Electrical Sound Recording

Until the early 1920s the sound recording remained a mechanical process. The young recording industry was soon revolutionized with a series of groundbreaking inventions in the field of electronics. Microphones, loudspeakers, and various electronic devices such as the mixing desk, were devised for the electrical sound recording. These also comprised of amplification and modification of electrical sound signals. Read on to know more about electrical sound recording.

Two American scientists, Lee De Forest and Edwin Armstrong perhaps made the most important advances in sound recording after the Edison phonograph itself, between 1900 and 1924. Lee De Forest invented the "Audion" triode vacuum-tube, electronic valve in 1906. These could greatly amplify the weak electrical signals, and soon became the basis of all subsequent electrical sound recording, until the invention of the transistor. Between 1914 and 1922, the young electronics genius Edwin Armstrong followed with the invention of the Regenerative circuit, Super-Regenerative circuit and the Superheterodyne receiver circuit. The electrical sound recording and reproduction was made a practical reality by Armstrong's inventions. It also facilitated the development of the electronic amplifier and many other devices which were soon to become a standard in the sound recording and radio industry.

Armstrong's revolutionary inventions also made the broadcast of long-range, high-quality radio transmissions of voice and music possible. The significance of Armstrong's Superheterodyne circuit cannot be over glorified. Today it is the main component of almost all analog amplification, in both analog and digital radio-frequency transmitter and receiver devices to this day. The Radio had developed independently at this point. By 1920 greater sound reliability was achieved with the use of electronic sound recording.

By early 1924, some remarkable progress had been made in electrical sound recording. There were demonstrations arranged for the leading recording companies, the Victor Talking Machine Company, and the Columbia Phonograph Co by Bell Labs. On February 25, 1925, Columbia made its first released electrical sound recordings, followed by Victor a few weeks later.