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Ideology and the Practice of Sound Editing and Mixing

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Abstract

The practices of sound editing and mixing to be considered here are those developed within the Hollywood studio system. ‘System’, should be understood in a rigorous sense as necessitating a certain amount of standardisation (with respect to techniques and machinery) and a relatively strict division of labour. Nevertheless, these practices have become ‘normalised’ to a large extent outside of that system — they have had enormous impact on the film-making industries of other countries, for instance, and on independent filmmaking activities as well. My assumption is that not only techniques of sound-track construction but the language of technicians and the discourses on technique are symptomatic of particular ideological aims.

Keywords

  • Sound Effect
  • Main Attraction
  • Feature Film
  • Music Track
  • Western Electric

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Notes

  1. Michel Marie, ‘Son’, in Jean Collet et al., Lectures du film (Paris: Albatros, 1975), p. 206.

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  2. Roland Barthes, Mythologies (London: Cape, and New York: Hill and Wang, 1972), p. 142.

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  3. Ernest Walter, The Technique of the Film Cutting Room (New York: Focal Press, 1973), p. 2I2.

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  4. Walter Murch in an interview by Larry Sturhahn, ‘The art of the sound editor: an interview with Walter Murch’, Filmmakers Newsletter vol. VIII no. 2 (December 1974), p. 25.

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  5. Helen Van Dongen, quoted in Karel Reisz, The Technique of Film Editing (London and New York: Focal Press, 1964), p. 155.

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  6. Carl Dreher, ‘Recording, re-recording, and editing of sound’, Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers vol. XVI no. 6 (June 1931), p. 763.

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  7. John L. Cass, ‘The illusion of sound and picture’, Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers vol. XIV no. 3 (March 1930), p. 325.

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  8. Joe W. Coffman, ‘Art and science in sound film production’, Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers vol. XIV no. 2 (February 1930), pp. 173–4.

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  9. James R. Cameron, Sound Motion Pictures (Coral Gables: Cameron Publishing Company, 1959), p. 365.

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  10. George Lewin, ‘Dubbing and its relation to sound picture production’, Journal of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers vol. XVI no. 1 (January 1931), p. 48.

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© 1980 Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited and Teresa de Lauretis and Stephen Heath

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Doane, M.A. (1980). Ideology and the Practice of Sound Editing and Mixing. In: de Lauretis, T., Heath, S. (eds) The Cinematic Apparatus. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-16401-1_5

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