The Science and Technology Council has made available for free download another publication of historical interest: Recording Sound for Motion Pictures. It follows Motion Picture Sound Engineering as the second such publication to be offered on the Academy’s website, with the goal of fostering informed dialogue among students, researchers, and motion picture enthusiasts.
Originally published in 1931, Recording Sound for Motion Pictures is based on a series of lectures at the newly created Academy School in Sound Fundamentals. Talkies had burst onto the scene just a few years earlier, and the film industry was moving swiftly; synchronized sound had evolved from a cumbersome technical endeavor to an important artistic component with its own specialized vocabulary, equipment, and techniques. This publication provides a window into both early sound films and the building blocks of the current sound industry.
Recording Sound for Motion Pictures is edited by Lester Cowan, who served as the Academy’s executive secretary from 1931–33, and includes a preface by then-Academy President William C. DeMille.