Chapter 2: Sound

Chapter 2: Sound

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Storyboard Description

The series of inventions and technological advances that lead to the popular "fuzz" effect in music during the 1960s.

Storyboard Text

  • Capturing Sound
  • Phonograph
  • Telephone
  • 1857, March:  Édouard Léon Scott de Martinville patented the "phonautograph", a machine that wrote down sound waves as it heard them. This was one of the first instances of sound becoming a tangible concept.
  • Radio
  • 1877: Thomas Edison expanded upon Scott's work by inventing the phonograph, which included the previously missing component of sound playback.
  • Vacuum Tubes
  • 1876: Alexander Graham Bell patented his invention of the telephone, which both received and transmitted sound.
  • Distortion Boxes
  • 1895: Guglielmo Marconi sent the earliest known radio transmissions, in morse code, and called his creation "wireless telegraphy".
  • 1910: Lee De Forest  attempted and failed at using gas to  strengthen radio signals enough that words and music could be transmitted. A decade later, Bell Labs  succeeded by  "removing the gas from the bulb so that it sealed a perfect vacuum".  
  • Vacuum tubes were used in many devices, including microphones and guitar amps. Musicians discovered that overdriving the amp created a distorted sound that some liked. Eventually devices made to purposely add this "fuzz effect" came onto the market, and it became the signature sounds of 1960s music.
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