AES Section Meeting Reports

Webster University - April 4, 2009

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With almost 400 students in attendance from as far away as Texas, Florida and New Brunswick, the Third Annual Central Region Audio Engineering Society Student Summit, hosted by Webster University in St. Louis in April, was a raging success. They came from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and more to hear keynote speaker Phil Ramone along with other audio luminaries, professionals and educators alike, including Jim Anderson, Frank Filipetti, John Storyk, Leslie Mona, Alex Case, Jim Kaiser, Krivit, Mark Rubel, Teri Grossheim, Steve Ward, J Franze, Bob Horner, Chris Phillips, Dave Mendez, Jeffrey Tackett, Bill Crabtree, Christopher Plummer, Chris Mara, Lee Buckalew, Bill Schulenburg, Joe Blasingame, Paul Hennerich, Ken Felton, Devon Cooke, Tori Meyer, Mary Edwards, Steve Cearley, Paul Stewart, Steve Savanyu, Elsa Lankford, Paul Stamler, Ariel Gross, Chris Lyons, Konrad Strauss, Dave Derington, Fallon Stillman, Josh Davidson, Mike Tomko, Chris Estes, Matt Emick, Lamar Williams, Bernie Hayes, Tony San Fillipo, Rusty Wandall, Gary Hedden, Amy Becker, Scott Esterson, Matthew Koschak, and Chris Collum. Sponsors included Shure, SSL, Neutrix, AES, Endless Analog, Cengage, Genelec, Focal Press, Webster University, Sennheiser, Sony, Audio-Technica, Grammy U, Earthworks, Sweetwater, Ironman and Gotham Audio.

Many of the presenters commented about the continuous focus on the students throughout the event, as commercialism took a back seat to education throughout the three day extravaganza. The students from Webster, in conjunction with their Academic Partner, the students from Middle Tennessee State University, chose the panels and presentations, including room acoustics, home studio design, a large number of microphone tutorials, women in audio, game audio, the history of audio, and the ever popular live sound demo on Saturday night, which turns from a demo into a free concert for all participants. Highlights also included the Platinum Panel on Saturday morning, featuring Phil Ramone, Frank Filipetti and Jim Anderson, and Phil Ramone's keynote speech on Sunday morning, titled, "From 45s to Downloads".

Everyone in attendance appreciated the camaraderie, as students and professionals, both young and established, networked with their future peers. Many of the participants also enjoyed the casual atmosphere, where any student could walk up to Phil Ramone or Jim Anderson and have a meaningful conversation about audio, or anything else. Students also took advantage of the opportunity to get a taste of what an AES convention will offer them when they are able to make the trip to New York or San Francisco.

By all accounts, the Student Summit was a much improved event this year. At the students' request, the panels were more spread out, offering everyone the opportunity to attend more events. This format, adding events on Friday and Sunday, added tremendous value to the event for those who travelled far to attend, and also allowed participants more time in panels and tutorials. Other student inspired improvements included better signage to help guests find their way about the Webster campus and a wider variety of food at the breakfasts and lunches, which were included in the nominal registration fee.

Planning for next year is already underway. Many of the sponsors and presenters were so happy with the event that they have already committed to the Fourth Annual, scheduled for March 26th — 28th, 2010. Phil Ramone and Frank Filipetti were both overheard making comments about when they are here next year -- other unconfirmed guests include Elliot Scheiner and George Massenburg. Be sure to check to stay current as our guest speakers and sponsors confirm. The Webster University Student Section of the AES is one of the most active student sections in the world. This, along with our geographic location right in the center of the Central Region, makes us the ideal section to create, promote and continue to host the Central Region AES Student Summit.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society