Jürgen Strauss

Musiclab founder Jürgen Strauss

In the midst of the postmodern furnishing scenery of the SE Musiclab stands the statuette of a dancing faun. This bronze replica in particular would be accustomed to spaciousness in the original, as it adorned the largest estate in Pompeii until it was buried - these days, the hybrid creature from Roman mythology greets the guests of Musiclab founder Jürgen Strauss in the high halls of the former Gurten brewery with an expressive pose. It can be assumed that the most feudal villa of the legendary city at the foot of Mount Vesuvius was richly and exquisitely furnished, and so it is with the new "International Center for Electroacoustics" in Wabern near Bern. And in such a way that for months the television, radio and newspaper editors give themselves the hand in the hand, in order to report on the SE Musiclab.

A lab made of clay balls, a recording studio with sails

However, Jürgen Strauss may be even happier that not only the public is taking notice of his SE Musiclab, but experts are almost stepping on each other's toes to conduct research in the futuristically designed room with a reverberation time of 0.3 seconds in exceedingly dry acoustics. To achieve this, Strauss has completely decoupled the eleven-meter-wide interior from the exterior, in an eye-catching and spectacular way: 

From the outside, the Lab looks like a pile of clay balls - 32,000 in number. This 60-ton clay mass, built or printed by an ETH robot, magnificently bounces the sound waves of the Bern S-Bahn, which rattles by barely 30 meters from the Musiclab.

SE MusicLab

However, Strauss has much more in his audio quiver than just the SE Musiclab. The monitors he has been building locally for several decades under the brand name Strauss Elektroakustik and which meet by far the highest demands in the professional environment - "the miracle from Bern", as one HiFi magazine put it. Several dozen of these SE Mastering studio monitors are in the Sony studios in Tokyo.

This, of course, speaks for value and precision, and it is precisely this uncompromising Straussian demand for quality that has led to several 4006 and 4011 microphones of the 4000 series being in use in the adjacent recording studio, which the Lab founder had selected for this purpose after extensive testing on the subject of timbre modification. Anyone entering the recording studio could immediately feel transported to a Mediterranean cruise. In the six-meter-high recording room, he used these interventions to vary the reverberation time between 0.5 and 1.2 seconds. The system of Helmholz resonators in conjunction with fabric roll absorbers opens up a wide spectrum of sound aesthetic design.

DPA 4011

Sound images that arise naturally

In his early years, Jürgen Strauss had become aware of the DPA microphones through the now deceased Rating engineer Tatsuo Nishimura and his one-point recordings of symphonic works, whose greatest merit he sees in their fidelity to timbre: "The types 4006 and 4011 shine with a balanced frequency response on axis." In these two models, the supercritical region around the diaphragm to the wire mesh is very well designed, which is why there are no annoying diffractions that would cause glaring coloration. Strauss praises the 4006's balance above all, but also its ease of use and sonic results in terms of noise, resolution, and dynamics. "I put the mic down and know this thing is good and works, and I can drive it at all the pitches I want - it's plug-and-play at its finest," Strauss says. He credits the 4011-series with very high resolution and very low noise, which is why this microphone series is also used in the lab for scientific recordings that illuminate the lateral sound level, the most coherent, unmirrored representation of a source possible. He's impressed with how using DPA products creates very natural sound images. His conclusion:"Working with the source material you get from DPA microphones makes life easy and joyful."