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Daguerreotyping the Voice: Léon Scott’s Phonautographic Aspirations

The oldest recorded human voice that can be heard intelligibly today dates from April 9, 1860: a ghostly snippet of the folksong “Au Clair de la Lune,” played back in March 2008 after lying silent for nearly a century and a half.  4,153 more words

Phonautograph

April 9

1860: The oldest known recording of an audible human voice is made. Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville was a French printer and bookseller from Paris. He patented a phonautograph on March 25, 1857. 501 more words

History

The Wow Factor in Audio Restoration

Some kinds of audio restoration are on pretty firm ground these days: declicking and decrackling, for instance, or noise reduction.  But speed variance correction—the removal of wow and flutter—remains an extraordinarily daunting challenge.  3,220 more words

Phonautograph

See the Phonautograph Turn: Motion Capture with Sound (1860)

You probably know that the phonautograms of Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville are the world’s oldest records of airborne sound, and that we can play them back today as audio.  1,497 more words

Animation

Creepy audio from the 19th century

This 1860 phonautogram by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville is the first known sound recording with a human voice.

http://www.firstsounds.org/sounds/1860-Scott-Au-Clair-de-la-Lune.mp3
Sounds a little scary. But when he recorded his phonautograms, he didn’t expect that once they would be played back, because the phonograph was only invented in 1877, by… 67 more words

Recording

The First Phonautograph in America (1859)

In 1859, a wealthy Philadelphia merchant named Charles N. Bancker bought a phonautograph for his lavish private collection of scientific apparatus.  It may have been the first phonautograph ever sold, and perhaps even the first one professionally built.  6,074 more words

Phonautograph