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Facts about Perspecta Stereophonic Sound (2 Viewers)

Bob Furmanek

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We restored the original three-channel Perspecta audio for the Shout Blu-ray release of THIS ISLAND EARTH. Many people assume incorrectly that this ingenious system developed by legendary sound engineer C. Robert Fine (Mercury Living Presence) was simply panned mono and nothing more. That is not the case. Utilizing discrete and judicious gain control on all three channels of audio - left/center/right - the sound field was most impressive.

Here is the data that I compiled for that release. if you haven't heard it, do yourself a favor and give this track a listen. I believe you will be VERY pleasantly surprised!

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roxy1927

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vincent parisi
Really? Wow Funny Face sounds like stereo to me. Boy is that excellent mono. The very late Decca monos from around '55 almost sound like stereo. I'll have to listen to Funny Face again. I must have tricked myself into believing it was stereo. Oy. I know that Donen said TPG was mono.
I have an 86" LG. Should I have it professionally calibrated?
And a friend said not to get projection as it is inferior to a TV. Do you feel this is not correct?
 
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Robert Harris

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Really? Wow Funny Face sounds like stereo to me. Boy is that excellent mono. The very late Decca monos from around '55 almost sound like stereo. I'll have to listen to Funny Face again. I must have tricked myself into believing it was stereo. Oy. I know that Donen said TPG was mono.
I have an 86" LG. Should I have it professionally calibrated?
And a friend said not to get projection as it is inferior to a TV. Do you feel this is not correct?
Yes.

Yes, not correct, just different.
 
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Vern Dias

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Funny Face is listed as DTS-HD 5.1 on the back cover of the Blu ray. Two possibilities exist:
1: It was remastered from the original stems.
2; It was digitally processed through one of a number of different programs (rather unlikely as most require a stereo source).

I will give it a quick listen and report back.
 

Vern Dias

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The answer is number 2. It sounds like they played some games with phase and frequency response to spread out the sound stage. It's definitely not from a stereo source.
 

roxy1927

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Didn't the Twilight Time How to Succeed also boast a DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack? I thought this was interesting as I talked with someone who worked on the laserdisc and he said that no stereo tracks existed. The original sources had disappeared and the first run prints had all been thrown out. So is this some sort of fake stereo?
 

Matt Hough

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Didn't the Twilight Time How to Succeed also boast a DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack? I thought this was interesting as I talked with someone who worked on the laserdisc and he said that no stereo tracks existed. The original sources had disappeared and the first run prints had all been thrown out. So is this some sort of fake stereo?
I reviewed the Blu-ray disc here, and it seems like I preferred the mono track though the 5.1 was an interesting listening experience.
 

Vern Dias

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Didn't the Twilight Time How to Succeed also boast a DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack? I thought this was interesting as I talked with someone who worked on the laserdisc and he said that no stereo tracks existed. The original sources had disappeared and the first run prints had all been thrown out. So is this some sort of fake stereo?
No, it's definitely at least 3 channel stereo and it even has directional dialog. Again, three possibilities

1: It was remastered from the original stems.
2: A Magnetic print was found after the LD master was created.
3: Magnetic preprint source material was discovered somewhere
 

Noel Aguirre

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So are we saying here that High Society also a musical was released in Mono as it’s VistaVision? I find that very hard to believe that for a film starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong? If so what was Paramount’s reasoning - because they bought exclusive rights into an inferior film format? Is that what killed VistaVision? I thought it was the basis for all 70mm films- the granddaddy of them all. I can see it for the Hitchcock films but CJ WC HS and FF makes no sense when CinemaScope and all the others were showcasing stereo as a way to draw in theatergoers.
But I defer to the experts.
 

john a hunter

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High Society was an MGM production so there is no reason why it couldn't have been in stereo.
From what I recall of the dvd release, it was in good stereo.
 

Will Krupp

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I can see it for the Hitchcock films but CJ WC HS and FF makes no sense when CinemaScope and all the others were showcasing stereo as a way to draw in theatergoers.

Well, as to HS I can't say with any certainty, but remember that VV was initially created to make standard films look better. Blowing up 1.37 films to 1.85 resulted in a less sharp image and VV was a way to shoot large and exhibit standard with wonderfully sharp images. The special horizontal presentations weren't part of the initial plan and were decided upon rather late in the game. In fact, I think it's Wide Screen Museum that has a piece on the first two horizontal installations (Radio City and an LA theater who's name escapes me) that Paramount needed the installations done within two weeks of their commencement because the picture was opening. Keeping this in mind, VV was considered an "exhibitor's darling" because it was technically available in multiple aspect ratios (eliminating the need for Cinemascope sized renovations to theaters) and didn't require new screens or for theaters to install magnetic stereo as part of the package.

I don't know that HIGH SOCIETY ever played horizontal and I am happy to be proven wrong but I just don't know where they would have PUT the stereo tracks on the release print unless it was run in certain venues in a double format even if it did. It wouldn't have been all prints, that's for sure.

EDIT: I found a listing (from in70mm.com) as to the horizontal productions and it doesn't look like it was ever shown that way. I can't imagine they would have had stereo tracks on a standard release.


(an interesting note on that listing is that two Century projectors were delivered to the Criterion on Broadway but never installed. This must have been in preparation for the Criterion's road show of TEN COMMANDMENTS which means, at some point, there must have been a plan to show a horizontal print.)
 
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roxy1927

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vincent parisi
This is great stuff.
I thought only a couple of the first VV films were shown horizontally. By the latter half of the 50s they were shown vertically?
I know of only two theaters in NY that showed it horizontally-the Music Hall and the Paramount. But at this point who knows?

Also by '54 stereo was established for major musicals in first run houses as was already noted so that mono for White Christmas, High Society, and Funny Face seems odd. Isn't even the non-cinemascope Deep In My Heart in stereo?

I would have thought Paramount would have wanted Strategic Air Command first run in directional stereo with planes shooting all over the place.
And TTC is mono?
 

Rob W

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The stereo mix for HIGH SOCIETY was created for the laserdisc release by a longtime MGM employee who was credited on the sleeve for his contributions if I remember correctly. Hopefully someone still owns the disc and can back me up.
 

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