Footage Of Early Stereo Tests

US Blumlein Takes A stroll Across The Field      07/08/08

Footage Of Early Stereo Tests


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The BBC have posted a short video of Alan Blumlein and his team conducting early stereo tests in the 1930’s. This amusing footage shows a variety of technicians strolling across the stereo field on what appears to be a music hall stage.
Blumlein lodged the patent for ‘binaural sound’ in 1931. The patent also included stereo recordings, stereo films and surround sound.

The BBC article tells of how Blumlein took his new stereo cutting equipment to the fledgling Abbey Road Studios to record the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1934. These recordings have recently been remastered by sound engineer Roger Beardsley who has been restoring recordings for over 40 years as a member of the Historic Masters Committee.
In his paper, Let Them Sing – The Records Will If You Allow Them, Beardsley advocates CEDAR and talks at length on sound restoration and recording techniques.

Blumlein's work on stereo was shelved in 1934 because EMI concluded that it had no immediate commercial potential.
The cancellation forced Blumlein to switch to the development of TV, and later radar. He died during a top secret flight over Wales in 1942, aged 38, testing a prototype radar system.
During his working life he was granted 128 patents - about one every six weeks.

Simon Power

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