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Audio Recording Technology

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Andranik Bogaryan

on 28 April 2015

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Transcript of Audio Recording Technology

Audio Recording Technology
In my presentation I will be providing key elements of how the audio recording technology started and distributed into the early 19th century and how it has changed music today.
By Andranik Bogaryan
Audio recording is one of the earliest inventions and methods of technology that has shaped our senses and captured our feelings through sounds and different tones. It has changed the way we listen to music. Methods for sound recordings have undergone different changes between the first time sound was actually recorded and later used for playback.
What you will learn from this presentation
- recording instruments and their makers
- the business of recorders and format changes
- the cultural impact of sound recording in modern society
Acoustical Recording
Electrical Recording
Magnetic Recording
Digital Recording

Here are different types of recording methods that have been invented and are used in audio recording technology
Acoustical Recording
Started in the late 1800s. One of the earliest methods of sound recording and the development of live recording. The sound of performers were mainly captured by a diaphragm with the cutting needle connected to it. The needle cut a spiral groove into the recording medium. In order to be successful the performers would crowd around the diaphragm which was located at the apex of a cone. If a performer was too loud then they would need to move back from the mouth of the cone to avoid drowning the other performers.
Acoustical Recording Types
Invented in 1857 by Edouard-Leon Scott De Martinville.
First device that could record sound waves as they passed through air. It was initially intended for visual study of the recording and could not play back sound. The recording was a sheet of soot-coated paper wrapped around a rotating cylinder carried on a threaded rod. A stylus was attached to the diaphragm through a series of levers, creating a graphic record of motions that was propelled back and forth by the audio frequency variations in air pressure.
Acoustical Recording Types
Invented by Thomas Edison in 1877
The phonograph was a device with a cylinder covered with an impressionable material such as a tin foil, lead, or wax in which a stylus etched grooves. The grooves made by the stylus corresponded to changes in air pressure created by the original sound. The recording could be played back by tracing a needle through the groove and amplifying the vibrations.
Acoustical Recording Types
Patented by Emile Berliner in 1887
Although similar to Phonograph, the Gramophone hd imprinted grooves on a flat side disc rathern than the outside of a cylinder. Instead of recording by using the depth of the groove (vertically) (found on the Phonograph), the vibration of the recording stylus was across the width of the track (horizontally). The depth of the groove remained constant. Berliner called this audio disc a gramophone record.
Electrical Recording
Started in 1925
Both Phonograph cylinders and gramophone discs were mechanical devices played commonly hand wound with a clockwork motor. The sound then gets amplified by a cone that was attached to the diaphragm. Electrical recording eleminated cylinders. It drastically improved the quality of the recording process of disc records.

In the 1930s, Victor Orthophonic Phonograph was introduced. It was a spring wound acoustic phonograph which used waveguide engineering and a folded horn to provided a reasonably flat frequency response.
Electrical recording made it possible to use microphones to capture the sound of the performance and to record one part to disc and then play that back while playing another part, recording both parts to a second disc.
Magnetic Recording
It involves the use of a magnetized medium which moves with a constant speed past a recording head. An electrical signal then is send through sound that is recorded through the recording head. A playback head can then tape and convert it into an electrical signal.
Introduced during 1898 by Valdemar Poulsen in his Telegraphone
Magnetic Recording
Magnetic Tape
Invented by Fritz Pfleumer during 1935 or WW2
Pfluemer discovered the AC biasing technique, an inaudible high frequency signal is added to the audio signal before being applied to the recording head. By 1943 engineers developed the first stereo tape recorders. Magnetic tape provides a compact, economical means of preserving and reproducing varied forms of information. Recordings on tape can be played back immediately and are easily erased, letting the tape to be reused many times without a loss in quality of recording.
Electrical Recording
Youtube Video
Phonograph Youtube Video
Youtube Video
Digital Recording
Digital recording system began in the telephone industry. DRS is a system of sound that are stored and manipulated in a stream of numbers. Each number represents air pressure. The numbers then are connected to a circuit either by Analog or Digital Converter, or ADC. Sony and Philips were the first ones to have a prototype after the finished product.
Utilized around 1970s by Heitaro Nakajima
Digital Recording Types
Digital Audio Tape
Invented around 1976 by Thomas Stockham
Introduced as Digital Audio Tape by 1987
Digital audio tape (DAT) is a narrow tape contained in a cassette with a rotating head. DAT records sampling rate of 48 kHz or 44.1 kHz. The first 16-bit digital recording in the US was made at the Santa Fe Opera on a handmade soundstream digital tape recorder by Stockham.Although this was an introduction to audio recording industry it was a failure in the consumer audio field (too expensive, too finicky and crippled by anti copying regulations). It was indeed popular in recording studios and radio stations.
First recorded DAT album in the U.S was fro BOP Til You Drop by Ry Cooder
Digital Recording Types
Compact Disc 1982 , MP3 and Hard Disk 1995
Compact discs are fully digital and require complex electronics to play back. Digital sound files can be stored on any computer storage medium. The development of the MP3 audio file format, and legal issues involved in copying such files, had driven most of the innovation in muisc distribution since their introducton in the late 1990s. As hard disk capacities and computer CPU speeds increased at the end of the 1990s, hard disk recording became more popular. MP3 or also known as MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 is an audio format for digital audio which uses a form of lossy data compression. It is a common format for consumer audio streaming or storage.
Recording Industry and Distribution
(1) Recorders were once the size of an entire room. Now they fit in your hand.
The recording quality was once very poor. Now they are 100 times better quality made in professional studios.
(2) Back then it was difficult to record a song, due to long wait times and limited studios. Now days there are 1000s of studios nearby and takes minutes.
(3) Along with reduced costs and increased processing power, the very nature of what can be achieved with audio manipulation has changed dramatically.
Distribution in Society and Cultural impact
Digital Recording Studios
First produced and successfully used in 1998 by Jonell Plansky
Used for sound recording and mixing for musicians, voice over artists for advertisements or dialogue replacemnts in film, television or animation
Recording studios consist of a room called "studio" or "live room", where instrumentalists and vocalists perform and the control room where sound engineers sometimes with producers operate computers with softwares suites to manipulate sound for analogue or digital recording such as Auto-Tune
Auto-Tune- was created by Antares Audio in 1997. It is a device to measure and alter pitch vocal and instrumental music recording and performances. It was originally intended to correct off key inaccurcies.
(4) Before auto-tune and modern recording professionalism it would take months to produce a single chorus. Now with different types of musical softwares songs can be made in minutes. Saving recording companies time and money and also freiing up the producers and engineers time to concentrate on their most valubale skills (the creative process itself). Back in the days recording companies would go through 100s of people to find the perfect artist, now days skills are not important, whats important is how you auto-tune the vocals in corelation to the liking of the modern culture.
Everyday record studios are closing down
No more record stores due to people using internet to buy a music such as Itunes.
Itunes is a media player, library and recorder. Developed by Apple inc in 2001.
Piracy: illegal music downloading takes a huge toll on the music industry, losing millions every year.
Computer softwares and ready to made disc jockey instruments such as Abbleton Live Launch Pad
Guitar Center has affordable recording studios to rent out
Auto-Tune and without Auto-Tune Youtube Video
As you can see, tracing the development and distrubtion of audio recording technology has some serious roots. As discussed in my presentation, audio recording technology has made a great impact on the recording industry, and the musicians involved in.
Making and listening to music has always been a fundamental human need. Before the invention of recording you could only hear music if someone was prepared to play or sing it. Nowadays as you can see we have evolved from singing into a cylinder to a small device wirelessly attached to a sound system. The question is whether the quality of the music is better or worse is one without the answer. The underlying fact is that technology has brought about a huge change in the way music is produced, published and delivered in society. (From expensive mastering suites; to CD pressing plants; simple MP3 codecs, fast internet connections, expensive recording studios to cheap quality software).
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YouTube. "Gakken Premium Gramophone Phonograph (recording)". Dec 2013, Web. Available from http:www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzeiqdqgp08

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