A Look Back at AES 2008 in San Francisco


We rolled out of bed and into our suits this weekend to attend the annual Audio Engineering Society (AES) conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, a mere 5 blocks from our SOMA office. We occupied a small piece of real estate in the shadow of the big Mackie booth, and directly across from a booth featuring big reels of magnetic tape.


The show gave us an opportunity to show off Max 5 for the home crowd. We brought plenty of little patches to introduce new users to the Max experience and experienced users to the new features and interface. On day three, Gregory brought out his Monome 256 to show off some of the things people can do with this beautiful controller and Max. For our big display, Darwin patched together a slide-show style display that would open to reveal that it was in fact a Max patch.


Gregory and I worked the front of the booth, giving visitors a guided tour of the new Max from our laptops.

We got lots of interested booth visitors this year, most of them looking for a personal tour of Max 5. We talked to many folks who had been waiting for years to start using Max, and found the new documentation and UI features enough incentive to finally take the plunge. There were also a lot of long-time Max users who wanted to see what all the fuss was about. A surprisingly small number of visitors asked questions like, “What is Max?” In fact, we were all impressed by the quality of conversations we had with people at a trade show seemingly dominated by fancy microphones and expensive mixing consoles. By the time each day ended, we would just about collapse in exhaustion, having met so many wonderful individuals.


This year’s AES also gave an opportunity for some of our new office crew to get out and shake hands. Cait, our new sales person, toured the floor with Lilli, meeting some of the distributors and colleagues that she’ll be exchanging emails with.


Besides our core trade show crew of Gregory, Darwin, and me, we were joined by Cait, Lilli, Ben B., Kane, Mr. Zicarelli, and Emmanuel Jourdan. Although they’re a lot of work, trade shows like AES offer us a rare opportunity to hang out with our telecommuting co-workers like Gregory, Darwin, and Emmanuel.

After we wrapped things up at AES, it was off to Safari West to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Cycling ’74 with all of my co-workers and their families. Now back to the office, we’re working on the details for our first ever Max user’s conference, Expo ’74. Be sure to clear your calendars, and stay tuned for more information, as it’s going to be a fantastic event.