ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

4pPP8. Multichannel auditory perspectives, a historical view of Harvey Fletcher's forgotten contributions and their ramifications.

Frederick J. Ampel

Technol. Visions S.A., 9512 W. 93rd St., Overland Park, KS 66212

Ted Uzzle

Sound & Video Contractor Magazine, Overland Park, KS 66212

The history of sound transmission, recording and reproduction, and the number of channels those technologies may employ, is complex and convoluted. It has proceeded down numerous paths, and found many dead ends. Beginning with the work of Bell, Edison, and Clement Ader, the technical achievements and insights needed to produce successful and aurally accurate reproduction required much invention and enormous amounts of insight. How many channels? Sonic accuracy or artistic effect? Loudspeakers or headphones? Live or recorded? When Fletcher began his investigations in 1931, no one knew the answers. Regrettably, his significant contributions have been either lost to time or ignored. Without Fletcher much of what is known today about perception and sound would not have been possible. This paper will examine his contributions, remind one of the answers he found, show where they led, and bring them once again to the forefront.