AES San Francisco 2008
Recording Industry Event
Friday, October 3, 1:00 pm — 2:00 pm
Lunchtime Keynote: Dave Giovannoni of First Sounds
Abstract: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.