From shellac to CD, an aspect of our technological history to which DG has made major contributions
There was no doubt that electrical recording reproduced sound far more faithfully. The introduction of electrical recording in 1925 and the electric loudspeaker two years later lent a new dimension to recorded sound. Mechanical transmission of vibrations to a cutting stylus gave way to a microphone and amplifier. Innovation was then evident in 1934 with the arrival of the concept of high fidelity (hi-fi), which extended the band of recorded frequencies from 30 to 8000Hz, thus improving sound quality still further. This is a 1936 recording of Erna Sack: Ein Blumenstrauß aus Nizza.
Dr Hans-Werner Steinhausen joined Deutsche Grammophon in 1950 as Technical Director. He defined the very strict guidelines for record production that ensured better sound reproduction. Quality came at a price – an LP from the Hannover factory cost around 24 marks when the average monthly wage was 350 marks.
In 1994, DG’s recording of Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand”, with Claudio Abbado conducting the Berlin Philharmonic by Abbado, saw the first use of 24-bit multi-track recording, the ultimate evolution of the “4D Audio Recording” process.
Text by: Rémy Louis