First Ever Attempt at Recording Soundwaves

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kim
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First Ever Attempt at Recording Soundwaves

Post by kim » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:04 pm

@wisdomlikethis

Today in "James loves the history of obscure storage mediums", here is a post about the earliest known succesful attempt to directly record sound waves, the phonautograph, patented in 1857 and which was not originally intended to be used to actually play those sounds back.

Image

To be clear, while attempts to to do so indirectly pre-date this, they recorded the soundwaves through an intermediary like a tuning fork's vibrations, not directly.The phonautograph traced soundwaves directly onto a 2-D medium (such as glass, or smoked paper in some cases) and was used to study the behaviour of sound waves. It's constructed in an attempt to, essentially, mimic the human ear.

The short version is that a really, REALLY light, thin stylus is connected to a very thin membrane to mimic the ear drum, and then a moving recording medium records the vibrations passed from said membrane to the stylus.Needless to say, this is very delicate work, and laboratory settings were required. But it works, and one way we know it works is that we have been able to reverse engineer surviving recordings on glass and play them back!

Analogue recordings rely on three dimensional recording mediums. You require a digital system if you want to translate two dimensional images into audio information, so of course on a medium like this playback was impossible in the 1800s.And it's not going to be 1:1 to how modern digital systems recognise sound waves today, either, since its parameters are set by a recording device no longer used which no computer is gonna be calibrated for. However, in 2008 this was reverse engineered.

Wikipedia has a file of what is thought to be the oldest intelligible recording of any human voice, a very slow version of "clair de la lune" (possibly sung slowly in the hopes the sound waves would be easier to interpret?).

Hear it

So hundreds of years later, we have proof these recordings were capable of excellent precision, considering we're talking about a *hand cranked mechanism*. I think that's awesome.

Thanks for Reading



john
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Re: First Ever Attempt at Recording Soundwaves

Post by john » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:36 am

we trully have come along way in tech.now we have talking speakers a.k.a alexa and etal.

theone
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Re: First Ever Attempt at Recording Soundwaves

Post by theone » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:18 am

and now we have ai which does the think for you. i think humans are a rather lucky species . lol

faith
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Re: First Ever Attempt at Recording Soundwaves

Post by faith » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:23 am

theone wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:18 am
and now we have ai which does the think for you. i think humans are a rather lucky species . lol
ai isnot a new thing.it has been there since the 50's it geting the resurgence just like social media.

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