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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old May 6 2009, 04:38 AM   #31
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

number6 wrote: View Post
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number6 wrote: View Post
The Chipmunks were pitched exactly one octave. As you can hear, that is a drastic change of pitch. With the Keeper, we're talking a few semitones at best. You'd be amazed at how much that changes someone's voice.

Throne's original Keeper voice isn't shifted at all. That's his performance. You can hear that tonality when he speaks as Commodore Mendez, but speed that up just a little bit, and then you get the Keeper we know from the Menagerie.
A few semitones apart--so maybe three or four? So three semitones would require that the tape speed be increased by 25%. I think that would be a noticeable difference between what you heard and what you saw on the actor's lips.
At Most three semitones..Most likely less..

I believe the pitch variance to be more like 10-15%...or even less.

Have you ever heard Led Zep's "Song Remain's The Same?" The tape is pitched down just a semitone when Robert Plant is singing those silly high notes.. When played back he sounds pretty silly.

What I suspect they did was redub the Keeper voice at a slightly slower speed on the tpae machine, so that when it played back at sync speed, the pitch would be slightly higher.

It would have to be a small percent, otherwise the lip movement wouldn't line up. As such , the lip movement doesn't line up on a lot of the dialog throughout. Loads of passages were looped. Most of Majel's dialog was looped, as was some of Susan Oliver's dialog.

With the Keeper, I am certain that if they used this technique, they did it in small sections, so that lip sync inconsistancies would be less noticeable.
Ah, so now you are proposing that Throne's existing Cage-recorded dialog actually wasn't manipulatable and couldn't really be salvaged and all his dialog had to be re-recorded in 1966/67 while he delivered it at a slower speed but at normal pitch so that this newly recorded dialog could then be sped up to a higher pitch. Now you're talking. That's plausible. Throne was around and available anyway. But I just don't see how any of his recorded dialog from 1964/65 could have been used.
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Old May 6 2009, 04:48 AM   #32
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
number6 wrote: View Post
GSchnitzer wrote: View Post

A few semitones apart--so maybe three or four? So three semitones would require that the tape speed be increased by 25%. I think that would be a noticeable difference between what you heard and what you saw on the actor's lips.
At Most three semitones..Most likely less..

I believe the pitch variance to be more like 10-15%...or even less.

Have you ever heard Led Zep's "Song Remain's The Same?" The tape is pitched down just a semitone when Robert Plant is singing those silly high notes.. When played back he sounds pretty silly.

What I suspect they did was redub the Keeper voice at a slightly slower speed on the tpae machine, so that when it played back at sync speed, the pitch would be slightly higher.

It would have to be a small percent, otherwise the lip movement wouldn't line up. As such , the lip movement doesn't line up on a lot of the dialog throughout. Loads of passages were looped. Most of Majel's dialog was looped, as was some of Susan Oliver's dialog.

With the Keeper, I am certain that if they used this technique, they did it in small sections, so that lip sync inconsistancies would be less noticeable.
Ah, so now you are proposing that Throne's existing Cage-recorded dialog actually wasn't manipulatable and couldn't really be salvaged and all his dialog had to be re-recorded in 1966/67 while he delivered it at a slower speed but at normal pitch so that this newly recorded dialog could then be sped up to a higher pitch. Now you're talking. That's plausible. Throne was around and available anyway. But I just don't see how any of his recorded dialog from 1964/65 could have been used.
I'm not proposing that at all. I don't think he recut any of the Keeper stuff, except for the dialog germaine to the two parter. The similarities in inflection listening to the B&W and remastered versions lead me to believe that they took his dialog and redubbed it at a different speed to achieve the pitch. It's actually pretty easy...as easy as having a second machine recording. I have worked with Nagra tape machines.. This is relatively simple process.

What do you guys use for on set audio recording for PII?

Last edited by ChocolateBabyJesus; May 6 2009 at 05:07 AM.
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Old May 6 2009, 05:52 AM   #33
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

Here's my guess: They recorded his dialogue, then dubbed it to another tape that was running at a lower speed (say 90%), so it would cover less tape. When played back on a machine set to 100% it would fall back to the correct sync speed but be higher pitched.

The way Bagdasarian did it was to sing the songs normally, then listen to the tape (over headphones )slowed down and sing along with it to get the inflection right (if you deliberately try to talk slow you'll stretch some sounds unnaturally). When the resulting "slow" singing was sped up, it got all squeaky, but sounded naturally spoken because he was basing it off a real-time recording.

Making chipmunk voices is easy. I can do all three. Talk normal tone for Alvin, pitch your voice up a notch for Theodore, and go nasal for Simon. Record that and pitch it up and it's virtually indistinguishable from the original (sample of a vintage Chipmunks recording).
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Old May 6 2009, 07:07 AM   #34
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

I suspect they ran the dialogue through some electronic doohickey, like an early synthesizer or a Fender amp, and manipulated the pitch that way, so's not to effect the speed. Less time intensive than playing with playback speeds, and a lot less hazardous if things don't quite work right. And since the whole deal about the two-parter was to regain some time in the shooting schedule, they'd want to avoid any pitfalls that might blow the schedule.
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Old May 6 2009, 07:13 AM   #35
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

DS9Sega wrote: View Post
Here's my guess: They recorded his dialogue, then dubbed it to another tape that was running at a lower speed (say 90%), so it would cover less tape. When played back on a machine set to 100% it would fall back to the correct sync speed but be higher pitched.

The way Bagdasarian did it was to sing the songs normally, then listen to the tape (over headphones )slowed down and sing along with it to get the inflection right (if you deliberately try to talk slow you'll stretch some sounds unnaturally). When the resulting "slow" singing was sped up, it got all squeaky, but sounded naturally spoken because he was basing it off a real-time recording.

Making chipmunk voices is easy. I can do all three. Talk normal tone for Alvin, pitch your voice up a notch for Theodore, and go nasal for Simon. Record that and pitch it up and it's virtually indistinguishable from the original (sample of a vintage Chipmunks recording).
Just need to use the standard settings on the typical reel-to-reel recorder (I forget what the two speeds are). I once tried to put together a parody bit, "The Chipmunks Sing Led Zeppelin", and the chipmunk voices are the easiest thing in the world. Just play back the song in question at the slower speed (in this case, "Stairway To Heaven") and sing along in your normal voice. Play the mix back at the higher speed and the music sounds normal, but suddenly it's Alvin singing along with Jimmy Page.

The project itself didn't go anywhere, but it was fun.
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Old May 6 2009, 07:19 AM   #36
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
I suspect they ran the dialogue through some electronic doohickey, like an early synthesizer or a Fender amp, and manipulated the pitch that way, so's not to effect the speed. Less time intensive than playing with playback speeds, and a lot less hazardous if things don't quite work right. And since the whole deal about the two-parter was to regain some time in the shooting schedule, they'd want to avoid any pitfalls that might blow the schedule.
Doubtful. Tape manipulation is really the most straight forward way to accomplish this. Early synths were clunky and unreliable and Fender amps wouldn't affect pitch..thought I'm willing to bet the reverb tanks were used.

As I explained before, the pitch could be altered with negligable impact on the lip synch.
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Old May 6 2009, 07:23 AM   #37
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

Captain Robert April wrote: View Post
DS9Sega wrote: View Post
Here's my guess: They recorded his dialogue, then dubbed it to another tape that was running at a lower speed (say 90%), so it would cover less tape. When played back on a machine set to 100% it would fall back to the correct sync speed but be higher pitched.

The way Bagdasarian did it was to sing the songs normally, then listen to the tape (over headphones )slowed down and sing along with it to get the inflection right (if you deliberately try to talk slow you'll stretch some sounds unnaturally). When the resulting "slow" singing was sped up, it got all squeaky, but sounded naturally spoken because he was basing it off a real-time recording.

Making chipmunk voices is easy. I can do all three. Talk normal tone for Alvin, pitch your voice up a notch for Theodore, and go nasal for Simon. Record that and pitch it up and it's virtually indistinguishable from the original (sample of a vintage Chipmunks recording).
Just need to use the standard settings on the typical reel-to-reel recorder (I forget what the two speeds are). I once tried to put together a parody bit, "The Chipmunks Sing Led Zeppelin", and the chipmunk voices are the easiest thing in the world. Just play back the song in question at the slower speed (in this case, "Stairway To Heaven") and sing along in your normal voice. Play the mix back at the higher speed and the music sounds normal, but suddenly it's Alvin singing along with Jimmy Page.

The project itself didn't go anywhere, but it was fun.
Consumer decks generally run at 7.5 and 3.75 ips.

Some have variable pitch control, but that was rare for consumer decks in the 60s.
Variable pitch control was (and is) a feature on professional reel to reels. I am pretty certain the Nagra decks of that era had them and could be adjusted within percentages of voltage to achieve different speeds. The production team used this to great effect in creating the warp drive sounds and phaser sounds.. The transporter "beam down" combined echo feedback.. Courage made extensive use of tape echo in his score for the Cage as well.
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Old May 6 2009, 07:38 AM   #38
Captain Robert April
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

The only way to really tell would be to take a piece of the unaltered soundtrack and compare it to the altered version, and even that might not yield much. But then, even with the free editing software available online, you'd be able to find out if there's any difference in the speed, even an otherwise neglible difference.

If it were my call, though, I'd opt for whatever option didn't involve playing with the speed, if only to simplify the editing process. The only objective in this aspect was to make it sound not like Malachi Throne, regardless of whatever the final sound was. And I've heard the whole thing unaltered, when Roddenberry played "The Cage" at one of this lecture stops, and I seriously doubt they did anything that changed the playback speed, even minutely.

I think they ran it through something to take out the lower range and fuzz it up a bit (maybe a Fender amp, maybe even a Fender guitar -- think Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" or a typical old school Cylon, only not as intense), so that matching up with the original footage wouldn't even be an issue.
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Old May 6 2009, 08:58 AM   #39
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

I just rewatched the Cage and noticed something I don't remember seeing before.

When they first beam down and approach the singing plants Nimoy appears to be limping heavily in that scene.

It is my imagination or had he injured himself in some way?
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Old May 6 2009, 02:10 PM   #40
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

Pindar wrote: View Post
I just rewatched the Cage and noticed something I don't remember seeing before.

When they first beam down and approach the singing plants Nimoy appears to be limping heavily in that scene.

It is my imagination or had he injured himself in some way?
Spock had been injured (presumably) recently on Rigel VII. ("Three people killed--including Pike's yeoman, and seven injured.") Other notable injuries include Jose Tyler (who has his hand bandaged) and the unnamed geologist (who has a bandage on his neck).
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Old May 6 2009, 02:24 PM   #41
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

Well, I found this comment in Solow's and Justman's book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story:

"Later, while dubbing various episodes, we took reality one step beyond. We rented a special machine that was used to change the pitch of people's voices without affecting the speed of the sound track, thereby keeping the dialogue 'in sync' with the picture. Although the device was large, clumsy to handle, and expensive, it helped make alien humanoids sound as alien as they looked."

So, I still don't get how this 1966 "black box" worked, but I take Bob Justman at his word that there was indeed some large, clumsy, expensive tehcnology available to have changed the pitch of Malachi Throne's voice--and, off the top of my head, probably Cloud Williams' in "The Omega Glory" and Lt. Mira Romaine's in "The Lights of Zetar."
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Old May 6 2009, 02:57 PM   #42
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
Spock had been injured (presumably) recently on Rigel VII. ("Three people killed--including Pike's yeoman, and seven injured.") Other notable injuries include Jose Tyler (who has his hand bandaged) and the unnamed geologist (who has a bandage on his neck).
I must go back and rewatch, again.

I don't remember the hand bandage appearing until after they direct the ships power against the elevator in the hill.
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Old May 6 2009, 03:33 PM   #43
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

Pindar wrote: View Post
GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
Spock had been injured (presumably) recently on Rigel VII. ("Three people killed--including Pike's yeoman, and seven injured.") Other notable injuries include Jose Tyler (who has his hand bandaged) and the unnamed geologist (who has a bandage on his neck).
I must go back and rewatch, again.

I don't remember the hand bandage appearing until after they direct the ships power against the elevator in the hill.
You can see Jose Tyler's bandaged hand starting with the very first shot he appears in on the bridge. But here's a shot as the landing party is beaming down for the first time (certainly well before the laser cannon is used on the rocky knoll). You can see Tyler (way over at screen left) has his right hand wrapped with a flesh-colored ACE bandage, and the Geologist way over at screen right has a white bandage on the left side of his neck.

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Old May 6 2009, 03:35 PM   #44
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

[QUOTE=GSchnitzer;2909210][QUOTE=Pindar;2909127]
GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
You can see Jose Tyler's bandaged hand starting with the very first shot he appears in on the bridge. But here's a shot as the landing party is beaming down for the first time (certainly well before the laser cannon is used on the rocky knoll). You can see Tyler (way over at screen left) has his right hand wrapped with a flesh-colored ACE bandage, and the Geologist way over at screen right has a white bandage on the left side of his neck.
So you can.

I must be getting old, 40 this year.
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Old May 6 2009, 04:13 PM   #45
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Re: Just saw "The Cage" on TOSR- Help me out here...the Keeper's voice

GSchnitzer wrote: View Post
Well, I found this comment in Solow's and Justman's book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story:

"Later, while dubbing various episodes, we took reality one step beyond. We rented a special machine that was used to change the pitch of people's voices without affecting the speed of the sound track, thereby keeping the dialogue 'in sync' with the picture. Although the device was large, clumsy to handle, and expensive, it helped make alien humanoids sound as alien as they looked."

So, I still don't get how this 1966 "black box" worked, but I take Bob Justman at his word that there was indeed some large, clumsy, expensive tehcnology available to have changed the pitch of Malachi Throne's voice--and, off the top of my head, probably Cloud Williams' in "The Omega Glory" and Lt. Mira Romaine's in "The Lights of Zetar."
Cool. I figured if it was some kind of black box, it would be some kind of clumsy thing.

I stand corrected. Thanks for the clarification.
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