by Susana Alarcon
From the beginning of the “film” with the Kinetoscope, there was already an enormous interest in adding sound to it. Edison’s dream of synch the phonograph and kinetoscope took him (as seen on class and read on Talbot’s Moving pictures book) a lot of years of his life, and even then, being the master mind of the idea, he was left behind by other minds.
What was the main issue? Synchronism.
As sensorial beings is normal that Edison and other inventors (and companies)in an attempt to recreate a vivid experience had stayed with the plan of showing picture and sound in movies. Logically, the technical barrier was how to synch both in the replay… Is it better to play the tracks at the same time? make one and then based on that, the other? or as Edison plan: synchronise the recordings of both?
Cinephone: Picture to fit the gramaphone record. Synch by hand
Vivaphone: By hand again, but system of needle shows up asynchronism
Chronophone: Automatic or by hand, synched motors recording and replaying
Vitaphone (supported by Warner Bros. ): largely distributed, synched recording, (extra recording) play synched automatically but still by hand in case of errors in play. Evolved through the years and brought up new opportunity areas in sound such as fidelity and amplification. It was part of a company maybe more than a dream (like for Edison).
Still… before the digitalisation of sound, and even with digital in home made or just “record the moment” times we use to record and replay at the same time.
So the logic answer to my questions here is: Synchronism in recording and replaying, I guess that for our personal use, record of memories and in the replay of true reality, the synching and of course high fidelity on the recording and replaying of it is the most important. But when talking about the show business, we realize that replay of the moment is not enough; success and evolution comes in hand with money, big companies, audience and market.
Last. Special thanks to inventors and companies that brought us the digitalization of sound to manipulate and change it to our will.