Multimedia for Microphone Applications
Five JPG photos of this meeting with Juergen Wahl.
Written by Gary Louie, AES PNW Secretary
Presented by Juergen Wahl, Sr. Applications Engineer & Manager of Multimedia Resources, Sennheiser/Neumann USA
January 19, 1999, at the Art Institute of Seattle
Some people were apparently confused - they thought they were to hear a presentation about HOW to use microphones
for multimedia productions. What they got was much more.
Over 80 attendees gathered at the Art Institute of Seattle to hear Juergen Wahl,
Senior Applications Engineer and Manager of Multimedia Resources for Sennheiser/Neumann USA,
speak on "Multimedia for Microphone Applications." This meeting was held in conjunction with
the newly formed AES Student Section at the Art Institute of Seattle, and many students attended.
Student Section Chairman Bruce Downs opened the meeting with PNW Section Chairman Rick Chinn.
Everyone in the room was asked to briefly introduce themselves.
Mr. Wahl's presentation was not so much about using microphones for "multimedia,"
but an example of how multimedia can teach the art and science of microphones and
their uses - whatever that use may be. Armed with a powerful laptop computer, high
quality powered studio monitors and a high resolution video projector, he launched
into a dazzling computerized presentation of a textbook's worth of material on the
design and use of microphones. Pictures, text, graphs and full fidelity sound examples
were all interwoven interactively into his lecture.
He began by clicking on his screen to play a bit of music, asking the audience which of several generations of
microphones pictured might have recorded it. Clicking on each microphone answered each guess, and revealed that
the oldest one pictured - a 70 year old Neumann CMV3 - had recorded it, and with a surprisingly limited bandwidth.
Mr. Wahl touched on some of the highlights of his material, which normally can take over 4 hours to present.
Mechanical and electrical construction of microphones was shown, such as omni and cardioid capsule design,
windscreen design and construction, and shock mounts. Advantages and disadvantages of designs such as dynamic
and condenser were shown. The actual sound vs. direction of various microphones could be presented with a computer click.
Specifications of microphones were explained.
Various miking techniques were also presented, with instant comparison available of the pictured technique and the sound.
Computerized full motion video showed microphones in use. The sound radiation patterns of instruments was demonstrated.
At one point, he deafened everyone with a pocket alarm to point out the difference in human perception of peak versus RMS
sound levels. Location "case studies" showed radio station announcer techniques, and we could hear and see their examples.
It was evident that one way to teach something like microphone technology - something that involves seeing and
hearing - is to see and hear it, interactively. If you are lucky, you can learn it on the real thing, with
cooperative real musicians and real recording situations. For those not able to always have that,
interactive computerized learning opens up tremendous possibilities.
Finally, a question arose about the differences in free field and reverberant field response.
It was quite evident that Mr. Wahl had much more material unpresented, and he was able to immediately bring up
his demonstration of that phenomenon with graphics and demonstration sounds.
Back to PNW Meetings Archive
Back to PNW Homepage
Last Modified 11/4/2001