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Recording Synchronous Sound


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#1 Terry Mester

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 07:10 PM

As a Super8 user who does not like silence, I developed an amazingly simple method to record SYNCHRONIZED Sound with my silent Camera. I sent this information to Kodak way back in July 2005 for them to pass on to their 8mm & 16mm customers, but they've done nothing. You can find the two page Information Sheet under the Thread entitled "Recording Synchronous Sound with a Silent Movie Camera" under the "Sound for Film and Video" Forum, or by logging onto my Website www.geocities.com/filmanddigitalinfo.
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#2 Robert Hughes

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 09:26 AM

Thanks, I guess. Why don't you put it up as a 20KB HTML file instead of two 3MB bitmaps? I can't even read them.
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#3 Terry Mester

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 12:50 AM

Thanks, I guess. Why don't you put it up as a 20KB HTML file instead of two 3MB bitmaps? I can't even read them.


Bitmap Files are not easy to view on the Computer Monitor. They need to be printed out on your Printer using a Scanner Software Programme like Microsoft 'Image Composer' or MS 'Paint' or LivePix. I'll try to find the original text file to attach, but the accompanying picture is only on the Bitmap File version.
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#4 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 10:32 AM

hey, i read this article of yours a year ago or so. the problem is that you're solving a problem that doesn't really exist, while not solving the real problem which is how to keep things in sync. your method would be great if both the camera and recorder were crystal controlled and got to that speed in the exact same amount of time after you start them, but this isn't even very likely to happen even with professional gear.

/matt
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#5 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 10:45 AM

btw, to comment on the last paragraph, film is a color channel based medium that suffers from the exact same gamut restrictions as video. there are way more colors in nature that can't be represented than that can. i'm a film fan too, and i like the images of film better than video, but there's no reason to spread false information to prove it.

/matt
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 01:07 PM

I'm still not seeing the point of your aperatus. Regardless of whether or not your recorder & camera start at the same time, you will still have to rely on the clapper for syncing the sound in post when you put the two elements together.

btw, none of your links are working.
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#7 Marek Stricek

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 01:43 PM

Bitmap Files are not easy to view on the Computer Monitor. They need to be printed out on your Printer using a Scanner Software Programme like Microsoft 'Image Composer' or MS 'Paint' or LivePix. I'll try to find the original text file to attach, but the accompanying picture is only on the Bitmap File version.


I just tried to download it as I was curious in which format do you have the files, I was successful with the first one, but while trying to download the second one the Geocities server informed me that your site transfer limit was exceeded. Maybe you can convert the file to black&white and store it as a .PNG file.
Or I can do the OCR for you so you will have the article in the text form again.
Otherwise access to your article will be very limited.

(here is the first page after conversion in HTML Attached File  Sync1.html   6.28KB   54 downloads and DOC Attached File  Sync1.doc   18KB   51 downloads format)
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#8 Terry Mester

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 09:54 PM

You can download a smaller HTML version (which doesn't contain the Schematic Picture) from the Attachment Link below.

Attached Files


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#9 Terry Mester

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 10:27 PM

I'm still not seeing the point of your aperatus. Regardless of whether or not your recorder & camera start at the same time, you will still have to rely on the clapper for syncing the sound in post when you put the two elements together.

btw, none of your links are working.


You would need to use the Clapper when you begin a new Reel of Film in professional use, but after that the Sound Recording should remain synchronized for the rest of the Film Reel. It would be nice to not have to use the Clapper more than once per Reel. If you're not using a Camera with Quartz Timing, minor djustments could be made to the Sound Track during editing to correct any part that is out of sync.
A 3 Minute : 20 Second Super8 Film Reel should remain in sync with the Sound Track. I've not personally had a problem. For Home Movies, this method serves perfectly.

I'm sorry if there's a problem with that Yahoo Geocities. They give poor service.

Edited by Terry Mester, 20 December 2006 - 10:30 PM.

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#10 Terry Mester

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:04 PM

btw, to comment on the last paragraph, film is a color channel based medium that suffers from the exact same gamut restrictions as video. there are way more colors in nature that can't be represented than that can. i'm a film fan too, and i like the images of film better than video, but there's no reason to spread false information to prove it.


Matt, what I stated about colours is not false. You can find on my Website an Article
on Cinematography which explains how colour comes from White Light, and how Film
captures the proportions of Light. Film is not perfect, but it is of considerably higher
colour and resolution quality than an electronic Video recording.
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#11 Terry Mester

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 02:25 AM

FULL HTML VERSION
You can download an HTML Version of the Information Sheet (including the
Schematic Picture) attached below. Also available off of my Website, but I'm afraid
that Yahoo Geocities sucks.

Attached Files


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#12 Terry Mester

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 01:39 AM

JPEG FORMAT VERSION
I've converted the Information Sheet into the smaller JPEG (Screen Resolution) Format
which can be downloaded off my Website or from the HTTP Links below.
http://www.geocities...fo/S8SOUND1.jpg
http://www.geocities...fo/S8SOUND2.jpg

ELECTRIC ZOOM LENS CONTROL
I would recommend not using the Electric Zoom feature because this drains
power away from the Cartridge Motor causing it to temporarily slow down. This
would affect synchronization. Instead you can just manually move the external
Zoom Lens Dial. If the Dial has a smooth and slippery surface, you can just glue
Drops of Glue on it which will enable you to get a good grip with your finger.
["Goop" is the best Glue you'll find.] Manually moving the Zoom Lens also
provides a smoother and more controlled zoom than the roughness of an
electric motor.
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#13 James Grahame

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 12:23 AM

Terry, if recording sync sound was as simple as starting and stopping a cassette recorder and camera at the same time, everyone would do it.

Very few people own crystal sync'd S8 cameras because it's an expensive custom modification. And unsynched cameras drift as their batteries discharge. The same goes for tape recorders (although a minidisc or hard disk recorder is essentially crystal synchronized - its sample rate won't drift). To make things more complicated, you'd need a projector and audio playback deck that run at exactly the same speed as the original recording equipment when it came time to screen your work.

That said, some cameras do hold their speed quite well throughout an entire cart. I have an S8 cam that I use with an external battery pack. If the pack is fully charged, the frame rate hardly drifts at all for the first 3 or so cart -- a very useful trait. BUT: It doesn't run at exactly 24 fps and I always slate the beginning and end of each take so I can timestretch the audio to fit the picture once its been Telecined (which will happen at 23.976 fps, whether I like it or not -- guaranteed to be slightly out of sync with my audio recording right from the moment I start post-production).

And I agree with Matt about the "infinite" color reproduction of film. This simply isn't the case. If it was, film would essentially be a perfect image reproduction medium.

In the real (and imperfect) world, each different film stock responds differently. For example, you might find a Fuji emulsion that produces vibrant greens while rendering skin shades a garish shade of cartoon pink. Or Kodachrome, which captured red so well that it almost seemed capable of jumping out of the frame. You have to carefully pick and choose your emulsion to suit your shooting situation and its (often significant) limitations.

Edited by James Grahame, 05 January 2007 - 12:23 AM.

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#14 Terry Mester

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 10:17 PM

Very few people own crystal sync'd S8 cameras because it's an expensive custom modification. And unsynched cameras drift as their batteries discharge. The same goes for tape recorders (although a minidisc or hard disk recorder is essentially crystal synchronized - its sample rate won't drift). To make things more complicated, you'd need a projector and audio playback deck that run at exactly the same speed as the original recording equipment when it came time to screen your work.


Thanks James for your comments. My Projector allows for altering the Speed of the Film during projection. This feature should be on all Projectors. For one 3:20 Minute S8 Film Cartridge, the speed of the Film advance in the Camera (if you didn't use the Electric Zoom) should have remained constant, and the speed of a Tape Recorder should also have remained constant for 3:20 Minutes. Where this is the case, the Speed of the Film during projection can be altered to match the duration of the Sound Recording. If the Film goes ahead of the Sound Recording (or vice-versa), you can quickly push the Pause Button on the Projector (or the Recorder) to get the Film and Sound re-aligned. If you download the Sound Recording into your Computer -- which is easy to do, you can edit the Sound Recording in the Computer to add silence or remove part of the Sound Recording as needed: 1/2 Second, 1 Second, whatever is needed. This will make sure it is 3:20 Minutes. (Every Computer comes with Windows Sound Recorder and Media Player.) You can also use your Computer to play the Sound while watching the Film on the Projector, and thus you can be certain that the Computer Digital Sound Track will remain 3:20 Minutes. I use "Duracell" Batteries in my Camera and Recorder. If you're not using Duracell, you can suffer unacceptable power drain during the course of a 3:20 Minute Film Cartridge. You should test your Batteries with a Voltmeter to ensure that all are within 1.4 - 1.6 Volts (for both the Camera and Tape Recorder). If your Batteries are all from the same "manufacturing stock", then they should drain at the same rate. If you're indoors you can use a Transformer as I suggested, and avoid power drain problems. Use a Voltmeter to test the Transformer to verify it is outputting the correct Voltage!

For copying the Film to Video format, it is very easy to append the Sound Track to Video because it can be done separately after the Video. As noted, you just add or remove Sound in a Computer to make it 3:20 Minutes in duration. I agree that Quartz Timing isn't needed with Super 8mm Professional use since it's so easy to adjust the Sound Track. You only need to use a Stopwatch to verify how far off the Sound Track is at any given point in the Video version. Although my idea is primarily intended for Amateur use, this method would make it easier to synchronize the Sound Track to a Video version. Having one unified Sound Track for each Reel of Film is beneficial.



And I agree with Matt about the "infinite" color reproduction of film. This simply isn't the case. If it was, film would essentially be a perfect image reproduction medium. .........
In the real (and imperfect) world, each different film stock responds differently. For example, you might find a Fuji emulsion that produces vibrant greens while rendering skin shades a garish shade of cartoon pink.


Regarding Colour and Film, as I note in my Cinematography Article, the LOWER the ISO -- the HIGHER the colour quality. With Super8, 200 ISO and higher should look undesirably grainy. Kodak should not have taken 25 ISO Kodachrome away from Super8 users. Unlike Negative Film, with Positive Transparency Film you have the problem of unwanted absorptions of Green & Blue Light by the Cyan Dyes, and unwanted absorptions of Blue Light by the Magenta Dyes. Transparency Film cannot give you the accuracy of colour that you get with Negative Film. Different Dye Molecules absorb varying amounts of Light which is what provides the varying Hues of different Film brands. If you're referring to Fuji's Velvia, that Film is primarily used for "nature" photography, and it does have known problems with skin tones. However, regardless of Film colour problems, electronic Video is much, much worse.

Edited by Terry Mester, 05 January 2007 - 10:21 PM.

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