SAN FRANCISCO: “A Bay Area native with a solid background in all things audio, 133rd AES Convention Tech Tours Chair Jessica Livingston has proven herself an invaluable resource in ferreting out our town’s most interesting and ‘happening’ highlights,” says Convention Co-chair Valerie Tyler. “The depth of Jessica’s connectivity, coupled with her instinctive grasp of what would most appeal to our Tech Tour aficionados has shaped a particularly well rounded schedule this year,” Tyler adds.
“My goal was to profile the diverse range of SF’s pro audio community,” Livingston says. “From a cutting edge video game creative campus, to a top-flight school and SF’s latest live performance venue, these tours are designed to be instructive, colorful and entertaining.”
133rd AES Convention Technical Tours include:
Tamalpais Research Institute (TRI) Created by Grateful Dead founding member Bob Weir, TRI is a $5+ million, state-of-the-art recording and broadcast facility located in San Rafael. The 11,500-square-foot complex features a 2,000-square-foot main studio, a smaller studio, two mixing rooms and five additional isolation rooms. The entire facility is interconnected, for audio and HD video recording. In addition to its broadcast and recording capabilities, the complex is a showcase for the Meyers Sound Constellation System, a revolutionary new concept in public audio.
Electronic Arts: The world’s largest video game publisher, features a host of high tech development and production studios. In addition to sophisticated design and production technology, the 22-acre campus-like environment is equipped with a number of employee-friendly amenities including sports fields, and basketball courts. The tour will visit each of EA’s four buildings and include a presentation in their state-of-the-art auditorium, a ‘Visceral Studio’ demonstration illustrating the audio focus of game development. And, a web audio API sound engine demo.
25th Street Recording: Distinguished by a 1,400 square-foot tracking room, and 17-foot-high ceilings, this new Fran Manzella-designed complex represents a rare example of a large-scale studio launch in our current ‘project studio’ era. Outfitted with a massive collection of analog outboard gear and a 64-channel API Vision console, 25th Street also boasts a number of cool (and green) aesthetic accoutrements, including floors fashioned from wood reclaimed from stadium benches.
Polarity Post Production: This 5-studio, full service, audio post house represents the penultimate environment for creative sound design and mixing. Clients range from Disney Channel, to many national ad campaigns. Outpost Studios: Creators of Sound Design, Music, Dolby Mixing, Voice-Over/ADR and Foley for feature films, TV and Gaming. Recent Outpost projects include the new Robert Redford feature “The Company You Keep,” and Kiefer Southerland’s “Touch” for FOX. Thanks to dual occupancy in the same Embarcadero District building, participants may attend both tours concurrently.
Ex’Pression College For Digital Arts: One of SF’s largest and most comprehensive cutting edge educational campuses, Ex’Pression features an Interactive Audio Program focused on preparing students for careers in video games, mobile phone technology, hand-held multimedia devices and many more contemporary creative options. The ultra modern school features multiple studios, control rooms, editing suites, gaming stations, a theater, MDG Labs and a Stop Motion Room. Among the guides for this tour will be legendary multi-Grammy-winning producer/engineer Jack Douglas, who is now a guest lecturer on Sound Arts for Ex’Pression.
Fantasy Recording Studios: is celebrating its 40th year as one of the world’s premiere studios. With credits ranging from Creedence Clearwater to U2 and Estelle, Fantasy continues to attract crème de la crème artists and producers. The three-studio complex boasts a total Studio D upgrade, completed early this year.
The Fenix Club: The latest addition to San Rafael’s cool but low key night life scene, this new, 200 seat, 8600 sq. ft. showcase performing venue/restaurant features outstanding acoustics. Just 25 minutes from the Moscone Center, The Fenix is distinguished by a whimsically elegant design, and accented by a striking backlit wall. This tour will be conducted by architect/acoustician, John Storyk, whose Walters-Storyk Design Group designed the club.
Dolby Atmos Demo: Considered the most significant new development in audio since surround sound, Dolby Atmos delivers a more natural and realistic soundfield. It transports the audience into the story with a ‘lifelike sensory experience.’ Developed with input from highly respected feature film professionals, this new concept in sound represents a dynamic reinvention of traditional surround sound methodology. This demo will be held at the Dolby Headquarters Theater in SF.
*PLEASE NOTE: Tickets for Technical Tours are only available on site at the Moscone Center. A Preliminary Calendar of Event dates and times will be posted on the www.aes.org website soon. Tickets will be sold at the Reception Desk in the main lobby well in advance of departure.
Photos: 1. Electronic Arts
2. 25th Street Studios Live Room
3. TRI Studios Control Room
The Audio Engineering Society was formed in 1948 by a group of concerned audio engineers. The AES counts over 14,000 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. For additional information visit http://www.aes.org