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Buffy "Once more ..." pitch observations.. (1 Viewer)

Dave Mack

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Hey Y'all,

Finally got my new Region Free JVC and Buffy Season 6. After reading all the threads re: PAL speedup and the chipmunk effect, (and yes, I noticed it...) I whipped out my gtr. and A/B'd the CD soundtrack vs. the DVD. It's slightly less than 1/2 step up in pitch. For ex... "Something to sing about" apparently is in C on the CD, and on the DVD, it's in approximately D flat. 1/2 step is NOT that dramatic a difference. I have 2 old Queen VHS tapes... Live in Budapest and We Will Rock You (90 min. version) and they are both pitched up. For ex. "Tie Your mother down" is in A, on these tapes it was in Asharp. I noticed this primarily while playing along. Later when the "Rock You.." DVD came out, it was in the proper key.

Anyways, not trying to start a debate (Honest)! It's just that it's not THAT bad! If you weren't used to hearing the voices, songs correctly, it'd be hard to notice. I would definitely reccomend buying The Buffy musical if 1 were sitting on the fence re: The pitch issues. And with the sound of the voices while speaking, interestingly I noticed the speedup the MOST with Xander.

Pic. quality is Gorgeous. Great set...!


:) D
 

Julian Lalor

Supporting Actor
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Oct 5, 1999
Messages
975
I think the "chipmunk" thing is nothing more than a gross exageration of the effect of PAL speed up. 4% is not 40%. I had no problem with the PAL version of OMWF, and I have Seasons 1-3 on R1.
 

Adam_ME

Supporting Actor
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May 31, 2002
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The speedup is definitely noticable if you're familiar with the episode and the soundtrack. That being said, it ended up not bothering me anywhere near as much as I'd anticipated, at least not for most of the musical numbers.

What's interesting is that none of the extras feature any PAL speedup. So once you've watched "Once More With Feeling" at a slightly higher pitch, you can hear all the songs at their regular speed in the various supplements.

About the only thing that does bug me about the box set is that there's a ton of grain in some of the nighttime scenes and they messed up the end credits for the first and last episodes of the season. Otherwise, it's about on par with Buffy Season 5 and Angel Season 3.
 

Dave Mack

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Ok, just want to reitterate that it IS noticeable... But nowhere near as bad as I was anticipating! Like I said, I owned 2 Queen VHS's that were 1/2 step pitched up (sharp) and until I actually broke out the gtr. I never noticed. Granted if you A/B it, it IS quite obvious, but for most people, wouldn't be that big a deal. I can also not reccomend my modified JVC 600 more highly! The conversion is flawless. Buffy looks amazing and SMOKES many of my highly regarded (and well reviewed) NTSC discs...! And granted the budget went up on the later seasons, but these transfers look MUCH better than say, my season 3 NTSC box set. No "combing" issues or inappropriate flag issues either, (Sets should have been flagged for VIDEO since they were edited that way... something which IRKED me to NO end with the seasons 1-3 sets and which will probably NOT be resolved with Season 4...)

Also, I am ordering the well regarded French version of FLASH GORDON. Said to have a good 5.1 mix. Will be interesting since I know Queen so well...

Anyways, Peace Y'all!
 

Daryl Stovall

Second Unit
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Oct 4, 2002
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455


Are you sure? I had a Sampo player a while ago before it crapped out on me after six months. I never experienced a pitched problem with it. I replaced it with a RJ Tech player, which had A noticable pitch problem. After a couple of months it crapped out on me, so I replaced it with a Daewoo 5000N which also has a noticable pitch problem. There's only one place in my general area that carries region free players & so far i've struck out three times. Any Suggestions?:frowning:
 

Mark Zimmer

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I usually don't find PAL speedup to be an issue; the one exception is South Park, where the voices are already sped up, and it's quite fatiguing to listen to the PAL discs.
 

Dave Mack

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Good observation, Adam! In the doc. it was shot on NTSC video, (probably just a mini-DV) convereted to PAL for the Euro-discs, then RE-converted by my player back to NTSC... EEEK!
VERY Interesting material, but I'm sure it'll look ALOT better on the Region 1... The actual show however, looks AMAZING!

Anyone see "Rollerball SE" R2 Japanese version (NTSC) yet..
I've ordered it from AMAZONjp... but it's gonna take awhile even with the express shipping...

:) D
 

Adam_ME

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 31, 2002
Messages
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Actually, Xander doesn't sound so bad on this set. His voice became slightly deeper in Season 6, either due to age or his weight gain. So now with the PAL speedup, he sounds almost like the Xander from Seasons 1-5.
 

Cees Alons

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Real Name
Cees Alons
Are there any region free players available that does'nt have the PAL speed-up problem?
It's caused by the fact that 24 FpS films can be shown at the proper speed by an NTSC machine (30 FpS), but not by a PAL machine (25 FpS). They simply author the 24 rframes per second to 25 frames per second, thus slightly speeding up the movie.

Yes, it's noticeable, but often exaggerated - don't forget we watch (and listen at) PAL VHS-tapes and LDs for tens of years already and it has been deemed acceptable by 99% of the VCR and LD-players owners. (However, average movies always were - and were listed on the box as - approx. 5 mins. shorter without any cuts.)

On the other hand, PAL images can have a better vertical resolution than NTSC images, because they have 625 (570) horizontal lines instead of 525 (480). And they don't have the 3:2 pull down, so tend to be slightly more stable to the eye.

Personally, I still prefer R1 versions, also because they are released sooner (and more of them :) ).

Cees
 

James Reader

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Mar 10, 2002
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On the other hand, PAL images can have a better vertical resolution than NTSC images, because they have 625 (570) horizontal lines instead of 525 (480). And they don't have the 3:2 pull down, so tend to be slightly more stable to the eye.
Which of course you wont notice if the PAL transfer is being converted to NTSC by the player. Basically a lot of Americans seem to be so anti-PAL because you experience the drawbacks, without the advantages.

As for the speedup - no that cannot be stopped, however some players have a pitch control, enabling you to alter the tones yourself (but the sound will still be faster).
 

Kai Zas

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Messages
395
I cringed when Dawn started to sing. I was glad they cut her off immediately in that scene. (The "Does anybody even notice" bit.)

Btw, whatever people may say, I'm realy enjoying S6!
 

Adam_ME

Supporting Actor
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May 31, 2002
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Btw, whatever people may say, I'm realy enjoying S6!
The first 8 and final 4 episodes were solid. It's everything in between(with the exception of "Gone" and "Normal Again") that's oftentimes insufferable. And yes, 14 out of 22 episodes in a season ranging between good and great is a ratio I'll gladly take, but Buffy has always been held to a higher standard by its fans due to the high level of excellence achieved in previous years.

That being said, Season 6 was still better than 90% of the shows on TV in 2001-2002. And it was also superior to the final and worst season of Buffy which just finished airing.
 

Kai Zas

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Messages
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Don't worry. I've continued after ep. 8 and I'm realy enjoying the darkness of it all. The whole Spike - Buffy thing is marvelously weird.
 

Kai Zas

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Messages
395
Jeesh. That "Normal Again" ep realy creeped me out. I've seen them do the insane asylum thing on TNG, but this one realy hit home. I was kind of hoping for the fake real world to fall to pieces in the end, but it didn't. Heck, even the fake real psychology held up.

Realy, this is the most disturbing season of Buffy to date. I'm glad they realised their audience aged along with the show. I thought Angel was supposed to cater to the more mature audience. Season 6 is doing a mighty fine job of that too.

I'm glad Buffy's death meant something. It seems to have been a HUGE turnaround for the entire show. I do miss the happier times, but the gloom and doom things keep me coming back for more too. Just can't stop watching...

*Edit*

Well now, I have to stop watching 'cause I'm through. And it's been as much an experience as the previous season. Although season 5 had me in tears more times, season 6 had me in constant shock. With tears in the end. I don't know which is the more powerfull emotion, but they both had me riled up. Can't wait to see the final season.
 

Jeff Kleist

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Michelle can sing, Ally cannot ;)

Which of course you wont notice if the PAL transfer is being converted to NTSC by the player. Basically a lot of Americans seem to be so anti-PAL because you experience the drawbacks, without the advantages.
And in this case with Buffy, you're not experiencing the advantages either because it's coming from an NTSC master.
 

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