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Re: [ARSCLIST] Recording Innovations

Correct.  Case's films run at about 22 fps, if memory serves.

Thanks to you and George for pointing out the amplifiers used in those early systems.

J. Theakston

From: Robert J Hodge <rjhodge@xxxxxxx>
To: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 1:53:54 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Recording Innovations

And if there needed to be a speed change for any reason, the Western Electric projection mechanisms of the era utilize an electronically controlled variable speed motor. Some British sound on film wasn't shot at 24fps.I have projected a couple of Leslie Sarony shorts from the BFI that ran too fast at 24. Also, Theodore Case and Earl Sponable shot their film at less than 24 fps.
The variable speed equipment was usually scrapped after 24 fps became the norm and the interest in silent film waned.

But the externally located phonograph based systems- at least Edison's - used the Higham friction amplifier to improve their performance. 

BTW, an audion is a triode. A diode with a grid between the filament and plate.  

Bob Hodge  

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jack Theakston
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:47 PM
To: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: 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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