Stereo and high fidelity

Stereo and high fidelity

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Stereophony, it is not a disease, on the contrary, it is what allows us to see a film, for example, letting ourselves be enveloped by music and sound effects, fully enjoying the director's work. The same goes for a concert, for example. There stereo it is therefore intertwined with our daily life, often and willingly in playful and amusing moments to which it contributes generously.

Stereophony: meaning

By stereo we mean that sound reproduction or recording technique in which there are multiple sound information streams and each of them comes played by a different speaker acoustic placed in a different place than everyone else. And not by chance, as it happens or as it is more elegant from a furnishing point of view, but according to pre-established rules that belong to the stereo itself.

All of this is based on the ability that we as human beings have distinguish the origin of the sounds thanks to having two ears, in jargon "parallel auditory systems" that allow us to understand where a sound or noise comes from. This attitude certainly has helped the human species to preserve itself from many dangers and ancient predators, even today it is essential in terms of adaptation to the environment.

Stereo and high fidelity

It is not certain that an ad High fedelity is stereo, it could also be based on monophony, but in practice, in 99% of cases a high-fidelity system will be stereo. However, it is important to clarify from a technical and scientific point of view that these are not synonyms.

Stereophony and monophony

In contrast to stereo we find the monophony, a technique that sees the presence of a single sound information flow instead of the multiple ones of stereo. Also in this case, it is necessary to make a clarification, perhaps trivial, but which serves to avoid qui pro quo.

If we see two sound speakers, this does not guarantee that it is a stereo system, because it is necessary that the signal arriving at these is be separated into two distinct channels. It should be specified because it may happen to hear a monophonic signal but broadcast via radios connected to two speakers. It remains monophonic, it does not become stereophonic.

Stereophony: etymology

This word is composed of stereo and voice. It comes from the Greek: stèreo is στερεο-, compositional form of the adj. στερεός “firm, solid”, and phony. Sound "solid"?

Stereophony: cinema

One of the most popular applications is the one we all experience in cinemas when we hear voices and noises enveloping us and coming from different points at the same time. The result is that the sound, thanks to stereophony, has its own spatiality, in the halls it is also possible to reconstruct a sound scene and not just a series of images with a monotonous carpet of sound waves alongside.

In general it is true that the more sound information flows implemented, the greater the degree of realism obtainable, the result in any case is not comparable with that of monophony.

TV stereo

Certainly not the same satisfactions that it gives to the cinema, but also with one Modern TV stereo can do magic. This technique has therefore depopulated not only in the discography and cinema, but also in television, radio and home cinema, then there are experiments that see the use of equipment based on psychoacoustic principles which create an extension of the two-channel stereo scene.

Stereophony: the story of Alan Blumlein

As often happens, behind the discoveries that we take for granted today, there are curious stories of studies born a bit by chance and pursued with an unusual determination and skill.

To invent stereo listening it was this engineer born in London in the early twentieth century and who worked in the recording studios of EMI. Few people know his name even though many are those who benefit from stereo. IS' Alan Dower Blumlein. He was the first to think of spreading the split sound on two channels, both synchronized, so that listeners, including himself, could be offered a higher quality hearing experience. More engaging, more exciting.

The idea of ​​making one's contribution arose not at work but at Cinema, while our Alan was relaxing in front of a movie in the company of his wife. Annoyed by the audio effect of the room, in which there was only one speaker, as was the case at the time, in 1931, as soon as he got home he did his best. If everyone reacts like this when they are not satisfied with a certain show!

Blumlein came up with something like 70 patents dedicated to stereo listening and gave us stereo. His "technical" passion began playing with trains, as a child, which prompted him to investigate the type of frequencies to which the human ear responds, in the 1920s he then invented and patented a long series of telephone accessories before engage in the world of audio recording by becoming engineer at EMI. Before discovering that it was possible to give better sound, with stereo.

The first stereo disc was released in 1933, in 1935 came the first film with stereo sound, “Trains at Hayes Station”.

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