SMR - CEDIA UK Expo. 2000

The 109th AES Convention ~ a Report by ~ Page 2 of 15

Presentations and technical papers are the heart of AES Conventions. Ranging from illuminating ("Advanced Watermarking and Its Applications) to impenetrable ("The Influence of Viscothermal Effects on Calibration Measurements in a Tube"), AES papers cover new research and technology on every conceivable audio topic. Due to limited time (and the fact that all papers are available as AES preprints at, while audio cassettes of presentations and workshops can be ordered from, our coverage was primarily confined to product exhibitions and demos.

However, we made an exception for the inspired tutorial and technology round-up delivered by Dr. Floyd E. Toole of Harmon International Industries, Inc., who clearly and eloquently presented the results of his extensive research into "The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudpeakers and Roomsthe Stereo Past and the Multichannel Future."

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Tackling rampant misconceptions based on bad science (which he termed "BS" for short), Dr. Toole held a large conference room spellbound for an uninterrupted 2½ hours as he explained key points about his methodology and findings. Charting the differences in subjective ratings between sighted and blind speaker evaluations, he identified the factors which, when properly controlled, yield subjective data. that closely tracks measured speaker performance.

Dr. Toole went on to identify the performance characteristics of various speaker designs, and their interaction with room effects.

After completing his presentation, Dr. Toole enjoyed a colleagial exchange with Laurence Fincham, who replaced Tom Holman at the helm of Lucasfilm Ltd's THX Division.

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Not all AES presentations enjoy equally prestigious venues, as we can see in one of the Convention's hallway "Poster Presentation" alternatives to dedicated room sessions. Here, Mitsukazu Kuze of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. explains, to anyone who happens by, his company's research in developing Piezo-electric super-tweeters for DVD-Audio.


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Last updated 1st October, 2000