AES Section Meeting Reports

Toronto - April 23, 2016

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The Toronto AES held a special day-long event at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester NY. Rochester is a part of the Toronto Section, and our current vice-chair is Rochester's Alan Clayton.

Rochester's Eastman School of Music is distinguished as being one of the premier music conservatories in the world. It has seen generations of graduates go on to achieve renown in the fields of Classical Music and Jazz.

The School has also had a huge impact in the audio production field via their early adoption of recording technology for instructional and archival purposes.

From 1968 to 1986, it hosted a series of Recording Institutes where a generation of audio professionals, including people like Bob Ludwig, Phil Ramone and Mick Guzauski were able to explore the state of the art in audio technology and practice. Several members of the Toronto AES Section participated as students in these workshops and some, notably Neil Muncy, served as instructors.

The meeting began with a tour of the school's three concert/recital halls: the Hatch Recital Hall, the Kodak Hall, and the Kilbourn Hall. Dave Truebrg and Rich Wattie were the guides. In addition to discussing the work and renovations of each hall he also provide a thorough history. The halls have sophisticated inter-connections via several recording control facilities. These control rooms were also part of the tour. Overall, the tour was casual and informal, being more of a Q&A than a structured presentation, after a brief initial opening talk.

A lunch break was taken with the tour finishing after.

After another brief break the retrospective portion of the day began.

Rich Wattie introduced Jim Cox. Jim's presentation included a history of the recording school. His talk focused on stories about Neil Muncy, Val Valentine, and John Eargle, and their profound influence as instructors. This was indeed a common theme throughout the rest of the afternoon as evidenced by the recollections of the presenters.

Next, Executive Committee member Earl McCluskie laid out the rest of the afternoon's proceedings. He then introduced the first of many presenters. They included:

David Greene
Bob Ludwig (via Skype)
Jim Anderson
Paul Blakemore
Gary Paczosa (via Skype)
Stephen Siegel
Dixon van Winkle
Dale Manquen (from notes read by Earl McCluskie)
Ros Ritchie

After everyone had offered their thoughts, Earl shared his personal reminiscences about Neil Muncy, and about meeting Phil Ramone.

Those who could not attend the event as presenters nevertheless had prepared notes read: Alan Clayton read from Don Peruse; David Greene read from Ed Greene; and finally Alan returned to read highlights from other alumni: Ray Rayburn, Mike Solomon, Daniel St. Georgius, and Rod Hanze. It bears repeating that, throughout the day, the deep impact the Institute had on all disciplines in the audio field was very apparent.

At the close, Chair Frank Lockwood handed out certificates of appreciation and coffee mugs to all the participants. He thanked Rich Wattie for the leading the proceedings for the day. Finally, everyone posed for a group photo.

It was a very memorable occasion. In addition to being live streamed, the retrospective was video archived and will be up on the Toronto AES Section website —

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AES - Audio Engineering Society