stereophonic sound, sound recorded simultaneously through two or more electronic channels. For live recordings, microphones are placed in different positions relative to the sound source. The recorded sound is played back through loudspeakers placed more or less as the recording microphones were placed. The resulting sound does not emanate from a point source, but instead the voices or instruments composing the sound seem to be spread out as they would be naturally. Thus, some of the ambience of the recording hall is recreated. Almost all commercial recordings and motion pictures produced today use stereophonic sound, as do many television and frequency modulation (FM) radio programs. See record player; sound recording; compact disc.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.