The First Recorded Music – Edison Was Second

Mar 28, 2008

We were all taught that Tom Edison made the first recordings, using his famous wax cylinders. This recounting certainly fits well with our typical US-centric mindset. As it turns out, this article in Nature reports that Edison was probably two decades late. It turns out that Edison was probably bested by a Frenchman (Edourard-Leon Scott), who recorded music on a visual medium using a phonautograph. But did the 1860 phonautograph technology really work, i.e., does it create reproducible music? Listen to this MP3 for yourself, and come to your own conclusion!

Describing What We Hear

Mar 11, 2008

We have all been in hundreds of discussions centering on a description of "what we heard" - usually to evaluate the quality of a given system, component, mix, or piece of music. And we've all been alternately mesmerized and frustrated by the unusual things that we read and hear, such as: "Where's the air? The music has no air or sense of space!" "God that's sweet and syrupy. Makes me want to cry."; or "There's just more 'there' there!" (with emotion) Perhaps we've even used these phrases ourselves. But what do they mean? Is there any logic at play? The…

Monster Cable vs Coat Hangers

Mar 05, 2008

If you haven't seen the latest "audiophile cables are hype" saga, click here for the Engadget article (courtesy of RichardT). On a related note, RichardT (a BAAS member) shares the results of his own informal testing: Two friends and I recently did a careful test of audio input cables using two high end cables and a worst case pair of beat up radio shack cables. We made a switcher that instantly let us go back and forth seamlessly. Each of us sat in the sweet spot and did the test many times. After listening and going back and fourth, we…