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WWII and Technological Advancements in Sound Recording

Filed under: Uncategorized — skkoumou at 3:22 pm on Sunday, October 17, 2010

High Fidelity at Last

Through out the years during the electrical era many new technologies were coming about to improve sound recording.  During the years  elapsing from the 1930s to the 1960s sound recording saw major improvements and basically revolutionized the recording industry. The exchanging of technologies between the “talking machines, radio, and talking pictures” and the very process of technology moving through out the world, the new advancement in recording were made.

The first major new technology that came about during this time frame was the dynamic loudspeaker. It divided sound up into three frequencies: high, middle, and low. Each frequency had its own transducer that was designed to work and bring out the best of the sound in their frequencies (low had a woofer for bass, middle had a mid-range driver, and high had a tiny tweeter for the treble).

The second major technology that revolutionized sound recording was the designing of the moving coil for the transcription process. This technology had many people and designed that helped produce the technology for the pre-recorded disc. As with any new technology, there is not one sole inventor and the technology builds on the previous inventions, the moving coil is no different. The moving coil along with the designing of the new pick ups and styli made for  lightweight product that was more sensitive to sound and improved many elements that needed improving from the prior phonograph and gramophone models.

The additioin of the LP-the  long player was revolutionary to the sound recording industry yet, the gene ral public was not interested in it. But, this idea pioneered future sound recordings because the LP was able to  record an extended the playing time for records. However, these technological advances did not necessarily bring about more consumers and sales, it was more of a technological revolution. Unfortunately, one would think that the sound recording industry was at the beginning of something monumental like this perceived “revolution”, but it all came to a halt at the beginning due to WWII.

For me it was not interesting, but more of a realization that WWII placed these barriars on the sound recording industry. As the war had did to every other medium, WWII basically monopolized all technology uses for the war. So the recording technology was used for transcribers and code breakers to record messages from the enemies, but the armed forces need more durable and more portable products for this. So the war time economy provided the catalyst for the new technologies to emerge once again. Longer playing discs that were lighter and more durable because they were now made of a copolymer of vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate that made it virtually unbreakable and withstand up to moisture in humid conditions. Along with the magnetic tape recorder.  “3M” magenetic tape was a redodoxide formulation on a plastic base, all came about because of the war. It is the fact that in a war time era so many technological advancements can occur at such a rapid pace, yet with out the war and devastation the technologies would take forever to come about. This is mainly because in the wartime era everything is done for the country and especially in WWII patriotism was at a high so things were done for one purpose with one gain and that gain was defeating the opposite side. Where as in  the rest of the period in the electrical era, technological advancements were made by companies or bought by big companies for monetary advancements.

The fact that the technology was there during this era to advance the sound recording industry but,  was not really formulated until WWII just shows once again like popular music being carefully manipulated by big business, how the technologies can also be manipulated by big business, and we evidently see that through the course of the technological advancements in sound recording.

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35 Comments

5

   wonder

October 17, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

Thank you for bringing more attention to what a great deal WWII was in the sound technology. For me it was more of an interest rather than realization of how one epic moment can turn a whole industry around into a booming technological advancement. It is sad though how big businesses or big governments can truly control technology or rather choose to hide it and market on it.

6

   jstrick

October 23, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

Bringing up the point that WWII halted technology is interesting. The sound industry was at the beginning of big things at this point, and it all had to come to a screeching halt because of the war. I wonder if the war had never happened, what sort of revolutionary discoveries about sound could have happened then and there instead of being stopped.

8

   Yendie

October 27, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

Indeed the development of technology helped to form the sound industry. With the World War it started with the morse code communication between the army and then radio which communicated the war to the public listeners, which was an eye opener as to what is going on around the world.Technology is what run the music industry and it is also what kills it.

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