28th Tonmeistertagung with a Spectacular Program
Carlos Albrecht, president of VDT, knows precisely why everybody in the industry should be at this event: "If you have ears to hear and eyes to see, the Tonmeistertagung is for you. There isn’t another congress with associated exhibition quite like it. It has such a professional and friendly atmosphere and is a great place to be!"
When preparing the convention and its associated exhibition of pro-audio equipment, VDT gave special attention to creating the program. The program team explicitly organised sessions to discuss current trends such as networked audio, object-based recording and live event recording. These play a key part in the event. By way of lectures, workshops and tutorials, the sessions examine all aspects of the specific subject.
"This time our program is particularly comprehensive, and we have gained an extraordinary number of international speakers," says Günther Theile, who has headed program planning for the Tonmeistertagung for many years. "Another area of focus is 3D audio, for which we have arranged plenty of demonstrations in rooms equipped with excellent technology. Loudness normalisation is another core topic; this year we are looking at its introduction to radio, and matters of practical implementation," Theile adds.
The convention program has a high practical relevance condensed in a broad number of workshops, Talk Back sessions and other program elements with audio and other demonstrations. Nearly 50 contributions are in this category, making up almost a third of the entire program.
The program starts on Thursday morning with a themed day titled Der gute Ton in der Trimedialität (Good Sound in Trimedia), organised by Institut für Rundfunktechnik, IRT. It highlights the requirements in training, room and architectural acoustics, as well as recording and playback technology in a time of cross-media production methods.
From Thursday afternoon on, there is a live mixing workshop organised by VDT sustaining members d&b, Sennheiser and Yamaha. The new layout in the Congress Center Nord allows its integration into the convention area of Tonmeistertagung once more. The large Konrad-Adenauer hall on the congress building's ground floor is equipped with a PA for this very purpose, and is also available for get-together parties in the evening.
Bigger lecture halls, greater internationality
All in all, the congress program fills four lecture halls of various sizes, three of which are fitted with 5.1, 7.1 or 11.1 playback systems. Additionally, the large hall is being fully utilised for lectures and workshops. This new layout concept permits up to 1 000 visitors to take part in the lectures at any time, thereby accommodating their increased popularity. Moving the Tonmeistertagung from Leipzig to Cologne in 2012 resulted in a nearly 80% increase in participants to 5 735 visitors (all days summed up).
Günther Theile remarked: "Besides the local bonus, which attracts many experts from the media region Rhineland to the Tonmeistertagung, Cologne's easy accessibility plays a key role. Last time we welcomed many new visitors from all over Europe. We are very pleased that the event is becoming increasingly bilingual. This time we are offering substantially more contributions in English than in German, more than ever before!" Each contribution's language is therefore indicated in the program.
The program of the convention, consisting of nearly 100 lectures, about 30 poster presentations, 35 workshops, roughly 10 round tables, one lecture-back series to discuss extraordinary recordings, a TMT Academy aimed at young talent, and several tutorials, has been online since 19 September, and can be viewed at http://www.tonmeister.de.
In response to the increase in visitors, VDT has also enlarged the lecture halls and redesigned the entrance area. There is now room for more counters in order to speed up check in. The quickest way to enter is to register online, which can be done both in advance and also throughout the Tonmeistertagung.
Student members of VDT are once again able to take part in the entire Tonmeistertagung, including the lectures, for free. If you are a student but not yet a member of VDT, and wish to use the occasion of the Tonmeistertagung in Cologne to become one, you can become a member at the convention and enjoy the benefits of this rule immediately.
The exhibition at which manufacturers of professional audio equipment showcase their latest developments represents a vital part of the Tonmeistertagung. The Tonmeistertagung is often used as a platform to introduce new technologies and products, and this year is no exception!
Exhibition booths are set up according to our proven concept of grouping the open areas around the congress program, instead of isolating them in a separate exhibition hall. This keeps the distances between lectures and the exhibition pleasantly short. A new addition is the so-called boulevard, which is a bright, long exhibition area in which the congress centre's restaurant area is integrated. This new layout creates a space for communication and also facilitates personal networking.
Except for a few square metres, exhibition areas and demo rooms have been fully booked months before event launch. Around 120 main and 80 sub-exhibitors are presented this time – a significant increase over 2012.
"Once again all relevant companies registered to be exhibitors at the Tonmeistertagung," Gisela Jungen explained, organiser and manager of the Tonmeistertagung. "One aspect that makes our exhibition unique is its broad variety: We have manufacturers of microphones and mixing consoles, loudspeakers and acoustics elements, and hardware and software. Companies who do planning or provide recordings are also presenting their services to the visitors in Cologne. We are especially pleased that we have many opportunities to integrate small start-ups and inventive and entrepreneurial creative developers into the exhibition."
The right setting
Contact with other audio experts is as important as the professional framework. The Tonmeistertagung creates the space to facilitate this, and supports exchanges in the industry by holding additional events. The tone at the opening is set with a keynote by Wolfgang Wagner, Director of Production and Equipment at WDR. On Friday and Saturday, VDT is hosting get-together parties (from 7 p.m. on) with free beer from VDT sustaining member STAGETEC as well as music. The BuJazzO concert on Saturday evening is a special highlight, and admission is free for everyone attending the Tonmeistertagung! Interested participants can enjoy the big band's sound check live from 5.30 p.m. on.
An extensive array of technical tours to nine destinations round off the Tonmeistertagung program. They include tours to broadcasters WDR and RTL, company tours at manufacturers in the Cologne region (Head Acoustics, RTW, Transrotor and Lehmanaudio) as well as a tour to a Dolby-Atmos cinema. The excursion to the Cologne cathedral, with a special tour off the beaten tourist track, provides – quite literally – an entirely new top-down perspective onto the Tonmeistertagung.
Carlos Albrecht notes: "What makes the Tonmeistertagung unique? It is a successful blend of professionalism and an almost family-like atmosphere that has gained increasingly in popularity with our partners over recent decades."
An overview of the facts on the 28th Tonmeistertagung
20 - 23 Nov. 2014, Congress-Centrum Nord, Cologne
Opening hours for registration:
Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Opening hours for the exhibition:
Thursday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
General congress program (lectures, workshops, tutorials, lecture-backs, TMT Academy, etc.):
Thursday: 12.30 p.m. – 7 p.m.,
Friday, Saturday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
IRT themed day: Thursday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Live mixing event: Thursday, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
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-to-day 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 lectures. 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 favourable rates.