AES Section Meeting Reports

Swiss - November 2, 2017

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This was a special event taking place over two days on November 2nd and 3rd 2018, combining a visit of the National sound archive together with presentations from Pio Pellizari and Stefano S. Cavaglieri.
On the first day participants were immediately immersed into a collection of mediums and machines
capable of reproducing sound recordings utilised since the beginning of recorded audio material. It was fascinating and very educational to see, touch and better understand a great number of options for capturing, storing and reproducing audio.
Pio Pellizari continued by explaining the mandate entrusted to the Swiss National Sound Archives via
an Act of Parliament that governs the Swiss National Library.
The legal aspects, acquisition of audio documents and various collaborations were explained in details to the audience. Mr. Pellizari highlighted not only the importance of Audio heritage for our country but also how vital is to ensure the preservation of the technical know-how in order to fulfil the mandate in both the present and remote future.
The collection of the library and the sourcing of the audio documents were also presented and explained.
A reference to the highest international and national standards and the governing bodies for preserving audio documents was also explained to the audience.
At the end of Day One Pio Pellizari and Stefano S. Cavaglieri introduced the audience to R&D
Activities and Visual Audio. Visual audio is a technique for capturing audio from damaged disks by
capturing its "audio image" with a special camera that has been developed in partnership with an
educational facility. The picture is then transferred to a machine (or reader) capable of reading and recording the pictured audio groves as an audio signal.
The evening continued with an optional Dinner at the Cantinone in Lugano.
On Day Two, participants were given a full visit of the facility by Stefano S. Cavaglieri, who also
explained in detail all of the various processes handled by each department. This included the reception, preservation, restoration and digitalisation areas as well as an explanation of the equipment and processed used for the various mediums.
The storage area where all original material is preserved and catalogued was also part of the visit.
The recording/transferring rooms, together with the impressive collection of recording and playout
machines owned by the Archive in order to be able to play back a wide range of recording platforms,
were also presented to the audience. In addition, the audience was able to experience the process of
digitalisation as well as the capturing and reproduction of audio via Visual audio technology.
A nice Mediterranean lunch was offered on site to the attendees courtesy of the Swiss National Sound Archive.
During the afternoon, Pio Pellizari further explained all aspects of the importance to properly document the archived material and the required procedures. He also underlined the technical services offered by the sound archive, as well as how priorities for incoming material are established before their being digitised.
After an extensive Q&A session, all participants were offered a number of Audio CD collections and written documentation to bring home as a gift prior to the end of the meeting.
The Swiss section is very grateful to the Swiss National Archive for the time and opportunity given and for the great hospitality that was offered. The event was of great interest to the audience and a valuable addition to their knowledge base.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society