Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

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gaugefilm
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Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by gaugefilm » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:11 pm

Hi everyone

I've had some S8 sound film come in. It's the first sound film I've seen since I opened nearly 5 years ago so I guess it's something of a rarity. I just wondered if there is a simple way to capture the audio and sync it up to the images?

Best
Kevin
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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by sven » Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:36 pm

I've some positive experience with some wild sync experiments I made two years ago for my summer holiday movie. I had stereo sound-striped my film at Fuji (I used single-8) after processing my film by Fuji (I also used Fipra for the rest of my movie, Ektachrome 100d). You can record the sound with your smartphone and then put it on a CD. I also put it on a cassette tape because I found that simpler for finding the right moment to record the sound on the film. You may want to hear your camera running on the background of your recording, that will help you to find the right point. I didn't go over 30 seconds for my sound recording, if you only want to catch little parts of sound it works great.I filled the rest of the film with music, voice and sound-effects. Furthermore, I used a sound-viewer (Erno RE903NF) for recording the sound mono on my film, I only used the second sound stripe for image stability. Hope that helps you.

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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by jrcasey1960 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:13 pm

I run line out from the projector as .wav file and use Premiere to sync by shot. It can be difficult to maintain sync over time, but you generally won't run into trouble for 30-60 seconds at a go. I've sent details to you via email.

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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by MovieStuff » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:07 am

The easiest way to post sync your footage is, ironically, to turn off the audio completely. Here's how it works. Just use your smart phone or video camera and a projector on a piece of paper to capture a crap picture but good audio. Room lights on, flicker, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that the picture is recognizable and the audio is good. Put that video clip on your NLE below the good frame by frame transfer. Make sure that you have already speed adjusted the frame by frame transfer to the correct FPS rate. Now, turn off the audio track of the projected footage and just concentrate on aligning the picture elements. Line up where the leader meets the film at the beginning. Then go down no more than about 3-5 minutes and find a similar camera cut as an absolute sync reference on both the good transfer and the projected transfer. Cut the projected footage with your razor tool at the sync reference. Stretch or shrink your projected transfer to align with the same sync point on the frame by frame transfer. Now repeat on the next section. It actually goes pretty fast. If you are doing it in 3 minutes sections (recommended) then you are only talking about 10-13 syncs to achieve for a 400 foot roll. Then, once you have aligned the projected footage, turn off the picture and turn on the soundtrack. Works like a charm and is MUCH faster than trying to listen to audio for sync references.

Just to note: Yes, you CAN do it in one big chunk by aligning the beginning and the end of the entire 400 foot roll. It will match at the beginning and the end but the sync in the middle will be very rubbery. Best to stay with 3-5 minute sections.

Hope this helps!

Roger

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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by gaugefilm » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:10 am

Thanks everyone... especially Roger for your detailed reply. That will really help with the post sync up.

I just need to figure out how to capture the audio. I don't have a sound projector (and have never owned one) so I'm not to hot on sound projectors and how they work... what's a good one to use to capture audio? Can I link the sound projector up to something like a zoom h4 to capture the audio?

Best
Kevin
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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by supa8 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:27 pm

Hi Kevin
Roger's right. If you have an image (+audio) reference as opposed to only audio, the syncing will be faster.
Sometimes, I find that sync adjustments have to be made in chunks of 10sec, 30sec, 1min, unless you're lucky enough to sync a whole 50ft segment (but that is rare in my experience if you want perfect sync).
If your system doesn't scan sound, it is a pain, so you're lucky you haven't seen much sound yet.

As regards recording, the likes of the zoom H4N are handy, as they will work either as a standalone audio recorder (using sd cards) or an audio interface to capture straight onto the computer.
A camcorder (DV, HD) with a line input (for external sound/ microphone) etc, might be handier though. That way you get a synced (bad quality video) with audio in decent quality (either to DV tape or directly to a computer). Using the flickery video as a reference will allow to stretch and sync it, so the audio matches your HD scan.
A smartphone could also do it (you could get a cable allowing you to feed a line in from the projector) but holding a smartphone is unpractical.
One way or another direct sound feed is what you want as audio recorded through a cheap phone microphone will not be good enough in my opinion.

Then you have the choice of the projector you are working with. Prefer a model that is electronically regulated like some Sankyo or Elmo machines, as opposed to cheaper models, whose speed is regulated by belts and coil-potentiometers (or whatever they're called :-? )
You can get some electronically regulated ones with a built in electronic potentiometer (I have some if you wish), so you get the best of both worlds (steadier transport from electronically regulated motor) and variable speed, that way you have as close an original video/audio reference file as possible. That isn't absolutely necessary though, as you will have to stretch the reference audio/video file on your timeline once captured anyways, as Roger explained.

I would encourage you to invest in a decent projector anyway to start with (and maybe a basic one to compare too), so you have a better idea of what reversal film looks like projected.
It always surprises me every time I throw some film on a good projector how amazing the picture is. There is something special about it.

Hope this helps
Julien

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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by nikonr10 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:37 pm

gaugefilm wrote:Thanks everyone... especially Roger for your detailed reply. That will really help with the post sync up.

I just need to figure out how to capture the audio. I don't have a sound projector (and have never owned one) so I'm not to hot on sound projectors and how they work... what's a good one to use to capture audio? Can I link the sound projector up to something like a zoom h4 to capture the audio?

Best
Kevin
Hi, if you go over to super 8 data gives you a run for whats out there ! The Beaulieu / Elmo / Bauer , are very good , soft on the films , top end ones not cheap 150 bulbs /250 w bulbs . with fast lens .

The elmo sc 18 is agood mid range one , with a screen to the side soft on films .

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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by mr8mm » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:44 pm

I recently saw an article from PRO-8 about the new digital system they are using that can record/digitize sound, magnetic and optical, from the film that is being digitized. Anyone know how PRO-8 is doing this? Since most here make it seem almost impossible.

J.S.

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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by Will2 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:35 pm

Super 8 sound is the best worst audio in the world. I love how bad it sounds.

Pro8mm started life as Super 8 Sound in NYC and they created a dual sync audio system for Super 8 cameras back in the 70's I believe.

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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by MovieStuff » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:33 pm

mr8mm wrote:I recently saw an article from PRO-8 about the new digital system they are using that can record/digitize sound, magnetic and optical, from the film that is being digitized. Anyone know how PRO-8 is doing this? Since most here make it seem almost impossible.
I don't think anyone here feels it is impossible. But to do it dependably does require money. And Pro 8mm, like any other business, does nothing for free. I'm sure the system they are using cost considerably more than a used sound projector from ebay.

Roger

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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by RCBasher » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:08 pm

MovieStuff wrote:
mr8mm wrote:I recently saw an article from PRO-8 about the new digital system they are using that can record/digitize sound, magnetic and optical, from the film that is being digitized. Anyone know how PRO-8 is doing this? Since most here make it seem almost impossible.
I don't think anyone here feels it is impossible. But to do it dependably does require money. And Pro 8mm, like any other business, does nothing for free. I'm sure the system they are using cost considerably more than a used sound projector from ebay.

Roger
Might be a distortion of the story - it is possible to extract optical audio from the digital scan, I have done it quite successfully using the tools developed by South Carolina University called AEO-Light.
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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by MovieStuff » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:30 pm

RCBasher wrote: Might be a distortion of the story - it is possible to extract optical audio from the digital scan, I have done it quite successfully using the tools developed by South Carolina University called AEO-Light.
Yes, that is something we have looked at as well. I find that to get really acceptable sound, the resolution of the optical sound track area needs to be pretty high or there's a fair amount of noise. I mean, you can get sound from a lower rez capture but it doesn't sound as good as simply plugging a cable into the earphone output of the projector and making an analog recording.

Roger

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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by RCBasher » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:40 pm

MovieStuff wrote: Yes, that is something we have looked at as well. I find that to get really acceptable sound, the resolution of the optical sound track area needs to be pretty high or there's a fair amount of noise. I mean, you can get sound from a lower rez capture but it doesn't sound as good as simply plugging a cable into the earphone output of the projector and making an analog recording.

Roger
1024 lines on a machine vision camera with a reasonable frame overlap worked well on the 16mm film I tested, but what did mess it up was changing exposure to compensate for image density. Applying gamma upset it too and so when combined with the overscan needed for the overlap, it really required a dedicated pass to get an optimised scan. With decent cameras now available for under $500 there could be a case made for a separate camera upstream for the audio....but then again, a light bulb and an LDR have worked wonders for years!!
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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by Will2 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:57 pm

Tom at VideoFilmSolutions.com in Maryland wrote a cool piece of software that does optical sound capture...He's working from DPX files.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4_1y8_LCEw

http://www.videofilmsolutions.com/the-lab

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Re: Capturing Magnetic Super 8 Sound

Post by Andreas Wideroe » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:46 am

RCBasher wrote:
MovieStuff wrote: Yes, that is something we have looked at as well. I find that to get really acceptable sound, the resolution of the optical sound track area needs to be pretty high or there's a fair amount of noise. I mean, you can get sound from a lower rez capture but it doesn't sound as good as simply plugging a cable into the earphone output of the projector and making an analog recording.

Roger
1024 lines on a machine vision camera with a reasonable frame overlap worked well on the 16mm film I tested, but what did mess it up was changing exposure to compensate for image density. Applying gamma upset it too and so when combined with the overscan needed for the overlap, it really required a dedicated pass to get an optimised scan. With decent cameras now available for under $500 there could be a case made for a separate camera upstream for the audio....but then again, a light bulb and an LDR have worked wonders for years!!
Or one could mount a second monochrome hires camera for sound capture on the scanner unit. I see some scanners have this.

/Andreas
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