Recording Technology: A Progression from Phonograph to Hard Disk
Miller, Christopher W.
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The field of recording technology calls upon many disciplines of physics. From electromagnetics to acoustics and mechanics, the process of recording sound has developed along with progress in these various arenas. This development has affected the ways in which sound is recorded, mixed, reproduced and sold. The scope of this paper will be limited by necessity to the progression in technology of the recording process and will concentrate on the method and actual medium onto which sound is transcribed. Some technical details will be left out to keep the paper length reasonable, but important ideas and concepts will be included. The development of recording formats will be followed from tinfoil cylinders and wax disks developed nearly 130 years ago to modem digital and magnetic hard-disk recording. Optical recording methods and associated technology are only briefly included in this study.