127th AES '09... a little late, but here goes...

Just found a text file documenting my visit to the 127th AES NY convention in Oct0ber 2009 that I never got around to posting on the AES-New York Thread on Gearslutz.

Spent Saturday and Sunday roaming the aisles at Javits. The show was smaller this time around but that was a plus in my book. Reminded me of the AES show a month after 9/11... much more intimate which allowed more time to savor the experience.

Saw a LOT of stuff that I liked! In no particular order:

Mark VIII from Pete's Place. I originally saw this unit on GS and it was cool to see the unit in person as well as have the concept fully explained by Tony Shepperd at the Pete's Place/A-Designs booth. The sound of the Electrodyne 511 EQ 500-series module brought back memories of my early days learning on a '70s-vintage Electrodyne 2000 with 711 and 712 input modules. Another cool 500-series module was the Brad Avenson-designed BAC-500 compressor, another great-sounding device.

This booth was the crossroads for a number of regular Gearslutz posters. Besides Tony, I met Armando Avila and his Cosmos crew, and Ronan Chris Murphy who hipped me to the LittleLabs VOG and with whom I checked out the "Laser Mic"... he interviewed the(very young!) guy about the concepts behind it. He shot a very cool video showing a lot of the highlights of the show. It filled in some gaps in my experience looking at all that was available. I didn't really have a chance to talk to Peter Montessi but I must mention that his wife is a wonderful person, very warm and friendly, a sweetheart. A lucky man he is.

UBK's Fatso and Clariphonic(a.k.a Clarity Control). I have an Empirical Labs Fatso and do indeed like it, but now I want  to add a UBK version after demoing it. Even with the noise on the show floor it was obvious that this unit would be a great flavor to have around to use on individual elements, parallel processing or across a 2MIX. Never would have known Greg had a 102 degree fever, I just thought the elevated temperature was the tracks post-Fatso processing. :-) And the Clariphonic EQ... smoooth, oh so smooth.

Zaxcom Digital Wireless and portable Hard Disk recording system. I spec'd and purchased a Zaxcom system awhile back consisting of a TRX900AA Transceiver with STA100 Stereo Adapter, RX900 receiver. and IFB100 IFB transmitter. One of the things that sold me on the system was the total integration of all the devices. There was obviously a lot of thought put into the design and construction of this gear. Their latest device, the TRX992 transceiver for boom / parabolic use,  performs the functions of an audio transmitter, IFB audio receiver, back-up recorder and phantom power supply - all in one compact package.

Vertigo Sound. Originally I had walked past this booth a few times. But eventually I looked closer at these units and was blown away by the possibilities they offered once I got my mitts on 'em. The first device that Andy demonstrated was their VSC-2 Quad Discrete Compressor. It uses 4 VCA’s built by hand using only discrete components. Try as I did, I just couldn't make this thing sound bad! This would be a great unit across a 2MIX or in a mastering setup. That was a great opener for the VSM-2 Mix Satellite. I've always been a sucker for parameters and this unit did not disappoint. With it's various controls it allows one to tweak a signal using(from their site):

• two independent stereo coloration circuits

• Stereo & M or S Generation of pure 2nd & 3rd harmonics
• Each coloration generator is independantly switchable to M, S or LR
• Excessive harmonic filtering possibilties for each harmonic generator
• RMS LED level control for equal level of harmonic generators
• Unique "Track" mode for processing individual instruments

• Soft & Hard clip switching capability

After running signal through it and trying different combinations of parameters I can see this easily being a "secret weapon/butt saver" in a studio's rack. Huge possibilities in a mastering setup. I saw more than a few people get really excited about these boxes. Markus and Andy are also great guys to hang out with!

al.so. Dynax. Olivier wasn't the most outspoken cat but the Dynax did a lot of talking for him! One could do a lot of damage with this unit(in a good way of course!). I also(no pun intended) liked the Hellax and the 500-series format Modual Series.

Little Labs VOG. Simple and effective 500-series format module, perfect for optimizing that kick drum or bass, creating separation, handy tool. Recommended by RCM.

Taytrix modular sound booth. I need one of these!

Bricasti M7/M10. Was nice to talk to Casey and listen to the 2.0 algos. There was one demoed that I could have used on a recent project where I need ambience that doesn't sound like ambience(dry upfront vocals). This particular preset was used on an electric bass with some slap to it, which would quickly reveal the usage of reverb. Amazingly this preset gave what I will describe as an enhanced spatial presence that did not sound like your typical reverb.

Thermionic Culture Fat Bustard. Damn, I want one. Endless possibilities. I love the blurb on their site: 100% Full Fat Audio Content!

Airfield Liminator. Sean Eldon demo'd this beast for me at the Mercenary booth. Can anyone tell that I like compressors? BTW Sean does some cool stuff on the Methods And Applications Laboratory(a.k.a. METHLab) area at Mercenary Audio.

After the show floor closed on Saturday there was a GS hang at the Aspen Social Club. Andy and Markus from Vertigo were there, and Niklas, Oscar and Torsten from Softube that I'd met earlier that day. Met a number of cool people! Afterwards dropped into Famous Dave's for some BBQ and on to Penn to catch the train home.

I came away from AES energized by the passion of the people who design, build, and use this equipment... and the fellowship that we share.

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