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Sound-on-Film Camreas?


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#1 adam schutzman

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 10:57 AM

Hey all...
i just learned from michael carter about the auricon sound-on-film camera...were there other cameras that record and expose the optical soundtrack right on the film? was it automatically in-sync? id love to learn more about this type of camera....
~adam
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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 11:12 AM

A few cameras offered this. But as it's right on the film, it's automatically in-synch. But it makes editing a real pain. You also cannot modify the camera to Super16.
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#3 Charlie Peich

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 11:39 AM

Adam,

Check out this Yahoo group about Auricon cameras. It is mostly about the guys repairing the optical sound amps, but there is historical info on Auricon also. Auricon had cameras that recorded optical and magnetic tracks.

Arri, Mitchell, Bolex and Cinema Products had cameras that recorded sync sound on mag stripe film.
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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 02:02 PM

Hey all...
i just learned from michael carter about the auricon sound-on-film camera...were there other cameras that record and expose the optical soundtrack right on the film? was it automatically in-sync? id love to learn more about this type of camera....


Until the mid50s, newsreels were shot on 35mm single system cameras.
Mostly Walls. Also Audio Akeleys and Devry Sound cameras.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 02:07 PM

A few cameras offered this. But as it's right on the film, it's automatically in-synch. But it makes editing a real pain. You also cannot modify the camera to Super16.


I remember hearing that the sound was recorded several frames in front of or behind (forget which) the frame of picture that it syncs with. Is that right? It would make sense since cramming a recording head into the gate would be a pain in the ass when you could just put it somewhere else in the body.
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#6 Jim Simon

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 02:18 PM

I remember hearing that the sound was recorded several frames in front of or behind (forget which) the frame of picture that it syncs with.


It's true for Super 8 mag striped film. The sound ran 20 frames offset from the picture. This was done because the sound stripe had to move over the playback head at a constant speed, while the frame needed to pause briefly in front of the lens for projection. The offset allowed this to occur.
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#7 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 02:20 PM

I remember hearing that the sound was recorded several frames in front of or behind (forget which) the frame of picture that it syncs with. Is that right? It would make sense since cramming a recording head into the gate would be a pain in the ass when you could just put it somewhere else in the body.


The head on the Auricon is advanced 26 frames the same as on a 16mm projector.

The 35mm wall had a 10 frame advance, while the projector advance is 20 frames.
So the picture and track were printed on seperate passes.
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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 02:32 PM

I remember hearing that the sound was recorded several frames in front of or behind (forget which) the frame of picture that it syncs with. Is that right? It would make sense since cramming a recording head into the gate would be a pain in the ass when you could just put it somewhere else in the body.


Yes, introduced a few difficulties with overlapping sound when they were editing this single system stuff: they used a magnet to wipe the unwanted mag sound.
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#9 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 02:39 PM

Yes, introduced a few difficulties with overlapping sound when they were editing this single system stuff: they used a magnet to wipe the unwanted mag sound.


Opaque tape or blooping ink on optical track.
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#10 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 08:28 PM

Yes, introduced a few difficulties with overlapping sound when they were editing this single system stuff: they used a magnet to wipe the unwanted mag sound.

or you edit for the sound, and let the picture have an extra second of the subject getting ready to speak. most audience mebers would not notice.

The use of these units wa smostly news anywhay, and if it was a big event the crew would backup their coverage with a Bolex or a filmo and have the reporter "talk over" that in the studio. then the Mayor or President for a quote is spliced in.
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#11 Clive Tobin

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 09:53 PM

...were there other cameras that record and expose the optical soundtrack right on the film?...

There was also a now very rare RCA sound camera (I forget the model number) which recorded optical sound on the film. However, rather than taking the sound from the subject being photographed, it recorded the voice of the cameraman, behind the camera, giving his impressions of what was going on.

This was a non-electronic system something like the old way of making a phonograph record by yelling into a horn with a moving diaphragm at the end of it. In this case there was probably a moving mirror to modulate the light, instead of a moving cutting stylus.

The other odd feature was that the camera was clockwork, spring-wound instead of electric drive. So the only battery was for the track exposure light.
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#12 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 08:24 PM

The other odd feature was that the camera was clockwork, spring-wound instead of electric drive. So the only battery was for the track exposure light.

I have seen these come up on E-bay about once a year.
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#13 Mark Dunn

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 03:42 AM

I remember hearing that the sound was recorded several frames in front of or behind (forget which) the frame of picture that it syncs with. Is that right? It would make sense since cramming a recording head into the gate would be a pain in the ass when you could just put it somewhere else in the body.


In any case, the film is stationary in the gate, so the sound wouldn't record- magnetic sound requires a moving medium.
When single-system newsfilm was cut, the sound from the previous shot carried across the cut for a second or so (actually 28 frames). The first 28 frames of the new shot lost its sound, of course. You just allowed for it in shooting.
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#14 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 10:59 AM

or you edit for the sound, and let the picture have an extra second of the subject getting ready to speak. most audience mebers would not notice.

The use of these units wa smostly news anywhay, and if it was a big event the crew would backup their coverage with a Bolex or a filmo and have the reporter "talk over" that in the studio. then the Mayor or President for a quote is spliced in.


More often it was just the one camera and the reporter often wanted a quote in the middle of the speech, so the cuts needed to be thought about to avoid lip flapping. The set ups and cutaways grabbed when other speakers were on, or they had filmed the section of the speech they wanted. The CP16s were extremely mobile cameras.
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#15 Zachary Vex

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 11:05 PM

I have one of those Auricons, a Cine-Voice CM-72, that I picked up at a swap meet a few years ago for next to nothing. It has a vacuum-tube amplifier which sits in a wooden battery box that provides 90V for the B+ plate voltage and 6V for the heaters and exciter lamp. The 45V batteries aren't available anymore, but there's just enough room to put 10 nine-volt batteries strung up in series inside, which is a mod I've done to experiment with the unit. The camera has a sync motor that connects to 110VAC, but for field use it came with a vibrator unit (very noisy!) that I discarded because 110VAC inverters are so inexpensive and quiet. Recently the amplifier stopped working... thanks Charlie, for that link! I've been looking for information about the tube amplifier.
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#16 Charlie Peich

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 01:07 PM

Back in the day when TV stations were using Auricons (or the various modifications of the Auricon) for SOF (sound of film) news gathering, with the increased use of color film they went to magnetically striped film instead of optical tracks (optical tracks were easier in processing with b&w film). There was also an increase of sound quality with the mag tracks. The separation between picture and sound went from 26 frames for optical tracks to 28 frames with mag tracks.

To help in editing these SOF pieces, Magnasync/Moviola manufactured a Model 2300 ?Displacement? recorder for TV stations which aided in editing. From the catalog:

The Masnasync Model 2300 Displacement Recorder automatically re-positions the sound track of a processed 16mm single-system release print film to "editor's sync" . . . sound and corresponding picture "in line" . . . for rapid, accurate editing, and then automatically re-positions sound track to "printer's sync" or "projection sync" for immediate projection, most often required by TV and Documentary producers.

Use of the 2300 eliminates the need for equipment associated with conventional, double-system transfer of 100 mil original magnetic sound track to a second 16mm magnetic sound track. One Displacement Recorder and a viewer equipped with magnetic head are the only units required. "In line" editing eliminates "Lip-flap", unwanted or unassociated picture sound.

The unit may be interlocked with other magnetic film recording equipment and projectors including conventional TV chain projectors. An audio input is provided to permit addition of sound to unrecorded release print film, and a playback audio output is provided for projection tracks.

The 2300 circuitry is modular plug-in solid state. Monitor speaker and headphone output are provided.

SPECIFICATIONS
Film Type, Tracking: 16mm 100 mil magnetic stripe motion picture film.
Film Capacity: Standard 1200-foot reels.
Take-up and Rewind: Two torque motors for high speed rewind from reel to reel.
Footage Counter: Directly coupled to film drive sprocket for accuracy; adds forward, subtracts reverse. Instant reset type.
Drive Motor: Salient pole synchronous. Standard unit furnished with 115-volt, 60 Hz, single phase, 24 fps drive motor. Drive Motors for other voltages, frequency and three phase are available.
Frequency Response: 50-10,000 Hz, ±2 db at 36 fpm.
Distortion: Less than 2% total harmonic.
Signal-to-noise Ratio: 50 db minimum.
Flutter and Wow: 0.3% maximum rms at 36 fpm.
Auxiliary Record Input: 10,000-ohm bridging unbalanced, -15 db to +20 db level.
Outputs: 600/150-ohm balanced or unbalanced, +20 dbm maximum. Safe-print output jack on rear of chassis, approximately 0 db unbalanced.
Monitor: 4Vi inch V.U. Meter with switch to select Record, Playback or Bias Monitoring from the front panel. Headphone monitor jack on the front panel for phones 600 ohms or higher.
Power Consumption: Amplifier ?10 watts maximum. Transport?125 watts maximum at 115 volts, 60 cycles.

Price 4/1/70:
Model 2300 $2,495
Model 50 16mm Table Viewer with mag head $375.00
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#17 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 01:13 PM

With all due respect, why would you want to record sound directly on the film with all the problems it entails in 2007?
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#18 Zachary Vex

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 02:22 PM

I got mine solely for the purpose of creating those "Movietone" type movies that Saturday Night Live made famous, complete with the terrible edits that caused the sound to drop out suddenly or inserted meaningless dialogue for a second. The texture of 16mm audio is also very classic... I love it as much as vinyl. Makes a project sound instantly ancient.
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#19 Michael Carter

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 04:15 PM

With all due respect, why would you want to record sound directly on the film with all the problems it entails in 2007?

I got mine because sound on film is easy pleasy.... and I can even print it myself with a simple cine printer I got. Double system is much harder. I really like to project my sound on film reversals with a Bell & Howell projector and hear it right away with only one film shot and processed. It is a lot like video in that respect. Shoot it and watch and hear it on TV = video. Shoot it and watch and hear it on a movie screen with a projector = Auricon Optical Sound on Film.

Michael
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#20 Clive Tobin

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 08:40 PM

...6V for the heaters and exciter lamp. ...


If you have been feeding 6 volts into the tube filaments that could explain why it doesn't work any more. They are supposed to get 1.5 volts as I recall. The exposure lamp runs on two 6 volt batteries with a rheostat to adjust it down to 7 volts or less as needed for exposure as the batteries age.
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