MATRIXSYNTH: From 1860 - The First Sample Ever?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

From 1860 - The First Sample Ever?

"For more than a century, since he captured the spoken words 'Mary had a little lamb' on a sheet of tinfoil, Thomas Edison has been considered the father of recorded sound. But researchers say they have unearthed a recording of the human voice, made by a little-known Frenchman, that predates Edison’s invention of the phonograph by nearly two decades.

The 10-second recording of a singer crooning the folk song “Au Clair de la Lune” was discovered earlier this month in an archive in Paris by a group of American audio historians. It was made, the researchers say, on April 9, 1860, on a phonautograph, a machine designed to record sounds visually, not to play them back. But the phonautograph recording, or phonautogram, was made playable — converted from squiggles on paper to sound — by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif."

Click here for the full article on the New York Times including the creepy audio.
via Retro Thing

2 comments:

  1. Phonoautographs were around well before Edison. But, as the article points out, they had no technology to play back the recordings they made. So it wasn't much more than a lab curiousity. I think there are other phonoautograph records still in existence.

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  2. I own the very first Phonoautograph known. It was purchased at a Christie's auction for an unfathomable sum. I had my scientists decode it, and we all stood in the Laboratory and heard, surprisingly clearly: "All your base are belong to us".

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