The 135th Audio Engineering Society Convention (Thursday, October 17, through Sunday, October 20, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City) will feature a comprehensive Game Audio Track, focusing on audio trends and issues in the gaming industry. As the track's co-chairs, industry veterans Michael Kelly and Steve Martz have assembled a compelling and highly inclusive series of panels, sessions and presentations that address the many dimensions of this complex sector of professional audio. These include multichannel game audio, 3D sound, sound effects, immersive game sound, the emotional components of game audio, and other key points of topic.
As any gamer or developer knows, gaming is growing in diversity, as the industry moves further into an online model and the ways that consumers can access games continue to expand. Throughout this revolutionary period of change, audio will continue to be of fundamental importance to the gaming experience, and the Game Audio Track at the AES Show will keep those involved in the industry at the top of their game.
"This year's Game Audio Track is going to be particularly fascinating, because of several key changes in the gaming industry," observes Michael Kelly, who in addition to co-chairing the Game Audio Track is also Director, Research and Development, for DTS and Chair of the AES's Technical Committee on Audio for Games. Kelly, who has co-chaired the technical committee since 2004 with Steve Martz and jointly organized the convention activity since then, points out, "The games track at U.S. AES conventions has grown into a major event. This is the first time we've officially shared the chair for the games track, in order to keep on top of the planning. Undoubtedly, the biggest change in the larger industry this year will be the launch of new gaming consoles. That's always an exciting event for any games track, and a lot of our events will be covering that. In particular, we have leaders from both Sony and Microsoft looking at where sound in games is going in the future. We've also got a strong focus on mobile and web-based gaming to reflect the significance of that sector of the games industry."
Kelly is excited for several of the topics on the program for the Game Audio Track this year. "I'm really looking forward to the Planes, Trains and Automobiles session with Mike Caviezel," he says. "That was a real hit in Europe. We try not to repeat sessions, but that was one we just had to bring over for the U.S. audience. The In the Trenches session promises to be good too; it's always great to get to deeper issues, and that's something that we have the opportunity to do really well at AES events. I think the loudness session is also something worth seeing. After years of sessions in this area, we could be close to something that works practically for the industry. With an added sprinkling of sessions about specific games, it's looking like an exciting line-up this year!"
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