----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
> In recent years I have been privately advocating that each sound archive
> and other learning venues present a program called "How Our Ancestors
> Heard Recordings."
> It would sequentially play back the same piece of music, "Stars and
> Stripes" or an earlier piece for which recordings exist in all commercial
> These would be reproduced through the actual machines for which they were
> intended rather than microphone recordings from them and would cover the
> time spectrum then to now.
> Using microphones to record what is played back on a phonograph,
> graphophone, etc., introduces a further group of variables.
However, playing back ANY sound recording will still require the use
of a transducer of some sort...to convert the sounds of the player to some
sort of electrical signal...this will by definition introduce some sort of
"distortion" of the reproduced sound signal...?! Thus if one plays an Edison
Diamond Disc on an Edison Player of the same vintage, only the hearers in
that room/venue will actually hear the result...?! Everyone else will have
hear a played-back recording of the already-played-back sound recording...
> Part of the presentation would include playing electrical recordings on
> acoustical machines, mono through stereo speakers, etc. to give an inverse
> This is a different process than that to which I was objecting in my
> earlier message. It brings into play the sound of each instrument in a
> real acoustical setting which is far truer to the ear of the listener in
> the room than what a microphone can presently create and mimic.
> Steve Smolian
Steven C. Barr