mastering sound for 16mm optical

From: Mark Toscano (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Oct 21 2008 - 23:14:42 PDT

Howdy all -

I'm wondering how folks out there who are still making 16mm movies with optical tracks are dealing with sound, particularly when it comes to putting together your tracks yourselves and giving them to a lab of some kind to shoot an optical.

In particular, I'm wondering how anybody deals with issues of levels and EQing for optical, especially as concerns pre-emphasis.

I'm usually assembling tracks at home on Pro Tools or Audacity or something like that, but have always had some trouble making sure I have everything in order in terms of the above, and usually have to have someone more savvy than I examine my file for possible clashing, going too hot, and to add pre-emphasis so the track doesn't sound too muffled once it's gone to optical.

And for those of you putting together your tracks fully digitally, do you have issues with communicating framerate or sample rate to the lab shooting the optical? For instance, going at 44100 vs. 48000, or issues of 29.97 vs. 30 fps?

Do most folks tend to give a digital file or a Pro Tools session or (...?) to the lab? Do some folks still dump the digital to mag in order to go to optical?

Curious to hear some varied experiences/suggestions, thanks much!

mark t

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