Ulf Östling, Chairman of the SSES, the Swedish Sound Engineers Society provides an update on their activities. It is particularly interesting that in addition to neighbouring rights issues, the current SSES priority is focussed upon the quality of CD masters as they are processed at mastering houses.

SSES, Swedish Studio Engineers Society is an organisation for professional sound engineers and producers who are working in areas such as music recording, broadcast, mastering and film. SSES was founded in 1985 and currently has 166 members.

The purpose of the society is to organise Swedish studio technicians, producers and sound directors. The SSES holds several meetings each year, with the intent to broaden the members’ knowledge. The meetings explore subjects such as new technology, alternative working methods and other aspects that impact on our professional role in areas of technology and law. The society also acts as a vital source of information and professional experience for its members.

During the current year SSES has initiated a collaboration with SLURP, a Swedish organisation of sound producers who are working in sound design for commercial purposes (radio, television etc). The members of SLURP will be incorporated within SSES as a special section. SSES organises several technical meetings each year in collaboration with various Swedish distributors in the music business. These meetings focus on new technologies and provide our members with insights into new products and the shared experiences of other members.

During this year, SSES members have been informed of the continuing progress of investigations into copyright and neighbouring rights, issues that SSES shares with many of its partners internationally including the British MPG and Germany's VDT. One fundamental issue in all these matters is the concept of the title 'Sound Director'. A Sound Director is a more accurate description of the role of a modern music producer or engineer - one who contributes significantly to a recorded musical piece making just as important a contribution to the final result as that of the artist, the songwriter and/or the

SSES has appointed a consultant to provide professional advice relating to copyright and neighbouring rights. We have also initiated a court action under the guidance of Professor Jan Rosén. We are having ongoing discussions with other Swedish organisations such as STIM, (the Swedish equivalent of BMI or ASCAP), SAMI (the Swedish neighbouring rights collection society) and the IFPI. The results from these discussions will be presented to ESDA, European Sound Director Association, of which SSES’s Johan Ekelund is the vice-chairman.

The Digital Group within SSES have had meetings with different parties in the business to discuss the problems regarding the final production of CDs. We hope that this will provide for our members an opportunity to acquire a better knowledge of the problems that occur in this area and to make sure that the CD plants can at least sustain the quality of the master that has been sent to the plant. The ambition of the DG group is to create a better dialogue between the sound creators in SSES and the CD plants.

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