited to share the occasion with the PNW Chapter of the Recording Academy.

There is space for about 50 AES folks, which should be sufficient to accommodate people who normally attend our meetings. Still, your RSVP is needed to secure a seat at the event. 

Click Here for RSVP


Directions can be found on the PNW Section website: 






View Official Meeting Report

PNW Section Website

Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2018

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Past Event: Jack Endino Guitar Recording Workshop

November 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Location: Shoreline Community College, Rm 818 (music bldg), Shoreline, WA

Moderated by: Greg Dixon

Speaker(s): Jack Endino - Producer/Engineer

 Everyone knows how to record an electric guitar, right?  NOT!

Stick an SM57 in front of the speaker and away you go! OR Plug the amp into a direct box and get it that way. What could be simpler?
Jack Endino is a Producer/Engineer with over 500 records to his credit. Among other things, he produced and engineered Nirvana's CD, Bleach.  Some would say that he's the GodFather of Grunge. It happens that he's also a degreed Electrical Engineer, a dangerous combination. For our meeting, Jack will take us on a tour of electric guitar recording. He'll explore:
* The influence of speaker cabinet design (open back or not?)
* The influence of the amp itself
* Microphone choice and placement
* Source to microphone distance
* multiple microphones?
* the guitar itself
* tuning the damned thing
* using direct boxes and re-amping
* the nature of distortion and noise
That should be more than enough to keep us busy for a couple of hours. Join us on November 7th. A good time will be had by all!

View Official Meeting Report

More Information at AES PNW Section Website

Posted: Friday, October 19, 2018

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Past Event: An Evening with Ron Jones

June 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Location: Shoreline Community College, Rm 818 (music bldg), Shoreline, WA, USA

Moderated by: Dan Mortensen

Speaker(s): Ron Jones / SkyMuse

Ron Jones is a composer who three years ago relocated from Los Angeles to Stanwood, WA. While working and living in LA for 37 years, he was the composer for Family Guy, American Dad, Star Trek Next Generation and many more productions.

Over his career, he has composed over 40,000 registered works, and is still going strong after his move to Washington — last year his studio provided all of the audio for the feature film "Fight For Space" and Ron has an ongoing performance jazz band, Jazz Forest.

In Stanwood, Ron has developed Sky Muse into a world class studio. Join us on June 20 at Shoreline CC for An Evening with Ron Jones.


Other Business: 2018 Officer and Committee Election We hold our annual election at the June meeting. This year's slate has a number of distinguished members. Your task, as a member or associate member of AES, is to choose from that slate, those candidates who you believe will help create interesting and meaningful meetings for the 2018-2019 year. Election materials may be found at http://www.aes.org/sections/pnw/bio2018.htm

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More Information

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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Digipen Institute of Technology 6th Annual Audio Symposium

 DigiPen Institute of Technology is pleased to host the sixth annual Audio Symposium, jointly sponsored by the Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.) and the AES PNW section. This year’s speakers include Marty O’Donnell of Highwire Studios, Brian Schmidt of GameSoundCon, Nick Wiswell of Turn 10 Studios, and Mike Kent, member of the Technical Standards Board of the MIDI Manufacturers Association. Talks will cover a mix of topics related to sound engineering research, interactive music, and game audio. This event is free and open to the public.

When: 10AM - 4PM Saturday 12 May 2018
Where: DigiPen Institute of Technology, 9931 Willows Rd. NE, Redmond WA 98052
Please register here if you plan to attend: https://www.digipen.edu/digital-audio-symposium/

Event website and registration link.

Posted: Sunday, May 6, 2018

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Past Event: When Timing Audio For Video Becomes Impossible aka The Impossible Will Take A Little Longer

April 25, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Location: Opus 4 Studios, Bothell, WA USA

Moderated by: Dan Mortensen

Speaker(s): Dr. Michael Matesky, Opus 4 Studios & PNW AES Committee
Grant Crawford, Costco

 Once a year, Costco holds a Manager's Conference in Seattle, WA. A segment of the conference program is a memorial to Costco employees who have passed away during the previous year. The memorial takes the form of video images of those who have passed, along with an audio track that underscores the video. The only stipulation was that the music had to be performed by Costco employees. Simple enough, eh?

This year, there were two songs to be used, Song #1, Going Home, a spiritual, and Song #2, Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen. Both songs would play against a video track that was being created at Costco HQ in Issaquah.

Going Home was to be recorded in English, French, Spanish, and Korean. The vocal would be added as an overdub, in the home country of the language; i.e. here, France, Spain, and Korea. Grant recorded a basic piano track at Opus 4 Studios without knowing the final tempo or key, and that's what was sent around to each country. Everyone got instructions about microphone choice, processing, etc. Each country would sing the entire song through, and the production team here would pick and choose what parts to use where. Simple enough, eh? What could go wrong?

Hallelujah was to be sung by yet another singer, with a small studio band. After some searching, they found their singer here in the PNW, BUT she had NEVER been in a recording studio. The "band" was guitar, bass, synth/keyboard, and backgrond vocals. With the exception of Grant (synth/keys), everyone was an amateur, albeit a Costco employee. What could go wrong?

Finally, as mentioned before, the songs underscore a video, which was being produced elsewhere at Costco, without the video team really hearing the music AND the audio team not seeing the video. A third party was calling the shots to both, to the extent that the production was evolving somewhat independently in two different but mostly parallel universes. The upshot of this was the audio team getting requests from Corporate that at such and such time, something had to happen, and the audio track would have to morph somehow to accommodate the request. This might be as simple as a fader move, but more commonly, it resulted in arrangement changes on the fly. Ohhh, of course the deadline is tighter than a  <<pick something impossibly tight]>> . What could possibly go wrong?

Come to our April meeting and find out how Dr. Mike and Grant made the impossible into a reality. Dr. Mike has still not seen the finished film (or even any of the rough cuts). 

View Official Meeting Report

More Information at AES PNW Section Website

Posted: Friday, April 6, 2018

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Past Event: Roland Cloud and Gig Performer | The Continuing Evolution of the Virtual Studio

February 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm

Location: The Guitar Store, 8300 Aurora Ave N. Seattle, WA 98103 USA

Moderated by: Dan Mortensen

Speaker(s): Brandon Ryan - Roland, Dr. David Jameson - Gig Performer

 Over the course of decades, the audio community has focused their attention on the tape recorder and the evolutionary results have become the modern Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). Increasingly, the common denominator in music making has been Virtual Studio Technology (VST) instruments and signal processing gear (a standard developed by Steinberg). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology for more details.

Now, subscription services are starting to take over - many computer software licenses are maintained by a monthly payment. Roland Corporation, one of the best known brand names in synthesis, recently started a subscription service - Roland Cloud - which provides VST instruments modeled on (down to the resistor!) a large assortment of their classic synthesizers and other forward looking products.

One challenge Roland (and many other VST providers) have, is that in order to use these VST instruments, the subscriber has to have access and working knowledge of a DAW able to mount these instruments and use them before the instant gratification of actually playing and hearing them. The "tape recorder" has taken over the studio.

Enter Gig Performer - A VST host that provides direct and immediate access to these instruments - and any VST processor or utility. When you open Gig Performer, you see your audio and MIDI interfaces on a desktop with connection points. Right click and select the VST you wish to use, connect them up with your interfaces, and you are playing. Near instant performance gratification.

Come see us at The Guitar Store on February 21, 2018 at 7:30 for a full run down of the future of the virtual studio.

View Official Meeting Report

More Information at AES PNW Section Website

Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018

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Past Event: To Window, or Not To Window...

January 30, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Location: Digipen Institute of Technology, Redmond, Washington USA

Moderated by: Dan Mortensen

Speaker(s): James J. (JJ) Johnston - retired AT&T/Bell Labs, Microsoft, Bob Smith - Stryker/Physio Control

 To Window or Not To Window

aye, there's the rub!


Presented By
James J (JJ Johnston) - AES and IEEE Fellow
Bob Smith - AES PNW Section
The Pacific Northwest Section of the AES



Tuesday, January 30th, 2018, 7:30pm
Digipen Institute of Technology, Redmond Washington


Our January meeting will deal with the matter of windowing in FFT analysis.

Mr. Johnston will explain why windowing exists in FFT analysis, and then show the properties of a few windows, as well as mention when a window might not be the right tool. The talk will be primarily powerpoint, with rather a lot of graphs showing what happens when you do and don't window, why it's usually a good idea, and when it's actually not such a good idea.

Bob Smith will add clarity by discussing the practical effects of window choices on audio measurements. He will demonstrate these concepts via several live amplifier measurements.

Our Presenters

James D. (JJ) Johnston received the BSEE and MSEE degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA in 1975 and 1976 respectively. JJ temporarily retired in 2002 but worked 26 years for AT&T Bell Labs and its successor AT&T Labs Research. He was one of the first investigators in the field of perceptual audio coding, one of the inventors and standardizers of MPEG 1/2 audio Layer 3 and MPEG-2 AAC, as well as the AT&T Bell Labs or AT&T Labs-Research PXFM (perceptual transform coding) and PAC (perceptual audio coding) and the ASPEC algorithm that provided the best audio quality in the MPEG-1 audio tests. Most recently he has been working in the area of auditory perception of soundfields, electronic soundfield correction, ways to capture soundfield cues and represent them, and ways to expand the limited sense of realism available in standard audio playback for both captured and synthetic performances. He was most recently employed by DTS Audio and his current status is retired. Mr. Johnston is an IEEE Fellow, an AES Fellow, a NJ Inventor of the Year, an AT&T Technical Medalist and Standards Awardee, and a co-recipient of the IEEE Donald Fink Paper Award. Mr. Johnston has presented many times for the PNW Section, most recently on the issues surrounding "Dynamic Range." In 2006, he received the James L. Flanagan Signal Processing Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society, and presented the 2012 Heyser Lecture at the AES 133rd Convention: Audio, Radio, Acoustics and Signal Processing: the Way Forward.

Bob Smith has a BSEE from the University of Washington and has worked in the Biomedical industry for over 45 years. The last 20+ years he has spent developing acoustic research and audio engineering disciplines for Stryker / Physio Control (formerly Medtronic / Physio Control) to improve speech intelligibility for medical device voice prompting and voice recording systems in noisy environments. He is responsible for voice prompting in 30+ languages. The department now handles acoustic measurements of components such as drivers, microphone capsules and system measurements including Thiele-Small parameters, polar plots, waterfalls, frequency response, impulse response, several speech intelligibility methods, etc. When he's not playing acoustic/audio monkey for his corporate master, he runs an acoustic lab, SoundSmith Labs. From time to time, he can also be found recording local musical talents. Currently he is comparing several hardware and software acoustic / audio measurement systems to assess how much they vary and to the degree they converge on similar results. noise assessments and their effect on speech intelligibility.

View Official Meeting Report

PNW Section Website

Posted: Monday, January 8, 2018

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