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The History of Recording

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Craig Manchester

on 2 September 2010

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Transcript of The History of Recording

The History of Recording Phonograph Cylinder The first practical sound recording and reproduction device was the mechanical phonograph cylinder, invented by Thomas Edison in 1877. The development of mass-production techniques enabled cylinder recordings to become a major new consumer item in industrial countries and the cylinder was the main consumer format from the late 1880s until around 1910 In the 1920's the most popular and commercially
viable way to record was onto 'Gramaphone' this
was followed by the indroduction of 'Radio Broadcasting' Gramophone Recordings Early acoustic recording suffered from problems
with balance. These discs would only record for 3 minutes,
which governed the length of the peices The original disc used to record on was called a 'Shellac Disc'.
This was named after the Shellac wax used to etch the recording into for the master disc. This meant that the musicians would have to
organise their music efficiently and compress
multiple ideas into a short amount of time This is because soloists had to be placed close to the
recording horn to be heard, this meant that the drum
kit and bass were hard to record Tape Recording 8 Track Recording Analogue Recording Multitrack Recording Digital Recording Acoustic Era vs Electric Era Magnetic recording was improved in Germany after World War I. Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic. Magnetic tape revolutionized broadcasting and recording. The Invention of Microphones Learning Objectives What is a Microphone? Essentially a microphone is a acoustic-to-electric transducer A device for converting sound waves into electrical energy Although Emile Berliner (1851-1929) may not be as well known as Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell, his contributions to modern technology are equally significant. Emile Berliner (May 20, 1851 – August 3, 1929) was a German inventor In 1876, Emile Berliner invented the first microphone used as a telephone voice transmitter. "Experiments have shown that a healthy young person hears all sound frequencies from approximately 20 to 20,000 hertz." "This means that the human ear can hear vibrations ranging from around 20 a second to 20,000 a second." Hearing or audition is the sense of sound perception and results from tiny hair fibres in the inner ear detecting the motion of atmospheric particles The Human ear is brilliant and the way that the brain interprets sound is even more amazing Generally speaking the human ear is far better than any microphone The human ear is capable of hearing many of the sounds produced in nature, but certainly not all. Some low frequencies like a heart beat of 1 or 2 Hz can not be heard, just like sonar sounds produced by dolphins which are too high. Any frequency that is below the human range is known as infrasound. It is so low that it may be detected by a creature with big ears, such as an Elephant. Ultrasound, on the other hand, is above the range of the human ear. Bats, whales, and dolphins use ultrasound for navigation. Most bats can detect frequencies as high as 100,000 Hz! The Human Ear Types of Microphones There are two main types of microphone - Dynamic Microphones and Condensor Microphones These two microphones are used for different kinds of recording Dynamic Microphone Dynamic microphones are more robust Dynamic microphones are versatile and ideal for general-purpose use. They use a simple design with few moving parts. They are relatively sturdy and resilient to rough handling. They are better suited to handling high volume levels, from amplifiers or bass drums etc They have no internal amplifier and do not require batteries or external power.
Condenser Microphone Condensor means capacitor, an electronic component which stores energy in the form of an electrostatic field. A condenser microphone uses a capacitor to convert acoustical energy into electrical energy. Condenser microphones require power from a battery or external source. The resulting audio signal is stronger signal than that from a dynamic. Condensors are more sensitive and responsive than dynamic microphones This makes them well suited for ambient recordings They are not ideal for high-volume work, as their sensitivity makes them prone to distort. Magnetic tape was invented for recording sound by Fritz Pfleumer in 1928 in Germany The Eight Track tape recording system was popular from 1965 to the late 1970s. While today it has become an icon of obsolescence, it was a great commercial success and paved the way for all sorts of innovations in portable listening The eight track tape consisted of an endless loop of standard 1/4-inch magnetic tape, housed in a plastic cartridge. On the tape were eight parallel soundtracks, corresponding to four stereo programs Multitrack recording is a process in which the tape is divided into multiple tracks parallel with each other. Because they are carried on the same medium, the tracks stay in perfect synchronization. First developed by German audio engineers ca. 1943, 2-track recording was rapidly adopted for modern music in the 1950s because it enabled signals from two or more separate microphones to be recorded simultaneously, enabling stereophonic recordings to be made and edited conveniently. Much of the credit for the development of multitrack recording goes to guitarist, composer and technician Les Paul, who also helped design the famous electric guitar that bears his name His experiments with tapes and recorders in the early 1950s led him to order the first custom-built eight-track recorder from Ampex, Paul's technique enabled him to listen to the tracks he had already taped and record new parts in time alongside them. Multitrack recording was immediately taken up in a limited way by Ampex, who soon produced a commercial 3-track recorder. These proved extremely useful for popular music, since they enabled backing music to be recorded on two tracks, while the third track was reserved for the lead vocalist. Three-track recorders remained in widespread commercial use until the mid-1960s The original Ampex 8-track recorder, model 5258, was an internal Ampex project 8 tracks were chosen because that was the number of 0.070 inches (1.8 mm) recording tracks with 0.060 inches (1.5 mm) guard tracks that would fit on a 1 inch (25 mm) recording tape, the widest tape available at the time[1]. These are the track widths used in all professional analog multi-track recorders except 24-track recorders The first of the Ampex 8-track recorders was sold to Les Paul for $10,000 in 1957 and was installed in his home recording studio Analog recording methods store audio signals as a continual wave in or on the media. The wave might be stored as a physical texture on a phonograph record, or a fluctuation in the field strength of a magnetic recording. This is different to digital recording, which converts audio signals into discrete numbers. In a digital recording system, sound is stored and manipulated as a stream of discrete numbers each number representing the air pressure at a particular time The numbers are generated by a microphone connected to a circuit called an ANALOG TO DIGITAL CONVERTER, or ADC Each number is called a SAMPLE, and the number of samples taken per second is the SAMPLE RATE Ultimately, the numbers will be converted back into sound by a DIGITAL TO ANALOG CONVERTER or DAC, connected to a loudspeaker.

Digital recording software, such as ProTools.

Part One - History of Recording (with Brain Drops)

Part Two - Dynamic and Compressor microphone activity

Part Three - Didgeridoo listening activity

Part Four - Recording methods activity

Part Five - Write a Mini essay

Part Six - Conclusion and Feedback

Ambient Recording Ambient recording try to capture the sound in the room There are many techniques used to try to capture ambient sound What type of microphone is best suited to ambient recording? Ambient Recording Techniques Spaced Pair Co incident Pair Decca Tree Recording Techniques Close Mic Recording Close mic recording is when a microphone is placed in close proximity to the physical source of a sound What type of microphone is best suited to close mic recording? Students will be able to describe and differentiate between the different types of recording methods from the 1900’s to present day.

Students will be able to describe and differentiate between the ‘Dynamic Microphone’ and the ‘Compressor Microphone’.

Students will be able to describe the differences between analogue and digital recording

Students will be able to apply this new knowledge to their own audio perception.
Lesson Outline What are the differences between DIGITAL recording and ANALOGUE recording? music is very good
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