About the IASIG
What is the IASIG?
The Interactive Audio Special Interest Group (IASIG) exists to allow developers of audio software, hardware, and content to freely exchange ideas about "interactive audio". The goal of the group is to improve the performance of interactive applications by influencing hardware and software design, as well as leveraging the combined skills of the audio community to make better tools.
The IASIG has been influential in the development of audio standards, features, and APIs for Microsoft Windows and other platforms, and has helped numerous hardware companies define their directions for the future.
Anyone with a commercial interest in multimedia audio is encouraged to become a member of the IASIG and participate in IASIG discussions. Membership fees are as little as $50 per year for individuals.
The IASIG was born out of the Audio Town Meeting at the Computer Game Developers conference in April of 1994. The group first met in June of 1994 to discuss a means for improving audio development tools and upgrading multimedia audio performance. Initially called the AIAMP (Association of Interactive Audio and Music Professionals), the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) assumed responsibility for the group in August of 1994.
The foundation of the IASIG are the Working Groups. Each Working Group is managed by the Working Group Chair(s). The Working Group Chairs are supervised by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is managed by the IASIG Chair(s). All of these groups are responsible to the General Membership, which makes up the IASIG.
In addition, the IASIG may retain an Advisory board. The Advisory Board members are not involved in the day to day management of the organization. As the name suggests, they serve to advise the Steering Committee and Working Group Chairmen in areas of specialized expertise, and as ambassadors for the IASIG to specific industry segments.
The IASIG operates as an autonomous group supervised by the MMA, with its own advisory board, steering committee and working groups. The majority of activity is in discussion of various topics of interest to the members, which is conducted via private Internet mailing lists. As is often the case in groups like this, every participant is free to choose their own level of contribution, though naturally participants are encouraged (and needed) to work on creating issues and solutions, not to just sit back and review everyone else's work.The process, in general, is geared towards gaining consensus, and the wider SIG membership is given ample opportunity to comment on the progress of each Working Group through reports given at regular physical meetings as well as via e-mail, fax, or regular mail (as the case may be).
IASIG activities are independent of MMA activities, and membership in one organization does not entitle the member to services of the other. IASIG recommendations will be forwarded to the MMA and all other interactive audio industry groups as necessary to complete the IASIG mission to positively influence the development of interactive audio hardware and software.
It is NOT appropriate for members to use the IASIG's public meetings as a forum for making disparaging remarks about other individuals, technologies or, member companies.
The IASIG is devoted to cooperation and open discussion. SIG members are expected to use professional discretion when speaking out at our public meetings. Such judicial use of your good judgment will help our organization ensure that cooperation and openness will not be jeopardized.
At the same time, however, dissenting voices must be heard and given their due so as to promote open, honest and challenging discussions and to reach the best conclusions. When remarks need to be negative and perhaps contentious, they should be made on the IASIG main or WG mailing lists or in closed, members only meetings. In this way, these important sentiments can be expressed, discussed, and acted upon, without causing unwanted side effects.
Remarks made on the IASIG main or WG mailing lists or in closed, members only meetings are the property of the IASIG and cannot be reproduced with out the express written consent of the IASIG Steering Committee.
This statement of ownership is intended to provide a level of comfort to all members that what they say or what is said about them within the confines of the SIG will not be misrepresented or re-broadcast without consent and approval. This helps create an environment of trust and security needed to speak openly and honestly within the SIG community.
Our open meetings, on the other hand, are intended for the dissemination of our work and results to the public and the industry at large. To this end, we invite press and influential industry folks to attend and hear what we have to say. This way what media attention we do receive will focus on the great work and positive accomplishments of the group as a whole, not small episodes of controversy.
The press and public are generally invited to attend any IASIG or MMA sponsored event occurring in conjunction with a trade show, such as General or Working Group meetings and/or special presentations at NAMM, AES, NAB and CGDC. This does not include closed meetings such as Working Group meetings held at private (usually corporate) sites.
The members of the IASIG Steering Committee are:
- Kurt Heiden, Chairman (Bose)
- Steve Horowitz (The Code International)
- Brad Fuller (Sonaural)
- Jim Rippie (Invisible Industries)
- Steve Harwood (Dynamic Systems Music)
Tom White (MIDI Manufacturers Association), as managing director of the IASIG, also participates in all Steering Committee meetings and decisions.
Steering Committee Guidelines
The Steering Committee is a group of any odd number (but no less than five) members. New members of the Steering Committee should be solicited (through nominations or volunteers from the General Membership) when an existing member steps down. Final approval of any new Steering Committee members will be subject to the discretion of the current Steering Committee members. In the event that a clear decision is not evident, the Steering Committee may chose to adopt a formal voting process for this purpose at that time.
The main job of the Steering Committee is the administration of the IASIG which includes the following functions:
- schedule and publicize annual and semi-annual meetings
- publicize the findings of the Working Groups
- review and implement new services and technologies (i.e. social networking, etc.)
- create and implement strategies for the recruiting of new members
- create and implement revenue generating ventures (non recruitment oriented)
- act as points of contact for and manage ongoing relationships with other organizations wishing to work with the IASIG
- review, suggest revisions to, and approve new Working Group proposals
- request submissions of proposals from a member of the IASIG who identifies a significant issue, but cannot rally enough of a response from the GM to form a Working Group. Upon receipt of such a proposal, the Steering Committee will then decide upon what action it wishes to take. Such action may include publishing the results, requesting more information, putting the proposal out to the GM for feedback, etc.
- act individually as representatives to the Working Groups. The Steering Committee representative will provide guidance as needed to the Working Group Chair to facilitate results in the Working Group. The Steering Committee representative will also serve as the communications conduit between the Working Group and the Steering Committee. In the event of persistent difficulties it may be necessary for the Steering Committee representative to recommend actions be taken by the Steering Committee to either get the Working Group back on track or disband it entirely.
- keep track of the progress of the Working Group and resolve issues brought before the committee by Working Group's Steering Committee representatives
- assure that Working Groups stay on track and meet their objectives and that their deliverables meet IASIG standards for content, form, and consensus
The IASIG Chair (or Co-Chair) is primarily responsible for overseeing the processes and functions of the Steering Committee. New IASIG Chairs will be nominated from existing (or new) Steering Committee members when an existing IASIG Chair resigns. The Chair assignment is subject to approval by the remaining members.
The additional responsibilities of the IASIG Chair are as follows:
- keep track of the overall direction and performance of the IASIG.
- manage Steering Committee activities.
- insure that the IASIG and the Steering Committee remain honest and non partisan bodies.
- delegate tasks (such as setting up meetings) to Steering Committee members (including themselves).
- schedule, coordinate, and set agendas for Steering Committee meetings (in person or conference calls).
The IASIG Advisory Board exists to provide the Steering Committee and its Chairman with a broader perspective. They are called upon when special expertise or a wider sampling of opinion are called for and to help make particularly difficult decisions.