Sound-on-disc

Sound-on-disc is a class of sound film processes using a phonograph or other disc to record or play back sound in sync with a motion picture. Early sound-on-disc systems used a mechanical interlock with the movie projector, while more recent systems use timecode.

Examples of sound-on-disc processes

France

USA

UK

  • British Phototone, short-lived UK system using 12-inch discs, introduced in 1928-29 (Clue of the New Pin)

Other

References

  1. ^ Thomas Louis Jacques Schmitt, « The genealogy of clip culture » in Henry Keazor, Thorsten Wübbena (dir.) Rewind, Play, Fast Forward, transcript, ISBN 978-3-8376-1185-4

See also

Chronophone

The Chronophone is an apparatus patented by Léon Gaumont in 1902 to synchronise the Cinématographe (Chrono-Bioscope) with a disc Phonograph (Cyclophone) using a "Conductor" or "Switchboard". This sound-on-disc display was used as an experiment from 1902 to 1910. In January 1911, the industrial exploitation started at the Olympia. Chronophone would show Phonoscènes (an early forerunner of music videos) and Filmparlants ("Talking Films") almost every week from 1911 until 1917 at the Gaumont Palace, "the Greatest Cinema Theatre in the World", previously known as the Paris Hippodrome.

In the United States, the early rival of the Chronophone was the Cameraphone.

Don Juan (1926 film)

Don Juan is a 1926 American romantic Adventure film directed by Alan Crosland. It is the first feature-length film to utilize the Vitaphone sound-on-disc sound system with a synchronized musical score and sound effects, though it has no spoken dialogue. The film is inspired by Lord Byron's 1821 epic poem of the same name. The screenplay was written by Bess Meredyth with intertitles by Maude Fulton and Walter Anthony.Don Juan stars John Barrymore as the hand-kissing womanizer. The film has the most kisses in film history, with Barrymore kissing (all together) Mary Astor and Estelle Taylor 127 times.

Lost film

A lost film is a feature or short film that is no longer known to exist in any studio archives, private collections, or public archives, such as the U.S. Library of Congress.

Movietone sound system

The Movietone sound system is an optical sound-on-film method of recording sound for motion pictures that guarantees synchronization between sound and picture. It achieves this by recording the sound as a variable-density optical track on the same strip of film that records the pictures. The initial version was capable of a frequency response of 8500 Hz. Although sound films today use variable-area tracks, any modern motion picture theater (excluding those that have transitioned to digital cinema) can play a Movietone film without modification to the projector (though if the projector's sound unit has been fitted with red LED or laser light sources, the reproduction quality from a variable density track will be significantly impaired). Movietone was one of four motion picture sound systems under development in the U.S. during the 1920s, the others being DeForest Phonofilm, Warner Brothers' Vitaphone, and RCA Photophone, though Phonofilm was primarily an early version of Movietone.

My Man (1928 film)

My Man is a 1928 black and white part-talkie American comedy-drama musical film directed by Archie Mayo starring Fanny Brice and featuring Guinn "Big Boy" Williams. It was Brice's feature film debut at the age of 37. She was a star in the Ziegfeld Follies before she started acting in motion pictures. At the time Warner Bros. made this film there were still some silent movies in production and being released. My Man used intertitles but included talking sequences, synchronized music, and sound effects using a Vitaphone sound-on-disc system. It would not be until 1929 that talking movies would completely take over, but Warner Bros. had completely stopped making silent movies and switched to sound pictures by the end of that year, either part talking or full talking. Warner Bros. would also start making movies in color as well as sound movies.

Noah's Ark (1928 film)

Noah's Ark is a 1928 American epic romantic melodramatic disaster film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Dolores Costello and George O'Brien. The story is by Darryl F. Zanuck. The film was released by the Warner Bros. studio. It is representative of the transition from silent movies to "talkies", although it is essentially a hybrid film known as a part-talkie, which used the new Vitaphone sound-on-disc system. Most scenes are silent with a synchronized music score and sound effects, in particular the biblical ones, while some scenes have dialogue.

Peludópolis

Peludópolis is a 1931 Argentine animated film directed by Quirino Cristiani. It was released on September 18, 1931 in Buenos Aires. The film was released with a Vitaphone sound-on-disc synchronization system soundtrack, making the film generally credited as the first animated feature film with sound. The film is now considered a lost film.

Photokinema

Photo-Kinema (some sources say Phono-Kinema) was a sound-on-disc system for motion pictures invented by Orlando Kellum.

RCA Photophone

This article is for the sound-on-film technology. For the telecommunication device invented by Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter, see Photophone.RCA Photophone was the trade name given to one of four major competing technologies that emerged in the American film industry in the late 1920s for synchronizing electrically recorded audio to a motion picture image. RCA Photophone was an optical sound, "variable-area" film exposure system, in which the modulated area (width) corresponded to the waveform of the audio signal. The three other major technologies were the Warner Bros. Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, as well as two "variable-density" sound-on-film systems, Lee De Forest's Phonofilm, and Fox-Case's Movietone.

When Joseph P. Kennedy and other investors merged Film Booking Offices of America (FBO) with the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chain and Radio Corporation of America, the resulting movie studio RKO Radio Pictures used RCA Photophone as their primary sound system. In May 1929, RKO released Syncopation, the first film made in RCA Photophone.

Sonny Boy (1929 film)

Sonny Boy is a 1929 film released by Warner Bros., directed by Archie Mayo, and starring Davey Lee, Edward Everett Horton, and Betty Bronson. Some of the movie was shot silent, and some was filmed in the Vitaphone sound-on-disc system.

Sound-on-film

Sound-on-film is a class of sound film processes where the sound accompanying a picture is physically recorded onto photographic film, usually, but not always, the same strip of film carrying the picture. Sound-on-film processes can either record an analog sound track or digital sound track, and may record the signal either optically or magnetically. Earlier technologies were sound-on-disc, meaning the film's soundtrack would be on a separate phonograph record.

Sound film

A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image, as opposed to a silent film. The first known public exhibition of projected sound films took place in Paris in 1900, but decades passed before sound motion pictures were made commercially practical. Reliable synchronization was difficult to achieve with the early sound-on-disc systems, and amplification and recording quality were also inadequate. Innovations in sound-on-film led to the first commercial screening of short motion pictures using the technology, which took place in 1923.

The primary steps in the commercialization of sound cinema were taken in the mid- to late 1920s. At first, the sound films which included synchronized dialogue, known as "talking pictures", or "talkies", were exclusively shorts. The earliest feature-length movies with recorded sound included only music and effects. The first feature film originally presented as a talkie was The Jazz Singer, released in October 1927. A major hit, it was made with Vitaphone, which was at the time the leading brand of sound-on-disc technology. Sound-on-film, however, would soon become the standard for talking pictures.

By the early 1930s, the talkies were a global phenomenon. In the United States, they helped secure Hollywood's position as one of the world's most powerful cultural/commercial centers of influence (see Cinema of the United States). In Europe (and, to a lesser degree, elsewhere), the new development was treated with suspicion by many filmmakers and critics, who worried that a focus on dialogue would subvert the unique aesthetic virtues of soundless cinema. In Japan, where the popular film tradition integrated silent movie and live vocal performance, talking pictures were slow to take root. Conversely, in India, sound was the transformative element that led to the rapid expansion of the nation's film industry.

State Street Sadie

State Street Sadie is a 1928 American crime drama film directed by Archie Mayo, and released as a silent film with talking sequences using Warner Bros.' Vitaphone sound-on-disc process. This is regarded as a lost film.

The Better 'Ole (1926 film)

The Better 'Ole is a 1926 American silent World War I comedy drama film. Released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., this film is the second full-length film to utilize the Vitaphone sound-on-disc process, two months after the first Vitaphone feature Don Juan; with no audible dialogue, the film does have a synchronized musical score and sound effects. This film was also the second onscreen adaptation of the 1917 musical play The Better 'Ole by Bruce Bairnsfather and Arthur Elliot. Charlie Chaplin's eldest brother Sydney Chaplin played the main lead as Old Bill in perhaps his best-known film today. This film is also believed by many to have the first spoken word of dialog, "coffee", although there are those who disagree. At one point during the film, Harold Goodwin's character whispers a word to Sydney Chaplin which is also faintly heard.

The Clue of the New Pin (1929 film)

The Clue of the New Pin is a 1929 British crime film directed by Arthur Maude and starring Benita Hume, Kim Peacock, and Donald Calthrop. It was made at Beaconsfield Studios.

The film was one of only 10 filmed in British Phototone, a sound-on-disc system which used 12-inch discs. All of the other nine films made in this process were short films. In March 1929, this film and The Crimson Circle, filmed in the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film system, were 'trade-shown' to cinema exhibitors.This film is an adaptation of the 1923 novel The Clue of the New Pin by Edgar Wallace. It was later remade in 1961.

The Crimson Circle (1929 film)

The Crimson Circle (German: Der rote Kreis) is a 1929 British-German crime film directed by Frederic Zelnik and starring Lya Mara, Fred Louis Lerch, and Stewart Rome.

The film, a co-production between British International Pictures and Efzet Film, was made in both a silent version and a sound version filmed in the Phonofilm sound-on-film system. In March 1929, this film and The Clue of the New Pin, filmed in the British Phototone sound-on-disc process, were previewed in London.The film is an adaptation of the Edgar Wallace novel The Crimson Circle in which Scotland Yard detectives battle a gang of blackmailers. A previous UK version was filmed in 1922.

The First Auto

The First Auto is a 1927 film about the transition from horses to cars and the rift it causes in one family. It stars Charles Emmett Mack and Patsy Ruth Miller, with Barney Oldfield having a guest role in the movie. While mainly a silent film, it does have a Vitaphone sound-on-disc soundtrack with a synchronized musical score and sound effects, as well as three spoken words and some laughter.

The Terror (1928 film)

The Terror is a 1928 early American, pre-Code, horror film written by Harvey Gates and directed by Roy Del Ruth, based on the play of the same name by Edgar Wallace. It was the second "all-talking" motion picture released by Warner Bros. (The first was Lights of New York). The film was also the first all-talking horror film, made using the Vitaphone sound-on-disc system.

Vitaphone

Vitaphone was a sound film system used for feature films and nearly 1,000 short subjects made by Warner Bros. and its sister studio First National from 1926 to 1931. Vitaphone was the last major analog sound-on-disc system and the only one which was widely used and commercially successful. The soundtrack was not printed on the film itself, but issued separately on phonograph records. The discs, recorded at ​33 1⁄3 rpm (a speed first used for this system) and typically 16 inches (41 cm) in diameter, would be played on a turntable physically coupled to the projector motor while the film was being projected, achieving a frequency response of 4300 Hz. Many early talkies, such as The Jazz Singer (1927), used the Vitaphone system. The name "Vitaphone" derived from the Latin and Greek words, respectively, for "living" and "sound".

The "Vitaphone" trademark was later associated with cartoons and other short subjects that had optical soundtracks and did not use discs.

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