AES Executive Director Roger Furness has announced the culmination of the first phase of the Audio Engineering Society Oral History Project. Initiated in 1997 by long-time AES member Irv Joel, the project was envisioned as an opportunity to provide insights into the creative and technical mindsets of the founding fathers of professional audio for future generations.
"Irv Joel's stature in the industry provided him with unique personal access to each of the brilliant innovators featured in these DVDs," Furness said. "Working single handedly to coordinate and videotape over 100 one-on-one interviews, he has created an anthology of conversations with the pioneers who shaped our industry"
Early in 2007, Joel enlisted pro audio veteran Harry Hirsch to edit the voluminous material into a series of DVDs. Working with Final Cut Pro, Hirsch, a well known studio owner, designer, musician and recording engineer, devoted himself to gleaning the most salient and informative material from the original material, and to shaping them into compelling narratives.
Premiered at the AES 60th Anniversary Celebration sponsored by the New York Section on March 11, excerpts from the AES Oral History Project provided tantalizing anecdotes by legendary Columbia Records engineer Frank Laico (Dylan, Miles Davis, Streisand, Sinatra); Louis Goodfriend, first editor of the AES Journal; Norman Pickering, pioneer in phonograph cartridge design, and Les Paul, the godfather of multi-track recording.
In addition to Goodfriend, Laico, Pickering and Paul, the initial group of DVDs includes:
Michael Dorrough, Academy Award-winning audio innovator and broadcast industry pioneer.
John M. Eargle, Educator, mentor, and JBL Professional executive
Robin C. Caine, Pro-Bel Ltd. executive, writer and innovator in broadcast facility digital, signal distribution and control system
Kees A.S. Immink, Scientist, inventor, and "Father of the CD"
Alex Balster, Former Polygram CD technology developer and accomplished acoustical consultant
Stanley P. Lipshitz, Multi-disciplinary researcher, collaborator on techniques for digital audio mastering and signal processing which are now standard practice, and past-President of the AES
Richard Small, Groundbreaking scientist, educator and leader in electroacoustic applications for loudspeaker analysis and measurement
Henk De Wit, Recording and broadcast engineer and revered independent consumer electronics consultant
Cor L. Doesburg, Inventor, author, and Dutch Broadcasting executive
Tom Magchielse, Audio expert for Dutch Broadcasting Laboratories. Innovator in microphone design and construction to room acoustics.
Subir K. Pramanik, Instrumental in the introduction of aesthetics to Bang & Olufsen products. AES Int'l President 1993 - 1995, President 1997 - 1998, Board of Governors 1999 -2001.
Neville Thiele, Australian Broadcasting Commission member, collaborated with Richard H. Small on the Thiele/Small Parameter, a system recognized as the industry standard for loudspeaker analysis.
Han Tendeloo, AES Secretary, design engineer at Philips, instrumental in the development of the CD and the construction of the facilities needed to produce them.
Hermann A.O. Wilms, Researcher in room acoustics, professor at National Institute of Radio and Cinematography in Brussels and recipient of the AES Distinguished Service Medal Award
Cornelis H. van de Gragt, Producer and recording engineer for Dutch Broadcasting and distinguished educator at Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague.
Titia Bakker, Philips Phonographic Industries executive, instrumental in the development of the European regions for the AES.
"Collectively, the twenty men and women profiled in this collection of AES Oral History DVD's have been responsible for some of the most meaningful and lasting innovations in the field," remarked Bill Wray, co-chair of the AES Historical Committee. "Sadly, a number of these pioneers are no longer with us, but Irv Joel and Harry Hirsch have performed an invaluable service by creating this permanent record of their insights and experience."
"This AES Oral History Project will be an inspiration to current and future members of the professional audio community, and in particular to the many College, University and dedicated pro audio schools which have proliferated throughout the world," adds Roger Furness. "The AES has a deep commitment to the support of education, and we are confident that this on-going library of interviews with the lions of our industry will be of lasting value to all their varied curriculums. Our plan is to release the complete set of DVD interviews over the next twelve months as they become available. Additionally," Furness concludes, "we will continue the work that Irv Joel began back in 1997. There is a long and growing list of candidates for future interviews, and we fully expect this project to remain an AES priority for as long as audio remains relevant."
The initial twenty AES Oral History Project DVDs are available now at www.aes.org $15.00 each for AES members, $20.00 for non-members.