Acoustic Recording vs Electric Recording: What Is The Basic Difference?

Acoustic Recording vs Electric Recording: What Is The Basic Difference

The methods of recording and their birth have always intrigued us. How did the researchers create the recording and develop it?

In this article, we pleasure share with you two ways acoustic recording vs electric recording. They are early recording methods. Let’s discover what makes them so special!

Acoustic Recording

#1. Early-stage

The acoustic recording is the recording method that first appeared in the field of recording. It appeared from the years 1885 until 1925. At this stage, people recorded sound by mechanical means. And of course, it is without microphones or amplifiers.

Musicians or singers have to play music in front of a giant trumpet. The trumpet will capture the vibrations of the sound and create grooves on the disc.

Essentially because the diaphragm vibrates by the energy of sound waves. Then, they act on the stylus to create soundtracks on the disc.

If you want any change in sound, the musicians or singers will have to move to another position. For example, a person playing the guitar will sit closer to the trumpet than the person playing the violin or vice versa.

#2. Sound quality output

This recording method can capture frequency ranges from 100 to 2500 Hz. However, this is still a limited frequency range.

The recorded audio is still dull and doesn’t seem to have a dominant timbre. Therefore, this recording method has had a significant influence on the sound quality.

Some banjo, trumpet, or xylophone sounds develop, but people cannot record them effectively.

In addition, the receiver horn also has acoustic properties. It will also have specific resonances during recording.

So the quality of recording and playback during this period is still lacking.

#3. After improving

As mentioned above, the frequency range of an acoustic recording is limited. However, it offers some outstanding capabilities after improved.

For example, it is a more sensitive thin diaphragm, the flexibility of the wax, and the sharpness of the grooves.

As acoustic recorders have soft wax sets, they can capture more high-pitched sounds than hard wax.

#4. Acoustic recording distribution

  • Acoustic early stage

In the early stages, they would playback recordings using a phonograph. This is the type of the machine that Thomas Edison invented in 1877. It can both record sound and play recordings.

Later, many other researchers developed this type of phonograph to achieve high sound efficiency.

  • Acoustic recording later stage

People used to know how to use soft and hollow rubber tubes to make other phonographs. Duplicates like this help to produce a louder and clearer sound.

However, each machine has different recording and playback capabilities because the processing is not the same.

Electric Recording

#1. Early-stage

When the sound quality of the recordings is not high for many years. The record companies were using microphones, electronic record players, and amplifiers to produce records in 1920.

This event was a significant change for the music and recording industry.

By 1925, the quality of the sound in the recording had improved a lot.

#2. The change of electric recording

Now the recorders can record audio with many different frequency bands. They also have frequency equalization as well as electronic filter control.

It is these major changes that make the sound quality much better than before.

Current musicians or singers don’t need to sit in front of a loud whistle. They can pose as far apart as a concert in comfort.

The electric recording marks an extensive, more flexible, quality change for recordings.

The Difference Between Acoustic Recording vs Electric Recording?

These two recording methods appeared at two different periods, so it has a lot of differences. Reading our analysis, you can probably guess some of those differences.

#1. Appeared at a different time

As you know, acoustic recording is the first method of recording. It appeared first and implemented the manual way to record. But electric has been around since the 1920s after acoustic had been around for a while.

#2. Other recording devices

Perhaps both of these ways of recording use the same principle. But acoustic will use more mechanical and manual methods to perform.

In contrast, electric has incorporated somewhat modern electronics into the records. Prominent that you can see are microphones, electronic record players, and electronic amplifiers.

#3. Audio plays after recording

Of course, the sound of the electricity with the support of more standard devices will be better.

In addition, the record companies have also drawn a lot of experience from previous jobs.

The sound from the electric recording is now more sensitive and has more timbre. Acoustic recording produces a relatively dry sound. In the sound, there is still deviation due to many good factors.


Either way, acoustic recording, and electric recording are early recording methods. However, it does not bring good results like today’s modern machines.

But it was also a significant turning point in the world’s music industry!

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