Keynotes

Varun Nair spent the past decade with audio, software, VR, AR and interactivity on over 400 projects — including software development, product management, media post-production and interactive content production.

Born in India, he worked in music and post-production before moving to Edinburgh to study for an MSc in Sound Design at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), part of the University of Edinburgh.

He co-founded the company Two Big Ears with another student Abesh Thakur in 2013, and led development of audio tools and technology for Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and emerging immersive media.   Two Big Ears’ technology has been widely used in the “first wave” of VR and AR content in 2016 — Lucky’s Tale, Björk, Massive Attack and many more.

Two Big Ears was acquired by Facebook in 2016, and Varun is continuing his work with the company.


Adam Sawkins is an audio developer and games designer. He worked in in the games industry as an audio programmer from 1999 until 2011, at which point he left to run his own games company. In his time in
the industry he has worked for Climax Brighton, Criterion Games, Codemasters, Freestyle Games and Sumo Games, and now runs his own company Projector Games.

He has won a number of audio awards for games development, including 5 BAFTAS, working on mainstream titles such as Gumball Rally, MicroMachines, the Burnout series, F1, Colin McRae Dirt 2 and Race Driver: Grid. Outside the driving genre he has worked on games such as Black (Criterion), Dr Who (Sumo Games) and Jericho (Codemasters).

This talk looks at the car from the perspective of a game audio developer – i.e. all the bits which make noise. Adam will examine how each of the elements of a car work and what they sound like, and why this matters to an audio developer.  He then looks at the difficulty of squeezing all those sounds onto devices with less than 2 MB of Audio memory (from Playstation 2 or a modern smartphone), as well as  tricks used to make the sound both realistic and exciting.


 Barry “Bazza” Grint is an English mastering engineer and member of the mastering group of the Music Producers Guild (MPG). Grint has worked on over 20 UK Number One records and more than 100 UK Top Ten hits. Projects for artists include: Madonna, Prince, Puff Daddy, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, The Beatles, Oasis, Keane, Beach Boys, Jessie J, Rod Stewart, Paul Simon, Van Halen, Michael McDonald and A-ha.

He began cutting records at Trident Studios in 1984 mastering international tracks for the UK and Europe. He identified his work by etching Bazza in the run out groove and of the years various incarnations have included Bazza @ Audio One, Bazza @ Tape One, Bazza @ Porky’s, Bazza @ Abbey Road and Bazza @ Alchemy. He is now mastering and cutting vinyl at Alchemy’s studios in Brook Green, London.

With sales in vinyl recently outstripping digital downloads, skills in vinyl mastering are as important as ever.   Barry will be looking at the process of vinyl mastering and record manufacture, Mastering in general and embedding ISRC codes and RIN files to get paid for your work.


Rob France is Senior Product Marketing Manager for Dolby.   Rob is responsible for working with Dolby’s customers to develop the market requirements to deliver new audio experiences.  His current focus is the introduction of Dolby Atmos for live sports with BT Sport.

Prior to his current position at Dolby, Rob worked for Sony as a Product Marketing Manager.  He was responsible for developing the market for camcorder products for the broadcast and semi-professional markets.  Before his time at Sony, Rob had previously worked for Dolby in various roles covering product management and broadcast systems.  Rob worked alongside many broadcasters across Europe and beyond on the introduction and rollout of 5.1 surround sound with their launch of HD services.

He holds an MBA from Cranfield University, UK, and an MEng degree in electronic engineering with music technology, from the University of York, UK.

In this session Rob will provide an overview of how live sport can benefit from enhanced audio experiences.  He’ll review the system being implemented by BT Sport for their UHD with Dolby Atmos premier league coverage.   Looking at the challenges, compromises and the potential that introducing new technologies to a live environment brings and proposing some of the further enhancements we may hear in the future.


Charlie Slee is an electrical engineer and product designer. He runs Big Bear Audio Ltd designing and manufacturing high end consumer and professional audio products.

Charlie holds a Masters degree in Sound and Music Computing at Queen Mary, London,  and previously was an electrical engineer at Thermionic Culture.

His personal and professional focus is to support all aspects of the industry including working with artists and producers to innovate new products, acting Events Manager for the Music Producers Guild.

Charlie’s talk will examine how to (and how not to) start a new brand in the audio industry, managing your time and your expectations. This lecture will delve into the pitfalls and pathways to success in the modern audio industry, how to effectively make waves and simultaneously stay afloat.


 

Jim Simmons & Adrian Wisbey

Jim Simmons, the product owner for Audio Streaming at the BBC, and Adrian Wisbey, Audio Specialist give an overview of the BBC’s Audio Factory, which delivers over 100 live audio streams plus on-demand audio and podcasts on a daily basis across the world to a massive range of devices.

They will discuss some of the issues facing audio streaming – including work with the AES on streaming loudness standards – and look towards the BBC’s “internet fit” strategy and how object based broadcasting may change the studios and receivers of the future.

The talk looks at how the BBC gets all the audio streams from their broadcast infrastructure to internet devices, and how the BBC and AES are working together on new loudness standards for online streaming and how that may affect the portable devices of the future.

 


Simon Short is UK Pro Audio Business Manager for Focusrite.   

Simon has been heavily involved in the implementation of Dante in the Industry with RedNet, Focusrites Flagship range of Audio over IP converters and Preamps.   Along this journey, he has provided live multi track recordings for artists such as Goldie and the Heritage Orchestra, Goldfrapp,  Imogen Heap and many more.

Simon will be providing a presentation on how Dante has changed the way both live and studio workflows are designed, and how the audio Industry has evolved with regards to Audio over IP solutions.

 

 


Kyriakos Papanagiotou is managing director of KP Acoustics. 

Increased his absorption coeffcient by a BEng in Electroacoustics from the University of Salford. Amplifed his productive frequency spectrum by a MSc in Sound and Vibration from ISVR. Generated a resonance by a PhD in Signal Processing for Speech from ISVR.  Prefers the grand scheme of things. No-nonsense doer. Creative thinker.  Loves working with pioneering ideas and building teams to realise them. Believes in knowledge, synergy and soul.