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#1 Matteo Cocco

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:35 AM

Can some one tell me the difference between a mos and a sync sound camera?
what can´t I do with a MOS one, eg the arri435?

Thankyou
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 08:28 AM

Can some one tell me the difference between a mos and a sync sound camera?
what can´t I do with a MOS one, eg the arri435?

Thankyou



I always heard that MOS stood for "Mit Out Sprechen", which loosely translates from German to English as "With Out Speak".

An MOS camera can do everything a sync sound camera can do, except it does it with quite a bit of noise thrown in. So it is not a camera that you want to use to film scenes with heavy dialog. People try to find ways around this, by putting the camera far from the actors, using very directional microphones, putting the camera in a blimp or barney (devices used to absorb the camera noise) and so on.

If you are going to be filming actors and you want their dialog to be in sync when they are talking, then a sync sound camera is the way to go.

MOS cameras are used on many commercials and in situations where you may have a soundtrack or a narrator talking over the images, and not synchronized dialog. Usually an MOS camera will be lighter weight and more portable than a sync sound camera, because the MOS camera doesn't incorporate any sound deadening.

Best,
-Tim
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:42 AM

That's actually a Hollywood myth, MOS is an acronym for Mechanical Sync Only which is old-school Pilot-Tone or other non-crystal sound sync. MOS cameras are generally smaller and less trouble to deal with so an MOS camera can be a VERY useful item to have on a film set and many features have been shot exclusively MOS. They are used when sound is going to be reproducer in post so they allow you to shoot in places that would be impractical for sound. MOS cameras can be used as sound cameras if they are equipped with a crystal-sync motor or Pilot-tone and Barneyed or blimped to deaden their noise, Arri IIs are often used as sync cameras although changing mags is a HUGE pain when a II is in a blimp housing which is pretty much true with any blimped or even barneyed MOS camera.

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 20 June 2008 - 03:45 AM.

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#4 Nate Downes

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 09:07 AM

That's actually a Hollywood myth, MOS is an acronym for Mechanical Sync Only which is old-school Pilot-Tone or other non-crystal sound sync. MOS cameras are generally smaller and less trouble to deal with so an MOS camera can be a VERY useful item to have on a film set and many features have been shot exclusively MOS. They are used when sound is going to be reproducer in post so they allow you to shoot in places that would be impractical for sound. MOS cameras can be used as sound cameras if they are equipped with a crystal-sync motor or Pilot-tone and Barneyed or blimped to deaden their noise, Arri IIs are often used as sync cameras although changing mags is a HUGE pain when a II is in a blimp housing which is pretty much true with any blimped or even barneyed MOS camera.

That is false, as my MOS camera does not have even a pilot-tone sync, as it's a hand-cranked 35mm.

No, MOS means "without sound" simple as that.
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#5 John Brawley

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 10:35 AM

That is false, as my MOS camera does not have even a pilot-tone sync, as it's a hand-cranked 35mm.

No, MOS means "without sound" simple as that.



Mute on screen ?

MOS cameras aren't blinped or sound treated to be silent. Generally they don't go as fast, and are larger and heavier.


jb
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 11:04 AM

Generally they . . . are larger and heavier.


I think you meant smaller and lighter.

Best,
-Tim
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#7 chuck colburn

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 11:22 AM

That is false, as my MOS camera does not have even a pilot-tone sync, as it's a hand-cranked 35mm.

No, MOS means "without sound" simple as that.


That's what I always understood it to mean.
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 01:35 PM

Hi,

I always thought the term was derived from a German camaera assistant who said 'Mit out sound'

Stephen
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#9 Glen Alexander

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 02:22 PM

hmm a german would have said mit ohne schall...
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#10 Stephen Williams

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 02:31 PM

hmm a german would have said mit ohne schall...


He was speaking English to an English speaking crew.

Stephen
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#11 Tim Carroll

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 03:47 PM

hmm a german would have said mit ohne schall...


Which would be Mit Ohne Schall.

:P
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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 04:26 PM

Personally, I had heard Mit out Sound! And I have an interesting image in my head of Werner Hertzog screaming it. . .though that's only because I re-watched grizzly man last night.
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#13 David Auner aac

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 05:07 PM

hmm a german would have said mit ohne schall...


Nope he wouldn't. He'd have said "Mit Ohne Ton". Ton is the closest equivalent to the English sound used in that context. Mit Ohne is quite common in Austria and parts of Germany when ordering food e.g. Pommes mit ohne = french fries without ketchup.

Cheers, Dave
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#14 Tim Carroll

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 05:41 PM

Nope he wouldn't. He'd have said "Mit Ohne Ton". Ton is the closest equivalent to the English sound used in that context. Mit Ohne is quite common in Austria and parts of Germany when ordering food e.g. Pommes mit ohne = french fries without ketchup.

Cheers, Dave


But then couldn't it be "Mit Ohne Sprechen" which would be With Out Speak or Speech, since MOS comes into play most often when issues of syncing dialog are involved, and not so much when issues of background sound or sound effects are involved?

-Tim

PS: Or, put another way, aren't we beating this poor horse to death. :(
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#15 Paul Bruening

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 06:17 PM

Ohhhh. So, that's why my crews always point and laugh at me when I call out, "Ok, we're shooting My Old Scrotum." Darn it!
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#16 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 01:52 AM

That is false, as my MOS camera does not have even a pilot-tone sync, as it's a hand-cranked 35mm.

No, MOS means "without sound" simple as that.


Think about what you just said..... In the era of hand cranked cameras they were ALL MOS, there WERE no sound sync hand cranked cameras so why would the have a designation for a non sound camera where there were no sound cameras. Hand cranked cameras were essentially a thing of the past by the early 20s and sound didn't become wide spread until the early 30s. Everyone THINKS MOS stands for Mit Out Sound because of the German influence but it does NOT actually stand for that, and I had actually gotten it slightly wrong as well, it stands for MOTOR Only Sync. Don't believe me:

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/MOS_(film)

Gigi, you should read this too, there's a good description on the differences between MOS and sound cameras.

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 21 June 2008 - 01:56 AM.

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#17 Nate Downes

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 08:26 AM

Think about what you just said..... In the era of hand cranked cameras they were ALL MOS, there WERE no sound sync hand cranked cameras so why would the have a designation for a non sound camera where there were no sound cameras. Hand cranked cameras were essentially a thing of the past by the early 20s and sound didn't become wide spread until the early 30s. Everyone THINKS MOS stands for Mit Out Sound because of the German influence but it does NOT actually stand for that, and I had actually gotten it slightly wrong as well, it stands for MOTOR Only Sync. Don't believe me:

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/MOS_(film)

Gigi, you should read this too, there's a good description on the differences between MOS and sound cameras.

Good page, and does make sence. And Motor Only Shot makes sence.
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#18 Charlie Peich

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 08:28 AM

Wikipedia, sheeesh. Let me throw this into the mix.

I heard the term MOS came from the labs in the early days of optical sound printing (I'm trying to find my old ACL handbook). When a print was to be struck without a sound track, they would indicate or print on the leader M-O-S - "Minus Optical Sound". This way the end user would know the print was SILENT and wasn't incorrectly printed without the optical track in error by the lab.

An old lab guy told me this version years ago. Made sense to me at the time, but I was young and impressionable. :P

Perhaps Rob Houllahan can confirm this story.

(be easy on me guys!)
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#19 Sam Javor

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 01:53 PM

I suppose the really important issue here is ... does it really matter why it's called MOS? :)

The difference between a sync and MOS camera is that the frame rate is locked by a accurate 'clock' which aids in the syncing of sound. If the camera motor runs 'wild' there is slightly more difficulty in syncing the sound... I'm sure in the old days of analog audio editing it would be much tougher... but basically on a long shot the image and the sound will get more and more off...so ninja editing of audio is needed to maintain lipsync. Crystal isn't perfect... but I don't think any of us will go the couple hours necessary for the either camera or audio recorder crystal to noticeably lag.

MOS and Crystal cameras can be equally loud and useless for capturing usable location sound,... however... a lot of times you just go into a recording studio and redo it and use the location sound as a reference 'scratch track.'

As far as using a loud camera... talent might get distracted by the 'thing that sounds like a blender with rocks in it' being a foot away from their face.
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#20 Patrick Neary

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 08:19 PM

MOS has nothing to do with crystal sync, if we're talking about here and now. 435s, 235s, Arri 3s and most 2Cs you'd rent are crystal and MOS. I've shot plenty of MOS with Panaflex G-IIs and Moviecam Compacts and Arri BLs as well, so I'd toss that in practical terms, MOS is a type of shooting (mit out sound, of course!) rather than type of camera, although if you ask any rental house for an MOS camera you're going to get a machine that makes a lot of noise.
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