Alterations to the film's original sound (merged w/"OSR: what about new sound mixes"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Broadman, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    First off, allow me to apologise if this has been discussed before. I haven't seen it, but I don't plow through all or even most of the threads. If a mod wants to close the thread and provide a link to a similar topic, that would be fine.

    OAR is obviously a huge issue here, and of course I agree with all of you. A film should be watched in its proper aspect ratio. Also, if a film was originally black & white, I presume that most of you would be against a colorised version? I am- give me the film that way it was.

    However, I don't see the same attitude regarding sound. People regularly express the desire to get DVDs with new sound mixes- specifically, DD surround mixes on movies originally released with mono or stereo soundtracks.

    Is it because film buffs tend to be more concerned with the visual aspect than the audio? Is it because people spend money on surround sound equipment and want to use it? I hope it's not the latter, because it sounds too much like "I paid for a big screen and I want it filled." *shudder*

    Some DVDs, like Terminator (IIRC), have a DD surround mix only. Isn't that a bit like releasing full screen only?
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Not really.
    Sound should always be the best possible quality it can be. If 1.0/2.0 is best for a film (such as The Great Dictator or Citizen Kane), that's great. If a 5.1 remix adds to the presentation, that's great.
    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has a nice mono track (one of the best sounding, IMO), but the 5.1 remix takes the full advantage of the sound without making it sound synthesized or fake.
    A movie such as Snow White benifits from the remix because the quality of the sound (not speaker amount, just fidelity and clarity.) is excellent. Citizen Kane probably wouldn't benifit from 5.1 since the sound fits mono better.
    It's nice that some studios include the original mono track along with the remix, but many cases show that the 5.1 is superior to the mono simply because the sound is higher in quality.
    Gone With The Wind, however, should have stayed mono...the 5.1 remix is kind of there just for the sake of being 5.1.
    Also...if you really wanted to make it like the original theatrical experience, you have to make the sound very low in fidelity. Simply transfering the original audio master to Dolby Digital makes it better sounding than the original prints...even in mono. And there's also the wonderful pops at reel changes. [​IMG]
     
  3. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    i, for one, don't want a soundtrack that sounds "better" according to a random DVD buyer. i want a soundtrack that sounds "right," the way it was meant to be presented. if the filmmakers wanted it to be mono, it should be mono. if the filmmakers want a new remix, they should have a new remix. any decision about the soundtrack should be made with regard to the desires of the filmmakers, not the desires of HT enthusiasts to play with their speakers.

    DJ
     
  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    First, let me address the initial's you're using in your subject: OSR. Original Sound Ratio? Let's assume you mean Original Sound Recording and move on, although OSP (Original Sound Presentation) would perhaps be a better choice.
    Now, having gotten that bit of anal retentiveness out of the way [​IMG] , let me agree with you. The DVD should ALWAYS have the OSR or OSP on it, in addition to any "improvement" sound mixes.
    This is the Home THEATER Forum; we should expect to see...and HEAR...the film the way it was originally presented in the theater.
    Having said all of that, if you get only a 5.1 track on a film that was meant to be mono, don't forget that you can almost always turn off your receiver, and just listen to the sound as output by the speakers built into the TV.
    That might not always be an available option with, say, projector devices and so forth (I'm not familiar with anything that fancy, so if I'm wrong about that a simple criticism-free correction will do; thanks). So the safest bet will always be to include the Original Soundtrack (OST? We ought to come to a consensus about what the initials should be).
    For TV Shows it's pretty simply either mono or stereo, right? Is there actually a 5.1 television series out there yet anywhere? I don't know; my 5.1 system is pretty new to me, and still not fully installed after a month (don't ask; long story filled with distractions).
    Besides, coming this summer is Dolby's PL2 (PrLogic 2) and DTS's Neo systems, which take stereo tracks and simulate a 5.1 experience, much like the original DPL takes mono and simulates stereo. But that goes back to the idea that a machine can effectively decide which speaker each sound ought to come out of. [​IMG] Can you imagine how this would handle something like Citizen Kane? :shudder:
    NO OSR = NO SALE ???
     
  5. StevenA

    StevenA Second Unit

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  6. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    The DVD of "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" actually gets rid of some panned dialogue during the 'proposal' scene- on the laserdisc it goes left to right but the DVD keeps all the dialogue in the center! Most of it sounds like it would've sounded if the movie had been released in 5.1, but I would've preferred the option of the original matrix track!
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  8. Michael St. Clair

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    When a classic mono, stereo, or matrixed surround film is released on DVD, the original soundtrack should always be included. Those who say that since they like a remix that an original track is not necessary might want to consider that all opinions when it comes to art are subjective.
     
  9. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  10. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    True Damin, I didn't think of that.
     
  11. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    With the Terminater 5.1 remix, I think the only phony part is the sound of the laser gun that Arnold uses to kill Sarah Connor #1. Every other sound is much better than the original mono sound.
     
  12. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    First off, the original OAR and OAP - (put'em together and they spell OPRA! [​IMG]) - should always be available.
    My yardstick is pretty easy here.
    What is the best presentation for a movie?
    OAR always beats out any sort of MARred image.
    Audio is a different beast for me. While I understand the viewpoint of wanting the original recording be it mono, stereo, 5.1, or whatever. Given the choice between the original mono soundtrack or a remixed 5.1 version I will go for the remix.
    Why? 5.1 is more enveloping and brings an added dimension to a movie.
    I certainly respect the preferences of others who wouldn't dare watch a movie in any other way that it was originally presented.
    But for me, OAR and 5.1 is ultimately the most immersive experience for watching and listening to a movie.
    To each his own. The choice is yours.
    Peace!
     
  13. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    I prefer if the 5.1 was restoed from original version like halloween.
     
  14. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    I tend to like a re-mixed track because it can actually create a more immersive atmosphere but the original track should be supplied for those who want absolute fidelity to their original theatre experience. A lot of arguments are presented that the soundtrack should be presented as the filmmakers intended but how do you determine if a filmmaker really intended his movie to only have a mono track? He/she could have been limited due to money constraints or lack of available technology. If 5.1 had been around when Orson Welles made "Citizen Kane" would he have chosen to do the film in mono? If he had the technology available and still chose mono then you know that was his intent all along and that is the way the movie should be presented. Woody Allen's "Curse of The Jade Scorpion" is a good example. He had various sound formats to choose from and chose to use mono, therefore, the movie should only be presented in that fashion.
     
  15. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  16. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    All what Lucas wants to do is to make sure that there are more references to episode 1-3 in the original trillogy. That is supposingly the reason why the Star Wars Trillogy is not on dvd yet.
     
  17. StevenA

    StevenA Second Unit

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    Actually the Terminator disc does retain the original mono track, so kudos to MGM.
     
  18. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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  19. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    I think the two issues are different. A lot of soundtracks may have actually been multi-track recordings but because a lot of theatres outside larger centres did not have multi-track capability, the presentation was reduced to mono or stereo. The original multi-track recordings could be being used to create these re-mixes and if done properly create a more impressive sound field without changing the actual musical performance. P&S is just the opposite. Visual information is being subtracted and then an attempt is made to recapture lost information by roaming across the frame with the camera. The picture is being recomposed into something that never existed in the first place. If a soundtrack was re-mixed and the mixer suddenly decided that he was going to cut out part of the original performance and paste in something else, then there is reason to complain.

    The "TERMINATOR" re-mix is a good example. It is not re-mixing it to a 5.1 matrix that is bad. It is re-mixing it and removing original elements of the soundtrack, in this case gunshots, and replacing them with sound effects that are an attempt to make them sound more "realistic". IMO, of course.
     
  20. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    I think P&S and remixes are very different beasts. P&S, by its very nature, is contrary to the intentions of the film makers. On the other hand, sound remixes could be used to realize what the film makers would have done if the technology was available at the time.

    Mike, you compared this to the Star Wars Special Editions. I think this is a much more relevent comparison. I would imagine that people against Star Wars: SE type revamps are also the ones who oppose Terminator style remixes, with similar reasons.

    Also, many 5.1 "remixes" are not real remixes. Many times they are 2.0 Dolby Surround mixes that have been "dematrixed" professionally and encoded as discrete channels on the DVD, allowing people with 5.1 systems to hear the mix without channel leakage. I don't know why it would be, but is this a practice that many object to as well?
     

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