This is topic Super 8 stereo? Hmmmm ... in forum 8mm Forum at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on October 31, 2017, 11:50 AM:
OK, as all you fine folks know, I am a champion for all things super 8, and I always will be ...

However ...

I have to confess that, as a general rule, super 8 stereo really isn't all that hot. I have a few super 8 films that even have a re-record by a certain really good fellow in the super 8 community, and no matter how hard he tried, with the existing two track magnetic, well, the balance stripe never REALLY sounds all that hot.

Now, the mono sound can be incredibly good. I just received a vintage print of CE3K 400ft digest, and the mono sound was great as with many other mono magnetic tracks.

... but I have to admit, I've never really been enamored with stereo super 8. I'm sure that there are no doubt many out there who have great stereo recordings on the're films and hey, I even have top of the line stereo super 8 projectors but I have to admit that, when it comes to buying, for instance Derann scope features of titles, stereo versions are not really a must.

You're thoughts, ladies and gentlemen! [Smile]
Posted by Steve Klare (Member # 12) on October 31, 2017, 12:07 PM:
My sound system is stereo from the mixer on out. If there are stereo elements in front of it, it is all stereo all the time.

There's this little LED twin level meter on the mixer and with a stereo print on a twin track machine you can literally see the difference between the channels, but through the speakers the effect just isn't that dramatic. With most prints the stereo separation isn't that great, to the extent that these films sound just fine on a monaural machine.

-there are exceptions: for example with Derann's Fantasia 2000 the commentators between the sections are sometimes entirely in the right channel so it's two channels or forget it. ("Why is Bette Midler mumbling?!! That's not like her!")

-but most of the time Super-8 stereo just isn't that spectacular. Unless I'm feeling ambitious I compromise out to blended monaural and call it a day.

Maybe there are re-recorded prints out there that'll knock your socks off, but with the commercially recorded ones I have, my socks have nothing to fear!
Posted by Paul Adsett (Member # 25) on October 31, 2017, 12:24 PM:
With top quality stripe, super 8 stereo can be very good indeed, but you need to record and play back on the same machine to get the very best results.
Also, if you use headphones for listening, you will find that the difference between mono and stereo is like night and day, particularly for musical films.
Unfortunately many of the Derann films in later years suffered from very poor stripe quality, with drop out particularly evident on the narrow balance stripe.
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on October 31, 2017, 12:53 PM:
Osi what projector do you use?
The only reason i asked is this,
Remember my short ownership of T610 stereo? The balance track never worked and the general sound output compared to the 1200HD i have used all my collecting life was in comparison only average in terms of actual sound output, it also had a fair bit of hiss/humm on films that required a little more volume, something i have never heard on the HD.
I have also been told that the sound on the balance track will not be as good as track one, that is understandable when you look at the size of the magnetic track, however, i also did a demo for the suppliers benefit using my 1200HD with a twin track recording, When i switch from track one to track two as it was running there was very little difference on the Elmo in the quality and volume, however, this is NOT a knock the Bauer, i did like the machine, it looks good, and runs soooooo quite its heard to believe it running a film, however, it did prove that all machines have there ups and downs, i have stuck with the 1200HD and although i have a few stereo films i simply project ALL our films via the AUX out, using a good old Pioneer amp and the sound, while twin track mono, is fantastic in my view. The separation of stereo is of no bother to us & has not been in 35 years of collecting and showing films. As long as the sound is very good the picture for cine is my priority [Wink]
Posted by Oliver F. R. Feld (Member # 1911) on October 31, 2017, 01:45 PM:
I re-record almost every Super-8-feature I‘ve bought and all Derann features with the late „poor dark brown“ soundstripes.
I use my beloved ELMO GS 800 to do this.
The results are breathtaking.
If You use a digital source with a great mix You can have the best stereo effect also with poor soundstripes.
And features like „ID4“ or „ALIEN“ become small format masterpieces.
I re-recorded John Carpenters THE FOG with the stereo sound from the DVD and it was really amazing and scary for my Halloween audience this afternoon...
Posted by Paul Browning (Member # 2715) on October 31, 2017, 02:05 PM:
I would never say never osi, but I have stereo films that I remain unimpressed by, but not heard a re-recorded film into stereo, but some members I know rave about them, the source of the soundtrack will be the key to screwing out as much sound to noise and laying it down on the brown stripe, but the jury still out for me Osi....
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on November 01, 2017, 11:13 AM:
Tom ...

As a general rule, I use my EUMIG 926 stereo first, as the EUMIG has very nice stereo reproduction and then, in a pinch, I'll use the CHINON 9500 which i luckily have one of the models with the left and right channel RCA jacks so pluggin it into the equalizer and then from there to the Radio Shack vintage dolby processor is very easy and gives me the best outcome, sound-wise.

i must say that the best audio quality i have ran into, stereo or mono, is my recording done by Lance Alspaugh, a true genius of the super 8 hobby, who did a stereo recording for my "Return of the Sith", but even in that instance, the balance stripe was "in and out" in quality and there was just nothing that Lance could do about it (that being, it wasn't his fault, it was just a lousy balance stripe).
Posted by Gary Crawford (Member # 67) on November 01, 2017, 03:26 PM:
Stereo on Super 8 can range from ugly to spectacular, just like mono Super 8 soundtracks. With good stripes, expert recording using the best source mix and with good original recording that uses stereo well....the results can be REALLY good. That is, if the projector we use to show the film has good, well aligned playback heads and the sound system we use is in good shape. A lot of if's. I've had an expert in California re-record many of my films....with truly spectacular, remarkable results.
....and not only with modern films.
Back in the earlier days of stereo and scope, soundtracks did not limit dialog to the so called "center" track, but actually followed actors back and forth across the screen. The best stereo film I have is the scope feature, There's No Business Like Show Business which uses the full extent of stereo and the stereo on super 8 adds hundreds of dollars to the value of the film for me...and immeasurable extra pleasure in viewing it.
Some films, however, don't seem to benefit from stereo at all, but there are so many many variables involved. I've found that the super 8 format and stripe, not the main reason that stereo doesn't work. When it DOES work......WOW!!!

As to recording on the same machine that you use to show the film....that has a pro and a con. The pro is that the critical head alignment is the same for record and playback. The con is that if there is even a slight speed variation or wow in the speed of the projector, the "wow" effect is doubled...once when the film is recorded on the machine, and then again when the film is run. You might not notice it when you run a film recorded professionally on a steady machine, but when the effect is doubled, it can become quite noticeable.
So...I'm sad that the newest releases on coming on polyester, which doesn't have the balance stripe.
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on November 01, 2017, 04:06 PM:
We have two fims that were re-recorded into stereo when i bought them,
Grease, the scope feature
T2 the feature,
I definatly agree that the sound is superb on both, especially the music on Grease, my only thing about it all is that after 35 years of collecting and with no extra equipment i dont really think i could spend the time or money to re-record a few films. We have been generally happy with the sound on the film as , (already mentioned), we show films via a decent pioneer stereo amp with a pair of excellent 8 ohm wharfdale speakers.
Obviously it would be great to have some done, Snowman, Madagascar Penguins, and a few trailers. I do only use the Elmo ST1200HD and the Eumig 822 sonomatic and 810D &,(i think im right in saying this), none of these would be ideal for the job. [Wink]
Posted by David Roberts (Member # 197) on November 01, 2017, 04:59 PM:
Its strange,but though I have spent crazy amounts on my hi fi stereo to play vinyl albums,(and I mean crazy amounts), I just cant get excited about super 8 stereo.
Ive always valued a good mono track,and think this adds so much to a film,in fact I think the soundtrack is as important as the picture.
I imagine if I did have the chance of hearing a really good stereo track on a film,i would likely change my mind,but for now,a good mono track will do fine.
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on November 01, 2017, 05:24 PM:
thats pretty much the same as me David, my twin mono sound via the amp connected to my 1200HD knocks out anything ive heard via a single speaker plugged into the extension speaker socket.
I have heard proper stereo sound on super 8 but have to say, while good sound with a decent clarity and bass is very important, if i truly wanted the sound to be a priority i would get shot of cine and go big on blu ray projection as the sound on today's digital source cannot be matched by stripe sound.
Anyone who comes to my home and watches my super 8s for the first time are always gob-smacked by the image but also the sound, i have been asked if the sound is via a digital disc, so im guessing ive got something right in my set up. [Wink]
Posted by Mark Mander (Member # 340) on November 02, 2017, 11:25 AM:
I'm all for recording my films into stereo from a DVD,I think it lifts the film to another level,as an example my son watched the Fog 600ft release and enjoyed it with me,I then rerecorded the sound into stereo and at certain parts of the film he jumped which he didn't do before,same projector same volume and the results are certainly well worth doing. I always do a test recording first to compare the difference in sound quality and if I'm happy I continue on the print. Just done my Ben Hur feature and the chariot race is truly awesome,I use a GS1200 and it gives the best results I've heard,I agree that some of the Derann stereo prints did the job but won't be anyway near a good digital rerecord,Mark
Posted by David Roberts (Member # 197) on November 02, 2017, 01:40 PM:
do you have the "Pedro box" to keep the gs in sync with the DVD?
Can you still get these and do they work with any other projector?
All my films only ever had mono tracks,but I would love to improve the quality of these.
Posted by Mark Mander (Member # 340) on November 02, 2017, 01:46 PM:
Hi David,
I don't have a Pedro box but a sync unit I bought from FFR in Germany at a fraction of the cost for the GS1200,they do or did do other units too,Mark
Posted by David Roberts (Member # 197) on November 02, 2017, 02:10 PM:
thanks Mark,
do you know the web site for FFR. ?
Posted by Mark Mander (Member # 340) on November 02, 2017, 02:49 PM:

Hi David,try this,Mark
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on November 02, 2017, 04:02 PM:
If you have the correct equipment etc i agree it would add to the films without doubt, for me, buying a projector specifically for the job would be a step too far at 55 years old. It's something that i should have one from the very early days of DVD availability. [Wink]
Posted by Mark Mander (Member # 340) on November 02, 2017, 04:33 PM:
As I said it's not for everyone and I've got the results by experimenting with different things,you don't need a sync unit for example but a projector that will run at 25fps for UK dvds but a GS1200 with a sync unit will make life so much easier,I've recorded lots of films for people over the years and everyone of them were amazed at the results,it's easy enough to Do,I didn't buy my GS's just for recording but get a good one and the results speak for themselves,Mark
Posted by Graham Ritchie (Member # 559) on November 02, 2017, 07:55 PM:

Some good stuff in general on that site [Cool] in particular the 2 to 3 adjustable shutter [Smile]
Posted by Mark Mander (Member # 340) on November 03, 2017, 02:59 AM:
Yes my two blade came from them too,the sync units are a fraction of the cost of the Pedro box and work perfectly,I've used my current one for well over 10 years,Mark
Posted by Alan Rik (Member # 73) on November 04, 2017, 02:10 AM:
Does anyone know how the sound was done at Derann? I was thinking the reason behind the low fidelity of some of their prints was because they possibly added the sound at a high speed? I know with cassettes when they had high speed dubbing decks the sound wasn't as good as one done in real time. Just curious.
Posted by Mark Mander (Member # 340) on November 04, 2017, 02:54 AM:
Could be the case there Alan as Derann did use hign speed when recording which would give varying results,Mark
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on November 04, 2017, 04:47 AM:
I seem to remember that Derann ran the transfer machine at 4 times the normal speed (96 fps). The manufacturers made it for only twice.
Posted by Bill Brandenstein (Member # 892) on November 10, 2017, 07:48 PM:
Magnetic recording is a very particular and peculiar science. Off the top of my head, the variables include the wiring, circuitry, equalization electronics, bias frequency, bias level, head depth, head condition, azimuth, tape formulation, and surface condition. Presuming the components were all in good working order, any one of these being out of adjustment will affect the result quite audibly. Copy from one magnetic source to another (yep, that's Derann) and you introduce two full sets of variables. Increase the duplication speed (yep, that's Derann) and you multiply the flaws exponentially.

The only stereo print I have from Derann is Fantasia 2000. The stereo sound is abominable. After recording it into the computer, I was looking for a uniform azimuth error or delay that was putting the center-channel "dialogue" into the surround speakers. Nope, wanders all over the place. Frequency response not great, not horrible. And that's one of Derann's BETTER sound jobs.

If you want great sound with Super 8, use the ESS Pulse system on the GS-1200 and run digital sound along with the print. A WORLD of difference.

We all know that a re-record from a digital source usually makes for a great improvement too, even on the same analog mag stripe. So what does that say about the mastering and duplicating equipment for our Super 8 movies? It was often only passable, if not simply poor.

Sure, there are exceptions, but in general 1980s mag film handling was simply unable to use the format to its full capabilities.
Posted by Alan Rik (Member # 73) on November 11, 2017, 02:31 AM:
The first time I ever heard magnificent Stereo sound coming from the little stripes was when I was at Keith Wilton's place after the UK show. He played an extract from "Fantasia" and it sounded truly incredible. I asked him if he was using a DVD and syncing them and he said it was the sound re-recorded onto the magnetic stripe of the film itself. It was truly hi fidelity. And the sound on my print of "Titanic" is also incredible.
Its possible with the right stripe and the proper gear for sure.

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