Saturday, October 1, 2016

Justin Lassen at AES 2016!


It was cool to visit yet another AES show! I feel like i’ve been to about 15 of these so far in my life. This was the 141st one! I think NAMM is to E3 as AES is to GDC, to put it into video game terms. It’s a more calm show, focused more on the science of editing and working with sound and audio, instead of just “new product” launches, which NAMM is famous for.


See, a much more casual show usually. These last 2 years especially have been fairly small.


I liked that there was a LOT of schools, education, online tutorial sites with tables advertising their services to teach audio, mixing, etc. I find it interesting that at Siggraph this year and AES, I saw American Express with a table. I don’t quite understand the correlation but hey, if they buy a table, more power to ‘em.


It never gets old to check out the MOOG booth and play these synths, I don’t know why. I think theres a bit of MOOG in all of our blood as musicians and creators.


A lot of the booths at AES are kind of like mini-show-rooms of mixing and audio processing equipment like this. They look like fancy star trek panels that could command a starship, but perhaps simply limit or EQ a sound. Honestly mixers look a lot more complicated than they actually are. That’s the beauty of mixing audio. There is infinite possibilities but you’ll catch on quicker than you think.


Of course my family iZotope were at AES this year representing their newest plugin creation, Neutron. I think its a brilliant plugin. I’ve been a preset designer for iZotope since the early days of the company and in 2016 I am so proud of these guys for continuing to take things further, always re-imagining better ways of doing things we take for granted. Neutron is the mothership of mixing plugins, they also had a free limited version called Neutrino, which is worth checking out for subtle but helpful mix decisions. Neutron’s UX and UI design is brilliant and makes mixing fun and actually better visually shows me what I need to see when i’m mixing. I LOVE the audio track assist/learning capability of this plugin and I see much potential and uses. As a strong Alloy user already, this brings it to the next generation in my opinion.


There’s my bro Evan showing off the new features and workflow of the plugin. One thing I loved about Neutrino was that when you stick an instance of it on every channel in a session, name each channel, and the plugins communicate with each other to help you do creative sound design, masked channel editing, side-chaining or interestingly a number of other co-mingling that I find inspiring in general. I haven’t used a plugin this involved before. Feels like having a mix engineer friend helping me in my sessions.


Bliss. I love hanging with my iZotope friends. Lexie is awesome and I can’t wait to visit Massachusetts.


Softube has been innovating and making lots and lots of plugins and software over the years, and they had this fantastic hardware/software combo that seems like it would be really fun to work with. It has a lot of console emulations (which they are already known for creating) built into their new product. ALSO they have this cool wicked new virtual modular software where you can build up a giant rack of modules and create an infinite amount of exploratory music. Get your Richard Devine on. :)


I didn’t get a chance to say hi to Greg Ondo, but he’s a marketing manager at Yamaha whom I was introduced through my friend Kevin Doucette. He was pretty much this busy throughout the show, so I atleast had to snap a picture of him! That Steinberg/Yamaha software controller device looked amazing.


Jayce Murphy the CEO from PCAudioLabs, one of my sponsors. I run into this guy at most of the shows I go to, so we’re audio family for sure.


Jim Mack who now works at TASCAM! We met when he was CEO of PreSonus so it was great seeing him again. We’re dreaming up some ideas.


Erik Larsen, director of marketing for TEAC/TASCAM, we actually go way back. I was sponsored by Creative Labs/E-MU/Sound Blaster back in the 90’s and I got an AWE64GOLD back in the day, which in those times was like one of the coolest audio cards in the world for young composers to grab to compose music. It launched with all these cool softwares and sequencers. Cakewalk, Vienna SoundFont2 editor, etc. It is the reason I became so enamored with sound design and figuring out audio in the first place, so I owe a lot of what I am today to that device. Many years later I had an E-MU 1616M, sadly there was never Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 drivers for it, so although it is still one of the BEST audio interfaces in the world, once a manufacturer stops making audio drivers for their devices, they become expensive paperweights.  Long story short, how cool to run into the guy who hooked up younger Justin Lassen back in the day! We have some brainstorming to do now.


Jimmy Landry, the one and only. He’s been the Artist Relations guy at Cakewalk for a very long time. Cakewalk is part of the Gibson Brands family, and I am lucky to still be working with Jimmy after all these years. Everyone at Cakewalk who is still there are still awesome people. A lot of them went on to many many other audio companies over the years. It’s been a trip to follow along on everyone's adventures through audio. This industry is quite incestuous. I’m excited to work with Jimmy on some new technology projects and work some some new products he’s representing.


Ran into my bro Raj at Intel! Over the last few years it’s been great getting to know him and introduce him into my circle to all my audio friends, companies and network around the world. From USA to Europe and beyond! Great guy (also a musician!), loves us audio guys and musicians and happy to keep helping him succeed! We’ve got to change the world together on many occasions, whether its SXSW or CES or NAMM, we’ve been teaming up on some of the coolest, most attractive and ground breaking audio projects (like StageLight with OpenLabs), in software and hardware. I look forward to many more years! (now if I could just look at the right camera lens)


Jessica Livingston is part of the AES SF wing, and first saw my talk at NAMM many years ago, when I launched my White Rabbit Asylum library through Sony, at the Roland/Cakewalk booth. She was giving tours to some of the coolest studios in LA during the show this year! That year she saw me I think was 2010 and was a cool year because, Cakewalk put a GIANT picture of my face on the side of the booth! What a fun time in my past. Jessica and I have been running into eachother at various audio events over the years and we finally got to chat about audio education, speaking projects, and listening parties. I’m curious to get involved. Thanks Jessica!


Listening to some ‘The Rasmus’ on my Samson Headphones when I travel. I love going to these kinds of events in general. This year I’ve done 24 conferences/events so far, which has made it so that I’ve barely been home, and I’ve lived in hotels mostly. I am grateful for this life and I love getting to meet so many new people. My favorite part of this is dreaming, brainstorming and thinking of ideas for the future with brilliant people. Finding inspired humans that just want to make the world a better place is a passion. I’ve become known to my friends as a master networker and guru of connecting cool people to other cool people that have a passion for dreaming, learning and exploring across multiple industries (audio, music, gaming, film/tv, government, etc.). Thank you for this life and thank you for believing in me!