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On 9/18/2014 1:32 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
> I wonder if the idea of highly-damped and small-room recording spaces
> came from early radio studios. I remember reading in Barnouw's first
> book about early studios being little shacks with heavy padding on the
> walls and ceilings, similar to the description of Paramount's studio in
> Wisconsin. I don't think Edison or Berliner went to great lengths to
> damp studios, because they needed a good amount of sound pressure to
> collect at the horn mouths.

The practice may have evolved simultaneously in broadcast and recording 
studios. Maxfield's patent for a highly-damped studio, filed in 1923 
(#1,719,481) mentions in the first paragraph of the description that 
"This invention relates to studios used for acoustic purposes, 
particularly, studios for broadcasting or sound recording." The only 
prior work cited in the patent's text is Sabine's collected papers, 
published 1922.

Interestingly, there's a bit of prefiguration here, as he refers to what 
seems to be a preliminary (1922) filing on what would become Maxfield & 
Harrison's electrical recording system.

Peace,
Paul