Origins of ordinary things: Sound recording

Sound recording is a wonderful thing that aids people to listen to their favourite songs, preserve information or even obtain evidence. According to Wikipedia, it started in the 1800s during which time the industrial revolution was taking place.

Sound recording is a wonderful thing that aids people to listen to their favourite songs, preserve information or even obtain evidence. According to Wikipedia, it started in the 1800s during which time the industrial revolution was taking place.

The first person to invent a sound recording device was Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, a French printer and bookseller. Made in 1857, the phonautograph could record sound waves on a medium sheet made of coated paper, a rotating cylinder and a threaded rod. The machine was limited in such a way that it could not play back the recorded sound.

In 1876, there was an attempt to make use of the piano for sound recording. The inventors input punched paper scroll in the piano to store music. They were successful but according to Plain Records, a website dedicated to sound recording history and knowledge, the materials required for that type of piano were much too expensive for personal use.

In 1877, American inventor and businessman Thomas Edison drew inspiration from Martinville’s phonautograph to design a similar but improved machine. It could record and play back sound. However, Edison’s machine was made of cylinder wrapped in tinfoil which proved to last only a short time. This is according to online-based Sound Recording History.

Alexander Bell, another inventor who was competing with Edison decided to use wax in the cylinder. His invention was durable, had good sound quality and was generally more acceptable to the public. Around the same period of time, another inventor called Emile Berliner made disc records and made a device called a gramophone to play them. This is according to the National Museum of American history.

According to Plain Recordings, the technology to record live performances was made in 1904.

Over the decades, through many technological advancements, sound recording both in controlled rooms and in open spaces improved and the devices became less sophisticated, less expensive and therefore easily available.

According to Britannica, an online encyclopedia, today’s sound recording systems, though digital, have accommodations for the analogue systems. So now someone can listen to recordings made with older technologies, without any problem.

Apart from the conventional sound recording machines, many other devices are now made the same ability. People can record conversations with their cameras and phones. One can also download an application on the internet to record a song that sounds just as good as if they had done it in a music studio. In a nutshell, sound recording is a revolutionary and multi-purpose idea.

 

Have Your SayLeave a comment