Re: [Frameworks] Sound from Projectors

From: Tom Whiteside <>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 12:20:05 -0500

If you want to make a scratch that will print in the soundtrack area, you have to let the lab know that you want it printed. I made a film called "Ding, Ding, Ding" by cutting numerous copies of a television commercial, I liked the way it played image and sound from the "original." I sent it to the lab and innocently asked for a print - of course the print came back silent, as I had not requested "print through sound." I've always called this one "Ding, Ding, Dumb." So if you are expecting anything to be printed outside of the image area you need to be clear with the lab about this.

- Tom

From: [] On Behalf Of Amanda Christie
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2011 8:06 AM
To: Experimental Film Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] Sound from Projectors

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


On Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 1:10 AM, Isaac Alpert Sherman <<>> wrote:

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 - 09:20:37 CST