Re: [Frameworks] Maurer optical sound recorder

From: Pip Chodorov (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Dec 12 2010 - 02:24:53 PST

Hi Alex,

We have a Maurer in Paris that we got from Jud Yalkut in Ohio. We
were able to make it work fine, except that the speed is determined
by the current, and in Paris that's 50hz instead of 60 - it ran slow
and we were in the processing of configuring a solution when we came
across another sound camera in Belgium, so we're using that one now.

In fact, making your own optical track is not difficult but you have
to do a lot of tests with sine wave recordings, printing, developing
and checking it with an oscilloscope. Technically it is quite tricky
to get it perfect, especially if your developing is not standardized,
ie if you hand develop, or if the chemicals are not always
replenished exactly. Fortunately, it is not as hard to make an
optical negative as it is to print the positive film with sound -
there you have to do many tests with the right filters so the track
is perfectly black and white, and develop the film so the image looks
right and the track has just the right density. This can be very long
and frustrating and in the end a professional lab will always have
better results. At L'Abominable we have made a couple of films with
sound but they are not perfect. We are still working on it. And the
people working on it are great technicians - I myself am not working
on this at all. But I have been following the results and seeing
their tests and it is a long arduous process just to get a good
healthy sine tone.

- Pip Chodorov

At 15:57 -0500 11/12/10, Alex Lake wrote:
>Hello all--
>I found a Maurer optical sound recorder on Craigslist. I went and
>looked at it today and it seems to power on, motors spin. The lamp is
>dead. I didn't take it today because it was heavier than I thought it
>would be and didn't want to take it on the train.
>Does anyone know anything about these? If it doesn't work, does
>anyone know how repairable they are?
>I have until Tuesday to decide if I want to take it or not. Making my
>own optical tracks would cut down my film costs, but I don't want to
>take this thing home if it's just going to be an incredibly heavy
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