First sound recording First stereo sound recording

First stereo sound recording

1. The technology

2. The human subject

First stereo sound recording of the human voice

Cut No. 1 of Alan Blumlein's Test No. 5757, recorded on Thursday, 14 December 1933, has Blumlein and three colleagues (Maurice Harker, Felix Trott, and Alfred L. Westlake) talking in Room 106, adjoining the small auditorium at EMI, with Blumlein and Westlake in front. Six recordings were made that day, on 10in wax masters. [Alexander]

These test recordings are now held at the National Sound Archive, in London. The first is shelfmarked as 9TS0003378, and is now available online (as are the other five made that day).



Earliest-born person whose voice was recorded in stereo

Probably Charley Grapewin (1869–1956), who played Uncle Henry in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz; though not experienced in stereo when originally shown, it is now available with remastered stereo.



Earliest-born woman whose voice was recorded in stereo

No definitive information yet located. Sybil Thorndike (1882–1976) was possibly the earliest-born woman whose voice was recorded in a stereo sound film. She played Queen Victoria in the 1953 Melba.



Full references for printed works

Peter Copeland (1991) Sound Recordings

Greg Milner (2009) Perfecting Sound Forever. The Story of Recorded Music. London: Granta

David L. Morton, Jr (2004) Sound Recording. The Life Story of a Technology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP

Jonathan Scott (2023) Into the Groove. The Story of Sound from Tin Foil to Vinyl. London: Bloomsbury Sigma


© 2010–2023 Benjamin S. Beck

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This page was last revised on 2021-05-06.