AES Press Release: AES New York 2011

131st AES Convention Master Class Program: Studies In Excellence

For Release: August 18, 2011

Tony Visconti On Recording Legends - Skip Lievsay On Mixing Blockbuster Films -

Human Hearing 101 - Voicing High-End Designs

Alan Silverman

NEW YORK:  “Designed to provide authoritative insights into significant technical issues, the Master Class Program represents a high point of every AES Convention,” remarked 131st Chair Jim Anderson. “Back for a return engagement as AES Convention Master Class Chair, Alan Silverman has once again developed a compelling group of extraordinarily accomplished audio industry icons.”   Poised to draw thousands of audio professionals from around the world, this year’s event is set for October 20-23 at New York’s Javits Convention Center. 


Thursday, October 20, 11:00 am — 1:00 pm
The Fine Line between Voicing and Design:  Presenters: Casey Dowdell, Brian Zolner - When the design brief of a digital to analog conversion system calls for performance regardless of cost, a series of known concepts can be put in place. When performance is the highest priority, the execution and fine-tuning of these concepts changes the design brief and project schedule. A list of the fundamental concepts is presented along with the relevant discussion as to their necessity. Intriguingly, protracted listening during development results in progressive design changes that must occur to reach an extraordinary outcome. (Mr. Dowdell, formerly of Lexicon and HP, and Mr. Zolner, formerly of The Harman Specialty Group, are co-founders of Bricasti Design.)

Friday, October 21, 11:00 am — 1:00 pm
Human Hearing 101—How it Works (The Short Version): Presenter:  Jim Johnston -  In this class, we will discuss a variety of subjects at a conceptual level, from Head Related Transfer Functions to the actual filters implemented in the human Cochlea. Along the way, loudness vs. intensity, the law of the first wavefront, localization, auditory masking, the effects of attention, and inter-sensory interaction will be discussed. When you are done with this class, you will have an understanding of how the ear does frequency analysis, and the way that that affects everything else that relates to the human auditory system, from localization, through masking, to the absolute threshold of hearing. In addition to the above, issues of envelopment, direct vs. diffuse sensation, and spatial perception will be discussed as time allows.

Saturday, October 22, 4:30 pm — 6:30 pm
The Hybrid Edit/Mix Approach to Feature Film Sound:  Presenter: Skip Lievsay has worked on the sound-design and mixing of such blockbuster films as True Grit, No Country For Old Men, I Am Legend, It Might Get Loud, and Men In Black. Skip will illustrate his "Hybrid Edit/Mix" approach to post production sound that erases the traditional lines between sound design, editing, ADR, and the final mix, as all these actions are performed concurrently with the picture edit. The process provides the director with a thorough appreciation of the sound during the crucial early stages of post-production. Most of the mixing happens during this period rather than at the final dubbing stage. Live demonstrations will be given using a ProTools workstation.

Sunday, October 23, 2:30 pm — 4:30 pm
Superstar Sessions Presenter: Tony Visconti rose from the streets of Brooklyn to become a key architect of the sound of British Rock via studio work with such legends as David Bowie, T-Rex, Thin Lizzy, The Moody Blues, Badfinger, and Morrissey. Beyond his production and mixing skills, Visconti is an accomplished composer, musician, and arranger. Visconti will present techniques and experiences culled from a lifetime of collaboration with some of the world’s most celebrated artists, as well as his on-going work on new releases such as Future Is Medieval from The Kaiser Chiefs.

Alan Silverman is the founder of Arf! Mastering. He has mastered numerous Grammy Award CDs, including "Lagrimas Negras," nominated for Record of The Year, Album of The Year, and Best Engineered Recording; the critically acclaimed re-mastering of the RCA and MCA back-catalogs of British supergroup The Kinks on hi-resolution SACD, and for his restoration of the soundtrack of the Americana cult-classic “Heartworn Highways,” selected by the editors of Stereophile Magazine as one of the “66 must-have CDs of all time.”  He teaches the art of mastering to undergrads at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU|Tisch and to graduate students in the Tonemeister program at NYU|Steinhardt.    He has been active in the AES since 1991.

Photo:  131st AES Convention Master Class Chair Alan Silverman


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