The Audio Engineering Society is presenting the achievements of audio innovators whose contributions we honor, and build-upon, to this day. This year’s Historical Track events, taking place at the AES New York 2019 Convention, October 16 – 19 at the Javits Center, spotlight a wide range of audio pioneers and technologies, and offer insights into our rich audio history while paying tribute to our mentors.
“The Historical Committee has been hard at work providing a diverse and thought-provoking program for this convention,” states AES New York 2019 Historical Track chair Gary Gottlieb. “Ranging from classic figures in our history like Rudy Van Gelder, Tom Dowd, and Spike Jones, to diverse sessions exploring contributions of women in audio, hip-hop engineers, and a look into the evolution of audio equipment, including microphones, compressors, and pitch effects – we offer something for anyone interested in audio.”
One highlight of this year’s Historical Track is a session titled “Rudy Van Gelder: A Legacy in Audio Engineering,” which will take an in-depth look at his unique approach to recording and production for laying to tape hundreds of classic jazz recordings spanning a period of over five decades. Always on the cutting edge of technology, AES Gold Medal recipient Van Gelder used a plethora of state-of-the-art tools to create “the Van Gelder Sound,” a distinct and easily recognizable sonic fingerprint that helped define the sound of jazz on record during the classic analog era of the 1950s and 1960s. Sharing that story will be Michael Cuscuna, producer and founder of Mosaic Records, and Don Sickler, publisher and co-founder of Second Floor Music (Sickler, along with his wife Maureen, currently run the Englewood Cliffs studio), and Richard Capeless of Deep Groove Mono.
The Session “Spike Jones: Preposterous Precision” will offer an entertaining look at musical innovator whose influential style and wit took his roles of bandleader, musician, and comedian took his production to new heights.
Professor Mike Wisland will present Spike’s life including his childhood and early professional career, leading to the formation of his massively successful parody band, Spike Jones and his City Slickers, in addition to a video presentation by Emily Taggart on the bandboy of Spike’s, Skip Craig, followed by Q&A with Spike’s daughter – and highly-successful recording engineer – Leslie Ann Jones.
Thursday evening will offer a special Limiter Engagement Screening for AES New York attendees of Tom Dowd and the Language of Music which will take place at the Dolby Theater. This independently produced feature-length documentary gives a detailed look the long-time engineer and producer for Atlantic Records, who was responsible for some of the most important R&B, rock, and jazz records ever made. The film will be followed by a talk with Tom’s daughter, Dana Dowd, who will share memories and answer questions from the audience. Seating is limited and by advance ticket only, available at the AES New York Convention’s at registration.
For details on these and other AES New York Historical Track events, visit and register before October 15 to save up to $100 on your All Access badge.
The Historical Track Track is open to attendees with an All Access badge, available through October 14 (11:00 pm EDT) at Advance Registration discount pricing with AES Members and Students receiving significant savings.