Emil Berliner Strasse
New Old Name in Town
Due largely to the efforts of Deutsche
Grammophon’s Klaus Hiemann, there is
a new street in the old town of Hannover,
Germany. The Klusriede in Hannover’s Langenhagen
district, the address of Polygram’s immense compact
disc factory by no coincidence (Polygram owns Deutsche
Grammophon) is now Emil Berliner Strasse.
On hand to unveil the new street sign was CAPS
member and grandson of the gramophone’s
inventor, Oliver Berliner. The official unveiling took place on
20 June, 1996, the one day in the week that it rained.
This prompted one German official to comment, in
perfect English, that the rain must have been Edison's
revenge. Representing Hannover-Langenhagen were
the Stadtdirekror, Dr. Klaus Rosenzweig which, per a
British custom,is actually a higher office than the mayor's,
and the Bürgermeisterin, Watraud Krueckenberg.
That same evening saw the grand opening of the
Emil Berliner Haus, Deutsche Grammophon’s new
post-production centre, the only sound recording
facility on the Polygram lot, although Emil Berliner
Haus has its own address on Emil Berliner Strasse.
Guest of honour, Oliver Berliner, gave the dedicatory
address to civic officials, educators, Polygram officials,
musical artists and the press.
Klaus Hiemann, director of the recording centre,
has createdafter 3 years of preparation, what is deemed
the most advanced facility of its type in the world. The
master recordings of all of Polygram’s various label
"imprints" are stored here in climate-controlled rooms
where the conditioned air rises from beneath the floor
rather than emanating from wall or ceiling vents.
Because Deutsche Grammophon (DGG) is a
classical music only label, it needs no live studio, as all
its live recording is done in concert venues. All recording
is now in the digital domain in DGG’s "4p Audio"
system, whenever possible with 4 microphones or less
and on a 4-track recorder. Post-production producers
then create the compact disc stereo masters at the
Emil Berliner Haus.
Hiemann is hopeful that by the end of the century
the audio-visual DVD recordings as well as CDs will
utilize a 88.2kHz sampling rate — double the present
CD standard — which he believes "will permit the
compact discs to offer the same warmth and realism as
the analogue discs of Emile Berliner".
Emile Berliner was born in Hannover in 1851. Now
their favourite son, "the prophet is now honoured in
his own home town" further with the Realschule now
the Emil Berliner Schule, a junior high school which
shares facilities with the Anne Frank High School. In
1877 he invented the microphone, ten years later the
gramophone and the method of pressing unlimited disc
records from a single master recording. Today’s Compact
Disc contains many features of the original Berliner discs
and patent specification. With two brothers, Emile founded
Deutsche Grammophon (he coined the word)
Gesellschaft in 1898.