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Emil Berliner Strasse
New Old Name in Town
Oliver Berliner

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.

Emile Berliner

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.