Gerhard Steinke

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Born in Dresden, 1927, has been active for more than 60 years in the audio technology area. He began his career as sound engineer at Radio Dresden in 1947. He studied acoustics/electro-acoustic at the Dresden University and moved in 1953 to Berlin’s Radio and Television Research Centre (RFZ) where he established a laboratory for Acoustical-Musical Boundary Problems in Broadcasting and set up the first subjective listening test group to assess sound recordings, studios and impairments in the broadcasting chain. This concept and the study results are included in various international standards (OIRT, ITU-R, and EBU) on listening tests and test rooms. He was also responsible for the introduction of stereophonic broadcasting in East Germany and established an experimental electronic music studio with the new Subharchord synthesizer, 1962.

In 1971 he became the director of the Research and Development Department of Sound and Video System Technology of RFZ and in 1973 especially for Sound System Technology. Under his chairmanship the first multichannel recording system Stereo-Ambiophony and the automation of sound studio equipment were developed. With co-inventors he developed the sound reinforcement system “Delta Stereophony” and a home processor for enlarging the listening zone in multichannel sound. In 1987 he served several months for the United Nations as ITU-Expert and Consultant at the Indian All-Union Broadcasting and Television Organization to give recommendations and proposals for the planned conversion to digital broadcasting in India.

He and his team moved to Deutsche Telekom in 1990 where he set up the research and development group for new sound transmission systems. He taught sound technology and electronic music at Berlin’s High School of Music in the Tonmeister discipline for 27 years, and since his retirement has made recommendations on the practices in the Surround Sound Forum of the Tonmeister Society (VDT) and in AES Technical Documents on Multichannel Surround Sound.

Since 1955 Steinke has been active in international standardising organizations: more than 12 years he was Chairman of Study Group 2 (Sound technology/Recording) with the OIRT as well as 18 years Chairman of Working Party 10-C (Audio/Digital) of the CCIR/ITU-R up to 1992. In the multichannel field he initiated the project group which created the first international 5.1.-surround sound standard ITU-R BS 775.

He published numerous contributions and patents in the field of audio and is now audio consultant, freelance journalist and author as well as lecturer at audio conventions and universities in Germany and abroad.

For his work in the field of standards he received the Honorary Medal of the OIRT and was awarded the Bèkesy Medal for his contributions to audio by the Hungarian Acoustical Society and the AES Hungarian Section. Gerhard Steinke is a life member and fellow of the AES, served as papers chairman of the AES 86th Convention in Hamburg, and as vice president, Europe Region of the AES, from 1991 -1993 where he initiated the inauguration of new AES sections in the Eastern European countries. During the AES 122nd Convention in Vienna, 2007, he was awarded the Golden Honorary Medal of the AES for his contributions to the field of audio. He is also a member of the VDT and was awarded in 2007 the Honorary Medal of the VDT for his activities of long standing in the planning group of the VDT as well as the Surround Sound Forum as its co-founder.

See also: Germany#Electroacoustic_music