Exactly WHO is claiming to own the copyright on Phonograph Monthly Review magazines? There are
apparently scans at Google Books, but the text is inaccessible. I can't imagine anyone remotely
connected with this original magazine company is anywhere near Earth to claim a copyright, so this
must be some sort of pirate/loophole-taker involved.
There is a description of the Light Ray system included in the text for this video (I'm not vouching
for any accuracy):
Here is more on the system, as used in Germany:
apparently, the Germans used a purely electrical system, rather than an acoustic horn as the sound
collector as some descriptions have Brunswick's US system.
Some mention of the Light Ray system here, again not vouching for any accuracy:
Here is a Google Books excerpt where you can actually read the text, with detailed mention of the
Brunswick Light Ray system in the US:
In general, optical recording needed much refinement and mitigation to result in really excellent
audio. It was always fine for dialog, field audio and some sound effects. But the high levels of
distortion, limited dynamic range and vagueries of bulb brightness, film stock and the like would
lead to less reliable fidelity than could be achieved via the WECO electronic groove-cutting system.
There is a vast library of papers that were published in the SMPE/SMPTE Journal, IEEE Journal and
other places, describing the many and continuous refinements in optical recording, up to the very
recent past. Often, a telltale sign of optical recording (combined with SMPTE curves for
dialog-intelligability) is a screaming midrange with very little bass or treble. This works OK in a
cinema, because it makes the dialog crystal clear and people are generally munching popcorn and
paying less attention to sound fidelity than what's happening on-screen. It does not work well in a
home-theater setting, and thus the best home-video releases have always featured a remixed and often
re-equalized soundtrack making for wider frequency range and bettter overall audibility through home
speakers. Lower-budget home-video releasers have not gone to the trouble, and their lousy-sounding
work is sometimes painful to watch!
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Art Shifrin" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 7:28 AM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Phonograph Monthly Reviews @ Philadelphia Free Library...Light Ray Recording
> Does anyone live near the Library who might attempt to get a copy made for
> distribution to this list? If not, then I will ask someone if it's
> feasible that this favor be done. I'm anxious to see the article but don't
> want to impose if it's unnecessary. IF RESPONDING TO THIS ON THE LIST,
> THEN PLEASE ALSO COPY ME DIRECTLY.