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Audio Engineering Society

Chicago Section

Meeting Recap - July 3, 2013

AES Chicago Section Meeting Notice
Meeting Date: July
3, 2013

TOPIC: A conversation with George Massenburg; in person
PRESENTER: Mark Rubel has offered to moderate a conversion with George Massenburg

LOCATION: Shure Incorporated
5800 W. Touhy Ave, Niles, IL 60714

Join Mark Rubel and George Massenburg in the Shure Theater July 3rd for a wide-ranging discussion of George's career, and all things audio!

George Massenburg can legitimately be called an audio legend. He is a true Renaissance Man: platinum-selling, Grammy®-winning producer and engineer; designer and inventor of the parametric equalizer; owner and founder of George Massenburg Labs, who produce some of the very finest audio gear on the planet. Professor, acoustician, futurist and innovator, firebrand and provocateur.


George Massenburg is a Renaissance man of audio and music: inventor, engineer, producer, innovator, designer, educator and provocateur.

He invented the parametric equalizer at the age of 25, and a decade later founded George Massenburg Labs, a pioneering company that continues to elevate the state of the art of audio. GML has released an extensive range of innovative console automation systems, analog signal processors, microphone preamplifiers and power supplies, all based on his original circuit designs.

An early adopter of modern recording technology, George works tirelessly to improve analog-digital-analog conversion and digital processing methodologies. Massenburg Design Works is his line of software plug-ins, including the MDWEQ5-AAX Parametric EQ for Avid’s AAX platform. MDW’s patent pending DDRC (Digital Dynamic Range Controller) will soon be available for a variety of devices, from digital audio workstations to advanced broadcast audio level controllers.

As a recording engineer and producer, Massenburg has participated in over four hundred record albums over the past 45 years, including Earth, Wind & Fire, Billy Joel, The Dixie Chicks, Lyle Lovett, Aaron Neville, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Linda Ronstadt, Herbie Hancock, Randy Newman, Weather Report, Little Feat and many more.

His extraordinary studio skills have gained him international recognition and four Grammys® (including a Grammy for Technical Achievement, one of only seventeen individuals to ever receive that honor) as well as numerous Mix Magazine TEC Awards.

George has designed, built and managed a number of recording studios, and has contributed to the acoustical and architectural design of many other studios, including George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound and Blackbird Studio, Nashville TN.

George Massenburg is an Associate Professor of Sound Recording at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal, Canada; and a Visiting Lecturer at UCLA and USC in Los Angeles, the Berklee College Of Music in Boston, Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington, the University of Memphis, and at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

In 2009, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music by Boston’s esteemed Berklee College of Music. George continues to pursue a broad range of interests and research topics including Loudness Normalization, digital asset management, preservation and workflow; better teaching paradigms for sound and music recording; and modern methodologies for multimedia in an educational context.

Regularly published in professional journals and trade magazines worldwide, he received the Gold Medal from the Audio Engineering Society in 2008 and currently serves as Chairman of the AES Technical Council on Studio Practices. A Fellow of the AES, he is the Chair of the Technical Committee on Studio Practices and Production and a member of the AES Technical Council and Technical Committee on Multichannel and Binaural Audio Technologies. He is also a member of the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress, and an advisor to the Committee for Library Information Resources.

In his spare time (!) George serves as the Technical Director of META (the Music Engineering Technical Alliance), a strategic union of music producers and engineers dedicated to the highest standards of audio and delivery of music.


Mark Rubel, Co-Director and Instructor of The Blackbird Academy in Nashville, TN, has taught audio, music technology, music business, and the history of rock to thousands of students since 1985. He has taught at various colleges and universities, and served as the Audio and Recording Director at Eastern Illinois University’s $70 million Doudna Arts Center.

Mark has recorded and produced more than a thousand artists since 1980 at his Pogo Studio in Champaign Illinois, and elsewhere. His list of clients includes Hum, Alison Krauss, Rascal Flatts, Fall Out Boy, Ludacris, Adrian Belew, Luther Allison, Jay Bennett, Melanie, Ian Hobson, Henry Butler and many more. For the Wall to Wall/Ellnora Guitar Festival, he has recorded Los Lobos, Calexico, Ani DiFranco, The National, Junior Brown, Derek Trucks, Taj Mahal and many others.

He serves as panelist, moderator, lecturer, workshop leader and recording judge at numerous audio conferences, including national and regional Audio Engineering Society Conferences, the Tape Op and Potluck Conferences, SXSW, and many more. He is on the national board of SPARS (the Society of Professional Recording Services) and also belongs to NARAS, AES, ASCAP, MEIEA and EARS.

Mark is a musician, recording engineer and producer, and works as a consultant and legal expert witness in the fields of audio and copyright. He writes occasionally for publications such as Mix Magazine and for Tape Op Magazine, for whom he interviewed Les Paul among others. He has been happily cultivating songs, students and cats along with his saintly wife Nancy for decades, and is greatly enjoying transplanting the adventure to Music City, USA.