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4 Track PrintMaster 35mm reel


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#1 Frank Chang

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 11:17 AM

I got a few 4 track PrintMaster 35mm reels that contains the audio for

a featured production. However, I do have the FLAC audio file for the

same entire featured productions. The question is if it is worth the time

and cost to extract the audio from the printmaster 35mm film or is the

FLAC quality just as good or better?


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 12:17 PM

I have no idea what a printmaster is. Maybe your referring to an interpositive or internegative, both of which prints are struck from?

Also, there hasn't been a sound on film 4 track format in decades, Fox used one for 35mm distribution in the late 50's and 60's and it re-surfaced over the years for special releases.

Modern audio on film is either optical (2 track with matrix multiplexing for "surround") or 6 track compressed digital of various kinds. None of those formats would be anywhere near the quality of the original audio files.

So if your question is pulling audio off the optical or digital soundtracks of your interpositive or internegative, it's always better to use the original mixed source. In fact, even on older films audio is generally pulled from the magnetic 3 track or 6 track master, rather then the audio tracks on film. You've gotta go back pretty far in film history to only have the optical audio tracks as "masters".
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#3 Frank Chang

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 01:09 PM

Thanks, Tyler. Not sure if the 3/6 track master still exist for this production. Suppose if it is not, then I assume the FLAC file would be the best choice in compare with the audio tracks on film?

 

BTW, the production is from the mid 80s. The film is not an IP or IN and is not orange masked. The outer leaders have the stickers that says "Pink Noise 7DB", 4 track PrintMaster.

 

We have film of this production that is orange masked marked as "Optical Negative" but it looks like an IN (Internegative)

Both the film leader and the metal can are marked as "Optical Negative".

 

One of our friend told us that "Optical Negative" are sometime called "Optical Composite".


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 04:35 PM

The FLAC file would be your best option if the original mag recordings from the 80's don't exist. Where the FLAC file came from is probably of concern however because that's a newer file format, not around in the 80's.

Does this piece of film have picture, or is it just soundtrack?

Optical negative refers to soundtrack only.

Optical composite refers to soundtrack and picture married.
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#5 Frank Chang

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 04:58 PM

The optical negative do have picture (complete and all scenes in order) and no soundtrack at all.

It is on an orange masked film. It does look like an internegative. We were thinking perhaps it was

marked as optical negative incorrectly. Could this internegative A/K/A "optical negative" was intended

for making the release print? Or is only optical composite (married print) used for making

the release print?

 

There were another orange maked film for the same production marked (IP-Interpositive), but

this reel actually have all the scene order mixed up. But all the scenes are complete, just not in

the correct order. Not sure why.

 

I believe the FLAC was created from a restoration work done by a different dept using the original

mag recordings awhile back.

 

The printmaster reel is marked 4 track, pink noise 7DB. This reel have audio track only and does

not have orange mask.


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#6 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 05:02 PM

Yea, so my "guess" is that you have all the elements to make an interpositive.

Riddle me this, does the film labeled optical negative have splices?
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#7 Frank Chang

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 05:48 PM

No splices. The only splice is the film and the leader.


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#8 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 05:59 PM

And it's a negative?
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#9 Frank Chang

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 06:35 PM

Yes. It's a negative.


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#10 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 01:41 AM

It must be a dup of the original negative for archival purposes or something.

I have a lot of strange prints like that in the archive I manage. Just strange unidentifiable stuff that makes no sense.
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#11 Frank Chang

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 06:39 AM

Thanks Tyler.


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#12 Frank Chang

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 10:14 PM

Hi Tyler. Just wanted to give you an update. Our lab tech said the reel is an optical duplicate negative. I didn't get into too much details with the tech, but I assumed

it is optically printed with all the needed optical effects, etc. Not sure if this means the same as duplicate negative/internegative.

 

One interesting things is that this optical duplicate negative (no splice) have scenes done in 1.33 and some done in 1.37 and there are some frames of certain scene have mixed 

1.33 and 1.37. Very weird. But it is complete with all optical effects, etc done (ie. same as release version).


Edited by Frank Chang, 21 September 2016 - 10:17 PM.

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#13 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 12:30 AM

Remember that most films would use the projectors matte for the aspect ratio. So the print comes with a piece of paper that says what size matte to use. So the "roving" aspect ratio is a pretty common occurrence as it would be probably matted to 1.67:1 or 1.85:1.
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#14 Frank Chang

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 10:32 AM

Tyler, just curious. Since this is a completed version, is it common back in the days (this particular reel is from the mid-80s) to use optical duplicate negative to

make prints for release/theater? Or is it more common to vault/save the optical duplicate negative after making an IP from the "optical duplicate negative",

then an IN to make mass duplication?

 

PS: The film have about 3/4 that have optical effects, so the OCN basically is without any effects, etc. This is one of reason I was thinking this optical duplicate

negative is serving as the master/OCN. Interestingly, we could not locate any IP of this reel that is the final version like the optical duplicate negative. The only

IP located was with all scenes still mixed and matched (i.e. not final). And there are no other IN of this reel that can be located in the vault either. So either this

optical duplicate negative was serving as the master/OCN and or also used as IN, then vaulted, or the IN were destroyed after release prints were made. Our

original vault person who retired years ago didn't have too much of good record keeping back in the days.


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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 10:53 AM

You would generally avoid making an IP and then an IN (whether using an optical printer or contact printer) and then make an IP and IN again from that first IN in order to make release prints.  Only optical printer effects cut into the original negative would then end up  going through that many generations to release print.

 

But just because I said that distributors would avoid going that many generations, particularly for color movies, doesn't mean they didn't sometimes.  I can imagine situations where a dupe negative was shipped to some overseas distributor who then made an IP and IN off of it for making more prints.


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#16 Saul Pincus

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 11:09 AM

A printmaster is the master audio mix created for a film.

 

A four-track printmaster is likely just a Dolby-encoded two track, which when unencoded, produces three front channels and one surround. Four discrete tracks are combined into a matrixed stereo channel at the printing stage.


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