Introduction: A Brief History of Recording

Duration: 10 minutes

Featuring: Alan Parsons.

The Introduction: A brief History Of Recording traces recording technology right back to Edison and the wax cylinder. Alan Parsons visits the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, touring the exhibits to map the development of recording during the nineteenth century with such figures as Thomas Edison, Emile Berliner, and Valdemar Poulsen, through to analog tape and early digital media in the twentieth century, to the advent of internet recording.

Alan talks about the influence Abbey Road studios in London (where he himself trained) has had on recording technology. Not only did Sir Edward Elgar record there at its grand opening in 1931 but of course The Beatles, under the watchful eyes and ears of George Martin and pioneering engineer Geoff Emerick, pushed the boundaries of sound recording with each album they made during the 1960s and 70s.

Alan recalls how The Beatles classic album Sgt. Pepper was recorded at Abbey Road on 4-track tape and how Pink Floyd’s seminal Dark Side Of The Moon–an album Alan engineered–was only recorded on 16-track.

As he tours the GRAMMY Museum Alan notes that The GRAMMYS don’t so much celebrate the technology so much as the people behind the technology and how that technology is applied. This serves as an appropriate reminder that no matter what tools you have at your disposal, its what you do with them that counts in the business of sound recording.

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