The History Of Sound Recording Essay

980 words - 4 pages

The History of Sound Recording

The methods used to produce, edit, and record music and sound have
changed with the introduction of new sound technology. The
compatibility of computer technology with music recording has led to
large scale developments in computer-based systems, especially by home
users. Modern computer technology in music and audio is fundamentally
different in comparison to older magnetic tape recording techniques
because it is digital. New computerised digital methods are
significantly better at manipulating sound (editing, recording, etc)
than the highest fidelity analogue tape methods of the past.
Instruments nowadays are generally considered easier to play than
their predecessors hundreds of years ago (due to quality manufactured
parts, and standardisation of music notation). Computer technology has
not affected traditional human instrumental sound production. Only its
recording and reproduction.
One of the most important features of the introduction of computers in
music and audio is the way in which sound is recorded digitally, as
opposed to analogue. Digital sampling allows for recorded sounds to be
reproduced almost exactly as they were Also once a sound has been
sampled it's sound wave can then be displayed on the computer screen.
The commercialisation of software that can record and edit sound at an
affordable price means that people can utilise a virtual studio which
far outdates the recording equipment 50 years ago for many times the
cost. The 'wave' presentation of the recorded sound has revolutionised
sound editing techniques. The process of selecting parts of a recorded
sound and 'trimming' for example, now involves selecting those waves
of sound and deleting them. It is done in a matter of seconds. In
contrast to this, analogue tape was physically cut (spliced) with a
knife to remove the sound. Although sound technicians became very
skilled at this they could never take advantage over the precise
nature of digital wave editing. Modern sound editing packages can zoom
to one oscillation of a sound wave easily, and can zoom further. The
change in editing processes means a much easier job for the sound
technician in the studio and has replaced the need for physical
manipulation of the recording medium i.e. tape.
Digital recording gives an almost exact reproduction of the original
sound. Also digital recordings can be copied without loss of quality.
This is not a property of tape recording, which by the 3rd to 5th
generation copy has lost considerable quality. The invention of
digital mediums has led to a boom in...

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