During the 1910s and 1920s, classical music recordings were by far the most popular type of recording offered. Popular music, jazz, and band performances began to catch on and record sales grew tremendously. A major development for the record industry came in the method of recording for radio play. Magnetic tapes were used to produce the original recording. The quality of sound through radio job during this time may not be that impressive compared to today’s standards. From the magnetic tape it allowed for there to be a patchwork correction up to the recording process that required its replacement segments where errors or poor quality sound occurred. It was no longer necessary to record the entire piece in one session.
Tape recordings also allowed for the music to be recorded on channels. A singer’s voice may be one channel and instrumental music would be another. This gave the producer an opportunity to mix the music with the desired emphasis. A flute, for example, could be enhanced beyond the original performance level, or the brass instruments could be quieted. Two track stereophonic recordings became a commonplace in the 1950s and phonographs were developed with two speakers to reproduce the stereo sound in the home and playing it at radio station jobs.
Eventually the number of tracks recorded during a session increased to four, eight, and then sixteen tracks. This gave the recording engineers more leverage in the manipulation of sounds recorded. The technology for recording boomed with the computer age. Synthesizers reproduced the sounds of orchestras electronically. Voices could be electronically enhanced, lowered, shifted in pitch, or adjusted to accommodate any change desired. The type of music recorded could be so stylized that it could not be reproduced in a live performance. The number of tracks recorded could be increased to meet the needs of an individual recording artist.
Along with the advancement in technology of sound recording, advancement in the record disk began to change the shape of the industry once again. Compact discs were invented in Japan in the late 1970s. Compact discs, or CDs for short, are digitally recorded discs that use a laser instead of a stylus to read the music. The benefits of CDs rest in the quality of the reproduction, the portability of the discs and the players, and their ability to remain undamaged by wear or scratching. The change by the record industry by CDs and even by DVDs has been shifted thoroughly in its innovative technology.
For popular music, the tools of the recording engineer are used in a wide variety of ways to influence the sound produced or to create new sounds entirely. After the recording session, the producer, engineer, and artist combine the pieces of the recording into the finished product. This may involve re-recording parts, reproducing parts with a synthesizer, enhancing the sound of one or more voices, and otherwise combining the tapes into a whole. The finished performance is then added to the other performances to go on the album.
To record and play it in radio with a live performance, the technical end is just as necessary, but the performer only has one shot at the recording. After the performance, the engineer can work with the different tracks of tape to erase flaws, outside noises, and juggle with the volume and intensity to smooth over rough patches in the performance.
Likewise, it must be noted that one of the most important aspects to the recording of a live performance is the position of the microphones. This really affects the quality of playing the recorded album through radio jobs. Setting microphones for a symphony determines the strength of the different sections of the orchestra. If solo performers are to be heard, a single microphone may be assigned to their position on the stage to capture their performance separately. To maintain a balanced sound in the reproduction of a large performance such as a symphony, the recording must match and balance to what is achieved from the audience in orchestral hall, even in the audio system in radios. Likewise, the promotion and publicity department is responsible for sending out copies of the recording to reviewers and various radio stations for a launching play as the listeners have come to pour in their countless requests.
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