From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Sound-on-film is a class of sound film processes where the sound accompanying a picture is recorded onto photographic film, usually, but not always, the same strip of film carrying the picture. Sound-on-film processes can either record an analog sound track or digital sound track, and may record the signal either optically or magnetically. Earlier technologies were sound-on-disc, meaning the film's soundtrack would be on a separate phonograph record.


Sound-on-film formats

Almost all sound formats used with motion-picture film have been sound-on-film formats, including:

Optical analog formats

  • Fox/Western Electric (Westrex) Movietone, are variable-density formats of sound film. (No longer used, but still playable on modern 35 mm projectors.)
  • RCA Photophone, a variable-area format now universally used for optical analog soundtracks—since the late 1970s, usually with a Dolby encoding matrix.
  • Tri-Ergon, the patent of this Berlin based company was bought by Fox in 1926.

Encoding matrices

Optical digital formats

Obsolete formats

  • Cinema Digital Sound, an optical format which was the first commercial digital sound format, used between 1990 and 1992
  • Fantasound. This was a system developed by RCA and Disney Studios with a multi-channel soundtrack recorded on a separate strip of film from the picture. It was used for the initial release of Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940)
  • Phonofilm, patented by Lee De Forest in 1919, defunct by 1929

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sound-on-film" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools