A modified control room at Central Sound at Arizona PBS utilized for audio and video production for the AES Show Fall 2020 Convention. The control rooms, typically set up as multi-user production rooms, were optimized for a single user to ensure the operator was isolated from others during the pandemic.
— The AES utilizes member expertise and resources to launch online AES Show to a worldwide cast of attendees and presenters eager to connect at the biggest pro audio event of the year —
Throughout the changes to the audio engineering industry in 2020, the Audio Engineering Society has persisted in forwarding its mission to promote advances in audio and disseminate new knowledge and research through its latest online interactive events and programs. Taking that mission further still, this year’s AES Show Fall 2020 Convention was organized and produced by a behind-the-scenes cast that fulfilled and exceeded the Society’s expectations, providing everything for the digital networking infrastructure that ported hundreds of livestreamed and on-demand sessions to a worldwide audience, and coordinating and scheduling sessions for hundreds of the top names in audio engineering and production, including presentations by GRAMMY®-winning producers, engineers and artists alongside leading professional audio researchers and innovators.
Delivering the AES Show to nearly 4,400 attendees worldwide over a full month of livestreamed events, various forms of on-demand content, and interactive live discussions and Q&A required a host of engineers, along with much appreciated help from the Central Sound team at Arizona PBS. Video and live feeds took over multiple control rooms at Central Sound for audio and video production, utilizing a variety of production software and services such as the Adobe Creative Suite, OBS, StreamYard, Source Elements, Rendezvous Conferencing, and Zoom, which were further switched and encoded via Wirecast for distribution on various platforms. Streamguys proved invaluable as the primary CDN and streaming solution partner for the live technical convention. “The logistics of funneling a worldwide audience the hundreds of sessions that make up an AES Convention across three websites were daunting,” said Central Sound at Arizona PBS Manager, Executive Producer and Engineer Alex Kosiorek, who headed up streaming and on-demand content delivery. “Our team of committed professionals rose to the occasion to ensure the success of a multi-faceted, complex online event.”
Bringing together the outstanding lineup of award-winning engineers, producers and entertainers for the AES Show’s Special Events series brought its own challenges yet resulted in a number of highlights for the thousands who logged on to catch inspirational and technical insights from some of the biggest names in the industry. From featured livestreamed events with FINNEAS, Jackson Browne and Friends, Imogen Heap, and the AES Show opening statement from New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Hochul, to the Platinum Panels series, hosting top recording engineers, producers, and mastering engineers, a theme of connection and collaboration rang throughout AES Show 2020. Special Events Chair Lisa Roy commented, “More than ever, leading artists, engineers and producers were enthusiastic about supporting the AES Show and reaching out to their peers around the world, to share their knowledge and to share their message of us all working together to navigate these troubled times. Inspiration and insights were shared in abundance!”
Once again, AES Show attendees were also treated to a series of AES Show TechTours, now in virtual form and dubbed “7 Audio Wonders of the World,” taking visitors to an international host of some of the most iconic studios around the globe. Featured tours included Skywalker Sound (Nicasio, CA), Galaxy Studios (Mol, Belgium), The Village Studios (Los Angeles, CA), Blackbird Studios (Nashville, TN), Abbey Road Studios (London, UK), United Recording Studios (Los Angeles, CA), and Capitol Studios (Los Angeles, CA), and included live Q&A sessions with studio hosts and talent. AES Show TechTours Chair John Krivit stated, “Unbound by the virtual nature of AES Show 2020, attendees had unparalleled insider access to world-leading facilities followed by engaging dialog with the staff and engineers who provide the environments for chart-topping creativity.”
Exemplifying another highlight of AES Conventions was a series of open-session roundtable discussions that allowed attendees to log on and join in on a variety of topical conversations in virtual face-to-face chat rooms, moderated by AES Show organizers and industry experts. Topics included Hip-Hop and R&B, Immersive and Spatial Audio, Audio History, Networked Audio, Sound Reinforcement, Game Audio and XR, Immersive Music, and an Audio Builders Workshop session. AES Show Sound Reinforcement Track Chair and Historical Track Co-Chair Dan Mortensen, who also hosted several of the discussion, commented, “People were so eager to reconnect with their peers and mentors, particularly enjoying getting ‘face-time’ with special guests like legendary Woodstock engineer Bill Hanley, who not only stopped in but graciously went overtime to continue the conversation. My AES Section (Pacific Northwest) has discovered that one of the few upsides of these times is the easy ability to very personally network in real time with people who are sitting literally anywhere in the world and share our mutual love of audio on an ongoing basis. These roundtable discussions showed that this capability is translatable to a full-sized Convention.”
Adding to the value and accessibility of the AES Show Fall 2020 Convention, all presentations will remain online and open to registered attendees through November 30, with additional Partner Showcase exhibitions and virtual booths remaining open through December 18. Showcase registration is free for AES Members, while non-members can register for just $25, or for free with a VIP promo code from one of the AES Show Partners (special thanks to AES Show Fall 2020 Convention Platinum Partners Amazon Devices, Focusrite, Focusrite Pro, Genelec, NTP Technology [DAD, Penta], and The Recording Academy Producers and Engineers Wing). For everything AES Show 2020 has to offer, including the comprehensive Technical Program, All Access Registration is still available, starting at just $149 for AES Members and $99 for AES Student Members.
Posted: Tuesday, November 24, 2020