Alan Dower Blumlein, the inventor of stereophonic sound

Victoria Turk, for Motherboard:

Blumlein’s work included inventions needed for recording, processing and playing sound in stereo and he had around 70 patents to his name.

Dedicating the plaque, IEEE President Howard Michel explained that his work included “a ‘shuffling’ circuit to preserve directional sound, an orthogonal ‘Blumlein Pair’ of velocity microphones, recording of two orthogonal channels in a single groove, stereo disc-cutting head, and hybrid transformers to mix directional signals.”

Some of these inventions were on show from the EMI archive, including a “binaural” microphone arrangement known as the  Blumlei​n Pair. The pair of microphones are positioned at a right-angle to pick up sound separately and so give the stereo effect.

Yet, as happens all too often, it wasn’t until well after Blumlein’s death that his work was put to widespread use, and his contribution acknowledged outside audiophile circles.