Toronto AES Seminar 2008: The Roots of Our Toronto Sound

Oct 25, 2008 | Masters of Audio Series, Special Event

Recollections & Reflections on the 40th Anniversary
of the Toronto Section of the Audio Engineering Society

On October 25, 2008, a host of studio owners, managers, designers, music producers and recording engineers, live sound company owners, professional engineers, scientists and gear designers who were or are active in the Toronto pro audio world assembled and organized themselves into five panels at Ryerson’s Eaton Theatre to discuss the motivations, challenges and developments in studio recording, along with live mixing technologies and practices, and the design of equipment and facilities with a view to identifying what it was that made Toronto unique.

Most probably, this was the first time in four decades that these individuals were all assembled in one room at the same time. Whatever else was discovered or rediscovered that day, it became clear that it is they themselves who, in large part, constitute “the roots of our Toronto sound.”

Also in 2008, the Toronto section of the AES celebrated its 40th anniversary, while the international Audio Engineering Society marked its 60th. Both milestones were observed that day, with AES President Jim Anderson and Executive Director Roger Furness as guests of honour representing AES International.  Dr Floyd Toole was our seminar keynote speaker and Wayne Jones gave the keynote address at the banquet.

Historical Video

The conference included the taping of a video historical documentary, with short interviews of the many attendees who were involved in the AES and the Toronto music industry over the past forty years. The DVD was made available to all Toronto AES members free of charge, and to other interested persons for a nominal cost.

On this site, you are invited to join in their recollections and reflections through short excerpts from the DVD production posted on YouTube.

DVD Credits

Produced and Directed by Alan Hardiman
Director of Photography: Pash Patriki
Camera: Johan A. du Toit
Editor: Mark Magro
Production Coordinator: Catherine Bacque
Post-production: Post Toronto Inc., Wanted Media Inc.
Executive Producer: Earl McCluskie
Web Design/YouTube Mastering: Earl McCluskie
An Associated Buzz Creative Production for the Toronto Section of the Audio Engineering Society.

Our Presenters

Enjoy video excerpts and biographical information from our Presenters.

Jim Anderson

Guest: AES Int'l President. Jim Anderson is an internationally recognized recording engineer and producer for acoustic music in the recording, radio, television, and film industries. He is the recipient of numerous industry awards and nominations in the recording...

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Roger Furness

Guest: AES Int'l Executive Director. When he was very young, early encounters with technology set Roger Furness on the path towards his career in pro audio. His uncle, a music and hi-fi fanatic, "built his own amplifier, speakers, even a television set, and this...

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Phil Giddings

Technology: Designer. Philip Giddings is a graduate of McGill University's Electrical Engineering program and is a registered Professional Engineer in the province of Ontario. He is founder and principal of Engineering Harmonics, with offices in Toronto, Ottawa,...

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Floyd Toole

Guest: NRC, Harmon Kardon Int'l. Dr. Floyd Toole has impressive business and academic credentials, having held the postion of Corporate Vice President - Acoustical Engineering at Harman International from 1991 until he retired in 2007 and Senior Research Officer in...

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Terry Brown

Studio Owner-Manager: Toronto Sound. Born and educated in England, Terry Brown learned his craft in four of the top independent studios in London during the 60’s when the British pop scene was exploding. Engineering some big hits with some notable artistes he moved to...

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David Greene

Engineer-Producer: A born and bred New Yorker, David Greene began his professional career in with a small recording studio, Edgewood Recording in Washington D. C. From there he went to work for M.G.M. Records in New York City as a senior recording engineer. While at...

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Jack Richardson

Studio Owner-Manager, Producer: Nimbus 9.  Guess Who, Alice, Bob Seger, Peter Gabriel Jack Richardson, C.M. (b. 1929) is a Juno Award-winning Canadian record producer, Canadian Music Hall of Famer, Order of Canada recipient and an educator at Fanshawe College in...

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Andy Hermant

Studio Owner-Manager: Manta Sound. Andy Hermant founded the world-renowned Manta Sound Company (Canada's first digital multi-track recording studio), Duke Street Records and 1:2:1 Recording. He engineered the No. 1 Billboard hit by Dan Hill, was the Manager of Post...

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Leigh Cline

Live Sound, Engineer. Leigh Cline is a guitarist, producer and sound engineer. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Leigh – who plays guitar, tambura, saz and synthesizers – started playing guitar at the age of 15. The music he plays focuses on Black Sea, Greek and...

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Sy Potma

Studio Owner-Manager: Manta Sound. Born in the Netherlands to musical parents and educated near Hamilton, Ontario, Sy Potma moved to Toronto in ’68 to pursue musical and technical aspirations. He began his career as system tech with Festival Productions, in concert...

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George Semkiw

Engineer-Producer: George Semkiw is one of Canada’s most successful engineer/producers. He has recorded some of the biggest acts in the business and built some of the best recording facilities in the country. His career spans four decades and every conceivable genre...

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Chris Russell

Technology: Designer, Developer, Manufacturer. Chris Russell is the CEO of Bryston Ltd., a designer, developer and manufacturer of professional and high-end home audio equipment. Bryston is known in both professional and home audio circles for their amplifiers,...

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Claude Fortier

Loudspeakers: Designer. Dr. Claude Fortier began his career in acoustics and audio-visual design in the research and design of loudspeakers. He was extensively involved in the Audio Engineering Society, presenting many papers on loudspeaker research and chairing...

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Martin Van Dijk

Live Sound: Designer. Martin Van Dijk is senior systems designer with Engineering Harmonics and a seasoned technician and project manager. He brings with him 30 years of experience in the design, manufacture and installation of sound reinforcement, control,...

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Wayne Jones

Guest: Audio Precision. Wayne Jones has almost 40 years of engineering development, marketing, and management of products and companies in the professional audio and audio test and measurement fields.   In 1969 he founded a company, Olive Electro Dynamics, to...

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Doug McClement

Engineer-Producer: Doug McClement became interested in audio as a teenager, working in stereo stores and playing in bands around his home town of Kingston, Ontario. He set up Comfort Sound, a four track studio in his parents’ basement in 1973, recording demos for...

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Tom Shevlin

Live Sound:  Engineer. Tom Shevlin was involved in sound and in radio broadcasting as far back as high school in the mid ‘60s. In the early 1970’s he was concurrently performing blues music, apprenticing as a live sound technician and studying electronics at Seneca...

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Peter Houston

Engineer-Producer: Peter Houston started his career in 1955 at CKEY Radio in Toronto as an asst. in the recording dept. where he also did some work on weekends as traffic reporter. 1962 started at RCA Victor studios in Toronto as a laquer cutter, tape duplicator and...

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Scott Bagby

Loudspeakers: Designer. In 1982, Scott Bagby (design, manufacturing) along with Jerry VanderMarel gathered a team of dedicated audiophiles and engineers (and engineers who were audiophiles) and tapped smart university audio researchers and the detailed scientific...

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Martin Stec

Loudspeakers: Designer. Martin Stec: Began in the Loudspeaker Industry in 1976-7 while attending University of Waterloo Joined Angstrom Acoustic Laboratories in 1979 in a Design / Engineering capacity. At the same time, began taking advantage of the physical...

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Paul Gross

Studio Owner-Manager:  Phase One/Metalworks. Phase One originally opened its door in 1973. At that time, Canada as a whole, and Toronto in particular, was in desperate need of a world-class recording studio. This was the golden age of the record industry and with the...

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Bob Snelgrove

Technology: Technical Sales. In 1972, while attending the University of Waterloo, Bob Snelgrove started custom-designing large format Live Performance mixing consoles and signal processors which he built and sold to major Canadian bands of the day. In 1979 he founded...

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Victor Svenningson

Live Sound: Production Manager. Victor Svenningson is the Production and Technical Manager of the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. He started his career in audio at Festival Lennoxville in the late 1970s. From there he moved to Toronto Workshop Productions (TWP),...

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George Graves

Engineer-Producer: Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, George Graves got his start at what was supposed to be a “summer job” in 1963 at the Century Records pressing plant. By 1965 George had left Century Records to embark on a new journey at RCA. There he...

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Mark Mason

Loudspeakers: Loudspeaker Designer. Mark Mason first became interested in the technical aspects of sound reproduction during his early teens. Years of constructing and experimenting with home, car and pro audio speakers and amplifiers followed. He began to design,...

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Bill Dowding

Technology: Engineer. After graduation from the Radio College of Canada in 1941, Bill Dowding started work for RCA Recording Studios in Toronto as an Assistant Recording Engineer. Bill retired from RCA in 1983. In between these two dates Bill was involved in a world...

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Bill Woods

Loudspeakers: Loudspeaker Designer. AH! Acoustic Horn Company Bill Woods   Professional Profile 2007 to the present AH! Acoustic Horn Co., Sole proprietor of a new company specializing in...

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Jack Kirkpatrick

Technology: Technologist. Jack Kirkpatrick’s Tele-Tech Electronics is a fixture in the Toronto recording community and been a supplier of new and used Recording Equipment (and sage advice) for the past 54 years. After graduating from Ryerson as an Electronic...

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Toronto AES Seminar 2008 Organizing Committee

Chair: Phil Giddings (Engineering Harmonics)
Vice Chair/Sponsorship: Sy Potma (Fanshawe College)
Event Coordinator/Treasurer: Earl McCluskie (Chestnut Hall Music)
Committee:  Jim Cox, Tom Shevlin (Ministry of the Environment), Dustin Su (Engineering Harmonics), Denis Tremblay (IMAX)
Registration/Stage Management: Anne Reynolds (Peace Arch Entertainment Group)
Facilities: Jim Vanderweil (IMAX)
Audio: Ike Zimbel (Zimbel Audio Productions)
Banquet Coordinator:  Joseph Sunday (Creative Affinities)
Video Archive:  Keith Gordon (VitaSound Audio)
Video Documentary Director: Alan Hardiman (Post Toronto)
Website/Program and Video Documentary Executive Producer:  Earl McCluskie (Chestnut Hall Music)

With Thanks to Our Sponsors

Bryston Ltd.
Engineering Harmonics Inc Fanshawe College
GerrAudio Distribution Inc
HHB Canada
Lectrosonics Inc.
Norris-Whitney Communications Optocore NorthAmerica Inc.
OIART (Ontario Institute of
Audio Recording Technology)
Pilchner Schoustal International
PSB Speakers International
Resolution Professional Audio
Ryerson University
Saved By Technology
Sennheiser Canada Inc.
Sony of Canada Ltd.
Soundcraft/JBL Canada
Tannoy North America
Technicolor Creative Services
VitaSound Audio Inc.
Yamaha Canada Music Ltd.
Toronto AES Seminar 2010: The e-Studio Paradigm