AES Section Meeting Reports

Toronto - September 23, 2018

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The Toronto chapter celebrated it's 50th year as a section by hosting a 2-day event. The gathering included panel sessions, sponsor presentations, as well as special presentations by keynote speakers. Some of the topics covered included immersive sound and networked audio. The admission price also included lunch and dinner.

After registration and opening marks the first day began with a panel session on Recorded Music Production moderated by Jeff Wolpert. The panelists included Riley Bell, Jason Dufour, Alf Annibalini, Hayward Parrott, and Glenn Fricker. Much of the discussion compared recording processes from past and present. Things were: "not better, not worse, just different"; and "technology changes the music".

All panel sessions and presentations were followed by a Q&A period.

The first special presentation followed by Dave Haydon, of Outboard UK entitled "Spatial Reinforcement and Immersive Audio". Dave looked at spatial reinforcement objectives and techniques, and the "joy and pain of precedence" which included discussion of the Haas effect, comb filtering, phasing, echo suppression and perception threshold. He also provided a demonstration of some of the Timax software.

After time for lunch a special keynote presentation followed held by Josh Tidsbury, App Frameworks Evangelism Manager, Media Technologies Evangelist with Apple. With a talk entitled "Where We Were, How We Survived and Where We Are Going", some of the sub-categories looked at ubiquity of access, abstraction from physical media, democratization of creative tools, shifts in monetization and audience, and the importance of user experience. One interesting point during the Q&A brought up: "is access the medium?" since the app does nothing without the stream.

Dave Morrison from ISO Acoustics followed with a sponsor presentation looking at the The IsoAcoustics Speaker Stand Story.

The second panel session of the day looked at "Technology: Loudspeakers, Consoles, Amplifiers, Processing". It was led by Anthony Kuzub of Ward-Beck Systems, and who is currently vice-chair of the Toronto executive committee. The panelists for this session included: Denis Tremblay of Norfolk and Jarvis Audio Technologies, Dave Haydon from Outboard UK returned to participate, Jeff Shorthouse of Yorkville Sound, Morton Lave, and Dave Gunness of Fulcrum Acoustic. After a Q&A Anthony summed things up with "learn how to code".

After a dinner break, the final special presentation of the first day was led by Ron Searle, Senior Post Production Audio Engineer at CBC Toronto, with a presentation entitled "The State of the Sound at CBC". He looked at the objectives and requirements of web-based and more traditional broadcast protocols and the challenges faced. "IP can be done today, but there's a lot of work still to be done to get where end users really want to go".

Day two began with the third panel session looking at Live Sound. It was moderated by Ike Zimbel of Zimbel Audio Productions. The panelists included Rob Sandolowich of Westbury National Show Systems, David Cyrenne of Caesars Windsor, Trevor Nash of Technical Consultant d&b audiotechnik Canada, Mark Radu, Senior Audio Systems Engineer of Solotech, and Bob Snelgrove of GerrAudio. The main takeaway here was DSP has been biggest plus in last 20 years; and problems solved in recent years that used to require extensive troubleshooting have been replaced by newer ones ie: hum has been replaced by clocking issues.

Bob Snelgrove followed with a sponsor presentation entitled "Immersion Technology for Live Reinforcement, A Meyer Sound Perspective". He looked at the communications processes in live performances and the interactions between performers, the audience and the room.

A special presentation was next by Dave Gunness of Fulcrum Acoustic who discussed "Sound System Performance with Complex Signals". Some takeaways here: speakers are designed and optimized to handle complex signals — to understand them, study the concept of frequency aggregation; a spec sheet can't tell you how a loudspeaker sounds; these problems are complicated, so the answers can't be both simple and correct; trust your ears!

Before lunch, two more presentations followed: one from Anthony Kuzub; and the other from sound designer David Rowe of Corus Entertainment, talking about Dolby ATMOS.

After lunch, the fourth panel session commenced called "Broadcast, Post and More: Media Delivery in all its forms". Michael Nunan was the moderator and the panelists were: Damian Kearns, an independent post contractor, David Midgley and Chris Sampson, both of Bellmedia, David Rowe, Ron Searle, and Leigh Whitcomb of Imagine Communications.

Two more sponsor presentations were next: Jeff Johns of HHB Canada discussing "Some Things you should know about Networked Audio", and Hugo Larin from Flux Audio talking about immersive audio.

The final panel session was moderated by Toronto AES executive committee member Jeff Bamford also of Engineering Harmonics and was entitled Acoustics, Architect and Installation. It involved discussions of concert halls, stadiums, clubs, studios, corporate spaces. This panel session was different from the others in that each panelist gave a mini-presentation. They were John O'Keefe of O'Keefe Acoustics; Terry Medwedick of Group One Acoustics; Arthur Skudra of SightSound Consulting; Dave Clark of Dave Clark Consulting; and John Swallow of Swallow Acoustic Consultants.

This two-day-long event concluded with closing remarks by Michael Nunan. Mr. Nunan was instrumental with assisting the Toronto AES organize this very special celebration

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AES - Audio Engineering Society