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Author Topic: What is "Ultra-sonic Sound"?
James N. Savage 3
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1375
From: Washington, DC
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted July 27, 2005 11:18 AM      Profile for James N. Savage 3   Email James N. Savage 3   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi-

Occasionally, I come across an old super 8 film on E-bay that is advertised as having "Ultrasonic Sound". Its even printed on the original box. What is it???

Is it magnetic, optical, or otherwise?

I remember seeing it in advertisements for sound super 8 movies in the 60's, but only dealt with silent at that time.

By the time I got into sound film (mid-70's), everything was magnetic.

Hope someone can solve this mystery for me [Roll Eyes] .

Nick.

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David Pannell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1072
From: Horsham, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted July 27, 2005 02:02 PM      Profile for David Pannell   Author's Homepage   Email David Pannell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi James,

It 'sounds' (if you'll forgive the pun) more like an advertising ploy than anything else, trying to emulate, or even seem better than Hi-Fi, (or high fidelity sound).

Ultrasonics are, as I'm sure you are aware, the range of frequencies beyond the audible range of the human ear, and UHF - ultra high frequencies are in the range of 300-3000MHz!!

The word 'ultra' on its own signifies extreme or beyond, and therefore in the technical sense of the description would be utterly meaningless; but, with so called 'poetic licence' could convey a meaning of extremely good quality sound or a very wide frequency range!

Can't think of any other possible explanation.

Dave.

--------------------
Dave.

Valves and celluloid - a great combination!
Early technology rules OK!

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Kevin Faulkner
Film God

Posts: 4071
From: Essex UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted July 28, 2005 04:00 AM      Profile for Kevin Faulkner         Edit/Delete Post 
David, that sound spot on. I too have seen this sort of thing on some films but at the end of the day they have been produced exactly like any other film. Think its a spill over from the original print/studio release a bit like "vistavision & Technicolour"

Kev.

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GS1200 Xenon with Elmo 1.0...great combo along with a 16-CL Xenon for that super bright white light.

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James N. Savage 3
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1375
From: Washington, DC
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted July 28, 2005 12:41 PM      Profile for James N. Savage 3   Email James N. Savage 3   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks guys-

I figured it was just a fancy way to say "sound". I still can't find an advertiser who knows weather its mag or opt though.

One title that comes to mind that was advertised as having Ultra Sonic Sound was a 200 foot edition of "Tell Tale Heart". This was comonly sold in the Famous Monster mags of the 60's and 70's.

Nick.

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David Pannell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1072
From: Horsham, West Sussex, UK
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted July 28, 2005 03:42 PM      Profile for David Pannell   Author's Homepage   Email David Pannell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gosh Nick - or is it James - or would you prefer to be called Jim??....Just kidding!!

Anyway, what I was about to say was that I actually remember going to the cinema to see that film when it first came out. As a youngster I used to fancy Adrienne Corri, who starred in that movie!!

How's that for memory?

Cheers,

Dave.

--------------------
Dave.

Valves and celluloid - a great combination!
Early technology rules OK!

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted July 29, 2005 12:00 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a columbia cartoon, entitled, "Gerald Mc Boing Boing", which, of course, was a famous cartoon, and it has the "Ultra-sonic label." From what I can identify, it does seem to have a louder sound quality than most prints from the same era, slightly "crisper" , if I could use that term.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

Posts: 2629
From: Ohio, USA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted July 29, 2005 03:00 PM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hmm, I've been interested in that cartoon myself, but just missed an eBay auction for it. Care to write a review for it? [Smile]

As for the Ultrasonic sound.... I have two theories. Either they simply recorded the sound very loud, actually overdriving the sound stripe during the loudest parts (but only by a few dB)... or they ran the sound through a compressor, somewhat like a Dolby C compander circuit, to make very soft passages louder and also increase the perceived volume of loud passages without actually altering their dB levels.
(If you listen to music on the radio... you always listen to compressed audio, which to my ears is quite annoying as they compress it way too much. [Mad] )

Note, I'm not talking about compression as in turning digital audio into MP3 files, but dynamic compression as in reducing (compressing) the dynamic range of an audio recording. [Smile]

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Call me Phoenix. *dusts off the ashes*

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