Preservationsound.com is a collection of ideas and information about audio.
More specifically, the history of audio, and our relationship to audio. Audio, broadly defined, is the electrical representation of sound. Sound has existed for at least as long as anyone has been around to hear it, but audio is a relatively new technology. The ability to ‘capture’ sound and then ‘play it back’ divorced from its origin in time and/or space is the most basic function of audio technology. In addition to this role, audio technology can also be an instrument; a tool to create unique sounds that do not originate as acoustic sound. I do not mean to imply that these are separate functions; capturing and playing back sound will always change the sound, regardless of the intent of the audio operator. There is always a grey area between documentation and manipulation; every audio operation creates the potential for a new sound. We have developed a great many audio tools and technologies to maintain the ‘fidelity’ of audio: that is to say, maintain a ‘true-to-the-original-sound’ quality in our audio signals. We have also developed a great number of tools and technologies to enhance, distort, combine, separate, and generally manipulate audio. It is these tools and technologies that I am interested in exploring. I am interested in their effects, their methods, and their development. Most of all, I am interested in their potential to create meaning for the people who experience these new sounds. Sounds that have been brought across great distances, through spans of time, bearing the artifacts of the particular tools that have crafted them.
I will not be presenting a chronological narrative. I am not attempting to offer a comprehensive or thorough treatment of audio history. Instead I will focus each post on a particular subject: a technology, a technique, an individual, a recording, a piece of hardware. I will provide historical context, and offer my thoughts about what significance the subject may have. Some posts will be very broad in nature, and some will be fairly technical. Much of what I write about will stem from my own experiments with audio hardware and techniques. I hope you find the information useful.