Re: Beaulieu 5008S / double system sound

From: Freya (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jun 20 2006 - 07:38:41 PDT

With referance generally to this thread. One important
thing was omitted from the description of this process
and that is you absolutely MUST use a crystal locked
sound recording device, such as mini disc/DAT etc.
That is the absolute key to this trick. The sentance
about recording audio wild makes it sound like you can
record the audio with a wild recording device. I'm
sure this is not what they meanyt because the whole
point of this is that the audio is crystal locked.

The idea is that S8 cameras with their little
electronic motors are often fairly stable in speed,
they only have to move a tiny amount of film compared
to 16mm and 35mm and they just whir away happily. They
can stay fairly consistantly at speed for quite some
time relatively. Some people have even reported being
in sync for the length of a whole cart. Maybe they got
lucky but there we are.

However, while they are consistant in speed, what
speed they are consistant at could be just about
anything. It can vary from camera to camera even of
the same make. Thought you were filming at 24fps did
you? Well you know it's probably something like that.
Something around there vaguely, that kind of thing.
You probably won't be able to tell the difference,
that is till you try and sync up your audio!

If for example you are filming at a perfect 23.4 fps
throughout your film, and you transfer your film in
telecine at 25fps. When you come to sync the audio
from your crystal locked recorder, it will not even be
vaguely in sync. This is why you time stretch the
audio, so that it matches whatever kind of random
speed your camera is filming at.

What are the downsides? Well your camera might drift
in speed, sending you off sync. This wouldn't happen
with a crystal unit but is possible in this case.
Apparently it doesn't happen that much but it can vary
from camera to camera. You will have to run some tests
with your own camera and see. This is why your audio
must be crystal locked. It's bad enough that your
camera could drift, and maybe it would drift so little
you wouldn't notice, but if the audio is drifting too,
then you will have drift all over the place and it
will all be horrid.

Also the speed you are running your camera at might
not be HMI safe etc. Tho obviously if you are shooting
on little S8 you probably don't have a bank of HMI
lights anyway, but who knows!

Lastly it's just down to luck really. You try it with
your camera. Perhaps film yourself and clap your hands
at the beginning and end, and you see how long you can
maintain sync. If you get lucky you have a camera that
runs at a consistant speed and everything is great.

Now to what Jeff had to say:

--- Jeff Kreines <email suppressed> wrote:

> On Jun 20, 2006, at 2:09 AM, email suppressed wrote:
> > I doon't have that kind of free time. It sounds
> like you are saying
> > that a crystal control unit is not necessary if
> using a Beaulieu or
> > a Nizo or the high end Canon cameras, yes?
> I didn't see who said that, but it's nonsense.

It was David who was talking about it but I don't
think he quite said what dh hunter said here. It's

I guess the key word here is neccessary, and what is
neccesary may vary a little depending on what you are
up to and the results you are trying to acheive.

A better word might be proffesional. It's definitely
not a proffesional way of working, but it can be made
to work. It's very popular in the S8 world these days.
> You need a crystal -- Super8 Sound (the old company,
> in Cambridge,
> MA) made one.

The company changed its name to pro8mm some years ago.
I havn't seen the upgrade for sale for years either
but they still sell crystal upgraded cameras so you
could try having a word with them but I don't imagine
they will be cheaper than the film group. The film
group have crystal mods for a wide range of S8

> As someone who suffered through S8 Sync at MIT in
> the early 70s, I
> wouldn't wish it on anyone. S8 is great, but the
> cameras are noisy,
> non-crystal, etc. It's a kludge.

Well the cameras aren't as noisy as 16mm mos cameras,
they could be blimped but I have never seen it done.
The beaulieu is quite noisy in paticular. The one set
of S8 cameras known to be suprisingly quiet are the
nizo's, however, they are also annecdotaly said to
perhaps be one of the least reliable S8 cameras
because they have sophisticated electronics and a lot
of S8 cameras are getting very old these days. There
is a very high incidence of dead nizo's and it's
incredibly hard to get servicing unlike for the

Kludge may be true, (those little cartridges for
starters probably, although I kind of love them) but
quite frankly as an experimental filmaker I am very
used to kludge and kludging it and doing various wierd
things to make it work. One of those things.

As I say it depends on what you are trying to achieve
tho. I mean do you even really need to have lip sync
anyway? I watched a great documentary type thing
(Revolution V or something?) where there was no lip
sync whatsoever, but when people talked they just
didn't show their mouths. Pointedly so in fact. Lip
sync is just a bit of a gimmick really that people
like to use it so they can pretend it is real more

As experimental filmakers we might feel we don't need
to do that as we have our own traditions and quite
frankly we can make up our own rules as we go along,
so there! :)

The only trouble with this is that if they are using
every piece of artifice to make their lies seem more
real, then maybe you need to use as much artifice as
you can lay your hands on so that your truth can
compete against their lies, which people will think is
more real because they saw the peoples lips move in
time with the words.

Okay I just read that and it's one of the most
convoluted and confusing paragraphs I have written but
look, you know exactly what I mean don't you? and
right now I need to rush off and sort a load of things
out :)

Although somehow the fact it is complicated and not as
easy to read as say "the daily mail", or "the
telegraph", seems entirely appropriate.




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