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Moscone Center, San Francisco November 4th to 7th

If You're Going...To Sam Plank's Disco I

APRS board member,Wes Maebe walks the floor of San Fran’s Moscone Center to bring you this report… SSL had its new Nucleus DAW

took a small interlude from the Sonic Cuisine to head to sunny California with my APRS hat on to

exhibit at the 129th AES convention. After this year’s AES London show, I think it is safe to say that we were all a tad apprehensive and didn’t quite know what to expect. Still with my head in full-on Praying Mantis mix mode, I chucked a few things in a bag, got to the airport pretty early in the morning and embarked on the 11-hour journey to what I would call a total sound engineer's drool fest.

THE BIG US KAHUNA Peter, Francesca, Louise, Julie and I arrived in a sun-flooded San Francisco a few days before kick off. We headed straight to the Moscone Center North to check up on our floor space and make sure all our APRS goods had arrived. At first glance with only half of the hall taken up by booths, you’d say that this was looking like yet another

shrinking AES exhibition. It was, however,

controller, Duality SE and updated versions of the AWS on display. API was the other big taker this year with a new and souped up Lunchbox to show and Ronald Prent’s brand new Vision for Wisseloord Studios. Some of the other major players on the floor were Adam Audio, DPA Microphones, Focal monitors, Focusrite and iZotope. Neumann revealed their modified and rebranded Klein & Hummel monitors and Neutrik, PMC Monitors, Prism, Rupert Neve Designs and Shure had lots of new tricks up their sleeves.

It was looking like a shrinking show, but it was immediately obvious that this show was set to be a corker. Wes Maebe

immediately obvious that this show was set to be a corker. Avid occupied a large chunk of AES real estate ready to show off their most recent acquisitions and more to the point, Pro Tools 9 (page 48 for more).

LONG LIVE THE LITTLE MAN We were already impressed in the company of the industry greats before the convention opened, what next? Well, an amazing plethora of boutique manufacturers that we never get to see at European shows anymore. Most of these guys are US AES regulars, but this time around they turned up en mass.

Some of the

familiar faces had plenty of new stuff to get excited about. AEA’s Wes Dooley

launched the KU4 unidirectional ribbon, Simon Saywood and Robert McCormick from AnalogueTube valved up the area around the APRS booth and the Manley crew had the brand new Mic Maid mic and preamp matrix selector switcher to play with.

12 audioPRO December/January 2010/11

ENGLISHMEN IN SAN FRAN The APRS was in its usual location representing the UK manufacturers, studios and freelancers. We had plenty of reasons to be cheerful as we used this successful and jam packed AES to launch our Overseas Membership category. With our industry gradually turning back to its cottage industry status and becoming more focused, potential

Among the usual suspects I got pointed towards Pulse Techniques’ Steve L Jackson and his amazing Pultec clones and on the stand with the new and rather sexy Audient Zen with DAW control.

I stumbled across a

company with an interesting name XQP. The chaps of

XQP build a bunch of cool 500-series modules... And they have a good sense of humour. company name.

“ It’s all in the

As luck would have it, I bumped into the guys from Bees Neez microphones. All I can say at the moment is that they build some killer mics. Keep your eyes peeled for the next issue, where I’ll put the Beez Neez Jade through its paces. This is obviously only a handful of the boutique guys. The Cranesongs, Chandlers, Anamods, Massenburgs, Telefunkens, Thermionic Cultures and others couldn’t be overlooked.

All we need is for all our industry bodies to get together and get the ball rolling again in Europe.

members showed serious interest and we’ve signed up several US members. All of our UKTI grantees reported back that this show was an absolute success and the projected sales figures were looking very good.

LIFE OF THE PARTY I remember early AES shows had a lot of manufacturer parties. IBC’s always been quite good and from

what I’ve heard from colleagues, mentors and family, the APRS show itself was a big party. This AES definitely rekindled some of that good old audio party spirit. There were parties all around town. SPARS, the Grammy P&E Wing and APRS threw their annual party where Bob Clearmountain was presented with his Sound Fellowship.

I’m sure nobody needs reminding that the last European show was a little tamer than its predecessors, but I’m going to do it anyway. This industry is finding itself again in a struggling world and the arts are required now more than ever. The 129th AES in San Francisco was proof of that. You just had to leave one of the many amazing seminars, demo rooms or panels to be dragged on to one of the busiest show floors I’ve witnessed in a while with over 14,000 visitors. All we need now is for the manufacturers, the AES and all our industry bodies to get together, talk to each other and get the ball rolling again in Europe. >

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