How was music recorded in the 1920's-1940's....

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by newking70, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. newking70

    newking70 Member

    Jun 11, 2006
    mile high
    What type of equipment did they use?
  2. elambo

    elambo Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    A lot of people have Robert Johnson's double album, right? That was recorded live, just as music was done then, directly to a cutting lathe which actually created the lacquer on the spot. He recorded into a microphone which reacted to the sound pressure of his voice and guitar and those changes in pressure were transferred directly to the cutting blade on the lathe (recorder) in real time. If you screw up, you grab another album. Certainly no overdubs, that came much later with Les Paul's invention of the multi-track. Although people were "bouncing" tracks to get layers, which isn't nearly as flexible.

    The mics were rudimentary, but effective. Towards the end of that period technology had actually gone pretty far, and we have German radios and their designers to thank for much of it. Some mics from the 40's are still used today. The U47, which came slightly later, is unquestionably the most popular ultra-high-end microphone ever. But the technology to accurately capture (the recording medium) and playback sound was not even close.

    (ah hah - much more info in the link above)

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