AES Section Meeting Reports

Swiss - February 23, 2012

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The 23rd. of February saw the biannual special meeting of the AES Swiss Section for the presentation of the Federal diplomas to the graduates of the "Sound Technician" exams for 2011 organised by the Education Committee of the Swiss AES. The event was held at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern and was an ideal venue for this special occasion.

The 2011 exams saw a record number of 59 candidates and 49 graduates, with the majority of candidates coming from the three schools conducting the syllabus for the "Sound Technician" diploma.

As has now become the custom, we had the pleasure of a special guest speaker to address the graduates after the diploma presentation and this was followed by the traditional apèro offered by both the Swiss AES and the Education Committee before leading on to the evening address in the series of "An Evening With..."

Our keynote speaker was Wes Dooley of Audio Engineering Associates and the subject material was very much based on the use and design of microphones — particularly ribbon ones!
The address for the students opened with a clip from the film, "The Wizard of Oz", where the wizard is revealed to be an ordinary person hiding with a microphone. The point made here was that sound engineers are 'wizards' — we are the people that make the magic happen for the artist and are the vital link between the artistic intent and the final product.
The fact that the graduates were accompanied by numerous parents/friends/family was an opportunity for them to have a better understanding of what our industry is about and what we do in it, an interesting discovery for many people!

"An Evening with Wes Dooley" was the opportunity to be reminded about the history of the development of the ribbon microphone and the special characteristics offered by this type of transducer. As Wes pointed out, ribbon microphones are not the only option for sound capture by far but do exhibit special qualities that we would be unwise to ignore.

A selection of microphones from AEA were used with the sound reinforcement system in order to demonstrate some of these characteristics and to compare them with other microphones also being used.

The meeting was followed by the optional dinner at the neighbouring Schöngrün restaurant, together with some lively discussions between attendees.

Special thanks go to Wälo Hurzeler for his coordination with the ZPK and the AES EC secretary, Laura Goeldin (plus assistants), for visitor coordination.

Warm thanks are extended to Gotham Audio SA and Bleuel SA for sponsoring prizes to the candidates who obtained exceptional results.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society