Meetings Archive – 2017

‘Boy are cars complicated’ – developing audio for driving games and keeping inside a 74 second RAM budget.

Date: 17 Jan 2017
Time: 18:30

Location: SAE Institute London
297 Kingsland Road
London E8 4DD

Adam Sawkins is an audio developer and games designer. He worked in in the games industry as an audio programmer from 1999 until 2011, at which point he left to run his own games company. In his time in the industry he has worked for Climax Brighton, Criterion Games, Codemasters, Freestyle Games and Sumo Games, and now runs his own company Projector Games.

He has won a number of audio awards for games development, including 5 BAFTAS, working on mainstream titles such as Gumball Rally, MicroMachines, the Burnout series, F1, Colin McRae Dirt 2 and Race Driver: Grid. Outside the driving genre he has worked on games such as Black (Criterion), Dr Who (Sumo Games) and Jericho (Codemasters).

In 2011 he developed Fortresscraft on the Xbox 360 as an independent developer. This sold over 1.2 million units, becoming one of the most successful games ever on the Xbox Live! platform. He left the AAA industry to concentrate on his own games, and is currently involved in multiple projects, including becoming heavily involved in VR work and developing titles for massively multiplayer online gaming. He has also spent some time working for the National Film and Television School, helping out their games programming students.

This talk looks at the car from the perspective of a game audio developer – i.e. all the bits which make noise. Adam will examine how each of the elements of a car work and what they sound like, and why this matters to an audio developer. It then looks at the difficulty of squeezing all those sounds onto devices with less than 2 MB of Audio memory (whether the Playstation 2 or a modern smartphone), as well as some of the tricks used to make the sound both realistic and exciting.

UP Your Output! 2017

Date: 18 Mar 2017
Time: 09:00

Location: Southampton Solent University
Southampton Solent University, East Park Terrace


Once again, the AES UK section is hosting the student conference UP Your Output!  This annual event, which has run since 2011, offers students and recent graduates the opportunity to learn, network, and develop both friendships and career opportunities.   The event runs Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th March, 2017 at Southampton Solent University, UK.

The conference is exclusively available to student members of the Audio Engineering Society, currently registered on a programme of study, or recent graduates who have graduated in the past 2 years.   It is particularly aimed at undergraduate students, though postgraduate students are very welcome to attend.

Places are limited and so Registration is required.    Registration for the event will open on Friday 20th January 2013 via the Up your Output! Eventbrite page (link to follow).

Registration is free for eligible students, and Tickets are issued on the basis of ‘First come, first served’.     You will need your AES membership number to register.

If you are not already a student member of AES, the student membership rate of $50 USD gets you access not only to this conference, but to a host of other career opportunities, member benefits – even free plugins!

You can register as a member of the AES at:

FE students

In order to promote careers in Audio Engineering, there are a limited number of free places available to students on Further Education courses (e.g. BTEC, A level or IBac).  FE students do not need to be a member of AES to attend the event.


Loudspeakers, Architects & Rooms – Forget the Theory, This is The Real World.

Date: 15 Feb 2017
Time: 18:00

Location: Southampton Solent University
Southampton Solent University, East Park Terrace

AES South of England are pleased to announce our next meeting, presented by Dr Peter Mapp, of Peter Mapp Associates, to be held at Southampton Solent University on Weds 15th February 2017.

Sound Systems affect most of our lives every day from the legendary unintelligibility of the railway station PA system to the precision of the performance auditorium and cinema. Peter Mapp has designed and commissioned over 750 sound systems around the world, ranging from venues catering for over 1 million people to the local church up the road or a 2,000 seat concert hall or a 75,000 seat stadium. The talk will discuss how loudspeakers and rooms interact and affect the sound we hear and what measures can be taken to ensure that resulting sonic performance is satisfactory.  Peter will take us on a tour of sound systems from those operating in living rooms to passenger aircraft and then descend via a visit to Hogwarts, into a maze of underground tunnels and other acoustic spaces to illustrate that at the end of the day, it is the architecture and acoustics of a space that ultimately limit the potential performance of a sound system.

Dr Peter Mapp is principle of Peter Mapp Associates and is internationally recognised as a leading expert in the fields of sound system design and speech intelligibility. He has research interests in Speech Intelligibility, Assistive Listening Systems for the hard of hearing, Computer Modelling and Ultrasonic Emissions. He was awarded the AES Bronze medal for his research and work on both AES and International standards. However, most his time is spent trying to convince architects and clients that the laws of physics cannot be repealed.

The event is 6pm for tea/coffee for a 6:30pm start, and anticipated to finish around 7:30pm.    It is open to both AES members and non-members.

Registration is available on Eventbrite HERE

This lecture is held by AES South of England group, and is in the Pod, Spark Building, Southampton Solent University, East Park Terrace, Southampton.

We are walking distance from Southampton Central rail station, and parking should be available on site for the meeting.

For further information, please contact Chris Barlow (Chair of AES South of England)

The Virtual Singing Studio: A tool for exploring musical performance and interaction through real-time room acoustic simulations

Date: 9 Mar 2017
Time: 18:15

Location: Southampton Solent University
Southampton Solent University, East Park Terrace

Jude Brereton, Audio Lab, Department of Electronics, University of York

AES South of England are pleased to announce our March meeting, held jointly with the Institute of Acoustics Southern Branch in TS414, Spark Building, Southampton Solent University on Thursday 9th March 2017.

The physical characteristics of a music performance venue influence the experience of music for the listener and performing musician alike. Indeed, the acoustic characteristics of the venue will influence not only the perception of music for the listener, but also many of the attributes of the performance itself, since a musician will alter their performance in response to the acoustic feedback they receive from the concert hall.  To facilitate the investigation of the influence of acoustic environments on singing performance, a Virtual Singing Studio (VSS) has been developed which offers an interactive room acoustic simulation in real-time, using established auralisation techniques, which allow a singer to perform in an ordinary room and hear him/herself as if singing in a real performance venue.

This talk will introduce the design and implementation of the VSS and report on results which demonstrated that professional singers rated the room acoustic simulation as highly plausible, and judged it to be authentic in comparison to singing at the real performance venue. It will also outline comparisons of singing performance analysis comparing tempo, vibrato and intonation characteristics of singing in the real and virtual performance spaces.   After the talk, audience members will also be able to try out the Virtual Singing Studio for themselves!

Dr Jude Brereton is a Lecturer (T&S) in Audio and Music Technology, Deparment of Electronics, University of York, and has worked in the department since 2003, when she took her first role as a Research Associate.  She is currently Programme Leader for the MSc in Audio and Music Technology and teaches in the areas of virtual acoustics and auralization, music performance analysis and voice analysis and synthesis on postgraduate and undergraduate programmes.

Her research centres on the use of virtual reality technology to provide interactive acoustic environments for music performance and analysis, in particular investigating the effect of different room acoustic conditions on how singers perform, using an interactive real-time room acoustics simulation specially developed for singing performance (The Virtual Singing Studio).

The meeting will start from 6:15pm for tea/coffee with a 6:45pm lecture start, and will finish around 8:30pm (including the practical demos).

Both AES/IoA members and non-members are welcome to attend.

We are walking distance from Southampton Central rail station, and parking should be available on site.

Please register via Eventbrite: REGISTRATION LINK

For any queries or further information, please contact Chris Barlow:

SMAART - Audio System Measurement & Commissioning

Date: 21 Feb 2017
Time: 18:30

Location: BBC Scotland, Glasgow
40 Pacific Quay
Glasgow, G51 1DA

This AES Scottish Group event will include a demonstration and talk by Steve-Badham, Managing Director of Insynergy Distribution. The event will show how we can use software applications like SMAART (by Rational Acoustics), to measure electro-acoustic and audio data and how it is an invaluable tool for commissioning speaker systems for installation, studio and live use. As an advocate of acoustic modelling and measurement techniques, Steve will demonstrate how these tools can (and should) enhance and augment, rather than replace the critical listening skills of the user.

Come along to learn how tools like this can benefit your work in audio and electro-acoustics. The event will be followed by a Q&A session.

Please Note: This is NOT a training event, this is event is intended to be informational only. A formal SMAART 3-day training event in Scotland is being planned for later in 2017. Date and location TBC.

Registration for this event is open to all (AES Members and Non Members).

Presenter biography:  In addition to many years’ experience as a professional musician, Steve Badham has almost two decades of experience in live sound acoustics – providing international application engineering support to major manufacturers such as EAW and Community. He is a member of the Institute of Acoustics and holds the IoA Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control from Salford University. Steve has worked in many high profile consulting projects and is MD of Insynergy: a company providing sales, training and engineering support for audio equipment and acoustic treatment.
Insynergy Distribution is the UK distributor for Rational Acoustics (SMAART), Clearvoice Systems, Fulcrum Acoustics, Alcons Audio, EliAcoustic and iSEMcon.

AGM & Latrogenic sound - a call for interdisciplinary socio-acoustical research

Date: 14 Feb 2017
Time: 18:30

Location: Dolby Europe’s London Office
4–6 Soho Square
London W1D 3PZ

Annual General Meeting: Tuesday 14th February 2016 at 6:30pm, Dolby Europe Ltd., 4-6 Soho Sq, London. W1D 3PZ. Please note the AGM is open only to members of the AES.

London 14th February lecture, approximately at 7:30pm following the AGM. Open both to members and non-members of the AES. Iatrogenic sound – a call for interdisciplinary socio-acoustical research. A lecture by Andy Farnell.

Sound design is a broad practice. Beyond entertainment media, sonic design principles are used to shape products, listening spaces and much more. Sound design thus also aims to make the world an easier, safer and more pleasant place to live and work. One of the worst sound designs in the world, due to arbitrary evolution and negelct, is emergency vehicle warnings (EVW). For legal reasons EVW sources fall through a loophole covering noise abatement. Unlike other prominent urban noise sources they are not coherently covered by standards and best practices, and the guidance that does cover them is based on poor research. In this case, noise abatement involves a complex social interplay between overlapping spheres of interests, residents, pedestrians, drivers, patients, insurance companies and local authorities. Yet it is possible that at the same time as averting traffic collisions, police fire and ambulance sirens are actually responsible for thousands of deaths per year. Noise pollution is the invisible but not so silent killer. Cardio-vascular diseases, which result directly from noise exposure, and hypertensive symptoms affect millions, yet because sound responses involve pre-verbal and unarticulated processes people are rarely aware of their impact or causes, so do not complain. This leads to a tragic phenomenon of Iatrogenic sound, where sirens ostensibly employed to save lives are killing people. The design of the modern EVW is a mess, having roots in the electromechanical air siren. That familiar, penetrating wailing sound is nothing more than an accident. It mimics a relaxation oscillator sweeping an all-harmonic source over about one kilohertz. This signal is highly inappropriate, it bounces around urban environments, far beyond its intended range of utility, causing confusion and disorientation of pedestrians and drivers. The cuts to public services, closing fire, police and ambulance stations means that vehicles have to travel further. Sirens are often employed inappropriately, when travelling at low speeds, or aggressively and punitively. EV crews are under pressure to employ them because of poor guidance around the law, health and safety, and pressure from insurance providers. The entire subject is a golden oppportunity for thorough, evidence based, and design informed research. New understanding from cognitive science, social sciences, urban and vehicle acoustics, directional arrays, and smart location-aware devices can be brought to bear here. The aim of this lecture is to highlight the problem and research opportunities to get rid of this insideous form of noise pollution, make EV response faster and safer and create safer more pleasant cities to live in.

An Open-Source Electroacoustic Measurement System

Date: 14 Mar 2017
Time: 18:30

Location: SAE Institute London
297 Kingsland Road
London E8 4DD

Tutorial by John Vanderkooy (coauthor of the Linear Audio magazine article is Richard Mann)

John Vanderkooy has presented many AES papers over the years on a range of topics, many with his colleague Stanley Lipshitz, both founding members of the Audio Research Group at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. His early PhD work was in low temperature physics, but since the mid 1970’s he has worked with Stan in audio and acoustics. They are well-known for dither, which shows that digital audio truly has analogue character. John is a Life Fellow of the AES. Since retirement, John and his wife Judy have spent winters in the UK at the Steyning Research Centre of Bowers and Wilkins, and he has occasionally presented to the London AES. He continues both the supervision of graduate students and his audio research at the University of Waterloo. Some recent work includes the non-linear acoustics of the trumpet and trombone, the measurement of infrasound inside cars and from wind turbines, and the acoustics of deploying airbags in cars.


During the tutorial, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 sound card was reported to have inverting monitor outputs.  This is not true; the 2i2 is properly noninverting on both inputs and outputs, and forms the basis of an excellent measurement system.


Please click here if you would like to download the files required for the measurements performed during this tutorial.


This tutorial describes the design, software and use of a general-purpose electroacoustic measurement system. It is based on commercially available, inexpensive, standard soundcards. The presentation is meant to be useful to AES members of all backgrounds. The aim is to place a powerful analysis system in the hands of anyone, encourage high-level electroacoustic measurements and promote their understanding. The idea is that the measurements are performed in a development environment which promotes use of the data in ways that are not possible in commercial software or other freeware offerings.  Some general theory of measurement systems is presented, and both inverse filter and frequency domain ratio approaches are discussed. Strengths and weaknesses of different excitation signals are discussed, such as MLS, logsweeps, noise, or even music. Examples will be demonstrated live, measuring quasi-anechoic and complete transfer functions, reverberation time, harmonic distortion, and room acoustic parameters. The software uses the high-level mathematical language of Matlab and Octave, the latter being an open-source, free version that provides full functionality. The software will be natural to anyone with a mathematical bent of mind.

A complete illustrated description and software code will be published in the magazine, Linear Audio, in April 2017. A website dedicated to user interaction and further developments will be online soon. AES attendees will be presented with a shortened preview version to help them get started. A Sound Card Setup program allows simple operation, qualification of the soundcard, signal limits, noise floors, and other interesting features.

If a system requires response to frequencies far above (or far below) audio, then the system can be readily configured using a data front end such as a Handyscope, or a DC-coupled DAQ card.

Acoustics in Creative Spaces

Date: 24 Apr 2017
Time: 18:00

Location: UHI Perth
Crieff Road

The Audio Engineering Society Scottish Group and JAMES are pleased to present an evening on ‘Acoustics in Creative Spaces’ held in the Goodlyburn Building at UHI Perth.  It will feature the following 4 talks:

The Story of Abbey Road Studio 1 (Melvyn Toms, long-time Abbey Road Tech)

86 years of evolution from early recordings employing questionable acoustics to a five month construction project delivering a state of the art film scoring facility employing Dolby Atmos.

A Study of Archaeoacoustics (Nick Green, Sector Manager: Audio Engineering and Theatre Arts University of the Highlands and Islands)

Particularly IR recording and archiving in heritage and archaeological sites including Rosslyn Chapel and Wemyss Caves a significant Pictish site.

Building a new recording or Performance Space? (Acoustic Designers, ‘Studio People’)

Whether you are planning a project studio in your spare room or building a multi-media suite in a university, it is vital to employ your resources where they will have greatest impact. Listen to how the experts tackle new ventures and ask them about your plans.

Convolution reverb (Dennis Weinreich, engineer, producer, studio owner…)

What is it, how and when not to use it.

Registration for this event is open to all (AES Members and Non Members).

Flyer available here.

Capturing and Rendering Audio for VR

Date: 25 Mar 2017
Time: 13:00

Location: Univeristy of Huddersfield

This event is free and open to all but registration is required before 12th March


13:00 – 13:30 Registration

13:30 – 14:15 Ambisonic Workflows for Virtual and Augmented Reality, Dr Gavin Kearney, University of York

14:15 – 15:00 Music/Spatial Music Production and Recording for 360 video, Dr Enda Bates, Trinity College Dublin

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee break

15:30 – 16:15 Psychoacoustics of 360VR microphone array design, Dr Hyunkook Lee, University of Huddersfield

16:15 – 17:00 Recording techniques for binaural production, Tom Parnell, BBC R&D

17:15 – 18:30 Additional Loudspeaker 3D sound demos


The rapid rise of VR is increasing the need for 360-degree binaural audio as well as video in order to provide users with a fully immersive and realistic experience. In this half a day workshop, four presenters from the industry and academia will introduce and discuss the theories and practical aspects of various microphone and rendering techniques for 360VR audio, including First-Order Ambisonics (FOA), Higher-Order Ambisonics (HOA), Equal Segment Microphone Array (ESMA), etc. The talks will be accompanied with binaural audio demos. The workshop will be a good opportunity for both industry professionals and students to gain insights into the state-of-the-art technologies and practical production techniques for 360VR audio. The abstracts of the talks are as follows.

Ambisonic Workflows for Virtual and Augmented Reality, Dr Gavin Kearney, University of York

Ambisonics has existed as a method of surround sound capture and reproduction since the 1970s but has found renewed interest of late due to its applicability to Audio for Virtual Reality systems. This talk will look at some of the issues inherent in encoding and decoding VR audio content for binaural-based Ambisonics as well as showcase some of the recent research work at the University of York in this area.

Music/Spatial Music Production and Recording for 360 video, Dr Enda Bates, Trinity College Dublin

In this talk researcher and composer Dr Enda Bates will discuss recording techniques for 360 video music productions, particularly in terms of the various practical issues which arise during recording sessions, the use of spot microphones and post-production, and a comparison of different FOA and HOA microphones. The concept of spatial music and its particular applicability to 360 video/VR is also introduced via a number of example 360 videos and accompanying 360 audio.

Recording techniques for binaural production, Tom Parnell, BBC R&D

Tom will present the recording approach used on two contrasting BBC audio productions – a trial of BBC Proms concerts streamed in binaural sound and the sound for VR fairy-tale The Turning Forest, which was premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and is now available on Google Daydream. He will talk about spatial microphone techniques, binaural processing and dynamic (tracked) audio rendering.

Psychoacoustics of 360VR microphone array design, Dr Hyunkook Lee, University of Huddersfield

First-Order Ambisonics (FOA) microphones are currently most popular for 360VR. However, it is also possible to capture audio for 360VR using multiple cardioid microphones configured in a near-coincident fashion, which could offer greater spaciousness and externalisation than the FOA. This talk will introduce psychoacoustic principles for designing such a microphone array, with binaural demos for A/B comparisons.

Go on! Surprise me! An introduction to Audio and Video Coding

Date: 26 Apr 2017
Time: 18:30

Location: Leeds Beckett University – James Graham Building – Headingley Campus
Headingley Campus

AES North of England Presents:

Go on! Surprise me! An introduction to Audio and Video Coding

Professor Jamie Angus, University of Salford

April 26th 6.30pm at Leeds Beckett University, Lecture Theatre A, James Graham Building, Headingley Campus

Coded Audio is an essential part of modern audio distribution, such as the internet, film, etc. But how does it work? What is it about a signal that can allow you to reduce its data rate without loss, as in “Lossless Coding”? How can one take advantage of human perception when one does lossy coding such as mpeg?

This Lecture will use both video and audio coding to explain the characteristics that allow one to encode such signals at a reduced data rate without any loss of fidelity. It will then go on to explain how one can go about reducing the data rate with the minimum of perceptible distortion.

Getting here:

This event will take place in Lecture Theatre A, James Graham Building.

Free parking is available after 4pm in the Pay and Display car park at the top of Churchwood Avenue. Use Post Code LS16 5LF to find Churchwood Avenue.

Headingley Train Station is a 15 minute walk from campus through Becketts Park.

There is a regular bus service directly to campus from the city centre (Service 29/29X). There are also regular buses every few minutes from the city centre that stop within 5 minutes walk of campus on Otley Road (Services 1, 6 and 97).

James Graham Building is the largest building on campus at the top of the acre. The lecture theatres are best accessed from the entrance on the right hand side of the building opposite the student hub.