The Mitchell Sound Recorder - never heard of it

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oldprodp

The Mitchell Sound Recorder - never heard of it

Postby oldprodp » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:48 pm

Hello everybody. I came across this late 30's ad which features their sound recorder. To be honest, this was the first that I've ever heard of this product. I've never seen one for sale or not even seen one listed in an old product catalog. It's just amazing to me of how broad their scope was regarding their old product line.

Anyways, if anybody here has ever heard of this product, or even better - ever used this recorder in the field, I sure would appreciate hearing more about it.

Wilson. the oldprodp
Attachments
mitchell-sound-recorder.jpg

Cinemachinery
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:38 am

Re: The Mitchell Sound Recorder - never heard of it

Postby Cinemachinery » Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:09 pm

Hello oldprodp and MitchellCamera.com members!

I have seen that ad in an old American Cinematographer magazine (early 1930s), however I can't recall which one. I did a search and found this post written in a site for Digital cameras on 10/2011 (go figure).........

"BTW, we have Mitchell Sound Recorder #1, before Mitchell closed we asked about when it was made, probably about 1928, and they said they never made sound recorders(!), so it may be the only one, but its definetly a Mitchell product and has the Mitchell "nut" tag on it stanped #1. The drive shaft was powered by a three phase 1200RPM sync motor. It seems later someone fitted it with a Maurer "F-Prime" galvanometer that makes a single monophonic bi-lateral track rather than the two bi-lateral tracks used for current stereo. The sound is very good quality even though it rolls off at about 9500Hz recording at 24fps, so we run it half speed at 12fps using the synchro interlock to the 35mm mag film and adjusting the playback EQ for the half speed mastering (giving up to about 18000Hz maybe). The problem is that the guy that made the light bulbs for the Maurer F-prime died, and we cannot find a source for more lamps which don't last long buring at 2.1 amps needed for electro printing. You would not by chance have any bulbs for the Maurer F-prime?"

Found at this link:
http://www.reduser.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-64495.html

Charlie

Cinemachinery
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:38 am

Re: The Mitchell Sound Recorder - never heard of it

Postby Cinemachinery » Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:35 pm

Well, I rushed that last post and forgot to ad a link to the patent for the Mitchell Sound Recorder.

mitchell-recorder-patent-19.jpg

Link to patent "Film driving means" - US 2108337 A

http://www.google.com/patents/US2108337#classifications

Charlie

mitchellbnc
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:03 am

Re: The Mitchell Sound Recorder - never heard of it

Postby mitchellbnc » Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:12 am

Hello Charlie and excellent work sir. I have inserted a photo of your Google patent find into your post. I will attempt to contact the individual that stated he was in possession of Mitchell Sound Recorder number one and see if we can get some photos to be posted here. The link you provided contained a reference to his web site!

Also, in combing through American Cinematographers magazines from the early 1930's, I found this ad in 1932 from the Artreeves company who go into detail, about their new recording head. I think it sheds additional "light" as to how these machine worked. And it looks very similar to oldprodp's Mitchell ad. These stand alone machines must of been common in the 30's. So common that the Mitchell Camera Corporation saw the new to improve upon them and submitted their patent in 1938 of which you found. Again, great work Charlie. Below is text from the 1932 "New "Artreeves" Recorder" ad which appeared in American Cinematographer.

artreeves_1.jpg
Artreeves Recorder photo one

Of interest in the sound field this month is the newly announced recording head placed on the market by the Hollywood Motion Picture Equipment Company to go with the "Artreeves" Recording System. This recorder has many novel features. It has two sprocket wheels, one acting as a pull down and feed sprocket and also acting as a takeup sprocket. The other sprocket is fed by a loop of film, and its purpose is to move the film over the recording block and feed it with a loop to the takeup sprocket. The recorder is constructed so that binding of the take-up or uneven pull of the magazine will not reflect upon the recording sprocket.

The recording block contains the optical unit which is permanently set in proper position and does not need further adjustment. The optical unit is set to carry a focus on the film in a light beam of .0007 of an inch in width. The recorder uses a standard Bell & Howell film magazine. The recording camera is threaded, as is shown in the accompanying illustration, with two small loops between the sprocket wheels. The idle rollers are thrown in and out by the knobs marked (R) and are locked in positive position. The idle roller opposite the recording block holds the tension on the film so it will travel smoothly. The recording lamp is slid into the recorder as far as it will go. The recording lamp ring is fastened to the base of the lamp by a clamp screw, the stops are slid into proper position so that the lamp may be placed in the same position upon replacement. The cathode of the lamp must be placed in recorder so it is parallel to the aperture of the optical unit.

artreeves_2.jpg
Artreeves Recorder photo two

The motor is a D.C. interlocking type, operating on 110 volts at 14^0 revolutions per minute. There is a rheostat control to regulate motor speed, which may be read upon tachometer. On the switch control under the motor there is one switch for the recorder, one for the camera motor and three joined together by a bar for interlocking. The Dcpuc Automatic Sound and Silent Multiple Printer Another interesting bit of equipment now being handled by the Hollywood Motion Picture Equipment Company is the Depue Automatic Sound and Silent Multiple Printer. As shown in the accompanying illustration, the two center discs on the left side are used when making prints in multiple.

Two prints may be made from a single negative in one operation. The first print is rewound on the upper disc while the disc below carries the raw stock which passes through the lower sprocket, making the second print. This is really two machines in one. The picture is printed on the upper sprocket with the sound track masked off. The sound is printed on the lower sprocket with the picture masked off. Thus the picture and sound track have separate light controls but are printed in one operation. This machine operates at a speed of 85 feet per minute. Contact is secured without air pressure. All four rewinds are operated by a single belt 40 watt lamps are used. The apertures on both printing heads controls but are printed in one operation. This machine operates at a speed of 85 feet per minute. Contact is secured without air pressure. All four rewinds are operated by a single belt 40 watt lamps are used. [END]

Regards,

Theodore Wilhelm
MitchellCamera.com administrator

DanHudgins

Re: The Mitchell Sound Recorder - never heard of it

Postby DanHudgins » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:54 am

The Mitchell Sound Recorder we have does not look like the one in the photo shown in the add. But the counter and tachometer look the same or similar. So it may have been an earler model? I think the guy that was making pre-focused lamps for the Mauer F-prime galvo died, so lamps are no longer avalable (if not please tell me where one can get them now). I told my Brother about your interest in photos, but he has the recorder in storage so I can't get to it right now, and it was taken off its base and disconnected from the 3 phase motor to have a timing belt pully attached so it could be run from a single phase motor that is connected by synchro motors to our 35mm and 16mm magfilm transports for making sound negatives. We have not used it for some time, as release prints are more or less a thing of the past now...

oldprodp

Re: The Mitchell Sound Recorder - never heard of it

Postby oldprodp » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:07 am

Howdy Dan and welcome to the forum. I really appreciate the information, I assumed it might be years before I got an answer to my question.

Reading your comments and also that your Mitchell Recorder is unit #1, it might have been still in the prototype phase.

We would love to see photos of your rig but completely understand that it is buried in storage. Darn.

But again, thank you for the information.

Wilson, the oldprodp

35mmKing

Re: The Mitchell Sound Recorder - never heard of it

Postby 35mmKing » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:00 am

Greetings Dan and thank you for the input on the Mitchell Sound Recorder number one.

King

mitchellbnc
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 10:03 am

Re: The Mitchell Sound Recorder - never heard of it

Postby mitchellbnc » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:19 pm

Hello members! I've had the privilege of trading a few emails with Dan Hudgins over the last few days. A really nice guy that has taken time out of his busy schedule to let us know some background on the Mitchell Sound Recorder #1. A big thank you again to member cinemachinery (Charlie) for looping us in with a contact that previously had experience with this rare piece of Mitchell history.

Dan related to me that he once visited the Mitchell Factory back in the day. That makes this connection with him all the more special. So, Dan- what was it like to walk those floors? Was it spotless? Did all the machinists look overly busy? Were they aloof at your presence and did you see a ton of Mitchells being built, one on each of the many work benches.

And when I say a ton of Mitchells, I mean just that. They must of had one strong floor. But enough of making fun of Mitchell's heavy cameras as they eventually made some much lighter ones. And although they made many models, it will always be that the big, heavy BNC, that remains their legacy. The one true workhorse of Hollywood that eventually was overtaken by the smaller, lighter and cheaper rigs. Time marches on even for icons of the industry.

Dan: If you ever have some spare time, tell us a Mitchell Factory story.

Regards,

Theodore Wilhelm
MitchellCamera.com administrator


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