Michael Gerzon, who died in 1996, was one of the audio industry's greatest thinkers and writers. Particularly well known for his central contribution to the development of Ambisonics and surround-sound psychoacoustics in general, he was also active in many other areas of audio and elsewhere.
In addition to authoring many deeply technical articles for scientific journals such as the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Michael Gerzon - in contrast to many of his peers - also wrote a succession of much more approachable pieces for a more general readership in magazines like Hi-Fi News, Studio Sound and Wireless World. Ironically, although these often encompass his wide-ranging thoughts on audio in a way the more closely focused scientific papers do not, they are less well known and significantly more difficult to obtain.
I thought it high time to make these expertly crafted, thought-provoking articles more readily available. So with the agreement of Michael Gerzon's brother, who manages his estate, and the editors of Hi-Fi News and Electronics World (successor to Wireless World) I have begun to reproduce them here.
Rather than offer up scruffy scans of photocopies of the original magazine pages, I have taken the trouble to OCR the text and knit it together into a continuous document, into which the scanned diagrams have been inserted. Although I have corrected the occasional literal and ironed out some hyphenation inconsistencies, the text of these pieces is otherwise as it originally appeared.
The articles are provided below in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file format, and to accommodate readers on both sides of the Atlantic are available formatted for either A4 or US Letter paper sizes. Left clicking on the appropriate link will open the document in your browser provided you have a PDF plug-in installed; alternatively you can use the right mouse button menu to download the file and then view it in Adobe Acrobat Reader or equivalent.
As the scanning, OCRing, stitching and proof reading process is time-consuming, and I have still to track down and copy all the articles Michael Gerzon wrote for these magazines, the archive must perforce grow from small beginnings. When further articles are added this will be recorded on the What's new page, which I invite you to check occasionally for new postings.
Recently, in May 2008, Stephen Thornton - who knew Michael at Oxford - has generated a new web resource containing other Studio Sound articles, some unpublished reports, a complete list of Michael's publications and a selection of contemporary photographs. Stephen's site is here.
Following MAG's death a number of obituaries were published, two of which can also be accessed here. Gramophone's (reproduced with the permission of both Gramophone and its author, John Borwick) is available on this site here and the Guardian's, written by Barry Fox, can be found on Martin Leese's Ambisonic FAQ site here.
Surround-sound from two-channel stereo
What's wrong with quadraphonics
Wireless World, December 1974
The gentle art of digital squashing
Three channels: the future of stereo?
Why do equalisers sound different?
Digital room equalisation
B&W Technical Release No 09, September 1991 (published as 'Measure for measure', Studio Sound, July 1992)
Fixing it outside the mix
Studio Sound, September 1990
Stereo shuffling: new approach - old technique
Studio Sound, September 1972
Stabilising stereo images
Studio Sound, December 1974