View Full Version : Film and TV sound recording - a skill under pressure

04-02-2010, 11:36 AM
We are aware of how the importance of high quality* 'sound' has generally diminished in broadcasting. The situation has now degenerated to the point that those actually recording (capturing) the sound are angry and deeply frustrated. They lay the blame on directors and producers who - with few exceptions - treat sound as a commodity subservient to vision and graphics.

This has all come to a head in this Open Letter (http://www.coffeyinteractive.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1629) to the industry, the sentiments widely supported by sound recordists.

* = expensive, inconvenient to record, perhaps visually intrusive on the picture, needs time and skill .....

21-06-2015, 12:18 AM
This evening I watched two films on the Freeview "Movies for men" channel;
"Commandoes Strike at Dawn" 1942, and,
"Battle For The Skies" 2013.

The former had what to me was a surprisingly good sound track, so much so that I started to question our real progress with sound recording in 73 years. The speech was realistic, thin when in the open, and the high frequencies were all present, notably the on mic. sibilants from a little girl. But all of the speech was 'on axis', and none was 'boxy'. The main fault was the slightly unnatural quality of the sibilants, but the mic. used must have been very different from those used now, and the amplifiers certainly of poorer specification.

The latter film exhibited widely differing on/off axis qualities of speech from two people in any one frame, and in the open it often sounded as though in a wardrobe.
Artisitically little attention was paid also to the facts of much greater attention to articulation in the period of the war than at present, and there were also, and this happens often, manners of speech used which were not of the period, but of today.

I am left wondering if a golden age of tech development came and went, and which stretched from the origins of audio which I think were the use of war technology turned to a better use, and which then faded away in the seventies.
Of course digital recording does stand out as a breakthrough.