AES London 2010
Recording Industry Event

Monday, May 24, 16:00 — 18:00 (Room C1)

Education Forum Panel

Gary Gottlieb
Chuck Ainlay
Akira Fukada
George Massenburg
Ulrike Schwarz

How Does It Sound Now, the Evolution of Audio

One day Chet Atkins was playing guitar when a woman approached him. She said, “That guitar sounds beautiful.” Chet immediately quit playing. Staring her in the eyes he asked, “How does it sound now?” The quality of the sound in Chet’s case clearly rested with the player, not the instrument, and the quality of our product ultimately lies with us as engineers and producers, not with the gear we use. The dual significance of this question, “How does it sound now,” informs our discussion, since it addresses both the engineer as the driver and the changes we have seen and heard as our business and methodology have evolved through the decades. Let’s start by exploring the methodology employed by the most successful among us when confronted with new and evolving technology. How do we retain quality and continue to create a product that conforms to our own high standards? Is this even possible for students in today’s market, with the option of true apprenticeships all but gone? How can students develop chops, aesthetics, and technical knowledge? How can they become prepared to thrive and produce a quality product? Can we help give educators the tools they need to address the issue of continuity of quality? This may lead to other conversations about the musicians we work with, the consumers we serve, and the differences and similarities between their standards and our own. How high should your standards be? How should it sound now? How should it sound tomorrow?