Remastering Mono

Discussion in 'DVD' started by ScottR, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    2,646
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm clueless as to how 1-channel mono is remastered into 2-channel mono, especially for tv shows when the music has to be changed. Are there several tracks they are working with (i.e. dialogue, sound effects, music) or do they just work with the finished product. I ask this because sometimes bits of dialogue, or sound effects tend to get muffled by music on remasters. Thanks.
     
  2. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    2-channel mono sounds like an oxymoron.
     
  3. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    2,646
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok, forget the 2-channel part. How would they be able to separate the sound effects, or music, from the dialogue track?
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,

    Do you have a specific example of what you're talking about?

    You mention TV (although this is the film area), you mention remastering for 2 channel mono (when no remastering is necessary), you mention music replacement but not any specific DVD in question.

    The bottom line is, depending on the project, yes Dialog, Music and Effects are archived in individual stems- although depending on the age of the material, sometimes this was not done or these stems didn't survive.

    However, even if these items don't survive, and only a finished mixmaster is available- extensive remastering can be done with re-equalization, compression, noise reduction and the like.

    You also say "dialog gets muffled on remasters" - I'm wondering what you're comparing to (was the dialog clear on the original, non-remastered versions?)

    Your whole post is difficult to understand- maybe you could site specific examples of what you're hearing.

    \V

    PS: 2 channel mono is just 'dual mono' - the mono signal is encoded on both sides of a stereo playback device. It doesn't necessarily require any remastering or special mixing, really it's just as simple as running 2 identical channels to a stereo recording format.
     
  5. Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe he's referring to how on some older films a fake stereo track was created from a mono source?
     
  6. Brad P

    Brad P Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    0

    Cheers is a perfect example of this. The first three seasons were originally broadcast in mono, but the DVDs present the music cues in stereo.
     
  7. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    184
    When utilising a mono source an optical track or a single magnetic mono track is used. Often a three track mono sourced is accessed, which is a breakdown of the dialog music and effects. To achieve the same balance as the mono source several things have to be paid special attention to. Correct equalization of the three track reproduce head. There should be a reference level tone for each of the three channels on the magnetic master and they are used to align head azimuth and to set level. The channels are then combined onto one track. During the transfer, if the heads are not cleaned properly, one of the tracks may suffer high frequency and level loss. If this goes by unnoticed, for instance if this is the dialog channel, the combined track will not be accurate and what you describe will result.
    2-channel mono is simply the duplicating of the same track onto the left and right channels and the audio collapses to the center. A 1/0 sends the single mono source to the center speaker only.
    There are too many variables to explain here, but I hope this basically answers your question.
     
  8. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    2,646
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, it does. I was mostly talking about tv shows. I have noticed instances on The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island where key sound effects are very low or missing all together on the dvds but are present in syndication. I also noticed that in Psycho, the voice of Mother is very low during the feature, compared to the making of documentary.
     
  9. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    184
    ScottR:
    Yes, it does. I was mostly talking about tv shows. I have noticed instances on The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island where key sound effects are very low or missing all together on the dvds but are present in syndication. I also noticed that in Psycho, the voice of Mother is very low during the feature, compared to the making of documentary.

    Well, by the way you are describing it, it sounds like these departments had multi-track mono masters and changed the levels to their own taste. It is likely that the low level of 'Mother' in "Psycho" is correct and deliberately altered the balance for some reason in the documentary. Universal does have a three-track mono master on this film because I saw it when I worked at Universal in the early eighties.
    I worked with multi-track masters recently on the re-mastered "Twilight Zone" and had to be very careful to prevent this very problem from occurring. It is very important to me to reproduce as closely as possible the balance the mixers intended forty years ago.
     
  10. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    2,646
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some people told me that maybe The Brady Bunch has all of the dynamics compressed out of it when it runs on television and that the dvd represents how it originally sounded.
     
  11. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    184
    Not being an expert in this area, but I would guess that dish or cable audio signals go through a lot of sometimes unecessary noise reducing, signal limiting and dynamic range compressing equipment before it reaches it's destination, and perhaps not quite so much on DVD as I think there is a lot more quality control.
     
  12. David Allen

    David Allen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just like film soundtracks, the orchestra/band could have been recorded with multiple-mics to a multi-track format, then mixed for a mono broadcast/theatrical release. When it's remastered years later for DVD and 5.1/Dolby Stereo, they don't have to fold the music to mono, they can present it in stereo or 5.1. An analogous example is when TV shows are mastered in widescreen for DVD (if they were 35mm film based). Also, current TV shows are released with a new 5.1 mix for HD broadcast and DVD, even though they were mixed for a stereo standard-def broadcast.
     

Share This Page