Issue: November 1, 2008


The 125th AES Convention took place in San Francisco last month, bringing together over 400 exhibitors and studio pros looking for the latest in audio gear. The organization ( reported an attendance figure of just under 18,000 for the four-day event, and despite the economy taking a beating early in the month, incoming AES president Jim Anderson saw the show as a success. “Certainly everyone is concerned about the economy, but equipment was being bought; people were taking advantage of master classes, tutorials and other educational opportunities to improve their skills; and networking was on overdrive.”

I spent two days on the floor and ran into a number of familiar faces. At the Euphonix booth, I had a chance to catch up with VP of marketing Andrew Wild, who gave his take on changes in the industry. Wild had reservations about the show’s host city this year. San Francisco is a beautiful city, no doubt, but was the Moscone Center near his customers? He didn’t think so.

The industry is changing, he noted, and companies, as well as the AES, are going to have to change with it, as more and more independent, project and home studios pop up, replacing larger recording and post studios. Wild is optimistic about next year’s show in New York City, where audio pros, he feels, will easily be able to make it to the nearby Javits Center.

Location aside, there were a number of notable announcements at AES. Euphonix, for one, showed its S5 Fusion digital mixing system with DSP channels and high-speed control of multiple external DAWs. V.1.4 software for its MC Pro and System 5-MC DAW controllers was also shown, offering enhanced support for Nuendo, Pyramix and Logic Pro 8, and extensive new features for controlling Pro Tools.

Digidesign previewed Pro Tools 8 (see Products), which sports UI updates and features that improve its use for post and music creation. And in a private suite, Sony Creative Software demo’d Acid Pro 7. Set to ship this month, the PC-based audio app ($399.95) received 20 new features that make it more of a true DAW, taking it well beyond its loop-based music production roots.