The Tonmeister

Microphoning of acoustic instruments in pop music

My name is Carlos Albrecht and I am a tonmeister by profession. For more than 10 years, I have led the tonmeister training at the "Erich-Thienhaus-Institute" of the Detmold University of Music, where the profession of "tonmeister" was created in 1949, and where tonmeisters are still trained today. By the way, to clear up a misunderstanding: "tonmeister" is a non-protected job title. So anyone who works in the audio field can call himself a "tonmeister". Only the academic titles Dipl.-Tonmeister, Dipl.-Toningenieur and Dipl.-Bild- und Toningenieur are protected titles. These have changed due to the changeover to the Bachelor's/Master's system, e.g. to "Master of Music | Music Direction | Tonmeister | Recording Producer".

The profession of tonmeister was established in 1949 by Erich Thienhaus. He was called on October 1st, 1946 as a professor of acoustics and instrumentology in Detmold, where he founded the first German, musical-acoustic institute for the training of tonmeisters three years later. Erich Thienhaus recognised the need for musical/technical training as an intermediary between the musician/conductor and the recording medium.



The beginning

On October 1, 1946, Erich Thienhaus was appointed as professor of acoustics and instrumentology at Detmold, where three years later he founded the first German musical-acoustic institute for the training of tonmeisters. Between 1949 and 1963, Thienhaus held six international tonmeister conferences in Detmold, which crowned his tireless work in the field of music transmission.


Detmold University of Music

The 90s

With the appointment of Dipl. Toning. Carlos Albrecht as professor for music transmission/popular music in 1996, the university and the institute established the balance of musical genres in the training of future Tonmeisters. In the same year, two control rooms were generously modernised and, among other things, new control rooms - one for classical music and one for popular music - were installed. The monitoring capabilities were expanded to 5.1 surround for the first time.

The Erich Thienhaus Institute (ETI) is one of the world's most renowned training centers for tonmeisters. Here, the fact of being part of the Detmold University of Music played a decisive role for the training. Many universities have taken the ETI and its courses of study as a model.