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70mm 6-Track Dolby Stereo mix differences

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 (Edited)
There's sometimes questions about the various differences in content between the various theatrical audio mixes on the original films, so I thought it was a good idea to start a separate thread for the few differences that appear in the magnetic 70mm six-track Dolby Stereo mixes compared to the optical 35mm Dolby Stereo mixes that's been documented so far.

STAR WARS

  • After they get out of the garbage pit and Chewie runs away frightened, the trash monster makes a sort of high-pitched roaring before Han fires a shot back into the doorway.

  • When the TIE fighters first appear in the Death Star battle; the first X-wing to be destroyed has a different/enhanced explosion sound. (There is also a short bit of the same screeching sound effect present which is listed below)

  • A screeching sound is heard where it in the 35mm Stereo was a short moment of silence just before the first Y-Wing (Gold Two) explodes.

  • When Han Solo takes out Vader's wingman in the trench at the end of the film the sound of the explosion is greatly enhanced.


THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

  • When Luke runs out of the wampa cave, there is a clear sound of his lightsaber deactivating. (This sound effect is actually buried very deep in the 35mm mix if you listen hard enough)

  • Different laserfire can be heard during the snow battle, the sound regurlarly used for TIE fighters instead of X-wings as heard in the 35mm mix.

  • The TIE fighter sound effects are different in the Imperial fleet establishing shot after Luke's failure at the cave. (Can be heard on the 2006 Bonus DVD Spanish and French audio tracks)

  • The establishing shot of the rebel fleet at the end of the film doesn't contain tracked music. The two additional shots of the fleet added to the 35mm version required the tracking of a section of "Yoda and the Force" to precede the cue "The Rebel Fleet".

  • Lando's line "Luke, we're ready for takeoff." is a different take. (The same take later reappeared in the '97 Special Edition audio mix)

  • The exterior shot over which Lando says "When we find Jabba the Hutt and that bounty hunter, we'll contact you." is not in the 70mm version, instead when Luke says (voice over), "Good luck, Lando" the scene cuts directly to inside the rebel cruiser where Luke says, "I'll meet you at the rendezvous point on Tatooine."

  • Lando's line "Princess, we'll find Han. I promise." is a different take.

 
RETURN OF THE JEDI

  • The opening crawl on the 70mm prints used the music John Williams scored for the opening crawl to The Empire Strikes Back. *


* Source: Film Score Monthly, SE album editing and assembly supervisor, Michael Matessino.

Credit goes to David Morgan and Belbucus for providing in-theatre audio recordings of the 70mm presentations so that it was possible in the first place to document these differences and to hairy_hen for pointing out some of the more subtle differences. Please help add to this list if there's any differences not yet mentioned here.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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Very interesting. Thanks!

Do you know if Hairy_Hen inserted these 70mm differences in his 70mm re-creation mixes?

You know of the rebellion against the Empire?

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msycamore said:

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

  • When Luke runs out of the wampa cave, there is a sound of his lightsaber deactivating even though it stays lit onscreen. (This error later reappeared in the '97 Special Edition audio mix)

 

 

The deactivation sound appears to be there in the GOUT and the earlier mixes, but it's just buried much deeper in the mix.

Also, the SE mixes seem to have it come earlier in the shot, when the saber is still seen to be lit. So, this error seems to have been introduced for the SE, whereas the original got it right.

 

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Erikstormtrooper said:

Do you know if Hairy_Hen inserted these 70mm differences in his 70mm re-creation mixes?

I didn't have to insert anything for SW, since my version is derived primarily from the 1993 mix, which itself is mostly a downmix of the 70mm audio to begin with.  Therefore the differences noted for the first film are already present.

However, there are two sound effects which I am at present unable to say for certain whether they were really part of the original or not.  It is likely that they are 1993 additions, but since they appear in the surround channel, and the 70mm recording I have seems to be missing all of its surround effects for some reason, it's impossible to tell.  The first is when R2 gets electrified by the Jawas—a pronounced rolling echo in the rear after the shot is fired.  The other is during the shot of the Millennium Falcon in hyperspace just before they arrive at Alderaan: there is a sort of 'backdraft' sound just before the camera cuts to the inside of the ship.

The echo reappears in the special edition, although mixed slightly differently, but the other is heard only in the 1993 version.  As I said, it's currently impossible to say whether they were added for the laserdisc release, as many other sound effects were, or if they should join the above list of definite changes to the 70mm version from the 35mm.  I'm hopeful that I may be able to clear this up, though.

I suppose the LFE elements of the 70mm mix deserve a mention as well, as they often did not merely amplify the low end of the rest of the track but instead contained new discrete bass content.  Mostly it was used to reinforce explosions and spaceships, but perhaps the most noticeable and unique instance occurs when the ship is caught by the Death Star's tractor beam: there is a pulsing 60 hz tone while they struggle futilely to break away, and interestingly enough this seems to have been among the loudest bass in the entire movie.  (In the SE it is very subdued.)

As for ESB and RotJ, I didn't attempt to duplicate any of the 70mm changes, because I wasn't trying to replicate them exactly; nor did I have adequate sources to do so.  With the second film being edited slightly differently there wasn't any point in that, and for the third I didn't bother because I didn't feel like it, to be honest (nor could I guarantee I'd edit the music the same way).  So those two more properly reflect the 35mm versions in content, but the 70mm in dynamic range.

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Gregatron said: 

The deactivation sound appears to be there in the GOUT and the earlier mixes, but it's just buried much deeper in the mix. 

Are you absolutely sure about this? because I definitely cannot hear it in either the original Dolby Stereo or the remastered '93 track.

Gregatron said: 

Also, the SE mixes seem to have it come earlier in the shot, when the saber is still seen to be lit. So, this error seems to have been introduced for the SE, whereas the original got it right.

I'm a little confused by your description. Luke's saber is seen to be lit all throughout the shot when he runs out of the cave. That's why the deactivation sound of his saber is out of place there in the 70mm mix and SE, but you say that it's there in the other mixes as well, just buried much deeper in the mix, I may be wrong but I cannot hear it.

hairy_hen, I avoided to add those two sounds that appear in the '93 surround until we know for sure they're part of the 70mm audio.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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msycamore said:

Gregatron said: 

The deactivation sound appears to be there in the GOUT and the earlier mixes, but it's just buried much deeper in the mix. 

Are you absolutely sure about this? because I definitely cannot hear it in either the original Dolby Stereo or the remastered '93 track.

Gregatron said: 

Also, the SE mixes seem to have it come earlier in the shot, when the saber is still seen to be lit. So, this error seems to have been introduced for the SE, whereas the original got it right.

I'm a little confused by your description. Luke's saber is seen to be lit all throughout the shot when he runs out of the cave. That's why the deactivation sound of his saber is out of place there in the 70mm mix and SE, but you say that it's there in the other mixes as well, just buried much deeper in the mix, I may be wrong but I cannot hear it.

hairy_hen, I avoided to add those two sounds that appear in the '93 surround until we know for sure they're part of the 70mm audio.

 

I'm pretty sure. I just checked the GOUT again. It's really, REALLY, REALLY buried in the mix. It's easier to hear the sound on the GOUT's French and Spanish tracks, which I believe are sourced from the 70mm mix. It's nowhere near as prominent as the SE version, however.

After listening to the foreign tracks and toggling back to English, I believe it's there. They're almost totally inaudible, but the hum of the saber and the deactivation sound appear to be there. The music is very loud on the English track, and so the sound effects are almost totally buried.

 

As for the confusion...

There's a brief moment at the end of the shot where the blade is obscured by Hamill's body, which is where the deactivation sound comes in.

For the 1997/2004 SE, however,  the sound effects seem slightly ahead of the picture by a fraction of a second or so (Luke slicing his feet free from the cave ceiling, the saber deactivation sound, etc.). This is probably due to the newly-inserted Wampa shots throwing the sync off slightly when they remixed the scene.

After all, the musical acknowledgments of the saber's Force-movement in the snow (duh-DUH...duh-DUH...duh-DUH) are also way out of sync in the SE version, due to the added footage, and the need to loop and retime the music. It appears that the sound effects were similarly offset from the picture.

In the earlier mixes, the sound was in-sync, so the deactivation is heard at that moment when Hamill's body obscures the blade. In the SE, we hear the sound while the blade is still visible.

Since the next shot features Luke scrambling out of the cave with his saber turned off, it certainly makes sense that they added the deactivation sound into the tail-end of the preceding shot. But the SE seems to have created an "error" where there wasn't one in the original mixes, because now we hear the sound while the blade is still visible.

 

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Gregatron, now I get what you mean about the SE, I admit that calling it an error in the original isn't exactly the correct way of describing it, I edited that part, thanks. But I still cannot hear the deactivation sound in the 35mm Dolby mix, you say that you can hear it in the '93 remastered (GOUT) track and on the GOUT-foreign tracks, but more importantly, can you also hear it in the original theatrical Dolby Stereo? Personally, I cannot hear it, hmm this may be a case where you need to listen more carefully with your headphones, which I haven't done yet...

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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A quick listen to Dark Jedi's V3 today (with headphones) convinved me that the deactivation sound IS there. It's there in the 5.1 "purist" version, the 1980 theatrical stereo Laserdisc capture, and the 1993 mix.

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Wow do I not hear this at all.  It must be really buried.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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I have a good ear for this sort of thing, I guess.

 

At the very least, we know it wasn't just added in for the SE, since it apparently was there in the 70mm version.

Why would they then take it out for the 35mm mix? I think it was just buried in the mix in favor of emphasizing the dramatic music.

And considering a lot of the carefully-considered directional/spatial effects in the original EMPIRE mixes (which were lost in the later SE versions), it does make sense to me that it would be faint effect, since Luke's back is to the camera, and he's some distance "away" from the audience. It's more realistic from an aural perspective, that way, instead of having a loud sound effect for a character who is exiting the scene.

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Gregatron is right - I'm listening to the V3 right now with my Sony MDR-EX57LP earbuds, and both the 35mm stereo and 1993 mixes on that disc have the deactivation sound, but it's so quiet that it might as well not be there. It was actually a bit easier for me to make it out in the 35mm mix than in the '93.

Previously, I also spotted the "and" in Threepio's "and...do take good care of yourself" in both the 35mm stereo mix and the '93 mix. Like the saber deactivation, it's just very faint (but not as faint as the saber to my ears).

I just listened to morgands' 70mm in-theater recording again, and both of them are pretty audible there. Gregatron's theory as to why the saber deactivation is so quiet makes some sense, and as for Threepio's "and," perhaps the mixers put it in at a lower volume to make it seem like was saying it softly and timidly.

In both cases, I'm not sure what's up with the very faint versions in the post-70mm mixes...

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Yeah, a lot of people have believed the "and" was missing, but I've always been able to hear it. It's just really, really low.

I think it was mixed too low by mistake, or maybe to make it sound like Threepio was speaking very softly.

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TServo2049 said:

Judging by morgands' in-theater recording, it wasn't audible in the 70mm mix either, which means that it wasn't until the SE mix that the "and" was dialed up to the same volume as the rest of the line.

 

 

It was always easy to hear in the 1985 VHS/LD mix, which is what I grew up on.

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Gregatron said:

It was always easy to hear in the 1985 VHS/LD mix, which is what I grew up on.

You really think so? I still think it's pretty faint in that mix (at least compared to the 70mm theater recording - I went back and checked it and I *could* hear the "and", maybe even a little better than in the other mixes).

The '85 mix, which is also on the Dark_Jedi V3 disc, is basically a direct transfer of the 35mm Dolby Stereo mix - both sounds are equally faint in the '85 mix and the 1980 theatrical bootleg telecine.

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All I know is that when I watched the VHS (1990 issue of '85 mix) over and over as a kid, I clearly heard the "and".

I never even knew that people thought it was faint or absent from the 1993 mix until I heard it for myself.

 

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Haven't been able to check this out with headphones yet, but I trust you when you say it's still left buried in the mix, as you mentioned, there are many instances in the original Empire where this is the case, a more realistic soundfield was created compared to the bad SE remix.

I have also always heard Threepio's "and" in there, it's known to be present in the original mix.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com

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Yeah, I really like that realistic soundfield in the original mixes.

For example, "Now, remember, Chewbacca, you have a responsibility to me, so don't do anything foolish." is partially drowned out by the giant retrieval claw in the carbon-freezing chamber, which is nice and realistic.

For the SE, the line is now clear and easy to hear, yes, but that realistic effect is lost.

 

Same as Yoda's "Yes, run! Yes! A Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression...the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow.", etc.

All of that dialogue was always there in the early mixes (but, thanks to the realism of the soundfield, it wasn't all easy to hear), but the SE made it all much clearer, and even elminated some of Artoo's beeping, which was stepping on some of that dialogue.

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Let's not forget the "shelter built"/"shelter up" and "out of there"/"taste very good" differences. Surely a 70mm vs 35mm difference?

And the change from specifically scored to tracked music for Needa's shuttle.

(and back again for the SE in all cases)

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Treadwell said:

Let's not forget the "shelter built"/"shelter up" and "out of there"/"taste very good" differences. Surely a 70mm vs 35mm difference?

No, I believe these were '97 SE changes.

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That's right. Dave Morgan's in-theater recording shows only minimal differences from the standard mix. msycamore listed them at the beginning of this thread. The 70mm mix was done before the standard 35mm mix, but the changes in the SE seem to be based on decisions made by Burtt and/or Lucas *after* the 35mm version was finished.

Some of the changes were already in place on the "Story of" LP and/or the Super 8 digests. The 8mm soundtrack even has Chewie roaring as he strangles Lando, drowning out Leia saying "...that we're going to trust you?", just like the SE. If there had been a revised mono mix of ESB like there was for the first film, I think there's a good chance it would have had some of the same changes as the SE mix.

Even though the 70mm cut was used as the picture element for the 8mm, it seems to me that the soundtrack was done *after* the 35mm mix. For example, although it only has the first Rebel fleet establishing shot (like in the 70mm version), you can hear the tracked "Yoda and the Force" music from the 35mm mix playing under the scene. Also, Lando's line "Luke, we're ready for takeoff" is the familiar take heard in the 35mm mix, not the alternate one that's in the 70mm mix.

Maybe Burtt and Lucas kept a running list of changes that they made/wanted to make to the mix? Even though there was no third complete mix of the film, the "Story of"/8mm differences are evidence that changes were still being made after the 35mm mix was locked, some of which were carried over into the SE mix 16 years later.

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msycamore said:

  
RETURN OF THE JEDI

  • The opening crawl on the 70mm prints used the music John Williams scored for the opening crawl to The Empire Strikes Back. *

This I definitely did NOT know (or notice?)....hmmm.

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Moth3r said:

Treadwell said:

Let's not forget the "shelter built"/"shelter up" and "out of there"/"taste very good" differences. Surely a 70mm vs 35mm difference?

No, I believe these were '97 SE changes.

True for actual full retail film releases but the alternate lines were on The Story of The Empire Strikes Back LP so were actually heard way before the SE release in 1997.

4 - 5 - 3 - 1 - 6 - 2

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