AES Show: Make the Right Connections Audio Engineering Society

AES San Francisco 2008
Acoustics Event

Friday, October 3, 1:00 pm — 2:00 pm

Lunchtime Keynote: Dave Giovannoni of First Sounds

Before Edison—Recovering the World's First Audio Recordings

First Sounds, an informal collaborative of audio engineers and historians, recently corrected the historical record and made international headlines by playing back a phonautogram made in Paris in April 1860—a ghostly, ten-second evocation of a French folk song. This and other phonautograms establish a forgotten French typesetter as the first person to record reproducible airborne sound 17 years before Edison invented the phonograph. Primitive and nearly accidental, the world’s first audio recordings pose a unique set of technical challenges. David Giovannoni of First Sounds discusses their recovery and restoration and will premiere two newly restored recordings.