Chapter 6

Analogue recording

A short history of analogue recording

Early recording machines

When Edison and Berliner first developed recording machines in the last years of the nineteenth century they involved little or no electrical apparatus. Certainly the recording and reproduction process itself was completely mechanical or ‘acoustic’, the system making use of a small horn terminated in a stretched, flexible diaphragm attached to a stylus which cut a groove of varying depth into the malleable tin foil on Edison’s ‘phonograph’ cylinder or of varying lateral deviation in the wax on Berliner’s ‘gramphone’ disc (see Figure 6.1). On replay, the undulations of the groove caused the stylus and diaphragm to vibrate, thus causing the air in the horn ...

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