AES Section Meeting Reports

Argentina - August 20, 2013

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Ezequiel Morfi: "10 records you have to listen before mastering a record"

AES SDA Chair Emeritus Ezequiel Morfi led a presentation conceived as a listening session supported by a deep and thorough analysis as well as anecdotes, technical data, applied technologies and catalog numbers. A tour through ten albums whose sound and audio broke new ground in mastering techniques, aesthetics and sonic perspectives. Some vinyl presses of Beatles' albums from the 60s, to the one and only 'Death Magnetic' by Metallica, plus eight other LPs (which we cannot reveal); all of them representing highlights in the history of mastering, sometimes further exposed when compared to a remaster edition, or two or three. Recordings from 1965 to 2008 were heard.

Daniel Sinnewald, Pablo Gómez, Martín Harris, Lucas Rubinstein and Indio Gauvron: "Development of high-performance speakers and amplifiers. Ionic and electrostatic speakers".

The Society of Acoustics in Argentina along with the Laboratory for Acoustics and Electroacoustics LACEAC from the Engineering College at the University of Buenos Aires and the AES Argentina Section offered a complete seminar, which addressed the principles of electrodynamic speakers, the technology for electrostatic speakers, and the development for ionic speakers. Each transducer's challenge is to accomplish the highest fidelity possible when translating an electrical signal into an acoustical one, or vice versa. On top of this, new topologies on Class D amplifiers were discussed.

Guillermo Guiraldes, Alejandro Pont Lezica, Rafael Sarmiento, Ramón Gallo, Dr Carlos Salvatori: "Healthy music: The DJ, the quality and the sound volume"

The Society for Disc-Jockeys, Light and Live Sound Engineers for Culture, along with Dr. Carlos Salvatori, Chief of Otolaryngology at Housay Hospital and professor at the University of Buenos Aires, talked about the characteristics of the human ear, the most common hearing disorders produced by amplified sound, and the influence of sound in the human brain. This round-table's goal was to reach to the professionals working in nightclubs and venues and to share some advice on the best practices. Ramón Gallo, Director of the Sound Engineer Chapter at ADISC, reflected on the quality of todays recordings and the compression formats (mp3) which the DJs will normally utilize. Renown DJ Rafael Sarmiento expressed his personal hearing problems and current need to use hearing aids due to sudden pain; also famous DJ Alejandro Pont Lezica shared his ways for taking care of his ears by paying attention to visual monitors (e.g. VU meters, LEDs).

Natalia Sotelo: "Soundtracks in animated movies — a history"

Searching to bring together the diverse aspects in audiovisuals where sound and music entwine technically and artistically, Natalia Sotelo sets a space to analyze animated short films from the composition and recording point of view, going from the beginning of the 20th century up until the latest 70s.
Keeping up with the advances in technology for audio and recording which provided a path for the "silent" cinema to obtain soundtrack, Natalia displayed a chronology of pictures while playing works by pioneers Winsor McCay, Georges Méliès, Norman McLaren, Walt Disney, George Lucas, among others.
The audience was led to objectively listen for clues in the sonic language based on repetitions and orchestration that are set to reaffirm the actions of the characters on screen.
Natalia Sotelo and Ezequiel Morfi: "LOSSY+LOSSLESS: compression formats for audio"

In the midst of the many players and formats available today, Natalia Sotelo and Ezequiel Morfi painted the picture by describing origin, evolution and utilization of most known compression formats for audio.
Topics ranged from basic concepts in digital audio, psychoacoustics (masking), the human hearing system, lossy and lossless compression algorithms, and the historical reference from the first soundcards available to the trendy codecs and formats for film, TV and music. From the technical point of view, spectrograms for different compressed jazz/pop/rock recordings were shown and explained.

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