Keynotes and Heyser Presentation Announced for AES Virtual Vienna Convention
On the opening day of AES Virtual Vienna, The Heyser Presentation – an online adaptation of the AES Technical Council’s Heyser Lecture series that serves as a highlight of each AES convention – will be presented by Francis Rumsey on “Sound Quality in the Era of Interaction and Extended Reality.” Rumsey’s description of his presentation notes, “When evaluating sound quality, audio engineers have traditionally relied on some explicit or implied comparison with a reference. Even if a reference signal is not formally used, any judgement about what is ‘good’ or ‘correct’ has traditionally been rooted in a concept of fidelity to some ideal. That ideal might be a memory of ‘the best I have ever heard,’ some naturally occurring version of the sound in question, or perhaps ‘what the engineer/producer heard in the control room.’ We assume that we know what correct sound reproduction is, and that high quality means getting as close to that goal as possible. This is all very well when we are mainly aiming at sound reproduction of something that actually happened, and when a canonical version exists. Audio products are increasingly interactive, though, and multiple versions can be rendered depending on user interaction. Extended reality systems make the user experience increasingly indeterminate. The concept of fidelity breaks down, and the engineer no longer has ultimate control over what is delivered to the listener. New paradigms for integrative evaluation of sound quality are needed.”
On day two of the Convention, Marisa Hoeschele will give the keynote address “Audio from a Biological Perspective.” In the abstract of the address, Hoeschele states, “Audio plays an important role in the human experience. We communicate and express ourselves via sounds such as language and music. For a long time, the types of sounds we produce in both language and music were considered arbitrary cultural phenomena. But over the last decades, it has become increasingly clear that biology plays an important role in how we perceive and produce sounds. This talk will be an overview of insights that can be taken by considering biological foundations of our cultural practices in producing audio and perceiving music.”
The day-three keynote “Try Ambisonics, It's Better Than Ever!” will be given by Franz Zotter, “Ambisonics sounds and works better as 3D audio technology than ever before,” says Zotter. “There are microphone arrays available for higher-order recording, excellent Ambisonic decoders for loudspeakers, and excellence has been achieved by new headphone decoders.” Additionally, he notes, “In the last decade, we have gathered a profound perceptual understanding of Ambisonics. In addition to commercial tools and plugins, many free tools developed at universities became available in recent years. Currently, we experience Ambisonic technology that is highly versatile and can easily live up to the expectations that its inventors had been dreaming of several decades ago.
On day four, Jamie Angus will deliver the final keynote of the Convention, titled “Dicing With Audio.” Says Angus, “Noise, random or otherwise, has been around in audio since its very beginning. It can be a compositional tool, a synthesis element, or just a nuisance to be eliminated. How do we use noise creatively and technically to enhance our audio experiences? The answer might surprise you. Join me for a white noise ride at the boundaries of audio!”
Additional details on the AES Virtual Vienna Convention Technical Program, including topics and events, Paper presentations, Workshops, Tutorials, Posters, Engineering Briefs, Virtual Tech Tours and other technical program content, along with live- and forum-based dialog with presenters, will soon be announced. Registration and preliminary information are available at AESEurope.com.
About the Audio Engineering Society
The Audio Engineering Society, celebrating over 70 years of audio excellence, now counts over 12,000 members throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Japan and the Far East. The organization serves as the pivotal force in the exchange and dissemination of technical information for the industry. Currently, its members are affiliated with 90 AES professional sections and more than 120 AES student sections around the world. Section activities include guest speakers, technical tours, demonstrations and social functions. Through local AES section events members experience valuable opportunities for professional networking and personal growth. For additional information, visit aes.org.