Mirek Stiles on his time with Abbey Road Studios at SXSW Festival

12th March 2019
Mirek Stiles, Head of Audio Products, Abbey Road Red Board Member, and founder of the Abbey Road Red Spatial Audio Forum, joined the team out in SXSW to showcase and discuss the latest innovations in music technology. Mirek takes us through his time with Abbey Road over in Austin, Texas.
So this was my first time at the now legendary SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Like anything new you just have soak it up and take everything as it comes. Despite my best laid plans of showing off my VR 6DOF project and failing miserably (some software decided to self update on the morning of show day and break my Unity project) it was still a pretty amazing experience.

I was made to feel marginally better about my technical breakdown when almost every other VR “expert” on the show floor had their own issues and told me it never travels well - it is pretty much guaranteed to cause multiple head aches once taken off the aircraft.
On the flip side it was an absolute pleasure talking at the vibrant SXSW British Music Embassy about Spatial Audio. I hosted a dynamic panel with the talented Dr Jason Filos from Qualcomm and film and video game composer Stephen Barton, both of whom are members of the Abbey Road Spatial Audio Forum and I have conducted experiments with over the last two years.

We discussed our thoughts on the past, present and future of immersive sound experiences and how we have as a team pushed the boundaries of recording and production techniques. At Abbey Road we believe it’s are duty to be able to offer the latest recording, mixing and production techniques to our clients. It with the collaboration of innovators such as Jason and Stephen we are able to push these boundaries.
I would like to say a big thanks to Stephen (especially for driving overnight from Dallas due to plane issues), Jason and all at the Department for International Trade for making it such a fun event. I hope we inspired a few creators to dip their toe in the murky Spatial Audio waters - we genuinely believe this area provides new and exciting ways for artists to express themselves, and we want to help with that as much as we can.

SXSW can be a pretty overwhelming experience with so many amazing talks from the most talented influencers, new fresh music, amazing BBQ and the odd splash of bourbon. I’m happy to say the Abbey Road team made it out the other side with some new outlooks on future trends and production techniques. I hope to see it all again in 2020.

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