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Hugh Davies

( 1910–95). French radio engineer and designer of electronic instruments. In Versailles in 1932 he began the research that culminated in 1943 with his first electronic organ, exploring nearly ten methods of sound production. In 1936, in collaboration with the harmonium manufacturer P. Petitqueux, he developed the Mutatone, an electro-acoustic harmonium that used electrostatic pickups to amplify the vibrations of the free reeds; it was demonstrated at St Odile, Paris, in 1939. In 1937 he produced an electric carillon.

After World War II a range of small one- and two-manual electronic organs was manufactured under licence from Martin as ‘Orgues Constant Martin’ (1945–9), including the popular Organium, which has a single splittable manual (the point at which the split occurs can be varied by a selector switch within the range of a minor 3rd). As with all of Martin’s instruments, the sounds are generated by an oscillator for each note. About ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

(b Bermuda, July 10, 1957). American audio engineer, musician, and owner of Keith McMillen Instruments, based in Berkeley, California. He received his BS in acoustics from the University of Illinois, where he also studied classical guitar and composition. In 1979 he founded Zeta Music, which designed and sold electric and electronic violins and basses. In 1992 he organized a research laboratory for Gibson Guitars. He developed a computerized composition, notation, and performance system, and also helped devise ZIPI, a MIDI-like music control language. At the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at the University of California, Berkeley, he researched audio networking, synthesizers, and string instruments. In 1996 he became director of engineering for the audio processing and distributed music networks division of Harmon Kardon. In 1999 he founded Octiv, Inc., an Internet audio signal processing company, which produced the ‘Volume Logic’ plug-in for iTunes that allows digital audio remastering to improve the sound produced by computers and MP3 players....

Article

Hugh Davies

revised by Anne Beetem Acker

(b Straubing, Lower Bavaria, Germany, Jan 24, 1904; d 1986). German physicist, electroacoustic engineer, and instrument inventor. After earning an engineering degree from Ohm-Polytechnikum in Nuremberg and then working at a telegraph firm in Berlin, in 1928 he began working on the development of electronic instruments at the Heinrich-Hertz Institut für Schwingungsforschung at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, where he completed his doctorate in physics in 1937. In 1938, Vierling began lecturing in physics and electroacoustics in Hanover, becoming a professor in 1944. Beginning in 1941 he conducted weapons, encryption, and communications research. After World War II he designed surveillance devices at a laboratory he created in Ebermannstadt, near Nuremberg, where in 1949 he established his firm as Oskar Vierling GmbH. From 1949 to 1955 he was also a professor of physics at the Fakultäten Theologie und Philosophie of the Universität Bamberg. He held more than 200 patents....