Welcome, Guest
Username Password: Remember me
Anything that doesn't fit into any other category.
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing.

Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #202976

  • briandrys
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8534
  • 1 month ago
An item for the historical aspects of editing that can be found in this area of the forum. Rubber numbering, a handy way to check sync when editing on film.

www.redsharknews.com/production/item/6524-this-was-once-essential-to-post-production,-and-we-bet-you-ve-never-heard-of-it

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #202979

  • hugly
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 20537
  • 1 month ago
Very interesting article. Thank you!

For syncing sound to picture, both on perforated film, the machine can use the perforation. Does anybody know how they compensated for speed drift of analogue magnetic tape recordings when transferring sound from tape to magnetic film, prior to rubber numbering?
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 1 month ago by hugly.

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #202983

  • briandrys
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8534
  • 1 month ago
The later film cameras had crystal speed control, so they ran at a precise speed, The 1/4" audio recorder, typically a Nagra had a crystal tone generator, which produced either a 50Hz or 60HZ tone, which was recorded onto the tape using a couple of heads, which phase canceled the tone on the full track recording. Time code could also be used for the same net result.

The tape was then transferred to magnetic film locked onto to the sync tone, so that it played back at a precise speed, the Nagra had a built in circuit to control this. The mag film recorder could also be controlled by the playback sync tone.

There are earlier methods where the camera feed the sync tone into the audio recorder by cable. The earlier cameras weren't crystal controlled, so that sync tone was used to hold the synchronization during the transfer to mag film.

Other systems used one pulse per frame, but the professional systems used the sync tone.
Last Edit: 1 month ago by briandrys.

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #203008

  • hugly
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 20537
  • 1 month ago
I see. Using the local mains frequency as reference is a clever approach. Since the power plants try to keep that frequency as constant as possible, it's some kind of outsourced clock reference.

I can remember that my electric alarm clock in the seventies (without batteries) worked with the same principle, clock reference from 50 Hz mains frequency, and it was pretty precise. It would work even today, but we prefer batteries for mobility nowadays.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 1 month ago by hugly.

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #203012

  • jwrl
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 11348
  • 1 month ago
hugly wrote:
I see. Using the local mains frequency as reference is a clever approach. Since the power plants try to keep that frequency as constant as possible, it's some kind of outsourced clock reference.

No, the Nagra had a crystal locked tone generator. It didn't use mains power for the reference.

I also worked with a black box that generated reference tone for the Nagra from video sync, which meant that we could use portable video cameras with sep sound in the same way that we could with cine cameras. It also meant that you could play back locked guide tracks for performers to mime or dance to and have perfect sync throughout - always assuming that the performer in question could mime in sync!
Last Edit: 1 month ago by jwrl.

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #203019

  • hugly
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 20537
  • 1 month ago
Ah, thanks for the additional information.

What did they do to sync the sound back in times prior to the invention of silicon crystal locked tone generators and prior to electric video capture, let's say back in the 40's/50's with pictures on film?

This image is hidden for guests. Please log in or register to see it.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 1 month ago by hugly.

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #203022

  • briandrys
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8534
  • 1 month ago
The cameras used to generate their own sync tone as they used constant speed motors (not crystal controlled). This was feed by cable to the recorder.

The Mitchell 35mm cameras used to have synchronous motors that ran off the AC mains. No problem in the film studios. They were later fitted with crystal motors.



The Nagra didn't come out until about 1961, so they used other tape recorders before then.

In the studio you could use mains to power the 1/4" tape recorder, but there were battery powered ones.

www.pebblemill.org/blog/brian-vaughton-demonstrates-the-emi-l2/
Last Edit: 1 month ago by briandrys.

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #203023

  • hugly
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 20537
  • 1 month ago
I just found a video, pretty long, but very informative, I think . It doesn't cover specifically the history of syncing sound and timecode, but the history of sound at the movies, in general.

It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 1 month ago by hugly.

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #203084

  • booneh
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 3
  • 1 month ago
Early sound recording was done optically straight onto film. Later, a dual-system was developed with a picture camera and a sound camera, so syncing sound and picture was the same as syncing two picture cameras. I think they transitioned to mag film before they went to magnetic tape, so the principle was probably pretty much the same until Nagra came along.

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #203086

  • briandrys
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8534
  • 1 month ago
There was a few methods in the early days of sound films. This article seems to go through the processes used as optical sound replaced the disc recordings as the way to go.

www.aes.org/aeshc/pdf/hilliard_a-brief-history-of-early-motion-picture-sound.pdf

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #203142

  • arniepix
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 1607
  • 1 month ago
In NYC, there's an archivist trying to preserve as many Vitaphone films as he can.
I work in Manhattan, USA, but at night I cross the waters to sleep in Brooklyn, USA.

Also, post production is not an afterthought!

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #203144

Had a Tandberg mobile 1/4" reel recorder decades ago. Recorded a pilot tone from an internal crystal sync oscillator on one track and audio on the other, but no timecode. The motor locked to the pilot tone reference on playback to maintain frame accurate speed.

The first mult-track studio mixdown I did for a 16mm film project was done in a 16 track 35mm mag film suite. The entire wall behind the mix position was a bank of chain drive interlocked mag film recorders.
To slip a track, you walked to the wall and pulled the lock pin from the transport you wanted to adjust and spun the reels by hand to the sync point. Then relocked it.
Razz

Digital Bolex 2k Cinema DNG raw camera
Canon GL2 DV camcorder
iPAD Mini 3 Iographer rig

Workstation: Intel i7-4770k, Asrock Z87 Thunderbolt 2 MB, 16GB 1866 DDR3 ram,
2TB Seagate Hybrid system drive, 2TB Seagate NAS media drive, E-sata III hot swap drive bay, Nvidia GTX760 2GB GPU
Lightworks kybrd. Shuttlepro v2
Win10 Pro 64bit, Lightworks 14.0 64bit

Mobile Workstation: MSI GTX72 Dominator
Intel i7-6700HQ 2.7GHz Win10 64bit
16GB DDR4 ram, 500GB M.2 SSD
Nvidia GTX970 3GB GPU
USB3, USB3.1-C, Thunderbolt 3 ports
Shuttlepro2 Win10 64bit LW 14.0 64 bit

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #203160

  • briandrys
  • Moderator
    Pro User
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 8534
  • 1 month ago
That must've been further up the product range than the Tandberg we used, initially it had a miniature jack into which was feed a 1000Hz tone that had been chopped into single frame pulses by the motor fitted onto a Bolex H16 camera. This wasn't that reliable, because the connectors on either end of the sync cable weren't the best at staying connected.

Later we changed it to an industry standard Tuchel connector(a DIN style plug that was screw locked) and feed the 50HZ sync tone from an Arriflex 16 BL camera. In both cases it went straight to the sync recording head from the camera, there was no electronica in the recorder for the sync. The 16 BL supplied a 1 volt sync output.

That's a lot easier than the method they used on the mobile camera documentaries in the early 1960s, like "Primary" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_(film) Where it had be manually lip synced up as the sync drifted during each shot, worth remembering since the film's editor, D. A. Pennebaker died at the beginning of the month.
Last Edit: 1 month ago by briandrys.

Re: Rubber numbering, the "time code" of film editing. 1 month ago #203183

At one point I was using a Nakamichi 850 cassette deck for sound. It ran on some sort of internal phase locked loop motor control. A friend who was a service tech for the local dealer fine tuned the deck speed for me. It would maintain sync for a minute or more. Longer than most shots we did with the Bolex. Never had a deck cable tied to the Bolex for sync. The Tandberg may have been a custom conversion. We bought it used.
Did have an old Auricon 600 16mm studio camera, AC powered, that recorded sound on mag stripe film. We used that for interiors and longer takes like interviews. It had a two channel tube preamp that connected with an umbilical cable to the camera. Very quiet camera. The loudest sound it made was the click of the mechanical frame counter. A whole industry grew up around converting those to battery powered news cameras with integral mic preamps. Frezzolini was a major one, Cinema Products CP16 was the most successful. Most of the Viet Nam war footage you see was shot with one or the other of those.
Razz

Digital Bolex 2k Cinema DNG raw camera
Canon GL2 DV camcorder
iPAD Mini 3 Iographer rig

Workstation: Intel i7-4770k, Asrock Z87 Thunderbolt 2 MB, 16GB 1866 DDR3 ram,
2TB Seagate Hybrid system drive, 2TB Seagate NAS media drive, E-sata III hot swap drive bay, Nvidia GTX760 2GB GPU
Lightworks kybrd. Shuttlepro v2
Win10 Pro 64bit, Lightworks 14.0 64bit

Mobile Workstation: MSI GTX72 Dominator
Intel i7-6700HQ 2.7GHz Win10 64bit
16GB DDR4 ram, 500GB M.2 SSD
Nvidia GTX970 3GB GPU
USB3, USB3.1-C, Thunderbolt 3 ports
Shuttlepro2 Win10 64bit LW 14.0 64 bit
Last Edit: 1 month ago by David Rasberry.
  • Page:
  • 1
Time to create page: 0.31 seconds
Scroll To Top