Set for its sixth outing to date, the hugely popular PSN Presents series of panel sessions, industry chat and, of course, free bar-fuelled networking is back once again, taking place at London’s Sway Bar tomorrow (Wednesday, November 8).
As with each instalment of PSN Presents, the latest edition will once again bring together professionals from across the pro audio industry to chew the fat on the most pressing subjects facing the business over a drink or two in a relaxed and friendly environment. And, as ever, it’s all free! You can register here now, and do so ASAP, as we only have a few places left.
Kicking off with registration and a drinks reception at 7pm, the first panel session will begin at 7.30, followed by a short break and second panel at 8.45. This will be followed by more drinks and networking afterwards.
Our first panel will be chaired by former PSNEurope editor Phil Ward and will be centred on the subject of immersive audio in live events and what we can expect next from this hugely innovative corner of the market. Speaking on the panel will be some of the sector’s foremost figures, including Bjorn Van Munster, founder and director of Astro Spatial Audio, Sherif El Barbari, head of application, L-ISA, Robin Whittaker, co-founder, Out Board, d&b audiotechnik’s Steve Jones and sound engineer Andrew J Horsburgh.
Our second panel will be focused on the state of the studio sector. Boasting an equally heavyweight line-up, this session will look to assess the viability of ‘real’ studios in light of the ongoing rise of the bedroom producer, while also looking at how challenging entry to the studio sector is becoming. Chaired by PSNEurope editor Daniel Gumble, panelists will include one of the most rapidly rising stars in the industry Lauren Deakin Davies, award-winning engineer Wes Maebe and revered Miloco Studios COO Nick Young.
So, lets meet the panels…
PANEL 1: Immersive audio – the future of live sound
A world renowned expert in immersive audio for live events, Bjorn Van Munster is the founder and director of Astro Spatial Audio, one of the world’s leading independent providers of object-based 3D audio solutions for live and theatrical entertainment. Van Munster is the creator of the SARA II premium rendering engine, which is built to deliver object-based 3D audio, interactive dynamic room acoustics and more, all in a 3U, easy to use processor. Key installations have already taken place at the Berlin Opera House, the Zurich Opera House, on Broadway for hit new musical The Band’s Visit, In Switzerland at the Birds Eye Jazz Club and in Moscow’s historic Maly Theatre.
Having spent his teens as a drummer in a hard rock band in Cairo, Sherif El Barbari’s connection to live music was established at an early age. His ever-growing interest in live sound mixing and sound reinforcement speaker configurations led him to choose a career at the mixing desk, while still taking part in the artistic procedure of creating live music. One of the earliest and most faithful adopters of L‑Acoustics’ V-DOSC speakers, Sherif has put his knowledge and experience to use with artists of all music styles, serving as FOH and system engineer for the likes of Deep Purple, Supertramp, Montserrat Caballé, Robbie Williams, a-ha and Radiohead, to name but a few. Between world tours, he has also worked as a consultant for live sound industry equipment manufacturers, including L‑Acoustics.
Robin Whittaker is co-founder of Out Board, which specialises in audio localisation, spatial audio, immersive audio and sound effects, sound design and show control. The company is also the manufacturer of the TiMax2 SoundHub Delay matrix, audio show control and spatial audio processor, as well as the TiMax Tracker.
Having started out with ambitions of being a professional drummer, Steve Jones eventually moved into the world of live sound After graduating from Derby University he moved from being a cable man at TMC in Bradford to running their small but growing hire department. He then joined d&b audiotechnik in 2007 as the UK's technical support contact. Eight years on, he now leads a busy team responsible for the UK and Ireland in sound system design and commissioning along with training partners and end users.
Last but certainly not least, Andrew Horsburgh is a professional sound engineer, lecturer and audio system consultant. Since 2006 he has maintained a dual life between FOH engineer and full-time lecturer. Notable acts include Temples, Sundara Karma and most recently Saint Etienne across the UK and Europe. His academic research explores the uses of spatial and surround audio techniques for live and studio purposes, and his stated ‘format of choice’ is Ambisonics: he completed his PhD focussing on perceptual measurements of soundfield techniques, especially in non-ideal environments, leading to valuable insight into how to make the most of spatial audio presentations.
PANEL 2: Assessing the state of the studio sector
Twenty two-year-old record producer Lauren Deakin Davies is currently one of the brightest talents in the UK pro audio industry, continuing to smash records at every juncture of her burgeoning career. She has already produced five albums that have received Sunday Times Culture reviews, had EPs and a number of singles played on BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music since 2013, has worked with artists including Laura Marling, Kate Dimbleby, Kaity Rae and Peggy Seeger, and was named Producer Of The Year at the 2017 NMG Awards. She is also the youngest female producer ever to have tracks played on Radio 2 ad the youngest ever MPG member.
Born and raised in Belgium, award-winning engineer Wes Maebe moved to London to study audio technology in 1998. Wes Maebe has engineered some of the biggest names in music including Ellie Goulding, Elliot Randall, UB40, Plan B, Celine Dion, Pete Tong, Gorillaz, Praying Mantis, Sting and has also mixed for broadcast. Working in some of the world’s greatest studios, as well as in his home studio, Maebe is renowned for creating a “big sound”. Maebe is also an advisory member of the Grammy Producers & Engineers Wing, as well as a regular contributor to industry journals including PSNEurpe. A prolific guest speaker, he has hosted master classes at industry trade shows including NAMM, AES and IMSTA.
Nick Young, meanwhile, has been part of Miloco since its early days as a single independent studio, when it opened in 1984 in Hoxton Square as Milo and later The Square, where he started working as a studio assistant. Young is now Miloco’s chief operating officer and is currently focusing on the company’s international expansion. The studio group now represents over 200 professional recording studios worldwide with the latest endeavour being the launch of a US division in August 2017.
EDIT: This is the latest version of the PSN Presents event details. Since the publication of the November issue, Robin Whittaker is now representing Outboard for the immersive audio panel, of which Steve Jones has also joined the line-up.