History of Audio Production

Updated January 5, 2022
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History of Audio Production essay

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The history of audio production goes back farther than you may think. Our story starts in 1857 with the invention of the phonautograph. It couldn’t play back what was recorded, so it was only used for study.

In 1878, the phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison, and it could actually play back what was recorded. There were problems with mass recordings, though. It was a cylinder covered in material a stylus could etch on.

In 1887, the gramophone was invented; it was like the phonograph, but used a flat disc instead of a cylinder. Audio quality between this and the phonograph were near equivalent, the disc records were cheaper and easier to mass-produce than the cylinders.

In 1925, an electric microphone recording process was invented. It increased sound quality and flexibility of recordings. It could record one track to a disc record, and play it back while performing another track to a new record. This is an early example of over-dubbing and quazi-multitracking.

In 1930, magnetic tape was invented. Magnetic tape used magnetizable tape, moving past a recording head. Sound waves are electrified through a microphone fed to a recording head.

In 1946, a breakthrough was invented. The magnetophon was a German device used by Adolf Hitler that made recording and playing back magnetic tape possible. 2 magnetophons were brought to America by Army Officer Jack Mullin. He developed his own model and began demonstrations, also in 1946. A man named Bing Crosby said magnetophon recording to be used for radio broadcasting. The sound quality was much better than what was being used then. These machines had enormous untapped potential, according to Crosby. He invested in a company in developing magnetophons, which was very successful.

3-track recorders became popular in the 1950s, with the third track being reserved for lead vocals in Motown music. 4-tracks were the standard in the later 60s. Two different 4-tracks were used to transfer multiple tracks. This allowed up to 16 different tracks to be transferred to 4 different tracks. Digital Recording was developed in the 70s and used a PCM (pulse-code modulation). Later, the VHS was invented. It was a machine using VHS tape to record 8-tracks of digit audio, Movies were put on VHS tapes, which you could put into a VHS player. Later, the DVD was invented; movies were much easier to access because of the DVD.

The Impact of Podcasting on Our Society

Podcasting started in the early 2000s, with the invention of the iPod. Podcasting boomed at the time from the relative ease of downloading mp3s. Audible also creates its own programming. It started selling audiobooks, but it began selling downloadable radio programs. This was its fastest selling market. Today, over 115,000 English podcasts are on the Internet. But what is a podcast? A podcast is essentially an episodic radio show. The word “podcast” itself is a mix of the words “pod” as in iPod and “broadcast.”

There are actually different podcasts types: audio podcasting and video podcasting, which uses cameras, but other variants do exist. Podcasting is also an industry that you could start with. Later on, you could either keep podcasting, or pursue a higher interest you couldn’t access at that time. Podcasting gives people more chances to be successful in the audio world. There are over 100,000 podcasts in English that exist, but that doesn’t mean your podcast can stand apart from the others.

History of Audio Production essay

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History of Audio Production. (2022, Jan 05). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/history-of-audio-production/


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