Talk:History of sound recording

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Analog sound recording[edit]

Methods of recording[edit]

  • Acoustical or Mechanical method
  • Electric analogue recording
  • Digital recording

Does anyone know anything about this Smooth Nikola? Is this name for real? Does anyone have outside sources confirming this name? When I google it, all I can find are websites that copy-pasted the wiki article. (talk) 16:25, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Mediums of storing recorded sound[edit]

Digital sound recording[edit]

Recording technology[edit]

BBC Steel Tape Recorder - Units[edit]

It's very unlikely that the designers of a tape system in 1932 in Britain would have made it go at exactly 90 m/s. They would have been working in feet and inches. Therefore translating 90 metres to 98.4 yards is misleading, giving a false sense of precision. For those accustomed to non-metric units (which doesn't include me) yards probably isn't a suitable measure for tape speed anyway.Steve Graham (talk) 11:27, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

See also:

Shouldn't this article mention Les Paul, who (AFAIR) invented multi track recording? -- Jimregan 03:30 27 May 2003 (UTC)

Or rather, mention him earlier. (Just saving face for not having read the article, don't mind me...) -- Jimregan 03:32 27 May 2003 (UTC)

You must have been reading it as i was editing it becuase i just added the bit about Les Paul --User:Iain

That could be it. Good stuff, Iain. -- Jimregan

Most of the stuff on magnetic tape should be separated out into the magnetic tape entry.

this is my first time editing anything, so bear with me. i added this bit about the adat:

"The most notable of this type of recorder is the ADAT. Developed by Alesis and first released in 1991, the ADAT machine is capable of recording 8 tracks of digital audio onto a single S-VHS video cassette. The ADAT machine is still a very common fixture in professional and home studios around the world."

is that proper, or would it be best to replace all that with a simple "See: ADAT"? --Nic.stage 06:09, August 13, 2005 (UTC)

Tinfoil vs. Aluminum foil[edit]

FOr the record (pun unintentional). I think the original Edison phonograph truly used tinfoil, i.e. made of the metal Sn, and efforts to correct it to "aluminium" or "aluminum" foil are incorrect. All descriptions of the Edison phonograph use the word tinfoil (usually a single word, no space). The 1911 Britannica article on foil,, mentions tinfoil but not aluminum foil. I've been Googling to find out just when aluminum foil became common, but I think the rise of aluminum as anything other than an expensive specialty substance did not occur until well into the twentieth century. Indeed, I don't think it was possible until large-scale electricity infrastructure was in place. Dpbsmith 17:28, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Absolutley correct. Tin foil is stiffer and tends to "krinkle" less than aluminium foil, so is a more suitable medium for engraving, even if it weren't much more common back in the 1870s. -- Infrogmation 17:36, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Do I recall there was some early patent dispute (Edison vs. Berliner maybe?) turned on the difference in meaning of "emboss" and "inscribe." Something to do with what happens with tinfoil, where I guess the stylus just indents the medium without removing any of it, and everything else (wax, shellac, acetate) in which the stylus or cutter actually removes material. When I was a kid, I tried to make an Edison-style phonograph myself using aluminum foil. I was probably about ten years old at the time. It didn't work. Dpbsmith 14:50, 6 Mar 2004 (UTC)

First recordings[edit]

I am putting this here for people to develop to put on the main entry.

I was once told that if the (known) people who had had recordings made of their voices were put in order of birth, the first would be Lajos Kossuth. (I am putting it slightly more elegantly.) Can anyone confirm this? Jackiespeel 17:31, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Make this page 'History of sound recording'[edit]

This page seems to me to be an excellent example of the need for better coordinated editing on Wikipedia, something I have been trying to promote at Wikipedia:Root page. Firstly, I suggest one might expect the title 'Sound recording' to be accessed by people expecting to find out primarily about the modern technology, not work their way through the history of the phonograph (important though this is). Secondly, there is not even a link on the page to Sound reproduction which would seem to be an intimate part of the whole idea! And until I put one there there was no link to this page from Sound reproduction. Then the opening sentence is a little odd, using bold in two places.

I've been attempting to pull together the whole subject, using Root page principles, and have put templates on many pages to promote easy navigation and awareness by editors of how the whole subject is being covered. So far this uses Sound reproduction as the Root page with Hubs for various aspects. But Sound reproduction had nothing on it but some links (until I added a paragraph).

I suggest that a new page Sound recording and reproduction would be better as a starting point or Root page, with a Hub page called Sound recording that leads to studio technology etc. This page is an excellent History of sound recording and should be renamed as such, with perhaps some parts copied over to the new Root page. Redirects would bring various things like Sound recording to the Root page. Any objections? I may start the process by creating the new root page (since this does not currently exist), with template, to show how it will work. I feel that with the templates in place many more people will find the pages that they want, and it will be easy for editors to see how the land lies so far. --Lindosland 14:19, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

(The above was copied from Sound recording --Lindosland 14:36, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Bing Crosby leading the way[edit]

I'd fix the following sentence, but I'm not certain how much of it is wrong, and I don't want to introduce new errors.

Although 33⅓ rpm and 45 rpm vinyl records were the dominant consumer format, recordings were customarily made first on tape, then transferred to compact disc, with Bing Crosby leading the way in the adoption of this method in the United States.

Maybe this means Crosby Enterprises, and if so that would be clearer. (Bing the person died in 1977, predating CDs by a few years.) But it also seems like "compact disc" is being introduced prematurely. Was Crosby Enterprises a player in this? It's not mentioned on Bing Crosby's bio page. / edg 03:57, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Jimmy T & Twotoes[edit]

Jimmy t and Twotoes are up and coming drum and bass producers from the south coast near brighton. The are involved in the running of resin8records and are promoters for the labels events. link title —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:40, 10 March 2008 (UTC)


I don't understand what the technologies described under "mechanical recording" are doing here. They are examples of programming, not recording. To record is to make, strangely enough, a record of something as it happens so that it can be read or played back later. Setting something up mechanically for the purpose of creating pre-planned sounds is not recording. —Largo Plazo (talk) 17:17, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I emphatically concur. This article is about recording sound, q.v., not about programming mechanical musical instruments to create sound, which is a very different subject. Although the contribution was obviously made in good faith and contains interesting information which might well illuminate some other corner of Wikipedia (there seems to be no umbrella article about mechanical musical instruments and their history, only articles about specific devices), the entire contents of the section are patently out of place here and will serve only to confuse and distract a novice seeking information about the plainly stated topic of the article.
Therefore, I am herewith proposing the complete deletion of the "Mechanical recording" section and its present contents. If no persuasive objections are registered below in the near future, I will do the deed myself, but anyone else similarly astonished by the presence of this off-topic material is more than welcome to do so at their pleasure. AVarchaeologist (talk) 12:58, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
This material was repeated in the History section of the Sound recording and reproduction article. I've combined the two and it now lives in the other article. This is not an optimal solution but it is an improvement over having two copies of the same material and answers the above complaints that the material does not belong here. --Kvng (talk) 13:32, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Improper focus or tittling[edit]

The article is tittled History of sound recording so should it not have a more general look at the creation of sound recording devices rather than focus entirely on the recording of music? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:45, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

"Amazing sound quality" of tape in 1947?[edit]

"Crosby was stunned by the amazing sound quality", or so it says here. Similar statements explaining the rapid acceptance of tape recording by radio networks and record companies in the late 1940s may be found in several other articles. This does not ring true to me. A top-quality lacquer was practically noiseless when new (unlike hissy tape, which, especially pre-Dolby, was very far from entirely noiseless even running at high speed—just listen to the hiss cut in with an opening pianissimo passage on a typical early classical LP), and several years before Mullin discovered the "secret" German developments, English Decca's ffrr 78s were reproducing high frequencies well beyond the limitations of commercial AM broadcasting and practically all contemporary home sound reproduction equipment.

My understanding is that the persuasive boon that hastened the adoption of tape recording was the ease and precision with which tape could be edited, without the generational loss of sound quality inherent in the far more difficult and less precise disc-to-disc editing procedures hitherto in use. Was the enthusiasm for direct-to-disc mastering several decades later just an instance of collective self-delusion by an effete corps of audio snobs?

Is there any high-quality source which provides objective evidence that the sound quality of a tape recording was then, or ever, superior to contemporary results obtained by live-recording a signal of equal quality on either wax (which, I believe, enjoyed some lingering use and a very limited revival in the 1950s for audiophile purposes because high-frequency detail and transients cut better in that venerable medium) or lacquer masters? AVarchaeologist (talk) 14:15, 3 September 2011 (UTC)


This article has little to no citations! It would be very nice to verify sources as well as link people to external resources. Does anyone have suggestions where to start?C pal (talk) 19:38, 2 December 2016 (UTC)