Is Mono audio Great?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Mark Shannon, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    Been looking to buy the old movie, Cujo, for DVD. Everywhere I have seen a copy of this movie, the special features on the back of the case, one of the features is 'Mono Audio'

    How can someone call this a special feature? Maybe if it were an original release VHS copy, I'd say ok, but a recent re-release on DVD, which is more than capable of anything higher than one channel...

    comments?
     
  2. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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  3. Brendon

    Brendon Second Unit

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    If the film was originally released with a mono soundtrack, then there is no reason why the same soundtrack shouldn't appear on the subsequent DVD.

    A well mastered mono soundtrack is always preferable than a badly done pseudo-stereo/surround track.

    If the original audio elements are not available to remix with, a mono soundtrack can only be "upmixed" to a stereo or multichannel mix by the addition of new sound elements or technical jiggery pokery (phasing effects etc).

    Sometimes, IMHO, surround mixes of original mono soundtracks can be quite good (Jaws DTS for example). At other times the derived soundtrack can be a touch gimickey (North by Northwest's crop dusting sequence in 5.1). In all cases I do wish the original mono soundtrack had been included. (Criterion's issue of The Hidden Fortress is good in the respect. A Dolby 3.0 representation of the Perspecta soundtrack and the Dolby 1.0 representation of the mono soundtrack)

    In short, don't feel bad when a film doesn't utilise all the sound channels that you have speakers for. Mono is not something bad, or an indication of laziness on behalf of the discs producer. Some of my best friends are mono soundtracks!

    Bren

    (PS The same goes for music too - the original mono mix of the Beach Boys Pet Sounds eclipses the stereo mixes available)
     
  4. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Back to mono! [​IMG]


    Gordy
     
  5. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    I'll take the uncompressed PCM mono on the Terminator LD over the weak 5.1 on the dvd anyday.
     
  6. Brendon

    Brendon Second Unit

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  7. Joel Fontenot

    Joel Fontenot Supporting Actor

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    Bren, I think Greg was talking about the first Terminator movie which was in mono.

    Joel
     
  8. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I will almost always take the original audio over any remixed garbage. I guess I'm a purist at heart, but I take issue with people who think colorization and OAR are important but that the sound can be tinkered with. There are a few occasions where the remix is better or where a certain mix was only available at certain theaters that is now being heard on a wide scale for the first time, but in general if it was in Mono or 2 channel stereo that's what I listen to.
     
  9. Michael St. Clair

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    Considering a good amount of discs come out today with only remucked audio, I do consider mono to be a special feature! It can actually prompt me to buy a disc I might otherwise skip!
     
  10. Brendon

    Brendon Second Unit

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  11. StevenA

    StevenA Second Unit

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    The sad part about the particular title in question ( Cujo ) is that it's a full-frame DVD, not in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. A great pity since it's a superb horror film.
     
  12. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Mono is great.

    Especially when it's for films such as Citizen Kane, The Thin Man, It Happened One Night, and Goldfinger.
     
  13. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    A perfect example of "more channels" not being better is the Monkees Season 1 DVD set. [​IMG]

    The 5.1 mix on that is HIDEOUS! The 2.0 is MUCH better.


    As far as mono, you can always switch your reciever to Pro-Logic and utilize 3 speakers (with surround).
     
  14. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Yes, mono is great, if that's what was originally released. I am a OSF (Original Soundtrack Format) supporter.

    It amazes me how some discs can tout Oscar winning soundtracks, yet give new remixes instead.
     
  15. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    It doesn't amaze me. There are a LOT of people, including some in this forum, who aren't satisfied unless they think all 5.1 channels are being utilized on a soundtrack. Check out how much moaning there is over the mono soundtrack of Conan the Barbarian for an example.
     
  16. StevenW

    StevenW Second Unit

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  17. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Just Say No To Mono.

    In a perfect world I wish the studios would make decent(as in nothing to complain about) stereo or 5.1 mixes of some mono titles so that everyone could be happy while of course also providing the original mono mix to please those that are happy with the movie as it was and not how it could be. :p)
     
  18. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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  19. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Ah this brings back fond memories of one of the first threads I started here...earlier this year! The controversial "Mono DVDs: What Were They Thinking?" thread or something like that. :wink:

    Ok, Patrick, I agree that movies like Citizen Kane(a DVD I own) would benefit very little from a stereo or 5.1 mix. I can accept Kane in mono form because it came out in 1941. But c'mon some of the newer movies, say made from 1965 on up, cry for something more than mono. This is re-treading familiar turf but I'll say it again, Jaws 2 should have a stereo or even a 5.1 mix as an option to the original mono mix. It's just such a shame to have to listen to John Williams' beautiful score in mono.

     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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