Audio Engineering Society

Chicago Section

Meeting Review, May 5, 2005

other meeting reports

5/5/05 Meeting Highlights
by Jeff Segota

Studio Technologies, Incorporated, of Skokie, Illinois, a designer and manufacturer of professional audio products for recording, broadcast, film-post, and test applications, hosted the May 5th meeting of the Chicago Section in conjunction with the Engineering And Recording Society (EARS). About 45 people were in attendance.


Owner and President Gordon Kapes discussed how he became interested in audio as a teenager and how he first came in contact with company founder and AES Fellow Jim Cunningham. Several years later, after obtaining an Electrical Engineering degree and working in telecommunications, Gordon Kapes joined up with Jim Cunningham who had started Studio Technologies in the late 1970’s.


Mr. Cunningham then discussed his involvement with plate reverb devices. After installing several EMT units in 1968 for a Chicago studio, he realized the patent would be expiring soon, so upon relocating to Los Angeles he began experimenting on his own designs. He was able to consult with many freelance mixers, and these collaborations lead to the choice of stainless steel for the plate, in contrast to the cold-rolled steel of the EMT plates. Stainless has a longer high-frequency decay time, and this “sizzle” is well suited for rock and roll. By now the EMT patent had expired, so Mr. Cunningham began manufacturing his own plate reverbs under the Echoplate name.


Once affordable digital reverb took over, Jim Cunningham retired from manufacturing and handed the operation over to Gordon Kapes, who had been working in telecommunications equipment. Starting with a stereo simulator that Mr. Cunningham had designed, more and more products were slowly added to the line.


Staff Engineer Randy Kelso helped to demonstrate how Studio Technologies’ products integrate with broadcast and recording applications. Also on hand was John Tatooles of Sound Devices, who assisted by recording the presentation and then later demonstrated their products.