Re: [Frameworks] Sound from Projectors

From: Amanda Christie <>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 09:06:00 -0400

I am a fan of using a kaoss pad with projectors. it's like a pedal
but has way more possibilities and it's well suited to live
performance because it requires less finicky dexterity, and therefore
frees your hands, fingers, and arms up for more projector work. it is
a pad with a few nobs... one nob lets you choose out of a hundred
effects (delay, reverb, synths, etc), and the main part is a touch
pad... you simply touch the pad and drag your finger along it to
provide the effect. although, if you're pedals are pre-set, it's nice
to be able to use your feet... but you could use a kaoss pad with your
toes and perform in bare feet.

as for scratching on film, i've done that and it can be quite
tedious... upwards of 30 hours for one minute or less of film. if
you're not careful it just makes a bunch of farting sounds. norman
mclaren published a little legend of lines and the notes that they
make. you can actually get a musical scale of notes.... use vertical
lines... the longer they are the louder... the further apart the
lower... the closer together the higher... diagonal sounds will barely
be heard... shapes also make sounds... and i believe that richard
reeves published a legend of shapes and the sounds they make.
you can also get sound by doing the reverse and putting black ink on
clear leader.

also, i have used a lab to make a print of double perf film when i
wanted to get rid of the clicking sound. in my experience, the print
included the outlines of the perfs.... so the clicking sound was still
there. there were no actual perfs in the film but just the faint
outline of the perfs.... and the clicking sound remained in the
background.... not as loud... but still present. you'd have to talk
with the lab about that.

Amanda Dawn Christie
visit the profile for my latest film project in progress at:

On 23-Feb-11, at 9:32 PM, mike rice wrote:

> Isaac, thanks for the advice. I think it is a great idea. The only
> difference is that in my film the sound (and projection for that
> matter) have much to do with the actual performance of operating
> them as machinery, and tools for illuminating exploration. I think
> using a drawn line on the optical track for a base, and manipulating
> that sound live, running the signal through a mixer/and or
> distortion pedal, would give me this freedom.
> I will continue to experiment and update you with results. thanks
> again
> best
> Mike
> On Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 1:10 AM, Isaac Alpert Sherman <
> > wrote:
> Mike,
> What I've done to achieve this "slight hissing noise" is also
> slightly unorthodox. There are a couple ways to do it but basically
> what I've done is use black leader or even mag stock and scratch a
> straight (or close to straight) line along the soundtrack path. This
> will allow some light to come through from the exciter bulb but you
> won't have the clicking of the sprockets going through - rather,
> you'll get a kind of hissing popping sound similar to an old record.
> If the line isn't perfectly straight, it makes for a cool "in and
> out" effect and even alters the volume slightly.
> In your case, you could make this scratch line on your final print,
> but if you don't want to do that, perhaps you could give the lap an
> "optical master" of simply an equal length of black leader with a
> scratch along the optical path. I, myself, have never dealt with a
> lab, so I'm not sure if they would do this for you (special request
> in order?). Indeed, this is a tedious task but it might just give
> you the sound you're looking for...
> As far as the sound coming out of the projectors, you'll probably
> want to run the speaker out into a direct box, converting it to a
> line level, then running that into your mixer or what-have-you.
> Hope this answers, or helps to answer your question.
> Good luck!
> Isaac Sherman
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "mike rice" <>
> To: "Experimental Film Discussion List" <
> >
> Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 6:49:56 PM
> Subject: [Frameworks] Sound from Projectors
> Hello fello Frameworkers:
> I am currently in the midst of my thesis project. It is an
> experimental film, employing multiple projections (both 16 and Super
> 8, optical printing, painting on film, etc etc) and I am attempting
> something a bit unorthodox as far as the sound goes and I was
> wondering if any of you would have input...
> For mostly conceptual reasons, I want the sound in the film to be
> the actual sound coming from the projector itself (while my film is
> playing through). As is, my film is double perf so I will be getting
> an inter-neg made and a final print (single perf) so that you do not
> hear the "clickclickclick" of each sprocket hole. So here is my
> question: I intend on running several guitar distortion pedals from
> the project to the amplifier of the theater. I will be slightly
> adjusting the tone of the pedals while the film is running. Has
> anyone done this before? have advice on the best way to get "funky"
> sounds out of the projector....
> I know this is a pretty broad question, but I just wanted people to
> share their stories (if you have any) about using the sound of the
> projector itself (the slight hissing noise) as a soundtrack.
> best, Mike Rice
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Received on Thu Feb 24 2011 - 05:07:16 CST