… I had recently dug up a stereo recording I’d made of a 70mm screening of STAR WARS back in 1977. You can read the background article here:
I noted that there were issues with the stereo recording, since it was generated back in ’77 by taking two mono recordings – one made while sitting far front on the left side of the theatre and the other far front on the right – and marrying these two onto a reel-to-reel deck, adjusting the speed of the slave decks to try to keep the left and right channels in sync, which wasn’t easy and only intermittently successful. In addition to some noticeable echo affects and phasing, there would be dips when we’d try to slow down one track too quickly. Yet for all its roughness it had a certain, shall we say, panache.
Once I posted these online, there were calls from forum members for a cleaned-up version, on which I initially demurred, knowing how much time it would take even with some decent audio software. And, life is too short. But I finally figured I would at least try my hand on a section of the soundtrack and see how easily (or not) it went.
So I dubbed the original left and right track tapes for the final battle scene (about 15 minutes), saved each as WAV files, them merged them into a single stereo WAV file. I then chose one track and periodically slowed down segments to try to keep it running in sync with its sister track. (Simply aligning the two tracks from end to end didn’t work, and changing the speed wholesale wouldn’t keep them in sync for long, so I ended up having to sync it up every minute or so.) It grew to be as annoying as the original audio work done three decades ago, only this time <I>with computers! </I> And yes, life is STILL too short. I did not do any wholesale equalization or other sound clean-up, either.
So I have posted the test file on the same download page as before;
Those who downloaded my original can hear for themselves whether the extra effort is worth it. Given that the Original Trilogy DVDs will be released soon, I’d say, not really. But thanks again to all who have chimed in with their appreciation – I’m glad my original, passionate efforts from long ago were fruitful, in an archaeological way at least.