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AES Hosts Successful Conference on Audio Archiving, Preservation & Restoration

The Audio Engineering Society recently held its first International Conference on Audio Archiving, Preservation & Restoration to a sold-out crowd of attendees at the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC) Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia, from June 28-30, 2018. Featuring presenters from leading organizations and facilities dedicated to the topics at hand, the conference, chaired by educator and AES Past President John Krivit, offered an exclusive look into the art and science of creating and maintaining audio archives, as well as tours and access to the Library of Congress facilities and engineers.

“The Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center was honored to host the AES 2018 preservation conference,” says Greg Lukow, chief of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center – Packard Campus. “The Library and the Society have a shared commitment to audio preservation, a commitment literally written into law by the U.S. congress 18 years ago when the AES was designated as a statutory member of the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board. Since then the Society’s participation on the board has been instrumental in preparing the 2010 NRBP study on the state of recorded sound preservation in the U.S., and the Library’s 2012 national recording preservation plan. It was fitting, then, that AES and the Library would collaborate on the organization of a conference featuring leading experts in all areas of audio mastering and archiving from around the world, a conference that will stand as a seminal event in the history of the entire audio archiving and preservation community.”

The event’s Platinum Sponsor, Iron Mountain Entertainment Services, played a key role in the Conference. “This hugely successful AES event was an exploration of topics that are near and dear to the overall missions of Iron Mountain Entertainment Services — preserving and archiving our industry’s most valued works,” says Greg Parkin, Iron Mountain Entertainment Services VP for North America. “We are pleased that our very own Kelly Pribble was able to participate on the panel 'The Challenge of Archiving Multitrack Recordings' and contribute a treasure-trove of knowledge and experience alongside industry icons like George Massenburg and Jack Douglas. We look forward to working closely with AES and other key partners such as the Recording Academy to bring these important issues to the forefront."

Another one of this year’s sponsors, who has worked closely over the years with AES and the Library of Congress, was the Recording Academy – a key proponent of the audio archiving, restoration, and preservation.

“Congratulations to John Krivit, Brad McCoy, Nadja Wallaszkovits David Ackerman and the entire conference committee for assembling this important gathering,” said Maureen Droney, Recording Academy Managing Director, P&E Wing and Recording Technology. “The technical deep dives were enlightening, and the content - from 1950’s jazz masters on the Ed Sullivan show to field recordings from the 1940s, historic Civil Rights broadcasts and so much more - was truly moving. It shone a bright light on the true meaning and cultural importance of ‘archiving and preservation’ and those who do its work. Bravo AES!”

The Conference brought in attendees from over 20 countries including Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, India, Sudan, Nigeria, England, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, Mexico, Canada, and all regions of the USA. Additional conference partners included the RIAA, iZotope, Memnon, CEDAR, NOA, ATC Loudspeakers, Merging Technologies, Prism Sound, Time-Step, ATR Magnetics, Cube-Tec, MARS and the NAVCC.

Building on the goals and standards of both the Audio Engineering Society and the Library of Congress, this year’s Conference served as a basis for further research and implementation of new techniques in the archiving, preservation, and restoration of audio assets. The challenges of preserving and providing access to the wide heritage of digital and analog media formats will also be a focus of the upcoming 145th International AES Convention being held in New York City, NY, October 17 – 20, 2018. The AES New York Convention will bring together a variety of experts representing corporate and national archivists, media companies, libraries, historical societies, labs, post-production professionals, universities and other more, to gain further insight into these increasingly important challenges and opportunities.

Research papers presented at the AES Conference on Audio Archiving, Preservation, and Restoration are available for download in the AES E-Library https://t.e2ma.net/click/4pgoif/kyx35cd/8outsec , and are available for free to AES Members.