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#1 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 04:13 AM

This may seem like a stupid question, but here it goes...

Rather than have only a mono optical track on my finished release print, is there a way to put a second track on the film? Since regular 16mm is too small a gauge (which is the camera negative gauge that I'm shooting,) would a blow-up to Super 16mm facilitate this?

Any help (as always) is appreciated. Thanks.
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#2 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 05:52 AM

Rather than have only a mono optical track on my finished release print, is there a way to put a second track on the film?


If your release print is 16mm then the optical soundtrack is mono. There was a magnetic soundtrack system for 16mm that sounds better but is (was) less common. I write in the past-form because 16mm as a release format isn't very popular anymore. I don't know if you still find people and a lab who are used to do 16mm release prints with sound. Festivals and theaters that do 16mm get rare as well. And by the way 16mm optical sound is really bad.

If you are looking for good sound quality and a compatible release format, I would go for video, hd or blowup to 35mm.

would a blow-up to Super 16mm facilitate this?


S16 is no release or projection format, it's for shooting only, then continue in video or 35mm. S16 gets rid of the optical soundtrack to have more space for the picture. Even if you found a projector that does S16, you wouldn't have any optical soundtrack.

cheers, Bernhard

Edited by Bernhard Zitz, 27 January 2008 - 05:56 AM.

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#3 Freya Black

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 11:50 AM

This may seem like a stupid question, but here it goes...

Rather than have only a mono optical track on my finished release print, is there a way to put a second track on the film? Since regular 16mm is too small a gauge (which is the camera negative gauge that I'm shooting,) would a blow-up to Super 16mm facilitate this?

Any help (as always) is appreciated. Thanks.


Super16 would remove all audio all together as the space for the soundtrack is used to make the film wider instead.

A few (very few) people have experimented with DTS in 16mm where the space for the soundtrack instead holds the sync information for the DTS disc. Not a cheap setup and probably nobody will be able to accomodate it unless you intend to tour with the equipment.

I've heard of people managing to lock projectors to laptops or digital audio recorders but I don't know the specifics and this again is a non standard setup.

You can of course have an asynchronous stereo soundtrack by just playing a cd along with the projection! ;)

love

Freya

Edited by Freya Black, 28 January 2008 - 11:50 AM.

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#4 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 07:06 PM

I've heard of people managing to lock projectors to laptops or digital audio recorders but I don't know the specifics and this again is a non standard setup.


This should be possible by recording a smpte timecode to the 16mm Audio-track, the magnetic track might be best for the job. With the right audiointerface or smpte to midiclock converter you can sync your recording software. You could do 5.1 or whatever your PC and soundcard is able to. For the DIY-Experimental Freak this is a way to go wild with the sound in 16mm or S8.

The 16mm soundtrack should be good enough for smpte timecode.

By the time when computers were too slow for video I once synced Cubase with VHS via smpte timecode.

I saw a friend today who asked this week an offer from a lab for 16mm with magnetic soundtrack. The plus fee for the soundtrack was rather moderate. Maybe I was to pessimistic in my former post. They still do it in regular labs, it's just years ago I heard the last time from someone having a 16mm sound release print.

Edited by Bernhard Zitz, 02 February 2008 - 07:10 PM.

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#5 Hal Smith

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 12:12 PM

DTS disk's timecode contains more than just the audio. There is an ID portion of the code that defines which feature reel (or trailer) is playing.

The feature disks also have sound for current and upcoming feature trailers on them. The DTS processor will read the TC ID and play the correct trailer's sound. The system is completely random access, a projectionist can splice trailers in any order into the reel and (if the trailer has DTS on it) the trailer's DTS ID tells the player which sound track to play.

I suspect a DTS processor won't work if there isn't both ID and TC on the prints. DTS will know whether or not that's true.

A huge advantage of DTS is in worldwide distribution. Only version of the release print has to be made and there will be a set of DTS disks distributed with the prints that have the correct languages for various countries and regions on them. For instance a single print could be made for Canada and two sets of disks distributed with the print, one English, one French. I have a projection engineer friend who is of the opinion that DTS will probably be around forever given its universal language capacity.
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#6 Phil Connolly

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 09:23 AM

16mm is a supported format on DTS. All thats required is a special DTS preamp that goes between the optical audio out of the 16mm projector and the standard DTS cinema processor.

More info here:

www.film-tech.com/warehouse/wareview.php?id=1049&category=2 -

Not sure how many labs would be able to create a 16mm DTS timecode track as Freya said its a bit of a niche format and rarely used.

The other option for good sound on 16mm is to use a mag dubber interlocked with the projector(eg sound of separate mag tape on separate machine) - I've been to quite a few preview theaters that have mag dubbers in the booth for this purpose and some festivals may use them.

Personally I don't think either of these methods are worth the hassle and cost, especially considering how good digital projection is getting. Also there are a lot more digital projectors in cinemas than 16mm ones.
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