Chairman’s Report – 2017/2018
In the twelve months since the last AGM AES Melbourne has held seven meetings on topics of interest to general and new members alike. These included:
- Last year’s AGM in August was followed by a presentation by Graeme Huon (HUONLABS) on “Speaker Design using Parametric Acoustic Modelling” in which Graeme described a unique method he developed for distributed parameter loudspeaker design. This work extended on from the Work of Dick Small and the late Neville Thiele and was done in conjunction with Neville. AES Melbourne is presently preparing an information video interview with Neville and the team for access by members.
- In October, Matt Edgcumbe, National Operations Manager of Rutledge AV, and Michael Walker, Equipment and Infrastructure Manager of Melbourne Convention and Entertainment Centre (MCEC), gave us a presentation on the work that Rutledge and the MCEC staff have been doing over the past few years on upgrading the audio infrastructure in the complex. The MCEC supports multiple simultaneous events with capability for over 5000 attendees in one session. It was a wide-ranging coverage of the systems and devices installed in the facility, and an explanation of the transition from a CobraNet (Ethernet) network to a Dante Audio over IP network, and the benefits that ensued.
- In November, Peter Larsen, President and founder of Danish loudspeaker design and testing software company LOUDSOFT presented on the topic “Loudspeaker Design & Test Methods”. Peter described the suite of software his company has created to take much of the guesswork out of driver and enclosure design, with a range of examples and case studies.
- In December Nick Engel, Dolby’s Senior Director of Consumer Entertainment Technology presented to our Section on the topic “Dolby Atmos – Immersive Audio: From the Cinema to the Home” describing how Dolby’s work with Atmos to improve the cinema surround experience was now reaching out to both home and mobile environments.
- In February we had a full house of 20 members and guests for a follow-up tour of the MCEC concentrating on the facility’s AV installations, with an emphasis on the audio facilities. Michael Walker, Infrastructure and Equipment Manager hosted the tour and gave us a comprehensive insight into the technology and acoustic design involved in the Hall’s recent refurbishment. This facility is presently undergoing further significant extension, presenting significant challenges for day to day central management of audio and visual facilities.
- In April our meeting started with Section member Alec Graham giving a brief overview on the newly ratified ANSI/Infocomm Audio Coverage Uniformity Standard for the AV Industry. He has been deeply involved in this process, and gave us a taste of what the new standard involved, and how it differed from the one it replaced.
Following this, Steve Lincoln-Smith, Managing Director of Innovative Music Australia talked to us on the subject of “Format Wars in 2018 with Digital Audio Interfaces”. He covered the various digital interconnection formats from USB-1,2,3 through Firewire 400/800, to Thunderbolt, and their implications for digital audio interfaces. He also covered the increasingly complex issues with device drivers and their importance for both interworking and optimum performance.
- In June we heard from Andy Stewart, owner of The Mill studio in Gippsland who spoke to us on his perspectives as a tracking, mixing and mastering engineer on the recording techniques, processes, and technologies over his more than 30 years in the business.
It was an evening sprinkled with anecdotes and opinions from his time in the studio, and as the editor of Audio Technology magazine for ten years, and more lately as a columnist for CX Magazine.
Your Section Committee has met three times in the 12 months to deal with the business of running the Section, and planning the upcoming meetings.
Identifying suitable meeting topics is always a challenge. If you have any suggestions for guest speakers or topics you’d like discussed, we would be pleased to hear from you.
We have maintained our online presence with the regularly updated website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. We are currently on the lookout for a member or friend with Social Media skills to assist in expanding our reach in this particularly important aspect of our communication.
If you are able to help, or know somebody who could, please contact me – or any other member of the Committee.
The membership has remained relatively stable, with 68 currently financial members.
As part of a wider project to identify audio specific education opportunities, in December we conducted a survey of audio practitioners using an online multi-choice questionnaire. I thank Rod Staples for all the work he has done on designing the questionnaire contents and form, and on analysing the results.
The final result is almost complete, and a summary will be available to participants and other interested parties soon.
As chairman I would like to thank the Committee for their continued effort in keeping Melbourne AES thriving, with particular thanks to our secretary Peter Smerdon for his excellent support and leadership.