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Posted by on Nov 11, 2014 | 0 comments

Tonebenders Interview with Mark Levinson

Since we’re in the middle of our documentary month, I though it would be worthwhile to point out the latest episode of the Tonebenders Podcast. It’s about a month old now, but if you should really give it a listen if you haven’t already. In it, Timohty Muirhead interviews Mark Levinson, director of the recent documentary Particle Fever. Did you know that Mark has also worked extensively as an ADR supervisor? You should probably listen to it now…good thing I’ve embedded it below.  ;)

 

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Posted by on May 30, 2014 | 2 comments

Art of Surround

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Acousmonium, INA-GRM, 1980. Photo by Laszlo Ruska.

Surround (Oxford Dictionary)

  • (verb) [with object] – Be all round (someone or something)
  • (noun) – A thing that forms a border or edging around an object.
  • (adjective) (Surrounding) – All around a particular place or thing.

Based merely on a technological approach, one might think that Surround sound is just the technique of reproducing audio signals in a particular array of speakers that distribute sound around space in order to give a three-dimensional illusion for the ears…

Surround is not visual really, is not something we can see. Surround is not just a technique of distributing sound, but the consequences of it. It’s a characteristic of sound itself, natural to the sonic phenomenon and responsible of the entire notion of the “auditory field” which is more than simply one dimension of space, but a multi-layered, multi-dimensional representation of sound.

In this article I aim to explore different experiments and perspectives toward the use of surround sound and the experiments between space and form, getting out from the image/film relationship in order to explore how sound “alone” can be enriched by the process of multichannel distribution, which has been deeply explored aesthetically, psychologically, musically, etc.

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Posted by on May 7, 2014 | 0 comments

The Dickson Experimental Sound Film

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Broken wax cylinder containing the ‘first’ film soundtrack circa 1894-1895

In ‘broken’ month I wanted to find out a little more about what’s being done to fix (and preserve) some of the broken pieces of film history. The story of the Dickson Experimental Sound Film (link to view at the end of the article) seemed to be a good way into the subject and I am indebted to Ken Weissman, supervisor of the film preservation lab at the Library of Congress, Jerry Fabris, museum curator at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park and Paul Spehr, author and film historian, for their help putting this article together.

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Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 | 0 comments

Screenings of the Documentary “Particle Fever” with Walter Murch

Are you in the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend? Then check out one of these screenings of Particle Fever, which will have a Q&A with director Mark Levinson and Editor WALTER MURCH!!!

Fri 3/14
Shattuck, Berkeley (Landmark Theaters)
7:30 show – intro and Q&A w/ director Mark Levinson and editor Walter Murch and physicists

Sat 3/15
Embarcadero, SF (Landmark Theaters)
7:30 show – intro and Q&A w/ director Mark Levinson and editor Walter Murch and physicists

Thanks to Kyrsten Mate for pointing this out!

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Posted by on Oct 9, 2013 | 20 comments

Recording FX In 5, 6, 8, Or More Channels?

Guest Contriubtion by Randy Thom

BTA_Randy_Thom

Acoustic Authenticity Versus Entertainment Value

When designing a set for a film, the art director tries to use what is good about the real world place where the scene will be shot, but also tries to avoid being straight jacketed by what is there. The cinematographer usually has a similar approach in deciding what to shoot and how to shoot it. The director may want to put some local people in a scene, but they probably won’t be leading characters.

Sound design should be the same, I think. With the proliferation of multi-channel microphones in recent years, some with “5.1” channels and more, the promise of being able to capture and reproduce the aural sensation of being in a real place with three dimensional acoustics is definitely closer to being real…but is it desirable? I’d say the answer is usually “no.”

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