Special focus: audio technology
E&T lends a technological ear to the world of audio. How has recording music changed in the 21st century; which is the best way of storing digital music; do people still want a physical product; alien sounds from 10 of the world's strangest instruments; the rebirth of vinyl records and laser turntables to play them on; the top five enduring hi-fi myths busted; the creative legacy of vintage electronic equipment; a photo essay on manufacturing guitars at Fender's Corona, California, facility; the work of mastering engineers. All this and much more besides.
Selected audio-technology news
A technique devised by the British inventor and electronics engineer Alan Dower Blumlein is making a comeback as mixing engineers try to push the boundaries of what is possible with a pair of audio channels, 70 years after his untimely death.
Selected audio-technology features
We follow the manufacturing process at Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, by which solid blocks of wood are transformed in to shapely electric guitars.
E&T reflects on pioneering people and instruments from the history of electronic music
Modern day craftsman still follow a tried and tested methodology pioneered by Antonio Stradivari to handcraft violins.
Audio file formats flow effortlessly around the Internet - that's their charm and their challenge. But which is best?
Electronic instruments can often sound even more unusual than they look. Here are ten of the most peculiar.
You would be forgiven for thinking that vinyl records were a thing of the past, but the industry is still thriving.
Music production has changed dramatically over the past three decades. E&T examines the tools and techniques in use today.
The new generation of tablet device heralded by Apple's iPad has major implications for creating music on the move. Here's our pick of the apps.
The consumer market is beginning to exert its influence on the pro-audio business, and it's not all good news.
What would you buy to get a better sound? And, more importantly, how would you know it had any effect?
Laser turntables make light work of playing gramophone records without the need for scratchy styli, and claim to beam into hidden areas of sonic data.
Developments in headphone technology are being driven by growing consumer demand for ever-higher fidelity and style.
The plan was simple: switch off the FM and AM antennas in the wake of the exodus to digital, but some powerful voices in the radio industry are switched off to the idea.
John Leckie is one of the UK's most successful record producers. His CV reads like a who's who of rock'n'roll. Here, he reflects on the technological changes he's seen in the recording studio over the years.
Mastering is the final phase for a recording before production, the last chance to fix any sonic issues. In this specialised role, what is required of mastering engineers today?
E&T visits Abbey Road Studios to talk to mastering engineer Sean Magee about the TG 12410 Transfer Console and the studio's new online mastering service. We also discuss remastering The Beatles in mono.
Sean Magee, mastering engineer at Abbey Road Studios, demonstrates how a vinyl record is cut, passing the sound through the TG 12410 Transfer Console and out to the Neumann cutting lathe in Mastering Room 6.
To give you an idea of what software modelling can achieve, we recorded two simple guitar riffs through both a real Fender valve amp and through a selection of amp models from the AmpliTube Fender software package.
Sampling is the latest technology to remake music. It's one more contribution from engineering to a 35,000-year-old art form.
E&T talks to Richard Ranft, head of the British Library Sound Archive.
E&T meets Robin Rimbaud, an internationally acclaimed technologist of music.
E&T travels to the Kent countryside to hear a unique automatic organ.
While it's possible to pipe music around your home, getting everything to work in sync is difficult with today's networks. The answer may lie in better software, says E&T.
The new thing in software is copying the old. E&T filters out the bad from the good in synths and finds out how to remake the Fender sound.
One of the biggest names in professional audio equipment design and manufacture, Solid State Logic is world famous for its large-scale recording and mixing consoles. E&T spoke to SSL's director of new products, Niall Feldman.
In a production-line world, what room is left for hand-wired audio amplifiers? Plenty, given guitarists' fondness for 'authenticity', reports E&T.
E&T reflects on how the arrival of the MP3 player also signalled the rise of contract manufacturing in the consumer electronics industry.
"Are you a digital native or an analogue native? The analogue aesthetic is alive and well at work in art, music, fashion and many other aspects of culture"
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