AES Section Meeting Reports

Toronto - October 25, 2008

Meeting Topic:

Moderator Name:

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AES Member Bonus Material

* View short excerpts from the interviews of the many attendees who were involved in the AES and the Toronto music industry over the past forty years. (Web Page)


The Toronto AES Section day long event, "The Roots of Our Toronto Sound," focused on the development of the audio industry in Toronto. The day featured panelists whose experience dates back to the 1940s through to the present day.

As the meeting carried on in the Eaton Theatre, a second room was set up across the hall to record archival interviews with each speaker, capturing for the first time an oral hitory of audio in Toronto. The resulting DVD, "The Roots of Our Toronto Sound: Recollections and Reflections on the 40th Anniversary of the Toronto Section of the Audio Engineering Society" will be available for our membership shortly.

The day was divided into 5 sessions. Listed are speakers and their affiliations during the periods discussed:

Session 1 — Studio Owners and Managers

Moderator: Sy Potma (Manta Sound)
Panelists: Andy Hermant (Manta Sound, CBC), Terry Brown (Toronto Sound), Jack Richardson (Nimbus), Paul Gross (Phase One)

This panel discussed the motivations, the challenges, and developments in recording technologies, practices and studio acoustics with a particular view to what made Toronto unique.

Session 2 — Recording Engineers / Producers
Moderator: Doug McClement (Comfort Sound, LiveWire Remote)
Panelists: Terry Brown: Olympic Studios (London UK), Toronto Sound, freelance; Peter Houston: RCA, Eastern, Toronto Sound, United Media, CTV; George Graves: Lacquer Channel; George Semkiw: RCA, Phase One, Amber; David Greene: MGM (NYC) A&R (NYC) Manta, Magnetic Music

This session explored the impact that those who worked in Toronto's recording studios had on the distinctive "Toronto sound" which helped propel so many records to the top of the Billboard charts worldwide. Discusson ranged from the early folk days coming out of Yorkville through to the hard rock and pop music of the 80s and 90s.

Session 3 — Technology
Moderator: Bob Snelgrove (GerrAudio)
Panelists: Bill Dowding (RCA), Jack Kirkpatrick (Tele-Tech Electronics), Chris Russell (Bryston), Wayne Jones (Olive Electro Dynamics)

This panel discussed a variety of historic and contemporary experiences with technology, spanning from the era of pre-tape analog (the RCA studios at the top of the Royal York Hotel in the early 1940s) to DSP based digital.

Session 4 — Loudspeakers
Moderator: Dr Floyd Toole (Harman Int'l, NRC)
Panelists: Bill Woods (Yorkville/Acoustic Horn), Claude Fortier (SOTA), Martin Stec (Paradigm), Mark Mason (PSB)

Canadian loudspeaker manufacturers have had a significant impact on the quality of consumer and professional loudspeaker monitors, both in Canada and abroad. This panel traced the development of speaker manufacturing and design in Canada, largely thanks to the ground-breaking evaluation techniques developed by Dr Floyd Toole at the National Research Council.

Session 5 — Live Sound
Moderator: Tom Shevlin (Natural Sound, Ministry of the Environment)
Panelists: Leigh Cline (Festival Productions) , Victor Svenningson (Living Arts Centre), Martin Van Dijk (Engineering Harmonics)

"Live Sound from 1968 to Disco". In 1968 most live sound systems were vocal-only affairs that had evolved very little beyond big-band technology. In the aftermath of Woodstock, the size and complexity of live sound systems increased very rapidly. The session discussed this rapid evolution, highlighting ideas from the pioneers of the 1970's that might be useful today.

We were also treated to special presentations by Jim Anderson, current President of the AES from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, and Floyd Toole of Harman International.

Afterwards, a special 40th Anniversary banquet was held at the Courtyard Mariott, featuring remarks from Roger Furness (Executive Director, AES International), Jim Anderson (President, AES International), and presentations by Wayne Jones on the development of the "Olive" console (the first automated recording desk), and Joe Sunday, who gave a historical overview of the members of the AES Exec over the past 40 years.

The day was well attended and a huge success, drawing into focus Toronto's contributions to music, audio and the AES.

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