1. Kirby 1Jake KirbyMs.TilleryBritish Literature28 October 2011 Recording Instruments Over the Years Recording has changed very much over the years, what was able to be done only in anexpensive studio can now be done in your own home on a Pc or Mac computer. From the firsttape recorder to cd writing and even earlier to phonographs, recording has always been used topromote musical talent for others to enjoy. Scientists began to experiment with sound waves in the middle ages. Bonetius, a romanphilosopher described the relation between fastness of vibration and pitch of sound at the end ofthe 5th century (home.mit.bme.hu/~bako/zaozeng/chapter1.htm) Jean Duhamel, French physician and mathematician proposed a good plan of a soundrecorder and player machine. He thought that the vibrations of air could be recorded by an elasticmembrane connected with a needle that scratches a soft material. The first working machine was created by Thomas Alva Edison in 1877. He usedDuhamels idea of a membrane connected with a needle called a phonograph. After 10 years, in 26 September, 1887, Emil Berliner got a patent to a new soundrecorder device, he called it the gramophone. The gramophone device records the sound on adisc and not on a cylinder. The disc shaped sound carriers - the records - take less space than aphonograph cylinder and discs can be easily copied by a printing-sample. With printing-sample,hundreds of copies can be made from one record in contrast with the phonograph, where everyphonograph-cylinder was produced by a new sound-recording. The gramophone became very
2. Kirby 2popular due to the advantage of easily made copies and slowly squeezed out the phonographfrom the market. (home.mit.bme.hu/~bako/zaozeng/chapter1.htm) In 1920 the Bell laboratories began to make scientific research in the gramophonesubject. They exactly cleared the physical and mathematical relations of sound-recording and in1924 they created the first electromechanical sound-recording devices. The recordings wereproduced with microphone, electrical amplifier and cutting-head. These recordings contain lessnoise, have higher dynamics and less distortion. The Bell laboratories created an electricalrecord-player, but it was too expensive and was not so popular. The Bell laboratories made thefirst stereophonic sound-recordings in 1931. (Leslie Hutchison) In 1927 and 1928 Russian Boris Rtcheouloff and German chemist Fritz Pfleumer bothpatented an improved means of recording sound using magnetized tape. These ideas incorporateda way to record sound or pictures by causing a strip, disc, or cylinder of iron or other magneticmaterial to be magnetized. In September 1931, the RCA Victor Company unveiled the long-play record. They used anew sound carrier for the good sound quality. It was acetylcellulose-polivinylchloride. They usedthinner sound grooves as well. The playtime was now 20 minutes and the sound of the needlenoise was softer.(Balcziack, Bill) Recordings required a way to pick up sound via a microphone, a way to storeinformation, and a playing device to access the stored data. The missing piece was a device toplay back the recorded sounds.In 1898 a Danish inventor, Valdemar Poulsen , patented the first device with the ability to playback the recorded sounds from steel wire. He reworked Smiths design and for several yearsactually manufactured the first "sonic recorders." This invention, patented in Denmark and the
3. Kirby 3United States, was called the telegraphon, as it was to be used as an early kind of the telephoneanswering machine.The recording medium was a steel chisel and an electromagnet. He used steel wire coiled arounda cylinder reminiscent of Thomas Edisons phonograph. Poulsens telegraphon was shown at the1900 International Exhibition in Paris and was praised by the scientific and technical press as arevolutionary innovation.The British Marconi Wireless Telegraph company also bought the Stille and Bauer design andfor a number of years made tape machines for the British Broadcasting Corporation. TheMarconi-Stilles recording machines were used until the 1940s by the BBC radio service inCanada, Australia, France, Egypt, Sweden, and Poland. (Leslie Hutchison) By the beginning of World War II the development of the tape recorder continued to bein a state of flux. Experiments using different types and materials for recording tapes continued,as well as research into devices to play back the recorded sounds. Sound recording on coated-plastic tape manufactured by AEG was improved to the point that it became impossible todistinguish Adolf Hitlers radio addresses as a live or a recorded audio transmission. Engineersand inventors in the United States and Britain were unable to reproduce this quality of sounduntil several of the Magnetophons left Germany as war reparations in 1945. The German versioncombined a magnetic tape and a device to play back the recording. Another interesting feature,previously unknown, was that the replay head could be rotated against the direction of the tapetransport. This enabled a recording to be played back slowly without lowering the frequency ofthe voice. These aspects were not available on the steel wire machines then available in theUnited States.()
4. Kirby 4The most common U.S. version used a special steel tape that was made only in Sweden, andsupplies were threatened at the onset of World War II. However, when patent rights on theGerman invention were seized by the United States Alien Property Custodian Act, there were nolonger any licensing problems for U.S. companies to contend with, and the German innovationsbegan to be incorporated into the United States designs.A popular singer, Bing Crosby, had experienced a significant drop in his radio popularity.Crosby attributed his poor ratings to the inferior quality of sound recording used in taping hisprograms. Crosby, familiar with the Magnetophon machine, requested that it be used to taperecord a sample program. In 1947 Bing Crosby Enterprises, enthusiastic about the improvedquality and listener satisfaction, decided to contract with Ampex to design and develop theMagnetophon recording device. Ampex agreed to build 20 professional recording units priced at$40,000 each, and Bing Crosby Enterprises then sold the units to the American BroadcastingCompany.In the film world, Walt Disney Studios released the animated film Fantasia. This film used asound process called Fantasound, incorporating technological advances made in the field ofsound recording and sound playback. These commercial uses of the magnetic tape recordingdevices allowed innovations and expansion in the movie and television-broadcasting field.(Kutkins, Erik) Recording has changed quite a bit from the first Phonograpgh to the modern tape recorderand beyond that even. A Mac or Pc computer can use a DAW( digital audio workspace) to recordguitar, vocals and various instruments directly as a wav file. The DAW is a computer-basedaudio recording and editing system that replicates every function of an entire recording studio—from the audio console, equalizers, compressors, and effects units to the multi-track recorders
5. Kirby 5and editing controllers. Various storage media are used with the DAW. The DAW is anintegrated system that includes recording, editing, and signal routing and processing, speed ofoperation and flexibility are superior to similar analog equipment. The DAW also has control ofexternal tape machines or video recorders. DAW’s have allowed people with very small budgets to record quality songs and sharethem on YouTube, MySpace, and other social media sites. Instead of tape, digital recordings aresaved as audio files, or mp3 files. Audio files can then be uploaded to the internet or burned to aCD. DAW’s have allowed the release of an extremely large amount of music, almost anyone canhave their music heard if they know how to use these audio workplaces. First-generationworkstations were configured around a single or networked minicomputers that handled thedigitization of audio sources. In 1988 Integrated Media Systems unveiled Digital Dyaxis, aMacintosh-based two-track recorder that over the years expanded into a highly-popular multi-track DAW with disk-based video playback. A year later, Digidesign launched Pro Tools, whichset high standards for reliability, flexibility, expandability and factory support, and is now indaily use in thousands of studios around the world. In 1992 we saw a remarkabledemocratization of DAWs, with the introduction of the Digital Audio Labs Card-D. The year1994 marked a turning point. The ability for third-party software plug-ins to add specializedfunctions to existing Sound Designer II and Pro Tools software, including custom EQ, reverband other DSP options, opened up a wealth of creative options. Waves, Jupiter Systems,Arboretum Systems and other rose to the challenge. (Lambert, Mel) The DAW’s that emerged inthe early 70’s are still the most widely used even today. Recording started as live sounds on a thin tape or cylinder and is now put onto thecomputer as sound waves or is an arrangement of musical data that can be manipulated by
6. Kirby 6programs to suit one’s musical tastes. Recording has developed very rapidly throughout the pastfew decades thanks to computers being invented and enhanced each year.