JayKay Media Inc, publisher of creative industries-tech newsletter TechMutiny, was reminded of how far back tech innovation in music goes on 1April at the iconic Abbey Road Studios (pictured below) in London.
We were invited by music label conglomerate Universal Music Group (UMG) to a ceremony in honour of Alan Dower Blumlein, the British inventor of stereo sound recording.
He filed the patent for “a two-channel audio system” called ‘stereo’ on 14 December 1931. The first public demonstration took place in 1934 when he brought the equipment to Abbey Road Studios to record the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
So, anytime any of us listens to music at the cinema, on TV, on radio, on vinyl, on CD, on our PCs and via our smartphones, it is thanks to Blumlein that we can take the stereo sound for granted today.
With UMG, the IEEE (the world’s largest association dedicated to advancing technological innovation) unveiled a “Milestone Plaque” (pictured) at Abbey Road Studios to celebrate the astonishing number of technological breakthroughs made by Blumlein.
Blumlein (whose son, Simon, and grandson, also called Alan, were also present at the commemoration) filed more than 120 patents for other inventions in recording technology, telecommunications, TV and airborne radar during his career, which included a significant spell at EMI (now a UMG subsidiary).
He died in an aircraft accident at the young age of 38 during one of his projects with an airborne radar system.