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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 274 (238)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 274
Page 274

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 274

did make available immediately a limited number of full stereophonic equipments. RCA followed by making an additional quantity available. Other major equipment manufacturers put their forces on an around the clock schedule to start producing necessary equipment to meet industry demands. Fortunately engineering and tooling for the major part of the equipment was already in existence. Therefore orders could be accepted with reasonable delivery schedules.


It is not intended in this article to go into a lengthy technical dissertation of the equipment involved to present stereophonic recording, but rather to treat the subject. on an non-technical basis. In theory an infinite number of channels is required to produce the stereophonic effect of perfection. However, it has been found that three chalinels will produce excellent results at a cost within the capabilities of many thousands of motion picture theatres.

In seine of the current and proposed systems, sound is reproduced from the speakers located at sides and back of the auditorium, as well as from the stage. The sound so reproduced may or may not bear a normal stereophonic relationship to the sound projected from the stage

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speakers and the result may not be what might be called true stereophonic reproe duction. The combination, however, does within practical limitations closely approximate the ideal conditions.

Each stereophonic recording channel begins with a separate microphone, has a separate amplifier system and terminates in a reproducer which deposits on the film a sound track. This can be done either optically, or as is being done on the current stereophonic recordings, magnetically. Magnetic recording is not new to studio recording technicians. It has been used for a number of years for master recording, It possesses several technical advantages over optical recording and lends itself more readily to multichannel reproduction than does optical recording. It is safe to say that it is most likely that future stereophonic recording will be released magnetically. Each of the microphones are placed on the stage or set in relation to the action taking place in such a manner that when the multi-channels are reproduced simultaneously in synchronism the same Hauditory perspective" created can be reproduced.

The reproducing system in the theatre

THE AMPLIFIER BANK shown below is required in addition to the existing theatre sound system.

is controlled in the same manner as is the recording, i.e., each recorded channel is picked up by a reproducer, amplitied in its individual amplifying channel and feeds a loudspeaker system located on the stage in approximately the same position as was the original microphone which recorded the initial sound on the set. Therefore, multi-channel properly reproduced will create in the auditorium with relation to the screen the same acoustic illusion of the original recording setup.

It can be seen that if during the recording production the characters moved around the set, the sound as recorded in the several microphones, when reproduced, would emanate from approximately the same position with relation to the characters. For example, if a person appearing in the center of the left third of the scene speaks, the left microphone would pick up the signal somewhat louder than the signal picked up by the center microphone and considerably louder than the sound picked up by that of the right-hand microphone. In reconstructing the sound in the theatre auditorium the preservation of these relative differences in combination recreate the direction of the source. The same illusion is created for sounds emanating off stage when reproduced in an auditorium through the so-called itsurroundii speakers located in the auditorium proper.

It has been demonstrated conclusively in test shots made during experimentation over the years that the employment of true stereophonic effects can and does reproduce faithfully the illusion of placement and motion. It is reasonable to assume that future use of this art will develop realism far beyond that which has already been obtained. Those who have heard true stereophonic reproduction have been enthusiastically impressed with the dramatic impact it creates.

rSince stereophonic sound has become a part of the motion picture industry practically overnight, little of its detail is known except by the technicians who are closely associated with its production. The equipment and techniques involved in recording are important only to the exhibitor with regard to the final product, that being the film delivered to the booth, therefore little will be said here with regard to that phase of the subject. It should suffice to say that although microphones, amplifiers and recording equipment will be used by the studio technicians, the important part will be the know-how of the people employing these new techniques. The directors can and will create dramatic situations unheard of heretofore. Music directors will now have the tool to further enhance the musical accompaniment to supplement the dramatic effects. Musicals can and will be presented more lavishly than ever before because of techniques made available to the producer.

Care Required

The important part of this development will be its presentation to the public. All of the efforts of the studios will be wasted if the final product is not properly presented to the customers. Herein lies the, success of ustereophonic." It should also be pointed out to the exhibitor and his operating personnel

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 274