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Info: The "OFFICIAL" audio mixes of the Original Trilogy - Help needed.

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 (Edited)

I have been collecting information on all the DVD transfers and projects currently available and at the same time trying to make sense of all the LaserDiscs/VHS tapes used to make those transfers. In doing this, I have also become very aware of and interested in the various Official audio mixes used over the years for the Original Trilogy.

Can anyone point me towards any information about these different mixes, particularly for Empire and Jedi (where I can find little information)

Meanwhile, I have done my own list based on the information I currently have along with current known sources and captures of the mixes.

I am looking to have this list as correct as possible and will take any ideas or critisism on board.

Star Wars

(1) 1977 35mm two-track Dolby Stereo (as available up to 1985 CAV LaserDisc - captured)
(2) 1977 70mm Six-Track Dolby Stereo (never available but re-created by the EditDroid team)
(3) 1977 35mm mono. (available from UK ITV VHS tape or 1977 bootleg tape)
(4) 1985 two-track Dolby Stereo (as available on 1992 Pan/Scan LaserDisc)
(5) 1993 two-track Dolby Stereo (as available on Definitive Collection onwards)
(6) 1997 Special Edition (as available on SE LaserDisc)
(7) 2004 Special Special Edition (as available on 2004 DVD)

The Empire Strikes Back

(1) 1980 35mm two-track Dolby Stereo (as available up to 1985 CAV LaserDisc but no capture known - yet)
(2) 1980 70mm Six-Track Dolby Stereo (Never available on LaserDisc or tape)
(3) 1985 two-track Dolby Stereo (as available on 1992 Pan/Scan LaserDisc)
(4) 1993 two-track Dolby Stereo (as available on Definitive Collection onwards)
(5) 1997 Special Edition (as available on SE LaserDisc)
(6) 2004 Special Special Edition (as available on 2004 DVD)

Return of the Jedi (with many assumptions)

(1) 1983 35mm two-track Dolby Stereo (never available on LaserDisc or tape)*
(2) 1983 70mm Six-Track Dolby Stereo (Never available on LaserDisc or tape)*
(3) 1986 two-track Dolby Stereo (as available on 1992 Pan/Scan LaserDisc)**
(4) 1993 two-track Dolby Stereo (as available on Definitive Collection onwards)
(5) 1997 Special Edition (as available on SE LaserDisc)
(6) 2004 Special Special Edition (as available on 2004 DVD)

*assuming that Jedi had the same theatrical release versions as Star Wars and Empire.

**assuming that Jedi also had the new 1985 mix as per Star Wars and Empire prior to the first release on LaserDisc and tape in 1986.

All help is appreciated.

4 - 5 - 3 - 1 - 6 - 2

Discuss..........

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Does anyone have any input on this??

4 - 5 - 3 - 1 - 6 - 2

Discuss..........

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One last chance............

4 - 5 - 3 - 1 - 6 - 2

Discuss..........

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I know nothing (well, very little) about the audio mixes. I suspect you should be directly PM'ing someone like Niel S. Bulk, who seemed to know more than anyone should really admit to knowing about the audio in these films!
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Hi everyone

When I was browsing this forum I stumpled apon this thred about the different audio mixes.
As some of you might know from another thred, I am a blind star wars fan, and as I cant wach the action on screen, I am paying extra attention to the sound-mix. I indeed find it very intresting comparing the ones that do exist. has anyone inhere ever thaught about creating a dvd with all of the diffrent mixes from a new hope? It aught to be possible, and would be nice to have in my sw-dvd-collection. Any more info about the different audio mixes would also be apprishiated. Personally I found this very informative site:
http://home.earthlink.net/~treadwell_jay/starwars/soundfaq.htm

BTW, This thred says that the original mono mix is avaleble from two sourses, namely from an UK ITV-tape and also from a bootlec.
Does anyone know what the sound quality is like on these sorces?
If it's not that great, I could possibly help out getting another coppy of the mono-mix, as this version of Star wars was also shown overhere in Denmark in the late 80'es, and I've got most of it in a rather good quality on VHS.

I do hope to get this discussion going!

Kind regards from Allan
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Speaking on behalf of those who are trying to re-create a "perfect" mono mix, any new recordings would be appreciated to help in the repair process.

The quality of the current available audio is good but not brilliant.

I too would like a DVD with all the available mixes on. The upcoming Lancer project has most of them but until then I am happy with my Mother ANH with the 1995 THX VHS stereo with the mono track added on.

Meanwhile, check out the mono mix diferences here.

4 - 5 - 3 - 1 - 6 - 2

Discuss..........

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Thanks for that link russs! Now if only the same guy would do the same thing across all the pre-SE mixes...
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Hi Russ

I too want to say thanks for that link. very informative.
Unfortunatlly though, I was unable to play the sambles from the diffrent mixes. Am I the only one who am having this problem? Maybe it's my screen-reader. It does not seem to regognize the sambles as buttons you can push.

Furthermore, Let me know if anyone should be intrested in another recording of the mono-mix. I'll only be to happy to help out.
It would also be great, if I somehow could have a listen to the two sources which are avalble at the moment - just to compare them to my own coppy.

Kind regards from allan
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Allan, can you turn on "Private message"? Or give your email?
(in your profile switch "Allow Private Messages" to "on").
Fez: I am so excited about Star Whores.
Hyde: Fezzy, man, it's Star Wars.
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hi

Private messages have now been turned on.

Kind regards from allan
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Originally posted by: mallanikkelsen
Furthermore, Let me know if anyone should be intrested in another recording of the mono-mix. I'll only be to happy to help out.
It would also be great, if I somehow could have a listen to the two sources which are avalble at the moment - just to compare them to my own coppy.
Allan,

I think the person doing the mono mix restoration would be interested in another recording, especially if your tape has the start and end intact. It would also be useful if the Danish broadcast had the ad breaks at different times to the UK broadcast. I'll send him a note to check in on this thread.

Here is a sample for you to assess the quality of my source (this is before any processing or equalisation):
http://www.geocities.com/m00002001/sample.mp3

As far as I know, the bootleg telecine copies are much lower in quality.

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Hi Moth3r

thanks for the samble.
Well, the quality on your ITV-source is quite good, I think - I guess it sound alot like the version I can offer.

Unfortunatlly, my mono-source is not complete either, which means that some of the start and end-credits are missing too. However, our national broadcaster DR1 - does not allow add-brakes during the showing of a movie, so I deffenatlly would be able to help out with missing chunks that acurs on the UK-version because of add-brakes.

Cheers from allan
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Originally posted by: russs15

Star Wars

(1) 1977 35mm two-track Dolby Stereo (as available up to 1985 CAV LaserDisc - captured)
(2) 1977 70mm Six-Track Dolby Stereo (never available but re-created by the EditDroid team)
(3) 1977 35mm mono. (available from UK ITV VHS tape or 1977 bootleg tape)
(4) 1985 two-track Dolby Stereo (as available on 1992 Pan/Scan LaserDisc)
(5) 1993 two-track Dolby Stereo (as available on Definitive Collection onwards)
(6) 1997 Special Edition (as available on SE LaserDisc)
(7) 2004 Special Special Edition (as available on 2004 DVD)

Some corrections....

(1) 1977 35mm two-track Dolby Stereo (CAV analog pan and scan LD is the only way to get this without time compression. All early video releases used this track)
(2) 1977 70mm Six-Track Dolby Stereo (the 1993 is believed to have been sourced primarily from this. The EditDroid disc used Ben Burtt's 1985 re-mix, believing it to be the original mix)
(4) 1985 two-track Dolby Stereo (Released first on VHS and later on LD. In the US this was on the 1989 widescreen LD and the digital pan and scan time compressed LD from 1992)
(7) 2004 Special Special Edition (There is nothing special or even "Special Special" about this waste of time)

Neil

Well at least the reversed surround channels have been addressed.

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Neil, which is in your opinion the best mix and why?
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There is also the early Japanese CLV pan and scan version that has the 35mm Dolby stereo track non-time compressed. Why it has subtitles for "close the blast doors!" keeps me up at night.
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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My guess is it was a deliberate creative decision.
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Originally posted by: THX
Neil, which is in your opinion the best mix and why?


Yes I'd also like to hear Neil's opinion.

Also, if the 1993 LD's were the ONLY mix that was based of the original 6 track dolby surround, then what format is it in? Dolby Digital 5.1? Dolby Surround? 4.0, 2.0?

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Quoting Neil from a thread about the mono mix:
Originally posted by: Neil S. Bulk
It's probably the best mix of the movie. Everything in it just sounds so right, to the point that I start saying to myself, "This is how it should have been all along". It's the most complete sounding version of the movie, and since it's all from 1977, nothing stands out as new, the way things in the 1993, 1997 and especially that horrendous 2004 mix do. I like the 1977 and 1985 Dolby mixes but even they don't seem to be as well done as the mono track.
In answer to your other question, the 1993 laserdiscs have 2-channel Dolby Surround in PCM format.

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(2) 1977 70mm Six-Track Dolby Stereo (never available but re-created by the EditDroid team)


How was it re-created if it was never available?
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Originally posted by: Neil S. Bulk
(2) 1977 70mm Six-Track Dolby Stereo (the 1993 is believed to have been sourced primarily from this. The EditDroid disc used Ben Burtt's 1985 re-mix, believing it to be the original mix)


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was the edit droid mix in 2.0 or 4.1 (like the 6-track would of been...rather 4.2)?
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The editdroid dvd (which I just obtained) uses the '85 stereo dolby track in 2.0 ac3, I believe . . .

That's my personal favourite mix since I was used to it for years on VHS, and is part of why I wanted to get the editdroid.

Heh. I was actually thinking of starting a thread like this myself, but I was beaten to it. lol

There are a lot of other subtle differences between the mixes that I'm not sure I've seen anyone point out yet, particularly in the beginning of the movie:

As the Star Destroyer flies about halfway overhead there is a bright flash of light that on the old stereo is not accompanied by any sort of explosive sound effect. On the '93 THX one was added; the '97 special edition supercedes it with a longer, higher-pitched and more "stereo-ized" explosion sound. I don't know if the mono had any sound there or not, as I've never had an opportunity to hear the mono. I would guess it does, since it has other sounds that the early stereo does not. It makes sense to have a sound to accompany the flash, but I kind of like it without.

The Star Destroyer's flight seems to have more bass rumble on the '93 than on the '85, though it is not intrusive. (The 2004 dvd adds an absurd amount of bass here, as well as throughout the entire film, making many sounds come out overworked and wrong.)

The music is heard far more prominently in the '97 special edition mix than in any others. I like it this way.

The Imperial turbolaser blasts sound less 'zingy' in the special edition. Picturewise the blasts also appear narrower in the opening shot, interestingly. (In the '04 they are white! instead of green.)

The '93 adds a loud turbolaser effect when the Tantive is hit. This does not appear on any other mix I am aware of. Not sure of the mono, again.

More explosive sounds are heard aboard the Tantive after it is hit in the special edition, and at different volume levels. More sound effects of the ship being secured in the hangar (as the Rebel troops look around at the ceiling) are heard.

The '85 mix does not feature the low rumbling sound right before the Imperials start to blast their way through the wall. It is present on the '93 and in the special edition; anyone know if it's on the mono? This effect lets you know something is about to happen; its absence may actually make for greater tension, since you don't know what's going to happen next. The music is heard better without it for that few seconds as well (the way it's composed leads me to believe a few seconds of near-silence was what Williams was writing for in the sound mix).

The explosion of the wall is very forceful on the '85 mix and even more so in the special edition. The '93 THX adds more bass but the overall force and power of the sound effect is reduced, strangely. (The '04, again, adds too much bass, and similarly it is actually a less powerful effect.)

The rhythm of the laser battle in the corridor is completely botched in the '04. I can't even make out what they did to it, it's so bad.


Well, that's the scene I've analyzed most exhaustively on the various mixes. Perhaps I will return to talk about other scenes later on. Heh.
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Thanks, h_h, I always enjoy this kind of close analysis.
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Heh. I always long to talk about this stuff but no one I know in person is ever interested . . . even my girlfriend likes the OOT plenty but not nearly on that level of obsessiveness, so I have to hold back. lol

It's fascinating, isn't it? All the stuff that's been changed, subtly and otherwise, over the years. There's even a lot more variation than I was ever aware of until recently. I'm glad I found this site.
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Do you have the WookieeGroomer set?