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How was audio level balance of older movies controlled before tape?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 20th 20, 09:07 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
brassplyer
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Default How was audio level balance of older movies controlled before tape?

Movies like Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz, all those MGM musicals - they often had fairly involved soundtracks - on-set spoken dialogue and other sounds, big bands and orchestral scores, sound effects. My assumption is when tape arrived you could balance it all in a studio and sync it up with the film to be transferred to the optical soundtrack.

How was the audio mixed and the levels kept balanced before they had tape?

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  #2  
Old August 20th 20, 10:11 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
None
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Posts: 94
Default How was audio level balance of older movies controlled before tape?

"Brassplyer" wrote in message
...

> Movies like Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz, all those MGM musicals -
> they often had fairly involved soundtracks - on-set spoken dialogue and
> other sounds, big bands and orchestral scores, sound effects. My
> assumption is when tape arrived you could balance it all in a studio and
> sync it up with the film to be transferred to the optical soundtrack.


> How was the audio mixed and the levels kept balanced before they had tape?


Movieola.

  #3  
Old August 21st 20, 12:33 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
Scott Dorsey
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Posts: 16,750
Default How was audio level balance of older movies controlled before tape?

Brassplyer > wrote:
>Movies like Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz, all those MGM musicals - =
>they often had fairly involved soundtracks - on-set spoken dialogue and oth=
>er sounds, big bands and orchestral scores, sound effects. My assumption is=
> when tape arrived you could balance it all in a studio and sync it up with=
> the film to be transferred to the optical soundtrack.=20
>
>How was the audio mixed and the levels kept balanced before they had tape?=


Optical sound tracks were recorded, then played back into a mixing console
and into a second optical camera. As little as possible of this was done
because the noise and distortion was so high.

Sometimes tricks were done with editing instead... if you watch the scene
in W.C. Field's _Man in the Flying Trapeze_ where he is chasing the tire,
you can see that it was shot MOS with sound effects added, and then the
sound of the tire dropping was edited into the track because the noise floor
changes dramatically before and after the tire drop.

No stems.... a third generation would have been a disaster, so as much as
possible was done with two generations as could be done.

The improvement going to mag in the fifties was staggering. I can't even
imagine trying to work that way.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  #4  
Old August 21st 20, 11:54 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
Phil Allison[_4_]
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Posts: 487
Default How was audio level balance of older movies controlled before tape?

Brassplyer wrote:

================
> Movies like Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz, all those MGM musicals - they often had fairly involved soundtracks - on-set spoken dialogue and other sounds, big bands and orchestral scores, sound effects. My assumption is when tape arrived you could balance it all in a studio and sync it up with the film to be transferred to the optical soundtrack.
>
> How was the audio mixed and the levels kept balanced before they had tape?
>


** Perfectly possible to store audio on a freshly cut vinyl disk and play it back with exceptional quality in the 30s and 40s. Leaves tape for dead.

Tape is merely convenient, while optical has no quality at all and requires processing.

For a while, before CD arrived, pressed copies of direct cut 12 inch LPs were the best source of hi-fi sound available to the general public.

Owned a few myself - eg.

https://www.tnt-audio.com/topics/james_e.html



...... Phil
  #5  
Old August 22nd 20, 03:34 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
Les Cargill[_5_]
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Posts: 30
Default How was audio level balance of older movies controlled beforetape?

Scott Dorsey wrote:
> Brassplyer > wrote:
>> Movies like Gone With The Wind, The Wizard Of Oz, all those MGM musicals - =
>> they often had fairly involved soundtracks - on-set spoken dialogue and oth=
>> er sounds, big bands and orchestral scores, sound effects. My assumption is=
>> when tape arrived you could balance it all in a studio and sync it up with=
>> the film to be transferred to the optical soundtrack.=20
>>
>> How was the audio mixed and the levels kept balanced before they had tape?=

>
> Optical sound tracks were recorded, then played back into a mixing console
> and into a second optical camera. As little as possible of this was done
> because the noise and distortion was so high.
>
> Sometimes tricks were done with editing instead... if you watch the scene
> in W.C. Field's _Man in the Flying Trapeze_ where he is chasing the tire,
> you can see that it was shot MOS with sound effects added, and then the
> sound of the tire dropping was edited into the track because the noise floor
> changes dramatically before and after the tire drop.
>
> No stems.... a third generation would have been a disaster, so as much as
> possible was done with two generations as could be done.
>
> The improvement going to mag in the fifties was staggering. I can't even
> imagine trying to work that way.



Thank the Nazis and Bing Crosby.


> --scott
>


--
Les Cargill
 




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