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 Post subject: Unusual optical soundtrack
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 7:43 am 
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Has anyone come across a Dual variable density soundtrack before?, this one dates from 1937.
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 Post subject: Re: Unusual optical soundtrack
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 9:32 am 
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Robert--
Here's an interesting page I often use to check on matters...scroll down to the section on "soundtracks" which addresses a dual variable track. http://www.paulivester.com/films/filmstock/guide.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual optical soundtrack
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 1:35 pm 
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I've been looking forward to seeing this track, which Robert mentioned elsewhere. Fascinating.

Chris, the Ivester page mentions only a Dual Variable Area track. It doesn't mention a Dual Variable Density track, which is what Robert appears to have here.

What year is the print dated, Robert? Can you date it?

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 Post subject: Re: Unusual optical soundtrack
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 2:07 pm 
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Hi Mick, it was for a film called 'The Westland Case' made in 1937. I also have quad variable area. I really don't see the point in all these variations, the sound on the quad is worse than the double. I sent a copy to Paul Ivester for his interest. I haven't checked to see if the print can be dated. This was one of a number of trailers I bought recently.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual optical soundtrack
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 2:29 pm 
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I'd be interested in the date of the stock, rather than the year the film was produced.

Can you get it from the film stock?

I have never had a multiple area track but I think the reasoning was that it would provide clearer sound reproduction. But I could be wrong with that.

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 Post subject: Re: Unusual optical soundtrack
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 3:35 pm 
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Indeed, I misread, Mick.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual optical soundtrack
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 11:45 pm 
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Should send pictures and description of film to Paul. He may know exactly the whys or whats and just does not have it listed.

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 Post subject: Re: Unusual optical soundtrack
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 8:52 am 
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I did email Paul Ivester, and he replied that he hadn't seen one before. His reasoning for multiple tracks was the same as Mick gave. I will have a look to see if I can find a date code on the film stock.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual optical soundtrack
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 11:52 am 
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The edge code is a cross and a triangle, which dates this as 1953.


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 Post subject: Re: Unusual optical soundtrack
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 12:06 pm 
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That's a "push-pull" variable density track. The two tracks are 180 degrees out of phase with respect to each other. I have one of those tracks on a 16mm trailer for The Day The Earth Stood Still.

That track on your 16mm print is probably a reduction from a 35mm print. To properly play it back you need a push-pull optical sound head (common with 35mm soundheads) which has a phototube with two pickup elements inside it like a type 920.

For more information about this track, refer to Howard M. Tremaine's "Audio Cyclopedia" first edition 1959 pages 604 and 605. Book is printed by Howard W. Sams & Company, Inc.


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