Sign In

Info Wanted: Editdroid and the Isolated Score Mixes

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Just asking in case anyone out there knows, were the Isolated Scores used by the EditDroid set lossless, if not were there available lossless sources, and furthermore are there any lossless sources of Isolated scores for the original trilogy?

Author
Time

They were not lossless they were on DVD's a long time ago lol, actually to me these never did sound very good either, I have a lossless version for ESB though from my Project with ABC that rocks, I actually at 1 point was tossing around doing 1 up for SW and ROTJ, who knows?

Author
Time

Yeah I have seen the Imperial Edition, which by the way is the most completely kick-ass orchestral movie experience I have ever encountered. I'm not suprised there aren't lossless or uncompressed sources for the EditDroid set. I have been working on collating lossless sound mixes for the OT and syncing them for the many great projects here, and everything except for the Isolated scores (Theatrical, 85, 93 and commentary mixes) is available in non-lossy formats. If there were ever Imperial versions done for SW and ROTJ I would be amazed, as the quality of the ESB one is mind-blowing (although ESB also has the best score IMO).

Author
Time

Not sure if you are a fan of the score from Conan The Barbarian but ABC has truly undoubtedly outdone himself on this set, he himself said that ESB work does not even compare to this, now this score sounds totally fantastic, and the new 2 disc CD Set he made for this release is amazing! his work really shines on this, crisp, clean and POWERFUL!

Author
Time

I actually have not seen Conan before, but with the previous references I have of his work and yours I am sure it is amazing. I remember seeing awhile ago that you were working on or had worked on a Conan restoration. Is your and ABC's work intertwined or coincidental?

Author
Time

Teeceezy said:

I actually have not seen Conan before, but with the previous references I have of his work and yours I am sure it is amazing. I remember seeing awhile ago that you were working on or had worked on a Conan restoration. Is your and ABC's work intertwined or coincidental?

He has just stayed in touch with me and when he saw what I we were doing with Conan he contacted me and now he is our 4th member with this project, he is great to work with, hell all my partners are great to work with, super cool and very friendly.

Author
Time

Teeceezy said:

are there any lossless sources of Isolated scores for the original trilogy?
Belubcus' ISOSCORE was reposted to usenet 233 days ago

However, in practice you must take into account the “fuckwit factor”. Just talk to Darth Mallwalker…
-Moth3r

Author
Time

Damn, I wish I'd got that awhile ago. I have tried various different usenet trials and the last one I used got finally worked, but has run out since. I might have to look into another newsserver.

Author
Time

I was reading through the Belbucus PCM thread and have to ask, is there anybody here who still has the ISOSCOREs for Empire and Jedi? I found the Star Wars one successfully, but not the ones for the two later films.

Author
Time

So there IS a lossless score only track out there? I was only able to provide Harmy with the 192kbps Editdroid track, so this would definitely be an improvement over that.

Author
Time

Belbucus' one has the silent parts filled with the 93 mix, but I imagine removing that would be easy enough. If that is the case yes, the Belbucus isolated score is uncompressed.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

And the 93 mix overlaps the fade outs of the score throughout ISOSCORE. Thinking about using the EditDroid isolated score and ISOMIX isolated score as references to match the RCA/Victor soundtrack releases to the film scores. Does anyone know of any parts of the scores, they are in the films, that are not in the RCA/Victor releases? Or any other flaws of these releases?

Author
Time

Are you talking about the 2-CD SE soundtrack releases? As far as I know sound quality on those isn't the best, but it'll probably better than using the compressed EditDroid tracks.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

For Empire, just use ABC's and DJ's fantastic Imperial Edition Isolated score. It's lossless and sounds amazing.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

The RCA/Sony 2 CD editions of Star Wars sounds okay. It's a little dynamically compressed, but it's not too bad. The width of the soundfield is different; the original album tracks and the cues that appeared on the Arista box set had more discrete mixing. I used to like the sound on the 2 CD set better, but I'm finding as I get older, I tend to prefer the original mixes, which, while not technically accurate, was what the music was recorded and mixed to sound like.

The sound quality on the 2 CD sets of Empire and Jedi are a completely different story.  They're awful, the Arista box set and the original PolyGram CDs had much superior sound.

Jedi sounds particularly bad on the RCA/Sony 2 CD set; it's completely lifeless and muddy. On the other hand, it does contain a lot more of the score than had ever been released.

The box set also had a few alternate takes from what appear on the 2 CD sets, and of course “Lapti Nek” and the album and film versions of “Ewok Celebration” from Jedi, but also the alternate “Leia Breaks the News” and the film version of the Empire end credits (bells are more prominent during Yoda's theme, Yoda's theme does not tail off over the beginning of the Imperial March).

The most confused state of affairs would be Empire, as there are a myriad of versions from the LP, Arista and Sony/RCA editions, many incorporating different takes or mixes. On the other hand, as has been pointed out, ABC and DJ have done most of the gut work already for that score, and their project could serve as a basis for a lossless sync.

“That’s impossible, even for a computer!”

“You don't do ‘Star Wars’ in Dobly.”

Author
Time

Editdroid used mostly RCA/Victor, although a few ROTJ takes did not match and the prior Fox CD box set was used instead. The film soundtrack itself was used for part of the end credits of ESB (part of the Imperial March) because none of the released CDs had the correct take.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

For anybody who's interested, I'm making an isolated score for the first movie using the 2-CD set.  I'd been thinking of doing this for a while, but now that I'm more comfortable with using Pro Tools for editing and mixing purposes, I decided to go ahead with it.

The 2-CD release is the only complete presentation of the score and therefore must be used for any project of this type, but unfortunately it sounds shrill and harsh, due to the broadly excessive elevation of the high frequencies compared to how the music actually sounds in the movie.  To combat this, I spent some time dialing in an EQ curve that would more closely match it to the 1993 mix, which comes from the original 70mm version and should be considered the most accurate tonal reference.  The result is hardly exact, of course, considering how different the two sources are to begin with, but I was surprised by how close the final result actually comes.  (The CD is also somewhat peak-limited and shows occasional distortion, but there isn't anything I can do about that.)

Before starting I read a lot about different equalizers in an attempt to find that mythical perfect tool that would give the best sound and turn all my work to gold, but eventually realized there was nothing any of them could do that the default parametric EQ in Pro Tools couldn't match, and with considerably greater flexibility and ease of use.  After all it isn't the tools that matter so much as the technique, and what is appropriate for the task at hand.  Now obviously if I had a $10,000 analogue unit like Steve Hoffman, I'd be using that instead of any digital imitation, but all that really matters is that the process is transparent and doesn't colour the sound for the worse.  At any rate I'm following the advice of he and other respected audio engineers in using equalization only for cutting frequencies away from a sound—think of it as 'sculpting', if you like—and not for boosting.

Conversion of the audio from 16/44.1 to 24/48 was performed with the iZotope SRC before importing, and Pro Tools handles its internal calculations at 32-bit floating point resolution.  The final result will be converted back to 16 bits with iZotope's MBit+ dither.  Since the source is a CD, there isn't actually any more detail than this to begin with; processing at higher resolution simply gives greater precision in rendering, and dithering allows for high quality to be retained when reducing bit depth.

The broad nature of the treble reduction means that the tape hiss is unavoidably lowered along with it, so to compensate I used a signal generator (along with another EQ) to add low level white noise back into the music, in order to maintain the proper analogue vibe.  (This can be considered the aural equivalent of the simulated film grain added to the effects shots in the Despecialized Edition to replicate the look of the optical compositing.)  A noise gate allows the hiss to trigger with the start of each track and fade away at the end.  Since the entire set shows equal shrillness, the same EQ settings should work well for every cue.

In synching up the tracks, I was surprised by how many edits there are in the music that I'd never noticed while watching the movie.  Matching them requires patience and attention to detail, but I haven't attempted to replicate every cut exactly.  A film soundtrack can sometimes get away with clunky editing, since the dialogue and sound effects can be used to obscure the transitions, but in a music-only presentation I think it important that the edits make sense from a listening perspective.  Therefore I am attempting to allow each track to sound continuous and not 'cut up', where possible.  Occasionally the synch may be off by a small amount, but hopefully this will be unnoticeable.

Now that I've got the music sounding just the way it should (within the limitations of the admittedly flawed source, that is), finishing is just a matter of synching and editing the remaining tracks.  Since I've got my finals coming, this will probably take me longer than it otherwise would, but I'll have it ready as soon as I can.  For now, here's a preview in the form of a comparison between three versions of the main title, as heard in the 70mm mix, the harsh and unpleasant CD, and my EQ'd version.  All three have been level-matched to remove any bias based on their perceived loudness; the file is an mp3 so that the download size isn't too large, but encoded with maximum bitrate/quality settings.  The actual release will of course be lossless.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/ong3z9

Author
Time
 (Edited)

That sounds really great. When you are done, would it be possible to release general EQ settings (like for VLC) that we could use to listen to the official cd soundtrack?

Author
Time
 (Edited)

My settings are specific to the Pro Tools EQ3 7-band parametric equalizer plugin, and different equalizers each seem to measure their adjustments somewhat differently, so I'm not sure how well it would translate, particularly since a parametric works in quite a different way than a graphic equalizer.  Much is dependent on the 'Q' setting, which is the width of the frequency range being affected, and how the bands may overlap and interact with each other.  I'm sure it's possible to come fairly close to what I did, though, so I'll look into that.  But it might turn out to be easier just to put out a 44.1 khz version in addition to the isolated score.

Last night I found that my EQ didn't quite work for the sunset cue as well as it does for other tracks, for in comparison to the film version the strings seem a bit too muted and not sweet enough, while the bass (which unlike the higher frequencies has been left untouched) takes on a bit too much prominence.  So I'm going to come up with another setting specifically to match that cue to the movie, and then I'll have both to choose from for the rest, depending which sounds best on each track.  The main title was so shrill on the CD that I had to use fairly extreme settings for it to sound right, but other cues may benefit from a more balanced approach.

For the distortion that sometimes shows up, I don't think this is caused by clipping.  The dynamic compression they used is a form of peak-limiting which ensures that the waveform rarely if ever reaches digital maximum, usually stopping a few tenths of a dB under that.  Also, the distortion can sometimes be heard even when the level is somewhat lower, so I suspect that it either has to do with flaws of the source tape or the process used to transfer it.  The EQ change seems to make it slightly less noticeable, but it's definitely still there.  I may investigate possible methods of reducing it further, but I doubt it can really be fixed completely.

Author
Time

Hello.  I just happened to come across this thread.  Years ago I made my own laserdisc transfers of the trilogy and created isolated music tracks for them which ended up being called the ISOMIX discs.  I've been updating them periodically since then, and they now match Harmy's latest De-specialized versions.  I have 4 different tracks:

1) Star Wars - Isolated Music - Matches film and includes deleted Music from Trash Compactor scene

2) The Empire Strikes Back - (mostly) Matches film with extra music.  For example, it has the unused music for the Luke/Darth Vader lightsaber duel.  The original Isomix disc did not.  It doesn't match the film in instances like the scene where Boba Fett escapes with Han.  In the original mix, the music was edited to end as the ship flew away, which is how I edited it in the original ISOMIX release.  In the updated version, it plays as originally scored - continuously into the second Luke/Vader lightsaber battle.

3) TESB - Full Mix with extra cues. - This uses the THX laserdisc audio (digitally captured) and mixes in the unused music cues into the full mix. Examples - the entire opening introducing Han and Chewie, the Luke/Vader fight, the introduction of Yoda, etc.

4) ROTJ - Isolated Music - Matches the film as much as possible, with some extra cues, like the scene where Ben fills in the backstory on Anakin while in Dagobah.  I've heard another isolated score track, (I think it's Editdroid, but I'm not certain) that used unreleased music during the Jabba scenes.  Mine is edited to match the movie as closely as possible.  Recent updates also include a version of Lapti-Nek that's much closer to the theatrical version and the Sail Barge music taken from the 2004 Dvds.  (These were ripped from the rear channels, so they're pretty heavily futzed.)

If there's interest, I can bounce down uncompressed 48k wav files some time this weekend.  I'd appreciate help on how to share files of this size, though.  

 

 

Author
Time

I would love to get those :) I would suggest converting them to FLAC though, which offers lossless compression to make sharing easier. And for that, just get a free Dropbox account until enough people have them to make torrents or something.

Author
Time

Thanks for the suggestion!  I'll send you a pm when it's ready.  Hopefully this weekend.

 

 

Author
Time
 (Edited)

My isolated score for SW is now completely finished and has been uploaded.  I'm not sure what the forum rules have to say about publicly posting download links for such a thing, given that the music comes from a retail CD release that can be easily obtained, so I'll err on the side of caution until I've heard that it's okay to do so.  If it matters, in addition to the synch and edit work, the extensive EQ applied to the tracks has significantly altered the tonal balance of the music from how it is on the official release, making it sound much more like it does in the actual movie.  So the final result has relatively little resemblance to what is commercially available.

In addition to the isolated score, I also made unedited versions of the equalized tracks so that the music can be listened to this way on its own without the video.  These were processed at 24-bit, 88.2 khz before converting back to 16/44.1, which theoretically gives even greater accuracy in rendering (especially in the high frequencies, which have undergone the most alteration).  Since I was dealing with previously mastered material, I decided to use a standard triangular dither instead of any noise-shaped variety, to keep things simpler.  The iZotope resampler was used in all cases.

I have to say I'm rather pleased with how this has turned out, for though the flaws of the source cannot be fully overcome, the EQ change has extracted a much improved sound quality from these CD's.  When listening to them, it is as though a veil has been lifted and something closer to what Eric Tomlinson actually recorded is allowed to come through.  On the isolated score, the level has been lowered by 6 dB to match what is actually heard in the film, so there will be no significant volume difference when switching tracks on a custom DVD or Bluray; while the other version was lowered only slightly to prevent possible clipping.  On both, the cantina band tracks are further reduced to a level appropriate for background music, rather than blasting away at high volume as they do on the CD; and I also gave them some reverb in order to present a sense of ambience, avoiding the overly dry sound of the direct recordings.

Since there are other isolated scores out there, I should say that my version is not meant to be in competition with any of them—it's just my take on what the music of Star Wars is supposed to sound like.  It is as much for my sake as anybody else, and was made in part to practice my audio editing skills with material I enjoy listening to.  But if other people obtain my work and like the way it sounds, then I'm very glad to have made that possible.  ;)

Author
Time

I would love to check this out!