The TEC Awards is an annual program recognizing the achievements of audio professionals. The awards are given to honor technically innovative products as well as companies and individuals who have excelled in sound for television, film, recordings, and concerts. TEC is an acronym for Technical Excellence and Creativity.
Professional audio, abbreviated as pro audio, refers to both an activity and a category of high quality, studio-grade audio equipment. Typically it encompasses sound recording, sound reinforcement system setup and audio mixing, and studio music production by trained sound engineers, audio engineers, record producers, and audio technicians who work in live event support and recording using audio mixers, recording equipment and sound reinforcement systems. In contrast, consumer audio equipment is a lower grade of gear which is used by regular people for the reproduction of sound in a private home on a home stereo or home cinema system.
The awards were founded in 1985 by Mix magazine. Since 1990, the TEC Awards program has been headed by the TEC Foundation (formerly the Mix Foundation) for Excellence in Audio, a 501(c)(3) (non-profit) public benefit organization that also offers scholarships and works to mitigate noise-induced hearing loss.The awards area closely associated with the NAMM Show, an annual trade show.
Mix magazine is a periodical, billing itself as "the world's leading magazine for the professional recording and sound production technology industry". The magazine is headquartered in New York City and distributed in 94 countries. Its Korean version, Mix Korea, was started in 2007.
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is a type of hearing loss, or deafness, in which the root cause lies in the inner ear or sensory organ or the vestibulocochlear nerve. SNHL accounts for about 90% of reported hearing loss. SNHL is generally permanent and can be mild, moderate, severe, profound, or total. Various other descriptors can be used depending on the shape of the audiogram, such as high frequency, low frequency, U-shaped, notched, peaked, or flat.
The NAMM Show is an annual event in the US that its organizers describe as "the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products, pro audio and event tech industry". It is held every January in Anaheim, California, US at the Anaheim Convention Center, and is one of the two largest music product trade shows in the world. Its European counterpart is the Musikmesse in Frankfurt. The event attracts numerous famous musicians, many of whom are endorsed by exhibitors and come to promote their own signature models and equipment.
The TEC Awards list of nominations are compiled annually by the TEC Awards nominating panel, a committee of more than 100 industry professionals. The list of nominees is published on the Foundation's website.The winners are announced and the awards presented at a ceremony held at the NAMM Show , one of the largest trade shows for the music products industry, held each January in Anaheim, California.
Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California, part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 336,265, making it the most populous city in Orange County and the 10th-most populous city in California. Anaheim is the second-largest city in Orange County in terms of land area, and is known for being the home of the Disneyland Resort, the Anaheim Convention Center, and two major sports teams: the Anaheim Ducks ice hockey club and the Los Angeles Angels baseball team.
Similarly, a pioneering or innovative person is chosen annually for the honor of induction into the TEC Awards Hall of Fame. This special award was established in 1988 and the winner is selected by the TEC Awards nominating panel.
In addition, through the Les Paul Award, the TEC Awards nominating panel and the board of directors of the TEC Foundation honor "individuals or institutions that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of audio technology." Gibson Musical Instruments, maker of the Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, was a sponsor of the Les Paul Award.This special award was established in 1991. In 1997, Les Paul presented his namesake award to Stevie Wonder and in 2003, jointly with Bob Ludwig, he announced that Bruce Springsteen, who was unable to attend the event, would receive that year's award. In 2007, at age 92, Les Paul presented the award to musician, songwriter, and producer Al Kooper.
The Gibson Les Paul is a solid body electric guitar that was first sold by the Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1952. The Les Paul was designed by Gibson president Ted McCarty, factory manager John Huis and their team. Its design typically comprises a solid mahogany body with a carved maple top and a single cutaway, a mahogany set-in neck with a rosewood fretboard, two pickups with independent volume and tone controls, and a stoptail bridge, although variants exist.
Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar. Paul taught himself how to play guitar, and while he is mainly known for jazz and popular music, he had an early career in country music. He is credited with many recording innovations. Although he was not the first to use the technique, his early experiments with overdubbing, delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention.
Stevland Hardaway Morris, better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist.
The TEC Awards nominating panel may choose to honor a number of pioneering or innovative audio products with induction into the TECnology Hall of Fame. A product must be ten years old to receive the honor.At the establishment of this award category at the AES Convention in San Francisco in October 2004, the initial 25 inductees included the venerable Edison cylinder (1877), Emile Berliner's flat disc recorder (1887), and Alan Dower Blumlein Stereo Patent (1931).
Emile Berliner, originally Emil Berliner, was a German-born American inventor. He is best known for inventing the flat disc record and the Gramophone. He founded the United States Gramophone Company in 1894, The Gramophone Company in London, England, in 1897, Deutsche Grammophon in Hanover, Germany, in 1898, Berliner Gram-o-phone Company of Canada in Montreal in 1899, and Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901 with Eldridge Johnson.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, recognizes and archives the history of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have had some major influence on the development of rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established on April 20, 1983, by Atlantic Records founder and chairman Ahmet Ertegun. In 1986, Cleveland was chosen as the Hall of Fame's permanent home.
Shure Incorporated is an American audio products corporation. It was founded by Sidney N. Shure in Chicago, Illinois in 1925 as a supplier of radio parts kits. The company became a consumer and professional audio-electronics manufacturer of microphones, wireless microphone systems, phonograph cartridges, discussion systems, mixers, and digital signal processing. The company also manufactures listening products, including headphones, high-end earphones, and personal monitor systems.
Dave Smith is an engineer and musician and founder of the synthesizer company Sequential. Smith was responsible for the first commercial polyphonic and microprocessor-controlled synthesizer, the Prophet-5, and later the multitimbral synthesizer. He is also referred to as the "Father of MIDI" for his role in the development of MIDI, now a standard interface protocol for electronic instruments and recording/pro audio equipment.
Alesis designs and markets electronic musical instruments, digital audio processors, audio mixers, digital audio interfaces, recording equipment, drum machines, professional audio and electronic percussion products. Based in Cumberland, Rhode Island, Alesis is an inMusic Brands company. Alesis products are designed in the United States and manufactured in China.
TASCAM is the professional audio division of TEAC Corporation, headquartered in Montebello, California. Tascam is credited as the inventor of the Portastudio, the first cassette-based multi-track home studio recorders. Tascam also introduced the first low-cost mass-produced multitrack recorders with Simul-Sync designed for recording musicians. Tascam also manufactured reel-to-reel tape machines and audio mixers for home recordists from the early 1970s through the mid-1990s.
Whirlwind USA is a manufacturer of audio interfacing equipment and custom audio interfacing, including digital products that employ the EtherSound standard. In addition, Whirlwind manufactures guitar effects pedals. Whirlwind was founded in 1975 by Michael Laiacona, and its headquarters are located in Rochester, New York.
Elliot Ray Scheiner is a music producer, mixer and engineer. Scheiner has received 27 Grammy Award nominations, 8 of which he won, and he has been awarded four Emmy nominations, two Emmy Awards for his work with the Eagles on their farewell tour broadcast, and the documentary film History of the Eagles, three TEC Awards nominations, a TEC Hall of Fame inductee, and recipient of the Surround Pioneer Award. Elliot holds an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Berklee College of Music and is one of the only Americans to be awarded the Master of Sound honour from the Japan Audio Society.
George Y. Massenburg is a recording engineer and inventor. Working principally in Baltimore, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Macon, Georgia, Massenburg is widely known for submitting a paper to the Audio Engineering Society in 1972 regarding the parametric equalizer.
Meyer Sound Laboratories is an American company based in Berkeley, California that manufactures self-powered loudspeakers, multichannel audio show control systems, electroacoustic architecture, and audio analysis tools for the professional sound reinforcement, fixed installation, and sound recording industries.
Eric Persing is a sound designer, professional synthesist and producer in Los Angeles, California. He is best known as the Founder and Creative Director of the leading music software and virtual instrument company Spectrasonics. He has been a major contributor to all of Spectrasonics' products, including Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian, Atmosphere and Trilogy.
Yamaha Pro Audio, Inc. is a company which is part of the Yamaha Corporation group. It offers a complete line of beginner professional audio products for the live sound and sound reinforcement markets. It has a long history of introducing significant products for the professional audio market such as the PM-1000 modular mixing console, the REV1 and SPX90 digital signal processors, and the 01, 02R, PM1D, PM5D, QL5, and M7CL V2(or called the CL5) digital mixing consoles.
Ted Jensen is an American mastering engineer, known for having mastered many recordings including the Eagles' Hotel California, Green Day's American Idiot and Norah Jones' Come Away with Me.
RADAR is a product line of professional digital multitrack recorders capable of recording and playing back twenty-four tracks of audio.
Eventide, Inc. is an audio, broadcast and communications company in the United States whose audio division manufactures digital audio processors and DSP software, and guitar effects. Eventide was one of the first companies to manufacture digital audio processors, and its products are mainstays in sound recording and reproduction, post production, and broadcast studios.
Sound Devices is an American corporation headquartered in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, with additional offices in Madison, WI and Berlin, Germany. Sound Devices makes professional audio and video equipment. The company was founded in 1998 by Matt Anderson, Jon Tatooles, and Jim Koomar who previously worked for Shure. The company specializes in portable equipment for sound and video recording. Their products have won industry awards and have been used for many well-known films and television programs.
Chuck Surack is an American entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist, and musician, best known as the founder of Sweetwater Sound, a leading retailer of musical instruments and professional audio equipment.
Deane Jensen was the founder of Jensen Transformers, Inc, and the inventor of the 990 Operational Amplifier. He also developed the COMTRAN circuit analysis software.