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Post #1258355

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4K83 Released
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Date created
3-Dec-2018, 8:43 PM

The print audio has the correct frequency balance for the soundtrack since it has been recorded through a Dolby A decoder. Most of the laserdisc versions are extremely bright and are too shrill in comparison. However, the print audio is less dynamic than any of the laserdiscs, since stereo optical on 35mm film has very little headroom.

Soundtracks made with Dolby A noise reduction (which includes all the mixes for the Star Wars films except the mono versions) sound much too bright in their undecoded state. It is apparent that none of the early laserdiscs have been Dolby A decoded, hence their excessive high frequency emphasis. The RotJ soundtrack from the Special Widescreen Edition does have the correct frequency balance, so it is likely that it has been Dolby A decoded.

The best possible version of the 35mm stereo mix can be produced by using the early US laserdisc (since it has the most dynamic range) and adjusting its EQ to match the print/SWE versions. That way you get the best of both worlds; the greater dynamics and the correct frequency balance. This is exactly what I did for the 35mm soundtrack on Despecialized v2.5, but I haven’t yet put out one like this that is synced to 4K83.

I will release a track like that at some point soon, but for the moment, I would recommend using the SWE version, because it sounds extremely similar to the print audio, but with better quality.