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Dead medium: the Edison Wax Cylinder
From: From: manojk@andrew.cmu.edu (Manoj Kasichainula)
Source(s): "They Might Be Giants" web press release

The latest They Might Be Giants album, *Factory Showroom*,

has a track entitled "I Can Hear You" which was recorded

at the Edison Historic Site on a wax cylinder phonograph

without any electricity. Here is the what the members of

the band (John and John) say about the song.

"This track was recorded at the Edison Historic Site

in West Orange, New Jersey on an Edison wax cylinder

recorder. We performed this and other songs in front of a

small audience, singing and playing acoustic instruments

as loud as we could into a pair of enormous metal cones,

the larger of which was perhaps twelve feet long, which

fed the sound into a hundred year old non-electrical

recording device created by Thomas Edison in the 1890s.

The wax cylinder recorder carves a groove into a rotating

tube of softened wax with a needle that is vibrating from

the sound pressure collected at the small end of the cone.

That is the best we can explain it. It looked very cool."

The recording doesn't sound as bad as I would have

expected, having never heard a wax cylinder recording.

Lyrics for the song are available from the above link.

Manoj Kasichainula (manojk@andrew.cmu.edu)

http://dosa.ini.cmu.edu/~manojk/