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Meeting held Wednesday, April 24th, 2019, 7:30PM, Plato Auditorium, DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, WA

AES PNW Section Meeting Report
Hearing 099
with JJ Johnston
Chief Scientist
Immersion Networks
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PNWAES Section Vice Chair Steve Turnidge, Presenter and PNWAES Technical Advisor JJ Johnston, Committee Member and DigiPen Faculty Greg Dixon, and Section Chair Bob Moses.
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Presenter JJ Johnston deep in the details of describing the basic operation of the inner ear.
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Members of the audience introduce themselves and tell a bit about what they do in the world of audio.

Audio recordings of the meeting:
96k MP3

Photos by Dave Tosti-Lane, Audio Recording by Greg Dixon, Video Recording by Dr. Mike Matesky, Opus 4 Studios

For the April Section meeting, the AESPNW met in the Plato Auditorium at the DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA. The meeting featured JJ Johnston presenting an overview at the most basic level of the operation of human hearing, with 30 in attendance including 17 AES members. Everything in audio is intended for human hearing, therefore it's clearly helpful to understand just how hearing works. This presentation covered the very basics of the phenomena of human hearing and pointed out some of the mechanics that make it work. Along the way, the meaning of "loudness" as opposed to "power" or "SPL" was made clear, and the need for very different time/frequency resolution at different frequencies stood out.

JJ started off with an overview of the presentation and a nod to the much larger universe of issues related to human hearing. This presentation is really the first of what might eventually be a three-part series, including more "nitty-gritty" detail of the human hearing system and exploration of functional issues around spatial sensation (probably a full day session in and of itself). He took us through the very basic function of human hearing - exploring external acoustics, including HRTF and HRIRs and Interaural Time Differences, the Middle ear and its filter and level control functions, an analysis of the Cochlear system, and the Central Nervous System's contributions involving expectations of what is being heard and perceptual processes and losses.

After the whirlwind tour of the basic mechanics of hearing, we took a water and cookie break, and reconvened for presentation of door prizes.

  • Dolby Business Card Case, compliments René Jaeger, won by Robert Bristow-Johnson
  • Digital Multimeter, compliments Rick Rodriguez & Fluke, won by Rick Fisher
  • Volt Alert Probe, compliments Rick Rodriguez & Fluke, won by Bill Levey
  • Bose Headphones, compliments Dr. Mike Matesky & Opus 4 Studio, won by René Jaeger
  • AVAR shirt & bag, compliments DigiPen, won by Joel Olson and Rick Rodriguez
Following the prize presentation, JJ answered questions from the group for another 20 minutes or so.

About our Presenter: JJ Johnston received the BSEE and MSEE degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA in 1975 and 1976 respectively.
Most recently he has been working in the area of auditory perception of sound fields, electronic sound field correction, ways to capture sound field cues and represent them, and ways to expand the limited sense of realism available in standard audio playback for both captured and synthetic performances. He was previously employed by Microsoft and then by Neural Audio and its successors. His current status is Chief Scientist of Immersion Networks.

JJ Johnston Expanded Bio 

Reported by Dave Tosti-Lane, PNW Section Committee Member at Large

last modified 07/17/2019, 15:30:00, by dtl