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A New Hope: Theatrical 1977 stereo mix vs. 1993 stereo mix

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I obviously do know that the true 1977 audio mixes have never been seen on home video, with alterations between versions varying. But here’s where I get curious, from what I heard the 1993 remix added a bunch of sound effects not present in any past home video or theatrical releases.

So what I wanna know is, what exactly are the differences between the 1993 remix and the 1977 theatrical stereo mix?

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One of the true 1977 mixes has been on home video – pre-1985 releases of Star Wars have the 1977 stereo mix. The best quality audio of the 1977 stereo mix was from a pan & scan Japanese Laserdisc, and is included with most preservations.

In terms of dialogue, there’s no difference between the 1977 stereo and 1993 mixes. In terms of sound effects, the obvious one is the shattering glass sounds during the cell block shootout. A lot of fans (myself included) think of these additions as precursors to the Special Editions – the 1985 mix was at least a mashup of the various theatrical mixes, but the 1993 mix brought in stuff that was never in the films before. I’m sure there are other changes too, but I just don’t listen to the 93 mix that much (for that reason).

As far as sound quality goes, the 93 mix is probably technically the best-sounding official Star Wars mix ever made. But I just can’t get past the non-theatrical elements, so I prefer the 77 mixes (hairy_hen’s six-channel reconstruction is my favorite).

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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 (Edited)

These are a few changes that come to mind. I’m pretty sure these weren’t in any previous mix but if I’m wrong someone can correct me. It’s actually been a while since I last properly heard the 1993 mix.

One of the flashes that lacked a sound effect during the opening shot now has a sound (may have been in the mono), spark noises when the Jawa attaches the restraining bolt to R2 (also maybe from the mono), some laser-like noises added when they come out hyperspace into the remains of Alderaan (right when and after Han says “what the…?”), TIE Fighter laser sounds added to the blasts just before the fighter passes over the Millennium Falcon (before Luke says “it followed us”, I may be confusing this one with the SE), the aforementioned glass noises in the detention block shoot out, different sound to the laserbolt that shoots past Luke after Han says “either I’m gonna kill her or I’m beginning to like her”.

These I know were in or originated from the mono mix but added to the 1993 mix. First there are some additional rumble heard outside the door of the Tantive IV as the rebel soldiers await the stormtroopers (also in the SE). Second the loud mechanized noise heard in the compactor just before Luke resurfaces the final time is hear twice, once about a second or two before the second time but at a lower volume. All other stereo mixes including the SE (to my knowledge) use the effect once.

I also think this may have been the first mix to use a different sound of the explosion of the TIE Fighter shot down by the Millennium Falcon but I could be wrong.

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From what it seems the 1993 mix is based off of a 70mm downmix with the additional sound effects added

I just mainly wanted to know what specifically was added

The 1993 remix does sound the best between the sound mixes I’ve heard, and FAR better than any of the sound mixes on the special editions

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Is there a thread on here similar to doubleofive’s comprehensive ‘Complete Comparison of Special Edition Visual Changes’ - but for the audio changes and release information?

Or a main ‘audio in the OT’ discussion thread?

So much on this great site is about the visual changes and releases… though am struggling to find threads and information on the audio changes.
 

(I know oojason had started on an ‘Index Thread’ of OT audio over time - and another a couple of other Index Thread projects - but they seem unlikely to ever happen now.)

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I didn’t see anything which is why I made this post

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There was this thread, which covered dialogue differences.

https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/The-Definitive-tractor-beam-Close-the-blast-doors-Blast-it-Biggs-Wedge-you-dont-taste-very-good-Noooooo-Preservation-Guide/id/13428

But that’s a pretty easy topic to cover in a few posts. I think the only thing missing from the discussion is the Empire mono mix, which wasn’t discovered until after that thread was done. The Jedi mono mix doesn’t have any dialogue differences, just missing sound effects. And the UHDs, I suppose.

I think it may be possible to do a similar one for pre-97 audio mixes, but there are just so many changes in the SE’s (and changes to the changes, etc) that it’s likely to sprawl.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)

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The trouble is that there are no official high quality sources for the theatrical mixes for us to experience. Everything is a recreation, conversion, optical capture or early LD release and is the best we can manage.

If you could playback a direct version of the original 4 track master nothing would surpass it. This is the source sound negative mix that the 70mm and stereo would have been made from. Going to the printmasters for each would be the best option for the specific mixes if the actual source was unavailable. It has been alluded to that LFL has every mix perfectly archived and is how so many mono mix elements made it into the 97SE mix.

The 93 mix was an attempt to beef up the tracks for home audio but it must always be understood that they were made with the home cinema format limitations of 1993 in mind.

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We can track things to a new/changed/removed sound effects level, retimed dialogue, alternate takes, alternate dialogue without high-quality sources. We won’t necessarily be able to track equalization, compression, and imaging differences very well without high-quality theatrical sources though. But yeah, with access to the four-track master you could do a branching family tree diagram of every mix, with that as the root.

Project Threepio (Star Wars OOT subtitles)