Phonograph vs Gramophone The Invention of Sound Recording Part 1 I THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION


The music industry as we know what today is a mere hundred years old its emergence and rise to power is all Thanks to a little piece of metal called the acoustic horn. the inventor Thomas Edison was the first to successfully reproduce his voice in 1877 with his speaking machine and thus assured in the era of the phonogram Hello my dear polyphonic friends of harmony and sound welcome to its history I’m Bret and today I want to explore in this series the wonderful world of sound recording it all starts once again with mr Thomas Alva Edison now when you hear the name Edison people immediately think of the light bulb one can say and yes That is exactly what we said in our last episode when we covered the history of that wonderful little invention But there are many who do not know of the countless other inventions that spawn from the efforts of this industrious Self-educated American this guy had his fingers in everything among them the invention of sound recording this is of course not to say that Edison was the only one that come up with the idea far from it the desire to Preserve one’s own voice whether through identity or other reasons is very old There are documented attempts of people trying to do just this which goes far back as the 10th century Soda son was in this respect only faster than everyone else or as he would say himself I am more than a sponge than an inventor. I absorb ideas from every source my principle business is giving commercial value to the brilliant, but misdirected ideas of others Thomas Edison created for himself a think tank in Menlo Park in New York and with the idea of a speaking machine fresh in his Mind he gave a crude sketch of the device to his Collaborator John cruzi a Swiss immigrant who later built a device that would on the 21st of November 1877 become the world’s first voice recorder, which he named the phonograph Edison sketch presented. Mr Cruzi with the picture of tin foil wrapped around a metal roll much like the full wrapped around chocolate Easter Bunny eggs That could be turned with the hand cranked using an acoustic horn the sounds Vibrations would then become pressed against a membrane that would start to vibrate This membrane was fitted to a steel needle that would carve the vibrations into the tinfoil as it turned Addison speaking machine was presented to a wider audience on the 6th of the December 1877 and boy was everyone excited Edison leaned over the flaring horn and spoke the following words of wisdom It was now realized he was the first man to hear his own voice speak back to him from a recording The patent was filed on December 24th and 1887 saw the first commercial production of the speaking machine. The main customers were mostly showman Who presented the device at fairs this speaking machine caused a flurry of excitement at first? But then fizzled away quickly and for good reason poor sound quality and with no more than a minute to record requiring frequent replacement of the cylinders disappointed by poor sales of a speaking machine that he later named the phonograph Edison gave up his pursuit in voice recording and spent the Next 10 years devoting himself to up other inventions, but during this time another inventor took on the task and based on Edison’s principles Revolutionized the technique of sound recording developed by Emile Berliner a German from Hannover who emigrated to America his device Quickly became very popular and virtually set up the foundation for the record on the 26th of December 1887 Berliner patented his device that would record sound into discs He called it a gramophone and it’s a noticed a renewed interest along with improvements that were made in the sound recording technology And up to 1890 attempted to upgrade his phonograph but it still could not compete with the record the key component to Berliners Innovation was that unlike edison who recorded a sound on a cylinder Berliner recorded sound vibrations on a disc on May 16th 1888 about six months after Edison’s Invention Berliner presented his device to the public for the first time to an expert pan on the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia Berliner also used the horn membrane and needle method to record. However, he also invented another kind of sound recording technique He didn’t carve the sound waves vertically onto a cylinder like edison, but instead recorded the sound from left to right using horizontal Modulation of the needle as it traced its line along the rotating disc with the thin coating of soot berliners method improved sound quality Considerably directly after the recording process the suit was varnished and then used to photo engraved its equivalent grooves onto a metal disc the discs Had an average diameter of 25 to 30 centimeters and could be played at a speed of 78 rpms however a major drawback OMERS From berliners method the disc could only be used to play sounds once they were recorded and could not be used to record from again Since the grooves of the disc projected inward Thus the records could only be made one at a time which the artist found to be unacceptable As they were forced to play the same song over and over again Berliner continued to experiment and came up with a solution in 1895 he replaced the black layer of carbon with a massive sheet of wax Which he then? electroplated resulted in a negative record with grooves projecting outward and not inward that he could use to stamp positive copies with electroplating as a physical process which goes all the way back to the Italian physicist Luigi Galvani That uses electric current to change the surface properties of an object with this process copper plates could finally be reproduced at will for these Copper plates berliner used a material composed of around 70% stone dust and 30% shellack Resulting in the so called shellack discs on the subject of shellack for those like me who never heard of it before It’s a resin secreted from the female lac insect Now this parasite has its home in Burma India and Thailand and loves to feed on the SAP of lacquer trees Now these sophisticated bugs protect their eggs by covering the branches with a 310 millimeter thick layer full of shellack Just so you know It required a Hungarian physicist who emigrated to America named Peter Carl goldmark to turn the record into the LP that we know today a gold mark developed the record made a Plastic vinyl that could be recorded on both sides. He presented his development on the 21st of June 1948 at a distributor meeting in Atlantic City Which he patented under the name LP standing for long playing record For those of you who love figures gold marks record had a diameter of 30 centimeters and were set at 33 and 1/3 Revolutions per minute boasting a hundred micro grooves per centimeter and could play for a whopping 23 minutes per side Oh, yeah although the shellack records stayed in the market for nearly 60 years and still had some transformations to undergo it took sound recording to the next level as well as also assuring in the creation of an entire industry Namely the music industry the shellac age ended in the 70s and all other developments on the LP continued to follow the same Principles only using other ingredients the development from the first shellack record player to mass-produced sound recording devices took about 60 years Neither Edison soon nor Berliners gramophone records could achieve any lasting success. It was only the vinyl record That could become a mass marketed product and although vinyl could not fulfill all the desires of the most passionate music lovers the LP is today hotter than ever in the US only about 300,000 vinyl records sold in 1993. Whereas last year in 2014 more than 9.2 million were bought to be put to the needle But that doesn’t mean the quality of DJ’s has improved by those same figures So why have LPS only increased in sales how many of you are fans of the record? it doesn’t really sound that much better or do you think that it’s still just a matter of time before they finally vanish like the Phonograph from memory write us down some of your thoughts in the comments down below. So what happens next? How was it that the cassettes and CDs took over? Don’t skip the next episode but we will learn about the history of the audio medium and if you want to learn more about one Of the pioneers of the free market who indirectly played an important role for the music industry Come check out our video of Adam Smith. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Channel. See ya I’m gonna listen to some good old beats Ono ECDC You

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