AES Press Release: AES New York 2011

Live Sound Legends Rock 131st AES Convention

For Release: July 25, 2011

All-star line up includes: Robert Scovil, Dave Natale, Sam Berkow, Dave Gunness James Stoffo & Others

Henry Cohen

NEW YORK:  Perennial crowd pleasers, AES Convention Live Sound events are always distinguished by FOH ‘household name’ participants; spot on technical panels and  invaluable production tips. Returning for a command performance as Live Sound Co-Chairs for the 131st AES Convention, Henry Cohen, a leading RF expert, and top FOH pro Mac Kerr have once again pulled out all the stops.  “Henry and Mac’s depth of hands-on experience and technical know-how have been invaluable assets in their ability to build worthwhile events and panels,” remarked Convention Chair Jim Anderson.  “As touring continues to play a pivotal role in the pro audio world’s economic story, the program they have developed is certain to provide a wealth of real-world advice and irreplaceable networking opportunities.”


ROBERT SCOVIL INTERVIEWS DAVE NATALE:  With a cumulative 60+ years experience on the road around the globe for artists ranging from Tom Petty and Rush to Prince, Tina Turner, Lenny Kravits, The Rolling Stones, Yes, Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, Joe Cocker, Motley Crue, Lionel Richie, and John Mellencamp, these two FOH giants have writ their names large on the live sound landscape. This once in a lifetime dialogue will explore the ultimate live mixing experience. From technology idiosyncrasies, happy and not so happy accidents, and unforgettable performances, these two pros have seen, heard and mixed it all.  And, done it live, with no retakes! 

DSP ALGORITHMS:  Rich Frembes, Fulcrum Acoustics; Panel to include Dave Gunness and other industry experts:  It’s rarely discussed, but practically no digital loudspeaker processors share the same filter definitions. As a result, cross-platform, DSP agnostic, optimal crossover settings do not exist. This expert panel will discuss methods of compensating for DSP filter shape variability, by creating a precise set of crossover and equalization filters. DSP settings conversion and the need for a loudspeaker filter definition standard will be addressed.

DATA NETWORKS AS A DIGITAL AUDIO TRANSPORT MECHANISM: Josh Evans, Lab Gruppen: How can audio and control data be shared, and how can we facilitate audio routing over a network? Several current audio network protocols and proprietary topologies will be reviewed.

SUBWOOFER ARRAYS AND BEAM STEARING: Jim Risgin, On Stage Audio Low frequency energy control via array design is an increasingly ‘hot topic.’ The problem of excess low frequency energy will be addressed with regard to subwoofer and array design, placement and DSP control. Methods of improving coverage for the audience, and eliminating bass build up on and off stage will be explored.

10 THINGS TO GET RIGHT: Tom Young, leading independent audio engineer/systems integrator, will discuss the differences and similarities between houses of worship, and lay facilities. A special emphasis will be placed on issues concerned with meeting the needs of these analogous yet disparate types of venues.   Young will also lead INSTALLED SYSTEMS IN AUDITORIUMS AND HOWS:  This presentation will focus on achieving optimal technical performance for these interrelated installations. 

MULTI-TRACK RECORDING FOR THE LIVE SOUND ENGINEER:  Sam Berkow, SIA Acoustics. The commitment to multi-track record their live shows to disk is a rapidly expanding trend among performing artists. The impact of this increasingly important task places an additional burden on the FOH and monitor mixers.  It can also impact the sound of the show itself.  A panel of experienced sound mixers will address the various ramifications of this development. 

AC POWER AND GROUNDING FOR THE LIVE PERFORMANCE: Bruce Olson, Olsen Sound Design This panel will discuss how to properly and safely provide and distribute AC power in a performance venue, both for installed and temporary applications.

PRODUCTION WIRELESS SYSTEMS - PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS AND PRACTICES: James Stoffo One of the industry’s premiere RF coordinators, with numerous Super Bowl’s to his credit, Stoffo will moderate a panel of leading manufacturers in a discussion of RF Techniques. Topics will include: Proper Radio Spectrum Band Planning; Antenna Specification and Techniques; Optimizing Audio Gain Staging; Scanners and Analyzers; Wireless Accessories; Squelch Threshold; RF War Gaming; Tips and Tricks for Maximum Success. This is a rare opportunity to learn from a recognized RF Master.

THEATRICAL MICROPHONE DRESSING:  Mary McGregor, IATSE Local 1 Fitting actors with wireless microphones and transmitters has evolved into a true art form. The process encompasses concerns for actor comfort, the safety/security of the electronics plus while achieving optimal sound quality with minimal detrimental audio effects and maintaining the visual illusion. One of the most widely recognized artisans in the field, Ms McFadden will provide hands on demonstrations of basic technique along with time tested “tricks of the trade.”

TVBDs & GEO-LOCATION DATABASES; AN IN-DEPTH PERSPECTIVE ON THEIR IMPACT ON WIRELESS MICROPHONE USAGE: Henry Cohen, Production Radio With new FCC rules for television band devices, wireless microphone operations and geo-location databases now in place, the first databases are due to go live third quarter 2011.  An expert panel will discuss database operations; registering wireless microphones; FCC rules, and best practices for deploying wireless mics (and similar equipment) in this new environment. Participants will include: database administrator candidates; a TVBD manufacturer, and a TVBD consultant; telecommunications counsel; wireless microphone manufacturers, and entertainment industry RF coordinators. 

THINGS I LEARNED ON THE BROADWAY LADDER LESSONS FOR EVERY AUDIO CAREER: Jim Van Bergen independent sound designer/mixer Learn what the pros learned the hard way. What they don't teach you in school and what applies to theatrical audio at all levels: high school, college, community, regional, and commercial. Industry secrets, practices to keep, and ways of working that will keep you working. A session to help guide the next generation’s ascent up the ladder. 

Mac Kerr

“Live sound courses through our blood,” states Committee Co-Chair Mac Kerr.  “Henry Cohen and I build our panels based on issues we know will make a difference in the way our peers function in this rapidly shifting environment.” 

“We maintain a long-standing wish list of people we’d like to make presentations at the Convention,” Cohen adds.  “The problem with nailing these folks down months in advance is that they’re always one phone call away from a gig they just can’t walk away from.  We’ve been extremely fortunate this year to get people like Robert Scovil, Dave Natale, Sam Berkow and James Stoffo to commit at this stage in the game.  I guess that also speaks to their abiding affection for the AES,” Cohen concludes.   “This promises to be a terrific year.”


Photos:  AES 131 Live Sound Co-Chair Mac Kerr

             AES 131 Live Sound Co-Chair, Henry Cohen


The 131st Audio Engineering Convention will be held in NY’s Jacob Javits Convention Center Thursday, October 20 thru Sunday, Oct. 23.

The Audio Engineering Society was formed in 1948 by a group of concerned audio engineers.  The AES counts over 14,000 members throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Japan and the Far East.  The organization serves as the pivotal force in the exchange and dissemination  of  technical information for the industry.  For additional information visit

AES - Audio Engineering Society