AES Section Meeting Reports

Pacific Northwest - September 3, 2022

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The PNW Section's September meeting featured a tour of the new home of the famous Crocodile music club in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. Attendees were welcome to attend in person, or via Zoom. 16 persons attended in person and 20 via Zoom, with more than 17 total being AES members. The meeting was organized by PNW Committeeperson Jayney Wallick and Chair Dan Mortensen, who provided a portable video studio and his iPhone to do the live walking tour and connect with the Zoom attendees.

The Croc began in 1991 as the Crocodile Cafe music venue and quickly became one of the city's top clubs, hosting acts including Nirvana, Yoko Ono, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Lizzo, and Billie Eilish. The new Croc is a complex of different sized venues, with the large Showroom (750 capacity), a 300 cap room, a 100 cap "screening room," plus a cocktail lounge and even a mini hotel.

Our host was Val Foster, Technical Director for the Croc. The meeting began in the Showroom, where Val went through the operations at the venues, which has recently had as many as 60 events a month. The Showroom sports an SSL live-series console at 96kHz and d&b speakers/amps. Val played some recorded music samples to audition the system. Many questions and discussion revealed the audio capabilities of the Showroom.

Then, through the magic of WiFi, the tour went downstairs to see the other venues. The 300 cap room (Madam Lou's), also has d&b speakers plus a Digico console. The 100 cap theater (The Here-After) has mostly fixed seats ala a screening room, and is used for intimate live acts and standup comedy shows. Sound is through a Mackie DL1608, with d&b and QSC speakers with 5.1 surround capability. They have video cameras through the venues and streams can be done in partnership with Flymachine.

After returning to the Showroom, attendees - both Zoomers and live, were then welcome to unmute and do self introductions before the Croc had to prep for the next show. Unofficial Zoom chat continued for several hours afterwards.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society