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Academy Curve

From Chace Audio

The Academy curve is a standard playback equalization curve for pre-1975 mono, non-Dolby® optical soundtracks. It functions as the second part of a noise reduction scheme that begins by adding a “pre-emphasis” to audio intended for theatrical playback by boosting its high frequencies. When played back in a theater, the audio is then de-emphasized via the Academy curve to reduce the hissy noise inherent in film playback, along with the previously emphasized upper portion of the audio spectrum. The soundtrack is thereby brought back to its original EQ and sounds less noisy than films recorded before the creation of the Academy curve.

The curve was first standardized in 1938 and modified in 1976. A different equalization called the X-curve was adopted in 1984 after the introduction of Dolby noise reduction. The Academy curve is still used today, however, for all mono optical tracks.