Tuesday, October 23, 2007

El Diablo Chime Charm a Bit of Voodoo at AES


A couple of weeks ago I showed some cut up chimes and asked you to speculate on their probable use. One reader told me he thought they were memorial chimes for a deceased ham radio guy W2VJZ who used to drive everyone crazy with his wind chimes while he talked endlessly. Nope. Another reader suggested that they were to be acoustic reference objects for lab testing. Close.

We made them to give away. A total of 88 little el Diablo dolls equipped with harmonically tuned high frequency chimes, and a tinkly bell, were given out by us at this year's AES exhibit. They were so popular that we are going to have to make another bunch to give to those who wanted them.

Chimes like these resonate at 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, etc. kHz and can challenge the ability of many microphones, especially any microphone with the dreaded tizz, shzzz thing happening, which not so coincidentally includes many low and high cost large diaphragm condenser mics. But not ribbons! The beauty of the simple, mode-restricted ribbon element, so elegantly predicted by Ernst Chladni, comes though loud and clear on high toned chimes, which we demonstrated live to people who visited our booth.

Then we sent them over to listen to the chimes on some very famously named microphones. Our customers and others went over and shook this little devil at the competition for us! Naturally, we knew what the outcome would be before we did this stunt - We've got el Diablo in us!!

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