Conan the Barbarian - non R1 5.1 mix This is a great example of a remix that was done almost completely wrong. It isn't available on any R1 disc that I'm aware of at present, but is on most non-R1 releases. Good stereo recordings of Basil Poledouris' wonderful score exist, but instead of using those they just smeared the music from the theatrical mono across *all* 5 channels. All original sound effects and dialogue remain in the center channel. On top of this, they employed some kind of anal retentive imbecile foley artist who inserted sound effects into the strangest places. e.g. There was one scene where the foley artist felt obliged to throw in horse clomping and snorting when, in the original track, there is only music and narration. You can clearly see Conan talking to some cultists who are singing, banging instruments, etc., but you don't hear them in either version. In the remix there is music, narration, horse clomping and snorting, and deathly silence from Conan and the singing cultists.
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly - Special Edition For this SE they reincorporated footage that was previously only in the Italian version, and recorded new dialogue using the original actors (or impersonators of dead cast members) for those scenes. That part of this remix was ambitious and really shouldn't be faulted even though it does fail somewhat since the original actors definitely sound four decades older than they were when they shot those scenes. However, where this remix really falls down is primarily a matter of inattention to subtle detail. For example, there is one scene in which Clint Eastwood is cleaning his gun in a hotel room and a small mexican gang sneaks up the stairs, down the hallway, and tries to kill him. All this goes on while an army marches through the streets outside. In both the Italian and original English tracks, when the army is moving the sound is overwhelming. The mexican's footsteps are barely audible over it to the audience, and apparently near inaudible to Clint. Whennever the army stops, the mexicans stop since the sound of the army isn't covering their approach. It's a wonderfully sneaky scene, and a true testament to the alertness of the man with no name. Unfortunately, in the remix the army is greatly reduced in volume to mere background and the footsteps are *clearly* audible over the army at all times. Instead of experiencing suspense about whether or not Clint will hear the mexicans in time to react, the audience simply winds up wondering why he isn't putting his gun back together yet. The soundtrack no longer meshes with what is on screen and the scene ceases to make sense.
The Iron Maiden concert disc Raising Hell has an absolutely atrocious 5.1 mix. I haven't listened to it in a long time, but I seem to recall that you can either only hear the guitars or can't hear the guitars; I forget which.
It's also got a 2.0 mix which is just fine. (Also the reason I haven't listened to the crap 5.1 track in so long.
That is not correct. The music score on the current R2 discs is NOT a mono spread. It is genuine stereo. You can clearly hear instrumental differences on the left and right channels. There was an early German release on the Concorde label which certainly did simply spread the mono music across a 5.1 mix.
I have a Japan R2 release that is definitely a mono spread, but it is a couple years old. For this new mix you're talking about, are the foley issues still there? (i.e. Sounds added to scenes where they clearly stand out as inappropriate.)