Between the development of the phonograph in 1877 and the introduction of digital media, disputably the most imperative milestone in the chronicle of sound recording was the advent of what was then called electrical recording, whereby a microphone was utilized to change the sound into an electrical wave that was amplified and utilized to activate the recording stylus. This invention did away with the “horn sound” resonances feature of the audial process, created more full-bodied and clearer recordings by immensely extending the beneficial range of acoustic frequencies, and permitted previously unrecordable feeble and distant sounds to be captured.
Sound recording started as an entirely mechanical process. Except with a small number of crude telephone-based recording tools with no ways of amplification, this continued until the 1920s, when various radio-related inventions in electronics joined to revolutionize the recording process. These included convalesced microphones and auxiliary tools like electronic filters, all reliant on electronic amplification to be of feasible use in recording. Lee De Forest invented the Audion triode vacuum tube in 1906, an electronic valve that could amplify weak electrical signals. By 1915, it was in use in long-distance telephone circuits that made conversations between San Francisco and New York practical. Advanced forms of this tube were the foundation of all electronic sound devices until the saleable introduction of the initial transistor-based audio systems in the 1950s.
For the period of WW1, engineers in Great Britain and the United States worked on means to record and recreate, among other things, the sound of a German U-boat for teaching reasons. Audio recording techniques of the time could not recreate the sounds correctly. The first outcomes were not guaranteeing. The initial electrical recording issued to the public was of November 11, 1920 funeral services for the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey, London. The recording engineers utilized microphones like those in current telephones, inconspicuously set up in the abbey and wired to recording instrument in a vehicle outside. Although they used electronic amplification, the acoustic was unclear and weak. The process did, however, created a recording that would otherwise not have been possible in those situations. For many years, this little-noted disc stayed the only issued electrical recording.
Many independent inventors and record companies, notably Orlando Marsh, tested with techniques and equipment for electrical recording in the initial 1920s. Marsh’s electrically recorded autograph from the chief record companies, but their general sound quality was too low to show any obvious benefit over conventional audio techniques. Marsh’s microphone method was idiosyncratic and his work had small if any impact on the devices being developed by others.