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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oldest Recording Of Human Voice - 17 Years Before Edison's Phonograph?

US scientists have created a method of playing an ancient recording discovered by audio historian David Giovannoni, the recording created on a "phonautograph" which made etchings on soot-covered paper, is now believed to be the oldest recording of human voice. The phonautograph, a device created by a Parisian inventor, Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville, was not capable of playing back the recording and so it had never been heard until now. According to the BBC "Lines were scratched into the soot by a needle moved by a diaphragm that responded to sound. The recordings were never intended to be played." and "To retrieve the sounds scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California made very high-resolution digital scans of the paper and used a "virtual stylus" to read the scrawls." For a listen to the recording click here, but make sure your volume is turned down... it's a little spooky.