An Introduction

I didn’t really think about introducing myself until George, my boss and half owner of Macon Productions, said to me, “Caleb you need to make the blogs more personal”. So with that said, my name is Caleb and I work for Macon Productions as a “whatever they need” kind of guy. I’m going to be posting blogs just about every day now just to give people an insight to what we’re doing and to tell you guys a little about me. I thought since I’m introducing my-self, I would introduce YOU (whoever you are) to the world of…..wait for it….Audio Engineer and Sound Reinforcement. Now don’t be alarmed, you may not know exactly what that is but that’s okay. The truth is, I just started working for Macon Productions and honestly don’t know too much past the basics about it all either. But that’s okay, were going to take this journey together.

For my first lesson, we are going talk briefly about the history of the PA. Most people think that PA stands for Professional Audio but it in fact does not. PA is an abbreviation for Public Address. So in my opinion, I look at a PA as more of an event and the PA system (sound reinforcement) is where the equipment that gives you power and volume comes in to play. The basic principles for the PA have been around since 20BC when Vitruvius first explored architectural acoustics but there were some things that needed to be thought of and invented before the first PA system could be built. To start, there was the invention of the carbon microphone in 1875 by David Edward Hughes. It wasn’t until 23 years later in 1898 that first Loudspeaker was invented by Oliver Lodge. Although there was a microphone and a speaker, there was nothing to amplify the sound coming out of the speaker so Oliver used a flared Horn to project sound. Finally, the last piece of the PA puzzle came together in 1906 when Lee DeForest invented the Audion, the first device capable of amplifying an electrical signal. Once these key inventions became available, different people started piecing them together and started experimenting with new and fascinating sound reproduction and amplification. The first documented use of a PA system was documented on December 24th, 1915 at San Francisco City Hall when “Jensen and Pirdhams Magnavox" system was publically demonstrated. The Event was a Christmas carol concert with an address by the mayor to almost or more than 100,000 people. It’s crazy to think about how far technology has come in such a short time. Just in a century and a half we’ve gone from riding horses everywhere to having computers the size of a wristwatch.

Well, that’s all for today’s discovery.

Caleb out