It’s Not Fair

My middle school son is required to participate in a “history fair.”  He has decided to research the history of sound recording.  I tried to give him some ideas:

I suggested that after reading the Wikipedia article, he may wish to further define his topic (e.g., “the cultural impact of pre-recorded laugh-tracks,” “multi-track tape and the advent of stereo,” or “MP3 compression and the end of high fidelity”).

Audio Formats, 1877 to Present

MP3s, Born in 1995

Digital Rights Management Does DRM-free music allow independent artists to benefit from “free marketing” and to focus on revenues from higher-margin products like merchandise and concert ticket sales?

Podcasting Your Novel – a technological innovation that may carry writers into a next age of publishing

And, my personal favorite topic, “the innovative Zoom H4 digital field recorder and its impact on home studio recording.”

The Zoom H4 Handy Digital Recorder fits in your palm and is ideal for recording live musical performances, interviews, podcasts, meetings, classes and seminars. The H4 allows you to record in 24-bit/96 kHz digital audio as well as in MP3 format with bitrates up to 320 kbps.

The H4 features two studio-quality electret condenser microphones configured in an X/Y pattern for true stereo recording. It also includes two combination XLR-1/4-inch input jacks with phantom power for use with any external microphones of your choice. And the H4 is loaded with onboard studio effects such as compression, limiting, and microphone modeling. An 1/8-inch headphone jack is also provided for monitoring.

The H4 records to Secure Digital (SD) media. With a 2GB SD memory card, the H4 provides up to 380 minutes of recording in 16-bit mode (CD Quality), and 34 hours in MP3 stereo mode. And to move your recordings to a PC or Mac, the H4 includes a USB mass-storage interface.

Unlike other field recorders, the H4 also has a 4-track recording mode for easy-to-use mobile multi-track recording. The H4 will also render 4-track audio with CD quality, 16-bit/44.1 kHz resolution.

Songwriters and musicians can use the combination XLR-1/4-inch high-impedance phone inputs for vocals, guitars, bass, or keyboards. Also onboard are Zoom’s most incredible guitar and bass amplifier modeling effects. These effects accurately reproduce the sounds of the most famous guitar amps ever made.

Recording directly to your computer has never been easier than with the Zoom H4 Handy Recorder. The H4 is the only portable digital recorder that also serves as your USB audio interface, allowing direct recording of instruments and vocals to your computer. And, if you don’t already have a Digital Audio Workstation, that’s okay because every H4 comes bundled with Cubase LE, the perfect 48-Track DAW for easy editing, mixing, and mastering of your recordings on either Windows or Mac.

Together, these features make the Zoom H4 Handy Digital Recorder the most versatile portable recording device ever offered.

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