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Sound Man: WWII to MP3 (2006)

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One man changed history. One machine, created by the Nazis, helped him do it. One film tells the story of how the world of music was changed forever.



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Credited cast:
Jeremy Cohen ...
Greg Kihn ...


Jack Mullin's influence extends from the creation of tape following World War II to the rise of the iPod in recent times. Sound Man sheds welcome light on the career of this neglected pioneer, responsible for the innovation described as "a musician's dream." A Bay Area engineer turned WWII soldier, Mullin came upon a certain recording machine during his expeditions in Europe. The contraption, known as magnetophone, was to become the linchpin for the U.S. recording industry, allowing the voices of Bing Crosby and Les Paul, among others, to be saved for future generations. From then on, it's only a step to the shift from records to tapes and the growth of Ampex, one of the early titans of the Silicon Valley. Having helped revolutionize the entertainment world, Mullin, quietly living with his family, was happy to stay out of the spotlight. Sound Man's subtitle, "From WWII to MP3," indicates the important contributions of this fascinating personality, finally given deserved tribute. ... Written by Peter Schwartz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"Sound Man" is a documentary film about the day the music was born.





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Release Date:

7 March 2006 (USA)  »

Box Office


$3,000 (estimated)

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

great documentary on a fascinating subject
2 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I originally saw Sound Man when it premiered at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, CA. What amazed me most is that a documentary on the evolution of tape recording could have such heart! That's what makes it such a great recounts a part of history that most people don't know by chronicling the life of a fascinating man, Jack Mullin, who was behind it all. Add to that the musical legends(Les Paul, Stephen Stills)musicians and industry leaders who share their thoughts about sound recording and Mullin's contributions, and you have a great film that draws you in immediately and keeps you entranced through the closing credits. I loved it!

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