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Levente Udud

Technical and Historycal references

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Dear Colleagues!

I'm currently finishing my studies as an electrical engineer and working on my thesis titled 'Motion picture sound production from an engineer's perspective' focusing on production sound. I would like to cover current techniques, gear choices and how we get to these from the 1920s.

The major chapters I want to include are:
-history of capturing sound for motion picture
-microphone techniques and choices, including a comparison and measurement of a handful of usual mics
-wireless systems, including a comparison and measurement of 3-4 setups
-mixers and recorders
-how a production sound system is built up

I'm looking for references (books, articles, etc.) on the technical and historycal (aesthetics are important but not touched in my paper) aspects of the craft.

I have acces to the AES library, and have the following books already:
both of Jay Rose's books,
Sound for film and television 3rd edition,
the Lectro wireless guide,

Thank you for your help :)

Levente

 

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Contained within the archives of this forum there's a wealth, and depth, of information on all of the aspects of our profession that you're asking about.  Many accomplished working professionals have gracefully shared in-depth knowledge gained over an entire career. 

You will also find misinformation added by "instant experts" who simply regurgitate things gleaned from superficial perusal of miscellaneous internet offerings.  With that caveat, dive into the site and you'll find a great deal of the perspective you're after.

 

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Scott Smith wrote a series of articles about the history of sound recording for motion pictures that we published in the 695 Quarterly (now Production Sound and Video) starting with the first issue in Spring 2009. It was a nine part series titled "When Sound Was Reel" and was featured in nearly every issue until the Spring Issue in 2012. These articles are a good overview but may be a bit thin on detail as a source for scholarly research. But, I recall that Scott cited some of his sources so they would be a good start.

Older issues of the Quarterly are archived and available for download from the IATSE Local 695 site:

http://www.local695.com/Quarterly/previous-issues/

David

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John:
I read this forum daily since I've started in motion picture sound and learned a lot from all the people here. I appreciate all the knowledge gathered here, however public online forums are not the greatest source material in the eyes of academia.

David:
Thank you, I know about the Quarterly, but haven't dig through the archives yet, but this series looks promising! 

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2 hours ago, Levente Udud said:

... 

I appreciate all the knowledge gathered here, however public online forums are not the greatest source material in the eyes of academia.
... 

Of course.  Sorry, I forgot that academia isn't that invested in the real world.

Source: citation, and reference. 

 

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Of course.  Sorry, I forgot that academia isn't that invested in the real world.
Source: citation, and reference. 
 

Of course academia is interested in the real world, but I for one would have trouble accepting a quotation from someone named "Mirror" or "fieldmixer" as a credible source of information (I picked the names randomly out of my head). Yes there are others posting under their real names, but still it's a thin line. The op can research his paper here, but then probably needs to back it up

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Constantin:

Exactly.

I'm still learning a lot every day and every job, but I think I know enough about production sound already to write my paper, however I need citeable material to back me up. I'm not looking for instant answers or shortcuts.

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daniel   
13 hours ago, Constantin said:


Of course academia is interested in the real world, but I for one would have trouble accepting a quotation from someone named "Mirror" or "fieldmixer" as a credible source of information (I picked the names randomly out of my head). Yes there are others posting under their real names, but still it's a thin line. The op can research his paper here, but then probably needs to back it up

But there are many contributors to this forum who do use their real names and have IMBD credits/profiles. I imagine the most successful PSMs probably don't get time to extensively publish writings about their work till they retire (if ever), so sourcing citations published on this forum is valid imho. And if these citations include conversations with other contributors not using their full names is this really a problem in modern academia (where some students are just buying their papers). d r 

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But there are many contributors to this forum who do use their real names and have IMBD credits/profiles. I imagine the most successful PSMs probably don't get time to extensively publish writings about their work till they retire (if ever), so sourcing citations published on this forum is valid imho. And if these citations include conversations with other contributors not using their full names is this really a problem in modern academia (where some students are just buying their papers). d r 

Well, in the end the university will need to decide the validity of using online discussions. I would recommend if an interesting topic is being discussed here, to maybe contact one of the more esteemed members of this forum and do an interview with them, in real life (aka skype). Also there are online t videos of talks given by various sound mixers. I remember watching a longer one that Jeff gave. That could surely be referenced in a paper. In fact, Jeff would be a perfect interview partner.

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Equipment manufacturers and manuals can be great sources of information too. Some of them are really great about giving explanations for why their gear does what it does in the manuals, from which great info can be gleaned. 

Lectrosonics is particularly great about this, and I see you've already mentioned their wireless guide. I've seen great usage guides from Schoeps, DPA, and Neumann too. Rycote and Sound Devices both interview mixers who use their gear and publish that regularly. I'm sure there are many more examples I'm not thinking of right now. 

There are also trade magazines like Sound and Picture which have excellent articles. 

-Mike

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On 3/12/2017 at 10:35 AM, David Waelder said:

Scott Smith wrote a series of articles about the history of sound recording for motion pictures that we published in the 695 Quarterly (now Production Sound and Video) starting with the first issue in Spring 2009. It was a nine part series titled "When Sound Was Reel" and was featured in nearly every issue until the Spring Issue in 2012. These articles are a good overview but may be a bit thin on detail as a source for scholarly research. But, I recall that Scott cited some of his sources so they would be a good start.

Older issues of the Quarterly are archived and available for download from the IATSE Local 695 site:

http://www.local695.com/Quarterly/previous-issues/

David

David:

Thank you for the kind mention (as well as all the excellent editing of those articles)!

Yes, I debated about including sources with those pieces, in an attempt to make them more "scholarly". I ultimately decidedly against it, as they were really aimed at the "working crew" audience, as it seemed superfluous and would take up valuable space.

There are certainly a number of scholarly histories pertaining to motion picture sound out there (with varying degrees of accuracy).

One of these days, while I still have a brain left, hope to revisit the project and delve a lot deeper.

-S

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