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Meeting Recap - March 20, 2013

AES Chicago Section Meeting Notice
Meeting Date: March
20, 2013

TOPIC: Tales from the Transition – A Console on the Edge
PRESENTER: Frank Wells

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

As an early adopter of sample accurate digital editing, digital processing chains in mastering, full-spectrum monitoring, digital multi-tracks, and in-house customization of gear, Masterfonics Studios in Nashville championed quality audio and helped lead the digital revolution. Using the facility as a case study, the discussion will cover lessons learned on analog audio paths, digital conversion, timing, latency and delay compensation. A lead character in the tale will be a particular SSL 4000E console that bore the brunt of the studio’s pursuit of audio excellence, from replacement of many thousand components to being relegated to the role of controller through a marriage with the ATT DisQ digital mixer core.

Frank Wells is the current president of the Audio Engineering Society, and editor of the professional audio news monthly, Pro Sound News. An AES member for over 20 years, Wells has had stints as Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary of the Nashville section and as VP, Central Region, USA and Canada. He is also a founding board member of the industry self-help non-profit corporation, the Nashville Engineer Relief Fund and helps oversee its annual funding event, the Audio Masters Benefit Golf Tournament.

His technical career began in the USAF where he worked as a radio technician. In 1982, he received a BS degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Mass Communications, graduating Suma Cum Laude with a Radio/TV/Film emphasis. He worked as Chief Engineer of MTSU’s public FM radio station for six years, also working part time as Chief Operator for other area stations.

In 1988, Wells became Chief of Technical Services for Glenn Meadows’ Masterfonics Studios. For the next decade, he oversaw all technical aspects of what grew to be a seven room, two building recording and mastering facility. His duties included equipment installation, maintenance and operational training, and management of the technical staff. Studio Six was added to the main location during Wells’ tenure at Masterfonics. He also oversaw the construction of, and developed the technical infrastructure of, the 3.5 million dollar Tracking Room studio for Masterfonics. On the side, Wells also built and maintained real-time cassette copy systems for Nashville record labels and publishing houses, and designed and implemented custom circuitry, modifications and other solutions for various studios, engineers and recording artists.

In 1997 Wells became the founding editor of *Audio Media, USA*. In 2000, he joined the staff of *Pro Sound News*, also overseeing the *AES Daily* for the US conventions and developing and overseeing seminar programs like the SPARS/UEM BizTech conferences, the Surround conferences and Surround Music Awards and AES workshops including the 2009/2010 AES Nashville Recording Workshop + Expo. He is also now Editorial Director of *Pro Audio Review* magazine.