AES Section Meeting Reports

Central German - January 12, 2004

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Dipl.-Ing. Norbert Pawera made a presentation on the use of microphones recording the sound of a drum. He demonstrated the different positions of microphones e.g. above and underneath the snare or with only one microphone above. By A-B-comparison the different sound effects were audible e.g. when microphones were turned around by 180 degrees to increase the low frequency amplification. Sometimes delays are helpful to support the desired direct sound. His presentation was based on a final work of two students at the University of Düsseldorf who put together many different recordings for comparisons. Pawera came to the conclusion that the recording with many microphones around a drum is comparable with a recording of many different musical instruments of an orchestra. It is even more difficult due to the little distances between different microphones around and inside the drum. Prof. Johann Nikolaus Matthes of the University of Fine Arts in Berlin took the opportunity to speak on his experiences with analog and first digital recordings. He is well known for good recordings of chamber music. He is always searching for good microphones and is using them on different places in the studio, for instance as pressure-zone microphones as for room information and natural reverberation. The high frequencies in violin sound must be recorded and reproduced in a very distinct way to avoid distortions and coloration. What is the influence of very good old musical instruments when they are replaced by other instruments with a different sound? Distances to the sound sources, the exact localisation and the necessary setup were important topics of his speech.
Matthes pointed out that for chamber music the analog recording is still preferable. He found out that at least 24 bit recordings are necessary when working in the digital domain. A 16 bit converter is not good enough. Prof. Matthes used many short examples for the different setups and recordings. It was impressive to hear the different violin sounds when only little changes were made. Sometimes he used artificial reverberation, sometimes he only changed microphone positions and different types of microphones to reach a natural reverberation.
Prof. Völker had opened the meeting. He greeted the participants and reported on the preparations for the coming up 116th AES Convention in Berlin in May, 8-11, 2004. He reported on the activities of studens during this AES convention and thanked Julia Havenstein and Martin Litauer since they will be responsible for many organizations during the AES Convention and will be members of the preparation committee. They received a big applause from the floor.
At the end of the meeting Völker wished the Student Section of the University of Fine Arts in Berlin a big success in their work. Julia Havenstein and Martin Litauer will now continue with the student section work where Julia Havenstein Chair and Martin Litauer will be the Vice-Chair.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society