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April 1, 2010

I got the opportunity to go to Berlin recently, for a friend’s stag weekend, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover what a great city it is.  That’s not to say that I thought it would be terrible but I did perhaps think that it would be rather bleak.
There is, of course, a bleak side to the city due to it’s dark history and imposing architecture but this just adds to it’s intrigue rather than making it an unpleasant environment to be in.
Anyway, my intention isn’t to write a travel guide so I’ll get to the point of my post.  I didn’t get the chance to go and check out Funkhaus which I wrote about last year but on the Friday night we did go to a famous club called Tresor, which I first heard about due to it’s famous sound system, of which there are only a few installed in the entire world.

This ‘Iosono’ product is much better explained by it’s Wikipedia entry than I could ever manage but basically the system uses an algorithm to enable the audio to be played over a large number of speakers in a room, therby creating a much larger optimal listening area in comparison with any traditional speaker setups.  This system  also enables all kinds of spatial tricks that we’re used to from dealing with 5.1 – but this speaker format takes them to another level.

I didn’t notice any ‘music flying around the room’ antics, as described on the Iosono website, when I was on the dancefloor but I did think the sound quality was excellent.  This is an opinion perhaps supported by the fact that, although the music was f#*king loud (the bass in particular made my eardrums vibrate when I first went down into the basement), no-one’s ears were ringing the next day.  I think this has something to do with the speakers producing less distortion than a lot of cheaper sound systems, which is what, I believe, causes a lot of the damage that makes your ears ring.  Also, the larger number of speakers placed around the room surely means that they don’t have to be pushed as hard in order to fill the room with the desired volume of sound?

Anyway, I heartily recommend going there if ever you’re in Berlin.  Due to the fact that we were in a gang of about 15 blokes, we didn’t even attempt to get into any of the trendier clubs (and considered ourselves fortunate to get into Tresor) but if you’re interested in checking out other nightclubs in Berlin then a useful guide I’ve come across online, that was put together by a guy called DJ Emmett, is worth a look.

From → Music

  1. Enos Desjardins permalink

    Berlin is definitely a place I want to visit soon! I had heard of both Funkhaus and the IOSONO system in Tresor before, which were two of the things which I wanted to see but had almost forgot about so it was a nice reminder!

    I have a friend down there who works in a small audio post studio with a Kyma system which Im dying to try out! I went to Kyma’s first international symposium last year in Barcelona and was able to meet Carla and Kurt who created the whole thing. Have you used this piece of gear? I think they are doing a similar symposium this year in Vienna…might be cool to pop down 🙂

    • sonicskepsi permalink

      I’ve come across it being used by other people a few times but never really delved into it myself.
      I might be well wide of the mark here but it’s real strength seems to be in designing sounds that require an element of performance in them, such as robot voices in Wall-E. In this context, Kyma seems amazing. However, quite often I see it used simply for signal processing, such as distortion or various types of shifting, and so far I have never been that blown away by the results, and wonder whether the effect could have been achieved better and more quickly with one of the vast array of unusual plugins that are around these days.
      This could obviously be more to do with the practitioner than kyma!
      In any case, I’d definitely like to learn more about kyma and the symposium seems an ideal way to start! My second nipper is due in august so it might still be difficult to get away, but if possible I’d definitely be up for going.

  2. Enos Desjardins permalink

    Yes, I have atually never used it either but as the Symposium last year was in Barcelona and my girlfriend is from there and I grew up in Spain, I went down to find out more about it and it was great. It does all of its processing really well but I think it sounds a little bit digital…not as in thin because it sounds really thick and warm but with a digital resonance to it. One of the guys on a film I worked on last year who was doing the vocalizations for trolls and orcs used it and was having a hard time to get organic sounds so for things like Wall-E were more robotic/digital sounds were ok it was ideal but maybe it is harder for more organic sounds. I would love to try it and have some time to work with and see though. Anyways, this year’s symposium seems to be the 24-26 September 2010 in Vienna, Austria. I don’t really know how I’ll be either but will keep it in mind and see once it is closer to the time.

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