Set for success

28th Tonmeistertagung / consistently high attendance / accomplished layout / substantiated lectures / successful product exhibit

With a substantial increase in exhibitors, consistent attendance figures and a new layout for the congress and exhibition grounds, the 28th Tonmeistertagung finished as a success in Cologne on 23 November 2014.


Tonmeistertagung finished as a success in Cologne on 23 November 2014. When the Tonmeistertagung moved to the Congress-Centrum Nord in Cologne at the heart of a lively and diverse media environment, the organizers of the traditional pro audio convention were faced with an unanticipated surge in visitors (80% more than in Leipzig in 2010). This year, VDT responded to the increase in attendance by redesigning the reception and counter area to facilitate faster check-ins for visitors from Germany and abroad. VDT also changed the layout to include much larger lecture halls and open the congress to most attendees. This new layout permitted the premises of about 1 800 square meters to also satisfy the demand for more exhibition areas. 133 exhibitors with a total of 221 brands and sub-exhibitors presented new products in contemporary technologies in Cologne. "Attendance to the Tonmeistertagung was at 5 570 and on a par with the 5 735 in 2012," Carlos Albrecht, President of the VDT, noted, adding that, "our new layout was an excellent response to the throng of visitors."

A heady congress program...
The Tonmeistertagung views itself as an international congress with accompanying exhibition, which once again favored quality over quantity with a first class congress program. Without exception, exhibitors praised the quality of conversations and professional qualifications of attendees. It is a defining characteristic of the Tonmeistertagung, which sets it clearly apart from business-oriented pro audio trade shows and yet succeeds in drawing an audience interesting in making purchases.


A particularly positive aspect was this year's audience, younger again than last year, which was conspicuous in its earnest desire for expert information. One of the main attractions that brought many young audio professionals to Cologne were the congress elements TMT Academy and Education with an emphasis on training and continuing education. The congress program, and driver of quality at the Tonmeistertagung, this year offered 189 professionally substantiated contributions: 97 lectures, 52 workshops in elaborate and acoustically well-treated rooms with surround and 3D audio installations, 10 round table discussions on current topics, and 26 poster presentations from the fields of science, engineering and development.

A heady congress program


This plethora of contributions was thematically grouped into sessions which shed light on contemporary aspects such as network audio, mastering, loudness normalisation and 3D audio. The Talkbacks format was especially popular among active participants, as they deal largely with practical aspects of sound recording. Once again, the Live Mixing Workshop which was put on in cooperation by manufacturers Sennheiser, d&b Audiotechnik and Yamaha with the assistance of event professionals Neumann & Müller and the trade journal Production Partner became another highlight. Thanks to larger lecture halls this year, the format was able to return to the grounds at the Tonmeistertagung.

The IRT topic day was another self-contained offer integrated into the Tonmeistertagung program, and was dedicated to production in a cross-media age.


...and a powerful exhibition
Accompanying the Tonmeistertagung, VDT also bestowed a number of awards underscoring the association's successful endeavors in recent years. The VDT's Medals of Honor were presented to sound mixer Wolfgang Hirschmann and Professor Dr. Ing. Jens Blauert for their outstanding contributions to the pro audio industry. Another memorable occasion was the conferment of the Golden Bobby for high-quality production in a number of categories. The virtuoso performance of the Federal jazz orchestra BuJazzO during the traditional get together in the evening spelled a special congress highlight.

Federal jazz orchestra BuJazzO during the traditional get together


Despite a heady congress program, a lot of visitors to the Tonmeistertagung come especially to see its extensive product exhibition. They were likewise met with a variety of choice, as exhibitors showcased their products from nearly all shades of the technology spectrum, which extended from production and broadcast desks to the growing integration of DAW systems with controllers in all areas of production to the measurement, management and transmission of digital signals. The perennial topics of audio networks, loudness metering and normalisation, and 3D audio also played a prominent role, as did conventional topics such as microphones and loudspeakers as well as aesthetic sound design and room acoustics.

The next Tonmeistertagung will take place once again at the Congress-Centrum Nord in Cologne, and will run from 24 to 27 November 2016.

About the Tonmeistertagung
The Tonmeistertagung is a top-class expert meeting for audio professionals, producers, artists, vendors, suppliers, developers, and scientists. It provides a valuable impetus to professional audio experts from all sectors of the industry, as well as an overview of the latest trends in product development, research and application. Practical information for day-today operations receive as much attention as the fundamentals for new topics and findings in research.
The Tonmeistertagung builds primarily on the quality and authenticity of the information. It conveys first-hand industry information in personal talks. Qualified contact persons available for questions on location, as well as the possibility to exchange ideas with colleagues on practical issues, make it indispensable as a source of knowledge.Areas covered include broadcasting, film, video, recording production as well as networked audio, interactive media, distribution and program exchange, stage and events, production of hardware and software, research and development, and education and training.


About the VDT
Verband Deutscher Tonmeister (VDT) is the German Association of Sound Engineers, a meeting place for audio professionals who work in the arts, media and communication with the desire to preserve and increase the aesthetic and technical quality of their products. The association represents membership interests in a professional, social and business context, and is open to the global community and a broad range of professions. Its over 1900 members include sound professionals from the recording production, radio broadcast, film, television, multimedia and theatre industries, as well as representatives from the media, equipment and event industries, research and development, and education. Students comprise about 10% of the membership.
VDT also has many corporate members that support its ideals and provide funding.

VDT provides a platform where professionals, manufacturers, suppliers, developers and scientists can meet and share their knowledge, such as at the Tonmeistertagung and other events, the VDT seminars and also through its work with other associations and institutes. Membership benefits include access to rewarding professional conferences and workshops, the VDT journal and other publications, a discussion forum, the Tonmeister Awards, legal advice, and numerous personal networking opportunities. Members may also obtain insurance coverage tailored to their specific profession at very favorable rates.


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