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AES: LA section meeting on Digital Microphones!


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I hope some of you can attend... next week. Lemme know if you'll be there! Valky Monthly meeting: Digital microphone technology Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2002 Social: 6:30 p.m. Dinner: 7:00 p.m. Cost is $15 with advance reservation by June 23, 2002 (contact Kahne Krause at Kahne.L.Krause@disney.com or at 818-754-4753), or $20 at the door. Meeting: 8:00 p.m. Our meetings are free; non-members and students are welcome to attend. Where: The Sportsmen's Lodge, at Ventura Blvd. & Coldwater Canyon, Studio City The AES Standards Committee has undertaken a big step forward in developing a new set of guidelines to help manufacturers developing digital microphones. The result is AES 42-2001, officially published under the heading "AES standard for acoustics—Digital interface for microphones." This evening's program will present excerpts from a technical paper, describing the technology behind the development of Georg Neumann's entry into the arena of recording with a completely digital studio microphone. The big question is "What are the benefits of a digitally interfaced microphone?" During the last few months, Jürgen Wahl and the technical team at Sennheiser/Neumann from their west coast office have visited several leading studios in this area testing their digital microphones. What they have experienced by working together with engineers, artists, and producers is of great interest to other audio professionals. We are fortunate to be joined by Ryan Robinson, a technical support engineer at Warner Brothers post production facility. He has devised some tests for evaluating a microphone's performance that will force every microphone to demonstrate not only its absolute technical limits, but will also provide the critical listener with a sense of the mic's musical capabilities. Ryan has selected a few cuts from the crucial tests and will share these with you for a deeper insight into his demands on microphone technology. Mr. Jürgen Wahl has been principal applications engineer for Neumann and Sennheiser microphones in the USA for many years. He holds degrees in electronic engineering and economics. He received his early education in Germany and studied at UC Redlands, UCLA Extension, and CSUN (Northridge) in California. For several years, he worked at Thomas Organ on basic research of electronic keyboard instruments. Later he joined the engineering team at UREI, where he was involved in the development of audio signal processing equipment, some with now legendary reputation. After additional years with JBL as applications engineer, he joined Gotham Audio. It was in this capacity that he also specialized on the use of microphones. Mr. Wahl is a life member of the AES and currently serves on the Board of Governors. He is a past chairperson of the Los Angeles chapter, and has previously served as vice-chair, papers chair, and committee member. As a visiting lecturer, he has presented papers, has given many technical seminars, and conducted workshops for interest groups of diverse backgrounds. He has been with the Aspen Summer Music Festival since he joined the faculty of their Edgar Stanton Recording Institute in 1989. He is also a life member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE). Mr. Ryan Robinson spent seven years at Walt Disney's Buena Vista Studio facility where he was involved in the installation and support of the electronic editorial department, as well as Disney Post's first all-digital dubbing stage. After that, he spent one year as senior engineer during the inception of Creative Cafe's dubbing facility, currently The Wilshire Stages. For the past four years he has been at Warner Brothers post production, and a technical support engineer at the Eastwood Scoring Stage since its renovation in 1999. As always, all interested persons are welcome, whether AES members or not. (Although we always strongly encourage being a member!)

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[quote]Originally posted by mantovibe: [b]Hi. Do you mind if i ask you where the dinner is going to be? Thanks. Renzo Mantovani[/b][/quote]The dinner is at the meeting site: The Sportsmen's Lodge, at Ventura Blvd. & Coldwater Canyon, Studio City Hope to see ya'll there! Valky

Valkyrie Sound:

http://www.vsoundinc.com

Now at TSUTAYA USA:

http://www.tsutayausa.com

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I'm sure that great digital microphones can and will be made, but isn't it an inherently flawed idea to permanently mate a microphone to an a/d converter, especially with the converter inside of the microphone? Any analogue mic can be mated w/ a preferred a/d, but with a combination mic one would be limited to whatever sample rate and bit depth is available with that particular converter. The converter would also be subject to more stress, theoretically, than if it was on a shelf with controlled temperature and vibration. On top of that, it seems like one would want to place the converter as close to the recording sytem as possible, minimizing the length of digital cable which is more subject to noise and interference than analogue cable. It seems as if there are more problems raised by making a digital microphone than there are problems solved.

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All good points... and I agree with most. But one very cool thing about AES meetings is that while they may use one product as an example (the Neumann digital mic) they go much further and explain the theory behind the general development of the technology. Most importantly for you folks, at AES meetings we all like to discuss ways to overcome the limitations you've pointed out in the technology. AES just is not about current "products" it's a forum on current and future possibilities. You alwyas learn something new... Cheers! Valky

Valkyrie Sound:

http://www.vsoundinc.com

Now at TSUTAYA USA:

http://www.tsutayausa.com

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Wish I could make it, but... Someone bring this to the meeting: The idea of cutting the analog chain from feet to centimeters is very provocative to me. This would cut out a lot of issues regarding noise, signal degradation and distortion. What I am hoping they do is desing microphones in sections, much like what commercial video cams do with the lens & CCD. Microphone diaphrams are detachable from the preamp section in many units (like Neuman and Blue). So, why not have a microphone with an interchangable "analog-to-digital" end that comes off when you get tired of the 44.1kHz/16-bit for a 96kHz/24-bit version? Enjoy the meeting. And, someone fill us in on the outcome of the meeting!

 

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