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AES San Francisco 2006
Historical Event Details

Friday, October 6, 8:30 am — 11:00 am

This event will be held at AMC Loews Metreon 15 theatre, a short walk from the convention center. Show your badge for entry.

Ioan Allen, Dolby Laboratories - San Francisco, CA, USA

See and hear actual historical film footage demonstrating the evolution of 35-mm stereo optical film soundtracks, from the first experimental recordings made by Alan Blumlein in 1934 through to today's digital soundtracks. The steady progress in technical performance will be described by Ioan Allen, Senior Vice President of Dolby Laboratories, who spearheaded the introduction of many breakthrough film audio formats. The improvements in film soundtracks have been paralleled by power amplifier, equalizer, and loudspeaker development, which he will also describe. Refreshments will be served. Doors open at 8:15. Seating limited to 245 attendees.

Map to Metreon Theatre

Friday, October 6, 11:30 am — 1:00 pm


Kevin Ryan, music producer/arranger, co-author of Recording The Beatles

Peter Cobbin

Dave Holley, EMI Studios

Ken Townsend

Abbey Road Studios commemorates 75 years of producing some of the world's most popular sound recordings. Dave Holley, Managing Director at EMI Studios Group, has assembled a distinguished panel to discuss the process, technologies, and personalities behind the studio's success. A video presentation will highlight the history of Abbey Road Studios. Recording engineers Ken Townsend and Peter Cobbin will provide personal
accounts of the development of audio production technologies and recording techniques that embody the "Abbey Road" sound.

Friday, October 6, 1:00 pm — 2:00 pm


Barry Brose, Highland Laboratories - San Francisco, CA, USA

Western Electric pioneered disk cutter design, from the first cutters used in talking motion pictures (Vitaphone), through the early 1930s during which full-fidelity disk recording was achieved in the laboratory, and on to the 45-45 stereo disk cutting system that became a world standard. Western Electric also pioneered the use of closed-loop motional feedback servo systems in its cutters in both the mono and stereo eras. Designing and fitting all elements required for high fidelity recording in a record groove of only 0.001 to 0.003 inches was a tour de force of engineering and manufacturing technologies. Barry Brose will present his film on the evolution of these heads, showing the cutters "up close" and disassembled for viewing the internal parts and the principles of operation. Additionally, you will see selected cutter heads in actual operation.

Saturday, October 7, 12:00 pm — 1:30 pm


Heather Johnson, author - San Francisco, CA, USA

Dan Alexander, Vintage recording equipment dealer, former studio owner (Tewksbury Sound, Hyde Street Studios, Coast Recorders)

Fred Catero, Veteran recording engineer (Santana, Janis Joplin, Herbie Hancock, Taj Mahal, Pointer Sisters, Patti Labelle)

Tom Flye, Veteran recording engineer (Don McLean, Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone, Rick James, Mickey Hart)

Pat Gleeson, Musician, composer, synthesist, former studio owner (Different Fur), studio designer

Leslie Ann Jones, Recording engineer, Director of Music Recording and Scoring, Skywalker Sound

Jack Leahy, Recording engineer, former studio owner (Funky Features, Russian Hill, Crescendo!), acoustical consultant

Tom Scott, Chief engineer (Wally Heider Recording, The Record Plant, Skywalker Sound); VP, Chief Technology Officer, EDNet

If These Halls Could Talk: A Historical Tour Through San Francisco Recording Studios

Author Heather Johnson’s book takes an in-depth look at San Francisco's colorful and diverse music and recording history. From jazz and blues, to rock, pop, punk, rap, and hip hop, Johnson uncovers rich sonic history as conveyed through the eyes and ears of some of the Bay Area’s most notable producers, engineers, studio owners, and recording artists. In the book, Johnson takes readers on a guided tour through some of San Francisco's top recording studios, and goes behind the scenes of some of popular music's hottest albums from Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead to Sly Stone, En Vogue, Journey, Third Eye Blind, and many more.

A number of essential contributors to San Francisco’s vibrant sonic history will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Heather Johnson.

Sunday, October 8, 12:30 pm — 1:30 pm


Scott Budman, NBC11 Technology Reporter - San Jose, CA, USA

Sound Man, From WWII to MP3

This event is a showing of the documentary film about the early days of tape recording in America and the origin of the Silicon Valley company Ampex. The friends and family of Jack Mullin discuss the importance of his contributions. Director Don Hardy has assembled a vast array of interviews including musicians Les Paul, Greg Kihn, Chuck D., Stephen Stills, and Bing Crosby’s widow Kathryn. Jack Mullin was an essential player in the audio industry, a true “sound man” who is finally given deserved tribute.

Sunday, October 8, 2:30 pm — 4:00 pm


Carl Haber, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

New Imaging Methods for Mechanical Sound Carriers

A variety of optical scanning methods have been applied to imaging the delicate or damaged audio surface of discs, cylinders, dictation belts, etc. Dr. Haber will discuss digitized mapping and processing of surfaces to repair damage and numerically emulate stylus motion, recovering recordings without contact to the media. We will listen to sound clips using this process.

Efficient large-scale digitization is required to create broad access to recorded sound collections. Dr. Haber will also discuss optical scanning, a promising approach that offloads much of the transcription process to software control. Hear about the ongoing I.R.E.N.E. project (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), an imaging workstation for the Library of Congress.

Sunday, October 8, 4:30 pm — 5:30 pm


Mike Adams, San Jose State University - San Jose, CA, USA

From Carbon to Computer—The Evolution of the Broadcast Audio Chain in the 20th Century

Lee deForest, Charles Herrold, and others used a carbon microphone for voice and acoustic-coupled playback of Berliner-discs. Tube amplification in the early 1920s introduced early Western Electric mixing boards, dynamic and condenser microphones, and the electronic recording and playback of discs. The 1930s and 1940s brought mature audio technology, adding magnetic recording, cart machines, and magnetic belt playback. Later came the addition of companding devices, reverb, etc. Adams will trace this history using illustrations and his own radio experiences.

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