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Adding a Soundtrack to Standard 8mm?

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  • Adding a Soundtrack to Standard 8mm?

    I've been getting into shooting my own 8mm thanks to the Film Photography Project, and as I've been exploring projectors/prints I've been wondering how possible it would be to add a magnetic strip to my own films so that they can play sound in a projector. I know its not a complete pipe dream; There's an archived feature on amateur Super 8 film making by Kodak (attached below), in which the host mentions in passing that a magnetic soundtrack can be added to a film after its been edited. However, I can't find any resources on what that process consisted of or any of the equipment used. I also know that Standard 8 was capable of accepting a soundtrack between the sprockets and the edge of the film, but that seems to have been very rare and thus I, again, cannot find any examples of it being done.

    I had a very broad idea for a machine that would be capable of doing this, so pictured below, but before I figured I'd pose the question and propose the design to the community before I invest much more time into it. Do you guys think this is feasible? Does anyone have more information on how this was done historically?

  • #2

    Back in the 1970's you could have sent your film to Kodak for sound striping. They would have applied two mag stripes to your film, the main (0.8mm) stripe opposite the side with sprockets and a thin balance stripe (0.45mm) adjacent to the sprockets. Recordings could then be made on both of these stripes. using a projector or editor with recording capabilities. As far as I know, there are no companies in the USA that still stripe films. There are however, businesses in Germany & Italy that provide this service.

    There are a number of people (including myself) on this Forum that stripe their own films with machines that were made for the home market. Occasionally these sound stripers show up on eBay. Both adhesive and magnetic stock are available from FFR in Germany. Here is a recent thread about mag striping at home.


    • #3
      Thank you very much! So very helpful, this info will keep me busy for a while yet!