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Safeguarding Our Audio Heritage: AES New York 2017’s Archiving and Restoration Track

— Archiving the music of Star Wars, continuing the Grateful Dead experience, preserving physical media and much more will be covered during the Convention —

New York, NY — The 143rd International Audio Engineering Society Convention’s Archiving and Restoration Track will feature its most varied events schedule ever, including in-depth looks at archiving the music of Star Wars and the remarkably prolific recordings of the Grateful Dead, media preservation techniques for the 21st century and much more.

“Our recorded music heritage is an invaluable part of our history, and today’s audio archivists are using the very latest resources to ensure that our rich sonic past will be available to future generations,” said Rebecca Feynberg, AES New York 2017 Archiving and Restoration Track chair. More than a dozen archiving and restoration-related seminars will take place at the upcoming Convention, October 18 to 21 at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.

“Do, or do not. There is no try.” Perhaps Yoda’s words were echoing in the minds of Leslie Ann Jones (Director of Music and Scoring at Skywalker Sound) and Dann Thompson (Skywalker Sound recording engineer) when Sony Classics requested the original vinyl masters for a new release of Star Wars soundtracks. In the “Bearing Witness: The Music of Star Wars – Archiving Art and Technology” seminar, Jones and Thompson will tell how this request led them on a mission to archive, transfer and preserve all of the music of Star Wars – especially when they realized that if they didn’t, a 40-year history of some of the world’s most beloved film music could be lost forever.

The music of the Grateful Dead goes far beyond their more than 140 official albums to encompass uncountable recordings by audience members. “The Music Never Stopped: The Future of the Grateful Dead Experience in the Information Age” will provide a fascinating look at the latest in audio archiving for the Dead and other bands, from ever-expanding online archives and music trading sites like etree and the Live Music Archive to the latest in semantic technologies (encoding meaning from data and content files), which promise to provide enriched experiences for fans, greater exposure for bands and new opportunities for archives to flourish.

“Restoration Audio: Preservation of Your Assets Today for Tomorrow” will examine how advancements in audio technology and major changes in how the entertainment industry creates and monetizes content have challenged engineers to migrate, mix, master, store and distribute content securely. This panel, led by Bob Koszela of Iron Mountain Entertainment Services Digital Studios (which has preserved over 28 million assets for its customers), will also show examples of media degradation and how to approach their restoration. “Preservation Techniques for the 21st Century,” “The Past and Future of Archiving and Preservation” and other seminars will further address issues of restoring and preserving physical recordings.

How many times have you had to try to find a “final, final” mix when looking through a disorganized mess of filenames? “Tales of Asset Management: The Good, the Bad and ‘v2_final_mix_master_VOX UP_FINAL.wav.aiff’” will advise how to eliminate this all-too-common headache, learn good organizational skills and break bad habits.

“The Edison Kinetophone” will offer a rare look at Edison’s first attempt at synchronizing picture with sound, with a presentation covering the only eight Kinetophone motion pictures known to have survived. “A Pictorial History of CBS Records’ Legendary 30th St Studio” will feature Dan Mortensen’s efforts to re-create the life of the fabled studio, which hosted a who’s-who of recording artists from 1948 to 1982. In addition, GRAMMY®-winning engineer Paul Blakemore will offer a workshop on the history of Soundstream digital tape recording, and “The Roots of Stereophony” will trace the developments that led from two-channel telephony in the late 1800s to the key innovations from Bell Labs, EMI, Magnetophon and others that led to the beginnings of stereo recording.

Additional information about these and other AES Archiving and Restoration Track events is available at

Register now and make plans to join us at AES New York 2017. The convention will be co-located with the independent and adjacent NAB Show New York 2017. Registration, at any level, for AES New York 2017 will give attendees access to the NAB Show New York exhibition floor and the content in the NAB Show New York’s Core Package (a $75 value). Register now, upgrade to the All Access registration for the Maximum Audio experience, including the Archiving and Restoration Track, and reserve housing for the 143rd AES Convention at Online advance registration discounts end soon.

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