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Re: [ARSCLIST] Recording Innovations

The turntable was mechanically driven by the projector, and the record played from the inside out.  Several safeguards were installed in case the needle jumped or there was any electrical interference.  Never-the-less, by 1930, sound-on-disc was considered old hat and theaters installing sound almost entirely went to sound-on-film.

The difference was amplification-- the key to motion picture sound.  Before De Forest's Audion tube (and later triode) were in common use, acoustic recordings were not loud enough to fill 2,000+ seat auditoriums.

J. Theakston

From: Roderic G Stephens <savecal@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:11:33 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Recording Innovations

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that the original motion picture sound tracks ("The Jazz Singer" (1927), "Lights of New York" (1928), for example) were on transcription disks, from what I've read.   How did they keep them in sync given the variances of normal disk recordings changing pitch, length, etc. from beginning to end?  I would guess synchonous motors would be the answer with bi-phase control.

This is the description given in Wikipedia: "The term Sound-on-disc refers to a class of sound film processes using a phonograph or other disc to record or playback sound in sync with a motion picture. Early sound-on-disc systems used a mechanical interlock with the film projector....
early systems with the film projector linked to a phonograph, developed by Thomas Edison (Kinetaphone, Kinetaphonograph), Selig Polyscope, French companies such as Gaumont (Chronomegaphone and Chronophone) and Pathe, and British systems..... Phono-Kinema (some sources say Photo-Kinema) was a sound-on-disc system for motion pictures invented by Orlando Kellum. The system was used for a small number of short films, mostly made in 1921."  

From the various descriptions, the sound quality of earlier "experiments" didn't come up to the later commercial enterprises.

Rod Stephens

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