We might today be sitting in the comfort of our living rooms or traveling with an earphone plug. We could be listening to our favorite music or even could be hearing an ideal speech by a politician, leader or other famous persons. However, the history of recording of audio and reproducing them in different forms did not happen overnight. There is a long history behind it, and it would indeed be interesting to know more about it so that we know how much technology has moved as far as audio recording and reproduction is concerned.
The Different Ages Of Audio Recording
When we talk about the history of audio recording, we can perhaps divide it into three distinct segments, the Acoustic age, the Electrical Age, the Magnetic Age and the Digital Age. Of course, the digital age has given a new meaning and definition to audio and video technology. Since we will be talking about the first audio recording, we will be restricted only to the Acoustic age.
The First Audio Recording
In fact, credit for the first audio recording goes to Thomas Alva Edison who perhaps did it in the year 1877. However, there are some news articles which might suggest that it could have happened even before 1877. The first audio recording was perhaps made on April 9, 1860, which is 17 years before 1877. The audio recording was a verse of a song sung by a woman. It was perhaps recorded by a Frenchman by the name Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville. He was the one who invented the phonautograph. Thus began the journey of audio recording before Thomas Edison formally set the ball rolling.
A Closer Look At The Acoustic Era
The early audio recording technologies were done using mechanical devices. They made use of a large conical horn. The objective was to collect and concentrate the physical air pressure of the sound waves. The sound waves were mostly produced by human voices and even a few musical instruments. It also came with a membrane that was very sensitive. It was located at the apex of the cone. This was connected to a specially made stylus. As the air pressure increased and decreased, it moved the diaphragm. This resulted in the scratching of the stylus which in turn produced sound waves in an analog format. However, the early sounds emanating from such technology was low in volume and fidelity. It was possible to capture only a narrow bandwidth of the entire sound spectrum and never exceeded 2500 Hz.