Hi Jörn! Could you give a brief introduction to who you are, where you’re from and what projects you are involved with in Linux audio?
I’m a freelance sound engineer from Essen/Germany and a shoddy programmer. I contribute to Linux Audio by hanging out on lists and offering support to others, by the occasional documentation-writing spree, and by finding bugs.
(You’ll find a more personal and in-depth interview with Jörn on this link)
When was the first time you attended LAC, and what was that like?
Actually, my first face-to-face with audio developers was two years before the first LAC proper: Frank Neumann put together an expo booth at LinuxTag, where we demoed the state of Linux Audio to the free software world at large. That was in 2001.
There I met people like Steve Harris (swh-plugins), Takashi Iwai and Jaroslav Kysela (ALSA), Matthias Nagorni (Alsa Modular Synth), Richard Günther and Alexander Ehlert (GLAME), Julien Claassen, Werner Schweer (Muse), and many others. It was an amazing experience.
The next year, Conrad Parker (Sweep, Ogg tools) and Silvia Pfeiffer (author of the Ogg Vorbis RFC) came over from /Australia/ to join us – insane but true.
At that point we pretty much knew we wanted something like that every year. Frank presented the idea to ZKM and invested lots of time and hard work to make it happen, and the rest is history
What’s your favourite thing about LAC, and do you have any favourite memories of past LAC:s?
It’s always a special moment to map an IRC nick or mail handle to a person for the first time, and will never cease to be.
After all this time, the LAC is like coming home and seeing so many people who have become very close friends over the years.
What’s your advice to a first-year attendant like me? Anything I really should keep an eye out for?
Try to come well-rested, because you /will/ accumulate a sleep deficit.
Don’t be intimidated if a paper presentation is well over your head – happens to all of us, all the time. But there’s always the papers to read up on things, and you can discuss questions with equally stunned participants during the “hallway track”, which always seems to be the most fruitful and important part of any conference. I often joke that papers are just there to seed and inspire the hallway track.
I can recommend taking part in the excursion, even if you’re not too interested in the museum – it’s basically just an excuse to hang out with like-minded people.
Anything else you’d like to add to this short interview?
Thanks for your efforts, I enjoy your site a great deal! Naturally, any interview is a one-way thing to its readers, but your series serves a very similar purpose to a conference. Reading about people is no replacement for actually meeting people, but it’s an important stopgap between LACs