[tig] Cyan Dye Tracks

Dominic Case cased
Tue Sep 21 23:53:28 BST 2004

>But it's right that the vialta is correctly equipped 
>( for the high magenta, it was working well ).

Make sure you have understood this correctly!

Current (white light) sound heads work predominantly with infra-red, which
is absorbed/modulated by the silver in conventionally applicated (or
redeveloped) optical soundtracks. Most film projectors are now fitted with
red LED soundheads which obviously see red light and not IR. So, as from
later this year, labs will swing over to making release prints with a cyan
soundtrack, which contains no silver (saving a difficult stage in the
developing process and also saving a lot of water).

Existing sound heads that rely on IR will "see straight through" the cyan
track, resulting in a loss of about 12dB of signal.

The high magenta soundtracks that have been in use over the last couple of
years are a transitional stage that allows labs to use the same negative
that will eventually be used for cyan prints - and high magenta prints work
on conventional (IR or white light) soundheads as well as red LED ones (high
magenta tracks still have the redeveloped silver in them). BUT the converse
isn't necessarily true. If your soundhead plays a high magenta track
correctly it won't necessarily be OK for cyan tracks.

As others have suggested thare is a range of solutions which could either be
fitted as replacements to your existing telecine soundhead or built into a
separate dubber to grab the sound in a separate pass.

For what it's worth, digital tracks (SRD, SDDS) are not affected by this

The switch to cyan (silverless) tracks is an improved solution to the
problem that arose when tripack colour print stock was introduced in the
early 1950s, and it was realised that dye-only soundtracks wouldn't play on
the IR-sensitive projector sound systems that were designed for black and
white (silver, IR-absorbing) prints in the 1930s. The changeover later this
year will be the next stage of a 6-8 year program. No-one should accuse the
film industry of too much haste! (though some have done!)

Read more at www.dyetracks.org 

Dominic Case
Atlab Australia

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