Show Report - Audio Engineering Society (AES) - October 2-5, 2008 - San Francisco, California

Audio Engineering Society (AES) 125th Convention

The Audio Engineering Society (AES) 125th Convention met in San Francisco, California, October 2-5, 2008, at the Moscone Convention Center.

Unlike CES, which is oriented towards the display of consumer electronics products, the AES meeting is a scientific one, where the goal is to present papers on audio topics.

The subjects included Audio Coding, Analysis and Synthesis of Sound, Loudspeaker Design, Spatial Perception, Psychoacoustics, Audio DSP, and other things.

This is the first AES I have attended (Ross Jones joined me for the day), and although we did not attend any paper presentations, we did get a chance to browse the exhibits.

Exhibits for AES focus on the Pro market, which includes such things as mixing boards, professional microphones, and speakers that are designed primarily for monitoring during music production or for use on stage at concerts.

For example, here are some "active" speakers (amplifier built in), where the tweeter was in the center of the subwoofer.

Audio Engineering Society (AES) 125th Convention

Here is a relatively small mixing board by Roland, interfaced with Cakewalk software, one of the more popular music editing suites.

Audio Engineering Society (AES) 125th Convention

This Bluefin mixing board, by Denon, is much more extensive in its capabilities. Whereas old style analog recordings might have a dozen tracks to mix, digital recordings have unlimited numbers of tracks that can be mixed.

Audio Engineering Society (AES) 125th Convention

Many of us may have thought that was defunct, but that is not the case. A company in Denmark is bringing this world renown brand back to life with new models and improving old ones. Various soundstages across the world are now purchasing, and in large numbers, such as 50 pairs at a time.


Here is the backside of one of M&K's new active speakers. Although active speakers are not so popular in the consumer world, the Pro market loves them. Instead of cables going from preamp to power amp to speakers, there is just one XLR cable going from the preamp to the speaker with its built-in power amplifiers.

Audio Engineering Society (AES) 125th Convention