Audio Oktoberfest

by George Petersen
in Editor's Note
George Petersen, Editor of FOH Magazine
George Petersen, Editor of FOH Magazine

There is no shortage of signs that fall has arrived. The kids/grandkids are back in school (finally) and in many areas, trees are undergoing their annual transformation of colors with a dazzling display of autumn foliage. However, for the true pro audio aficionado, the REAL sign of fall is the Audio Engineering Society’s yearly U.S. convention.

‡‡         Bring It On!

So from October 18 to 21, 2017 (exhibits are open Oct. 18-20), this bi-coastal event swings into Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Convention Center for four days of nonstop audio action.

And this year, it’s not just audio action, as AES 2017 is co-located with the NAB New York show, and attendees of either can co-mingle with the broadcast/streaming/visual arts aspects of technology in an adjacent exposition hall. That makes it even better than a two-for-one, because in addition to the 256 exhibitors on the audio show floor, NAB New York will be offering a showcase of products and services offered by their 300-plus exhibitors.

As in past years, AES 2017 continues with the welcome tradition of its “The Live Sound Expo” event, which will be conveniently located on the show floor next to the exhibits. Held all day Friday, Oct. 20, it is open to all show attendees and topics of the four presentations include “Digital vs. Analog Wireless on the Stage,” “Choosing the Right Vocal Mic,” “Live Mixing Workshop” and “Immission Mission — Noise Prediction at Outdoor Events.” Sounds like good stuff, indeed.

Additionally, four packed days of sound reinforcement sessions, research paper presentations, tutorials and workshops are available for those who upgrade to a paid All Access badge for the convention’s full Technical Program.

AES appropriately selected “Maximum Audio” as the theme of this year’s event, and they were spot-on in this call. AES is the only show dedicated solely to professional audio in all its forms — sound reinforcement, recording, cinema and streaming/broadcast. And this month, Javits Center is definitely the place to be for anyone who’s serious about pro audio. If you are still unsure about attending, perhaps the attached list of reasons to go will help convince you. Check it out.

‡‡         The Real Magic

Yet AES action is hardly limited to the “official” convention activity and the exhibit floor(s), as just as much — or more — goes on behind the scenes. Want proof? Some night during the show, just drop by the bar at the Marriott Times Square or New Yorker hotels and watch (or eavesdrop on) real audio evolution unfolding as future products or concepts to be unveiled at next year’s AES are hastily sketched out on rum-soaked cocktail napkins. It’s happening right before your eyes. Truthfully, there are few opportunities for such meetings of the minds and to me, that represents the true magic of AES. (For more information about the Audio Engineering Society, visit

Speaking of magic, this month marks the 15th anniversary of FRONT of HOUSE. I have been writing and editing pro audio magazines for some four decades, and have never worked with a team (management, art, sales and editorial) that were as dedicated, creative and hardworking as the Timeless Publishing crew. I am proud to be a part of that effort.

For George Petersen's video introduction of the October 2017 issue of FRONT of HOUSE magazine, go to