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Real Expectations for Reel Sound: Assessing the Aesthetic Implications of New Sound Technologies

The past several years have yielded two significant film sound technologies-namely, multichannel surround sound and digital film sound. While a considerable amount of publication has encompassed the quantitative and empirical aspects of these technologies, little has been presented on their aesthetic implications. This paper provides a critical analysis of those new technologies and their aesthetic significance in film. Further, this analysis is conducted within a framework of sound functions that, according to Zettl, includes information, outer orientation, inner orientation, energy, and structure.

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