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AES Munich 2009
Recording Industry Event T8

Friday, May 8, 14:00 — 16:00

T8 - Microphone History

Jörg Wuttke, Schoeps, Technical Director Emeritus
Ulrich Apel, Microtech Gefell GmbH
Sean Davies, S.W. Davies
Stephan Peus, Neumann GmbH

This tutorial will be presented in 3 parts.

Stephan Peus' presentation, "35 Years of Microphone Development at Neumann—What Touched Us, What Moved Us," gives an insight to specific development topics and to some very special test procedures including: microphone’s transient response: insights beyond frequency response or polar pattern; RF susceptibility: already a topic before the era of mobile phones; capsule distortion measurement: difficult procedure giving a lot of interesting results; dynamic range and self noise level of studio microphones: a remarkable development within the 35 years in question.

Ulrich Apel will report on "The Importance of Vacuum for Condenser Microphones." He will speak on such topics as: the electron-tube was and is still an important step in the development of condenser microphones; the construction of special-made tubes for use in mics such as RE084k, Hiller MSC2, Telefunken AC701k, EF804, Valvo EF86, 6072, etc.; and special measuring capabilities to select tubes regarding noise, stability. and sound.

Sean Davies' presentation is "Microphone History: The Why, The How, and The Who." The developments in microphone technology are reviewed from the earliest telephone based type through the decades as far as the 1970s. The “Why” section looks at the reasons behind the different designs, e.g., directional characteristics, output signal levels, diffraction effects, frequency range. The “How” examines the solutions proposed for the “Why” section, and the “Who” identifies the landmark designs and the designers behind them.