MULANN still produces perforated tapes for the Film Industry – 06/09/2019

RecordingTheMasters’ audio tapes are not only used for musical recordings but also for the film industry!


Old school cinema-lovers, rejoice! RTM works every day to make sure that wonderful master copies of films are not lost to age. There is still a market, largely unknown to the public: perforated audio tapes that are used to capture the soundtrack for movies. Nowadays they are still used in the creation of some new movies, but are primarily used to duplicate the old film masters so that they can be archived in their full form – an essential task for preserving classic films for future generations to come!



Perforated audio tapes have a long and storied history and for the better part of the 20th century were an absolutely essential part of bringing audio and therefore life to movies. In the not so distant past most movies were silent films that required title cards in between scenes, or, if you managed a theater that was lucky enough to have generous resources you could afford the luxury of a live orchestra to perform alongside the movie. The advent of the perforated audio tapes meant that all cinemas and people everywhere could enjoy audible movies, and not have to rely on rudimentary technologies like sound-on-disc systems.



Perforated audio tapes are what can be considered the “sound negatives” in the moviemaking process. The sprocket holes on either end of the tape are what ensures that the audio tape (the sound negative) is read in perfect synchronization with the film negative when producing the composite release tape – the final tape that is projected in theaters.


35mm was the first standard for film, developed originally by Edison in the 19th century and has remained the most common film gauge for cinema standards. The 16mm is a film gauge that was developed in 1923 as a more economical option for non-theatrical and lower budget video.  17.5mm is split 35mm and has always been a popular alternative gauge. Different film gauges were developed throughout history but 16mm, 17.5mm and 35mm are the ones who have stood the test of time. The different levels of magnetic coatings correlate to the quality of audio, with the thicker coatings capable of capturing higher quality audio.


RecordingTheMasters offers the classic 16 mm, 17.5 mm and 35 mm audio perforated tapes, as well as blue, white and clear perforated leader tape. They can handle can handle 1 to 4 or 6 audio tracks. And, depending on the references, we can offer T12, T14 and T44 magnetic coatings. Compared to our standard range of products, these tapes go through an extra manufacturing step in the perforation room, where they are punched with sprocket holes.


Have a look or find useful contacts on the perforated audio tapes dedicated web page.