MAKING WAVES: The Art of Cinematic Sound (Video)

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JonUrban

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QQ Forum Member @dwight recommended this video documentary about the creation of movie soundtracks, focusing on Sound Effects, Voices, and Music. It's very interesting and I have to say I learned a lot about how much work goes into creating the soundtrack of an ordinary movie, let alone a spectacular film like a modern day action-adventure.

It does take some liberties, however, as it totally ignores early multichannel films like "Fantasia" and most of the Cinerama films, and some of the more adventuring musicals of the '50s and '60s. It basically claims that surround sound soundtracks came about because Francis Ford Copalla listened to a "4 track" Tomita recording of "The Planets", and came up with surround sound for movies.

Here's a screep cap from the film where they "explain" surround sound............

Tomita Planets from Making Waves.jpg


Well, we all know that isn't true, but at least it got him motivated. :unsure:

If you watch this thing (It is currently on Amazon Prime and free for Prime Members), watch it with your surround system on, as sounds will jump all around you during the later part of the piece.

Really, you will learn something, no doubt, by watching this. However, go in with the knowledge that you know the real story about early surround and you'll be fine!
 

Sonik Wiz

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QQ Forum Member @dwight recommended this video documentary about the creation of movie soundtracks, focusing on Sound Effects, Voices, and Music. It's very interesting and I have to say I learned a lot about how much work goes into creating the soundtrack of an ordinary movie, let alone a spectacular film like a modern day action-adventure.

It does take some liberties, however, as it totally ignores early multichannel films like "Fantasia" and most of the Cinerama films, and some of the more adventuring musicals of the '50s and '60s. It basically claims that surround sound soundtracks came about because Francis Ford Copalla listened to a "4 track" Tomita recording of "The Planets", and came up with surround sound for movies.

Here's a screep cap from the film where they "explain" surround sound............

View attachment 54244

Well, we all know that isn't true, but at least it got him motivated. :unsure:

If you watch this thing (It is currently on Amazon Prime and free for Prime Members), watch it with your surround system on, as sounds will jump all around you during the later part of the piece.

Really, you will learn something, no doubt, by watching this. However, go in with the knowledge that you know the real story about early surround and you'll be fine!
I don't have Amazon Prime so I will look for it elsewhere. However I do remember those same colored sound waves filling my room back in the 70's......
 

4-earredwonder

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Now if we could only coax those extraordinary surround mixers from Hollywood to remix some of our classic music favorites, imagine the possibilities?

And wasn't it Star Wars which catapulted DOLBY SURROUND into the cinematic universe?
 

4-earredwonder

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Certainly popularized it, but wasn’t the first Dolby Stereo release. That accolade I believe belongs to the dull 1976 A Star is Bored.
I watched Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound last night, and actually Streisand's A Star Is Born was 'billed' as being Stereo as Streisand went $1M over budget to perfect the sound. And Warners was actually going to bill her for the $1M until it was nominated for Best Sound at the Academy Awards and won and she was forgiven the debt.

BTW, IMO, the film Making Waves was full of inaccuracies which were perplexing. As Jon Urban mentioned, there was NO mention of Disney's early use of surround [called Fantasound] in Fantasia and absolutely no mention of early 70's QUADRAPHONIC sound for music.

And STEREO SOUND was actually utilized in the early 50's when CinemaScope was introduced.

If you have Amazon Prime watch the movie and would love to hear your comments. A very mixed bag, IMO.
 

J. PUPSTER

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I watched Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound last night, and actually Streisand's A Star Is Born was 'billed' as being Stereo as Streisand went $1M over budget to perfect the sound. And Warners was actually going to bill her for the $1M until it was nominated for Best Sound at the Academy Awards and won and she was forgiven the debt.

BTW, IMO, the film Making Waves was full of inaccuracies which were perplexing. As Jon Urban mentioned, there was NO mention of Disney's early use of surround [called Fantasound] in Fantasia and absolutely no mention of early 70's QUADRAPHONIC sound for music.

And STEREO SOUND was actually utilized in the early 50's when CinemaScope was introduced.

If you have Amazon Prime watch the movie and would love to hear your comments. A very mixed bag, IMO.
Wasn't the whole segment on the Tomita Planets about Quad sound.
My understanding with Babs, was she paid the $1m out of her own pocket and then was later compensated for the cost; but wondered if there may have been some other "back room" deal in lieu of that (can't imagine that ever happening) a $1,000,000 concession by a major studio?
 

JonUrban

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I watched Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound last night, and actually Streisand's A Star Is Born was 'billed' as being Stereo as Streisand went $1M over budget to perfect the sound. And Warners was actually going to bill her for the $1M until it was nominated for Best Sound at the Academy Awards and won and she was forgiven the debt.

BTW, IMO, the film Making Waves was full of inaccuracies which were perplexing. As Jon Urban mentioned, there was NO mention of Disney's early use of surround [called Fantasound] in Fantasia and absolutely no mention of early 70's QUADRAPHONIC sound for music.

And STEREO SOUND was actually utilized in the early 50's when CinemaScope was introduced.

If you have Amazon Prime watch the movie and would love to hear your comments. A very mixed bag, IMO.
That's what I was most surprised about. I seem to recall there were quite a few big production 70mm 2.35 film spectaculars that came out in the late '50s and early '60 (as a response to the inroads TV was making) with wide stereo and even more channel surround "at selected theaters". For these folks to totally dismiss all of those trail blazers was a serious diss.

NOTE: Despite these glaring omissions, this is really an interesting documentary to watch. It's available on DVD and BluRay as well, and I am not suggesting that you run out and buy it, but since it is available on disc those that do not have access to Amazon Prime might want to check out their local library to see if they might have a copy.
 

PodCat

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those that do not have access to Amazon Prime
All three of them (worldwide)?

Seriously, who the hell wouldn’t have Prime in these lockdown days? I’d pay the $110 for either free shipping OR the free movies, but I actually get both. The breadth and sheer quantity of free stuff is literally unimaginable. So much stuff, the biggest problem is finding it: as with all the “services,” their sesrch and browse functions leave a lot of room for improvement. Netfkix, hulu et al seem much more interested in promoting their latest dragged-out-for-multiple-seasons series than helping me find what *I* want to see. Still — indispensable.
 

4-earredwonder

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Wasn't the whole segment on the Tomita Planets about Quad sound.
My understanding with Babs, was she paid the $1m out of her own pocket and then was later compensated for the cost; but wondered if there may have been some other "back room" deal in lieu of that (can't imagine that ever happening) a $1,000,000 concession by a major studio?
Actually Coppola had an interesting career. Before he made Rain People with James Caan:

Tonight for Sure is a 1962 softcore comedy film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It was written by Coppola and Jerry Shaffer. Jack Hill was the director of photography. The music was composed by Carmine Coppola. It is a film set in August 1961 on the Sunset Strip starring Karl Schanzer and Don Kenney and featuring Electra, Exotica, Laura Cornell, Karla Lee, and Sue Martin.

The film features footage from The Peeper (a short sexploitation film of Coppola) and an unfinished Western set in a nudist colony.

Ironically, The Godfather was monaural. It has since been remixed into 5.1. Wonder if the UHD4K remaster will feature ATMOS or DTS:X 7.1?

Yes, they did mention Tomita's Planets but it was such a scant reference to the literally thousands of QUAD music titles released throughout the 70's.

Barbra Streisand did not pay the $1M out of pocket for A STAR IS BORN'S elaborate sound design. She was forgiven the debt by Warners when it won the Academy Award for best sound design.

EDIT: Francis Ford Coppola once stated in an interview that he made more money from his Vineyards and Coppola brand wines than he ever made as a writer/director in the Hollywood system.
 
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MidiMagic

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Note that Fantasound, Cinerama, and Sensurround were control-track systems. The control tracks moved pan pots to move the sound among speakers.

The first actual surround sound move to me seems to be Tommy, which used QS on two tracks and a third track for the dialog channel.
 

atrocity

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Note that Fantasound, Cinerama, and Sensurround were control-track systems. The control tracks moved pan pots to move the sound among speakers.
According to some reports, Cinerama used control tracks to move the mono surround between speakers, but the front channels were discrete. In fact, the soundtracks were played from a separate 35mm film, which meant the presentation took four machines: Three projectors for the image and a "dubber" for the audio.

The first actual surround sound move to me seems to be Tommy, which used QS on two tracks and a third track for the dialog channel.
Magnetic 35mm four-track (LRCS) and 70mm six-track (5 screen channels + mono surround) has been around since the 1950s.
 

atrocity

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Certainly popularized it, but wasn’t the first Dolby Stereo release. That accolade I believe belongs to the dull 1976 A Star is Bored.
If true, it's interesting because I've also heard it alleged that Yentl, another Streisand movie, was the last new film to be released with four-track magnetic sound on some 35mm prints. After that it was strictly optical Dolby on 35mm with magnetic reserved for 70mm.

It's always been weird to me that 70mm presentation was killed by digital *audio* rather than some advance in image technology. But once it was possible to use any of the competing digital systems to get 5.1, 70mm as a semi-mainstream format was gone practically overnight.
 

PodCat

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The first actual surround sound move to me seems to be Tommy, which used QS on two tracks and a third track for the dialog channel.
That 1975 film was nowhere near the first surround-sound release. As others have pointed out, LCRS had been around since the early 50’s — Raintree Country and Rebel Without a Cause are two notable examples.

But Tommy’s Quintaphonic sound was first in several respects: use of a 4-2-4 matrix (Sansui’s QS), and the first to have L and R surround tracks. Though a failure, this experiment did pave the way for matrix-encoded LCRS Dolby Stereo releases the following year (1976). 1977 saw many Dolby Stereo releases, including Star Wars.

I believe the first use of discrete L and R surrounds for a feature film was for the 70mm prints of Apocalypse Now, which I saw at Hollywood’s Cinerama Done in 1979. (This does not include such non-feature releases as those with Omnimax, which featured an 8-channel discrete format.)
 
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