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An Open Letter to Membership and Industry

An Open Letter to Membership and Industry

The Audio Engineering Society’s mission is to promote the science and practice of audio by bringing leading people and ideas together. Its first meeting was held on February 17, 1948 at New York City’s RCA Victor recording studios. At that time, an executive committee of five (J.D. Colvin, C.J. LeBel, C.G. McProud, N.C. Pickering, and C.A. Rackey) worked to assist the nascent professional society in establishing its first constitution, now known as the Society’s bylaws. Remarkably durable, the Audio Engineering Society’s Bylaws continue to guide our corporate governance efforts today. As past, current, and future presidents we have pledged to uphold them upon accepting our current role and appointment.

Now, in this 70th year of our existence, the Society can be described as more active, diverse, and influential than ever before. In the past few years, transformative efforts within the Society have provided even more benefits to membership, and more effective channels to engage industry. The new AES Live online videos section (http://www.aes.org/live/) is a collection of more than 200 topical expert presentations covering wide-ranging fields as Post Production, Musical Acoustics, Transducers, Church Sound, Game Audio and many more. The Society’s E-Library is building its assets, now containing more than 17,000 fully searchable PDF files documenting the progression of audio research from 1953 to today (http://www.aes.org/e-lib/). A good introduction to this online library is a set of curated, themed Collections such as headphone technology, live sound reinforcement and ribbon microphones.

Under its new manager Dr. Richard Cabot and the AESSC (Standards Committee), our Society’s Standards operation has recently implemented a program to engage a growing number of Standards Sustainers, whose support the Society sincerely appreciates (http://www.aes.org/standards/). This group of industrial manufacturers and technical associations complements the Society’s valued Sustaining Members group, now including 133 audio and acoustical equipment manufacturers, research organizations, and educational facilities. (http://www.aes.org/sustaining_members/).

The working mechanisms of the Society and the efforts of our active, volunteer committees and dedicated Executive Director and his professional headquarters staff have been yielding an ever-expanding group of Society events. These range from regional events like AES Brasil Expo, AES Mexico and the AES UK Mastering Conference, to our traditional annual conventions in the United States and Europe, to the new AES@NAMM education and training event to be held each January on the USA’s west coast. Additionally, there is a slate of international conferences featuring world-class, category-leading experts from a broad spectrum of fields such as Automotive Technology, Audio Forensics, Music Induced Hearing Disorders, Audio Archiving, Preservation and Restoration, Spatial Reproduction, Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality and more (http://www.aes.org/events/). The growing number of engagement channels to reach an increasingly-diverse audio engineering community throughout the world is made possible through the tireless efforts of numerous, dedicated volunteers—many just like us, and you.

As volunteer members of the Society’s Executive Committee, we three are committed to participating not only in issues of corporate governance, but in ongoing dialogue with you, our global membership, and the dynamic audio engineering industry from which each one of us, like you, are drawn. We are pleased to note, based upon metrics for Q1 2018, Society membership has increased about 8% compared to Q1 2017. A focused effort by the Society’s Membership Committee and AES headquarters staff is yielding positive results.

As part of this effort, the recently-established Diversity & Inclusion sub-committee is reaching out to an ever-growing number of audio professionals. To highlight just a few developments during the past year, the Society’s number of Chinese members has doubled; AES welcomed its first Board-approved professional section in Nigeria; and a new student section was recognized in Quito, Ecuador. For many of you, and a growing number of colleagues, AES membership is not a passive activity, but a personal and active one. In professional and student sections around the globe, lively local meetings are taking place. Members are convening to explore the latest in audio topics and technologies with each other. Current news about some of these local activities can always be found here within the JAES, the official publication of the AES (http://www.aes.org/journal/). This is the only peer-reviewed journal devoted exclusively to audio technology. It’s published 10 times each year and is available to all AES members and subscribers.

For those interested in becoming more directly involved in the Society’s ongoing activities, we urge you to browse the Committees section on our website. Your comments, suggestions, and perhaps even more active participation in areas like Education, Membership, Publications Policy, Historical, and of course our wide range of 20 different Technical Council committees are actively welcomed. Please reach out to our dedicated volunteer committee chairs when you have something to contribute in your own field of special interest (http://www.aes.org/committees/).

As our Society grows and evolves, it is encouraging and exciting to note that your Board of Governors currently includes officers and committee chairs with residences as geographically-diverse as Beijing, Vienna, Montevideo, Istanbul, Boston, and many other international locations. Since it is once again that time of year, we urge each voting (Full) member of the Society to participate in our upcoming 2018 Election of Officers. Details for this year’s Slate of Candidates will soon be announced by the Nominations Committee.

Finally, we look forward to collaborating with many of you at the AES 144th this month in Milan (http://www.aes.org/events/144/), Italy and in October 2018 at the AES 145th (co-located with NAB) in New York (http://www.aes.org/events/145/) as the Audio Engineering Society continues to “…promote the science and practice of audio by bringing leading people and ideas together.”

Yours together in audio engineering,

Alex Case

Past President

Chair, Membership Committee


David Scheirman



Nadja Wallaszkovits


Chair, Strategic Planning Team


Posted: Friday, May 25, 2018

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