As you may know, the discovery of a completely new mix of Empire Strikes Back was made last year with the release of Puggo Strikes Back. The sound mix came from a 16mm print that Jaxxon had supplied Puggo to scan and capture.
The history of this mix is completely unknown but it was determined that it was created after the 70mm and 35mm mixes perhaps for the 16mm market (schools, hospitals, etc) and has some similarities with foreign mixes which points to its chronological history. This mix is not a simple fold-down of the theatrical mixes and contains many differences such as new or alternate dialogue and sounds, more prominent music and effects (to account for the low dynamic range of the mono film standard), and oddly enough, some lines such as “the first transport is away” and “meet you at the rendez vous spot” are shifted completely.
Because of the uniqueness of the mix, I decided to do two things: 1) sync it to the GOUT and 2) create a left ear/right ear comparison file for those who would like to listen to and perhaps discover more differences.
First, much thanks go to Jaxxon for supplying the print and, of course, to Puggo who did all of the capturing, did an initial sync pass to his project and allowed me access to the uncompressed files to do this for the community. What I did is child’s play compared to what he’s done already.
I did all my work in Final Cut Pro X, and used the laserdisc 1980 stereo track taken from Harmy’s 1.0 as my syncing guide. Although Puggo’s initial sync would have probably worked fine without much work, I wanted the track to sync up as perfectly as possible to the stereo track so the comparison file would be easier to listen to. This required a bit of cutting and moving and time-stretching here and there - and never more than a couple frames - but this took less time than I imagined.
First, here’s the link for the finalized FLAC file. The bit depth is a bit over the top due to FCPX’s lack of exporting fine-tuning.
I’m also going to include a compressed 192k/s AC3 for those who would like to have a smaller file to immediately mux in without having to go through compressing anything first. I know 192 is not a lot, but there is very little dynamic range in this mix as it comes from 16mm optical (and not a master mag) so there is very little to subtract sonically.
Finally, for those who would like to see what differences there are between this mono mix and the ordinary stereo mix, I have provided a 256k mp3 with the 1980 stereo track panned to the left ear and the mono mix panned to the right. You’d be surprised at all the subtle differences! I know I was! Please note that there is a 5 second segment somewhere that Puggo spliced in from the stereo track (still waiting to find out where) Also, the drum roll for the opening fanfare is missing on the original print so it’s not here either. There is also a frame of music from the end credits missing. These last two issues are fixed in the finalized file above.
This comparison file can be downloaded here:
Catbus has also created a DTS-HD file if anyone is interested in that…?
What’s the internal temperature of a TaunTaun? Luke warm.