Enhanced echoes – Digitisation and new perspectives on film sound
Author(s): Aalbers, Jasper
To say that sound has long been a neglected subject in film studies has become something of a commonplace ‐ yet this is no longer true. Starting in the 1980s with a special edition of the journal Yale French Studies film scholars have increasingly paid attention to a wide range of issues concerning film sound: dialogue, music, effects, sound design, and silent cinema. Surprisingly however, the processes of digitisation that have radically transformed film production, distribution, and exhibition in the last 20 years have hardly been the subject of attention for scholars specialising in film sound. In this article I will argue that the lack of attention to digitisation in film sound theory is a direct result of the fact that the copy vs. representation debate was already more or less settled before digitisation garnered academic interest. I will introduce the metaphor of the ‘enhanced echo’ as a different take on the relationship between an original sound and its representation. More specifically, I will use the metaphor of the echo to allow for a new appreciation of the role of the original sound in the transformative process of film sound recording, distribution, and exhibition.
Aalbers, Jasper: Enhanced echoes – Digitisation and new perspectives on film sound. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 3 (2014), Nr. 1, S. 299–317. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5117/NECSUS2014.1.AALB.
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