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Preserving DTS LaserDisc tracks, specifically Jurassic Park

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As a big fan of the movie, I was disappointed to not see the original 5.1 mix preserved, but instead we were given only a new 7.1 option.  While this mix is good, it's definitely very different.  Some sound effects have been put in different places (see the raptor paddock scene) and a weird echo added to dialogue in many spots.

Either way, I love the sound of the DTS LaserDisc, and would like to eventually sync it with the Blu-ray image, which was not perfect but better than any other release.  Of course, I don't have the sorts of equipment to do such a thing but I would love to at least try and preserve the LD track, but I'm not sure entirely what sort of sound card I'd need to do it.  Preferably, I'd like to keep it in the digital domain so there is no sort of quality loss.  It is my understanding that the track is encoded on a LD at 1200kbps, disguised as 44.1khz LPCM.  

Of course, if I could master this, I'd love to do it for several other titles with exceptionally good DTS LD tracks (Titanic, Apollo 13, GoldenEye).

Let the discussion begin!

 

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As soon as I build my new PC, this project was something I had wanted to do with Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies. But then my LD player went on the fritz too...

I've only heard one DTS LD, but boy was it something! (DTS of The Shadow) The sound is quite good, and these are all supposedly original theatrical mixes.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

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I was wondering how a audio track from a LD can be extracted without quality loss? As I believe it is analog.

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PCM, DTS, and AC3 tracks on Laserdiscs are all digital signals, modulated into an analog one (or something like that). Most LD players require an external demodulator to produce a standard digital signal which can then be fed to a decoder - or the SPDIF-in of a computer.

There are pitfalls though - I've never been able to get low enough access to the audio hardware to record a perfect digital rip on Windows 7, for example, and even on XP you may have a soundcard which ruins the data before you can get to it. Then there are random dropouts which might mean it takes 2 or 3 tries to get a complete rip.

DE

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PCM and DTS tracks do not require a demodulator. (Nearly all 1990's LD players have optical or coaxial audio outputs.) Only AC3 needs the demodulator as it's stored on one of the analog channels.

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Goldeneye and Tomorrow never dies would be welcome preservation the new dts mixes on the ultimate edition DVD's are not the theatrical mixes obviously.

Unless they lied about doing brand new mixes at DTS digital.

Since i cannot compare the audio of both would be interesting if someone did.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies both have excellent DTS tracks on the LDs, and yes, a preservation of them would be worthwhile.  Ideally, I'd love to make preservations of both Bond titles, Jurassic Park, and Titanic.  Anyone yet know how to rip these easily into a workable format?  An analog method would be easy by outputting analog 6 channel from my processor, but I'd rather do this digitally as to not lose any inherent quality.

 

"Alright twinkle-toes, what's your exit strategy?"

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skyjedi2005 said:

Goldeneye and Tomorrow never dies would be welcome preservation the new dts mixes on the ultimate edition DVD's are not the theatrical mixes obviously.

What about the old Special Edition (of Goldeneye)? I've been thinking about picking that up, what with all the cropping going on in the UE, especially since I can't find a torrent of it anywhere >_<

I found one for the R2, but there's no hardburned subtitles, and the soft ones are really, really awful:

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I don't think the 5.1 on the SE discs were remixed, but I've only seen the Goldeneye SE disc years ago. Image is indeed uncropped, but the color palette leaves something to be desired.

I actually like the UE tighter framing for most of the shots because it makes things seem tense and more focused.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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From what I've seen I kind of prefer the SE colors. The UE is kind of soft and warm.

But then, I never saw the movie in theatres, so I wouldn't know. All I know is it's weird that they would crop it in the first place.

And the "accidentally released the pan-and-scan version" theory, I don't know how well that holds up...I was watching it in PowerDVD with the pan-and-scan turned on, and while it's true that the intro credits did fit perfectly onto a 4:3 screen, some of the subtitles elsewhere went off the edges of the frame...

But then I did read somewhere recently that a lot of 4:3 stuff was squished a bit horizontally to be able to fit more. But then why would they crop off the top and the bottom? Usually fullscreen stuff tries to get as much vertical picture as possible, so you see more.

I should probably not post so early in the morning, I know I'm just rambling now =)

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The new transfer has a colder look with much better coloring. It looks like how I always envision the film, and the SE DVD just looks more unfinished.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com

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borisanddoris said:

As a big fan of the movie, I was disappointed to not see the original 5.1 mix preserved, but instead we were given only a new 7.1 option.  While this mix is good, it's definitely very different.  Some sound effects have been put in different places (see the raptor paddock scene) and a weird echo added to dialogue in many spots.

Either way, I love the sound of the DTS LaserDisc, and would like to eventually sync it with the Blu-ray image, which was not perfect but better than any other release.  Of course, I don't have the sorts of equipment to do such a thing but I would love to at least try and preserve the LD track, but I'm not sure entirely what sort of sound card I'd need to do it.  Preferably, I'd like to keep it in the digital domain so there is no sort of quality loss.  It is my understanding that the track is encoded on a LD at 1200kbps, disguised as 44.1khz LPCM.  

Of course, if I could master this, I'd love to do it for several other titles with exceptionally good DTS LD tracks (Titanic, Apollo 13, GoldenEye).

Let the discussion begin!

 

I created a forum account because I am embarking on the same project!  The Blu-ray DTS track sounded way too weird, especially after seeing JP in 35mm/DTS as a midnight movie over the summer.  I haven't played my LD/DTS version of JP in a while, but in comparison to the Blu-ray, it sounded like certain sounds had their volume increased for placement in a 7.1 field -- I downmix 7.1 to 5.1 because I don't have a room large enough for 7.1, so this resulted in sounds that were too loud to be realistic.  It's disappointing that the original DTS mix wasn't included.

 

I've also read that DTS is disguised as PCM, but I'm currently revisiting the standards.  I'm not sure if this will be as easy as capturing the PCM stream through SPDIF and then transcoding to DTS, but after reading "The Inconvenient Truth about SPDIF Input!" on avsforum, I'm almost certain that it can't be that easy.

 

I had also thought about recording each channel, but was also concerned about bit-perfection.

 

On the film-tech forum, there are threads about projectionists that kept the DTS discs that are supposed to go back with the film, I wonder if theater DTS is decoded the same way as DTS for the consumer market.  If it is, then this project can be as easy as finding a Jurassic Park DTS CD-ROM.

 

Can't wait for updates to this thread!  I'll be sure to post my findings when I begin my recording tests.

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As suspected, it's not as easy as recording the encoded DTS stream from SPDIF as PCM.

At this point, I've recorded the DTS track in various resolutions and rates and tried running the resulting PCM/WAV files through BeSplit 0.9b8.  With each file, BeSplit hangs when trying to handle as DTS.

I've also tried playing the encoded stream directly to my receiver, even starting a DTS encoded stream for the header input and then using a Toslink switch to toggle to the already playing PCM/WAV with DTS "noise."  Nothing.

After some more digging, I've found a single post in a thread on the doom9 forum which hints that only certain sound cards can handle a DTS input stream.  My MacBook's SPDIF-in can't do this and my Asus Xonar Essence STX most likely can't either, but I do have an Auzentech card lying around somewhere, so I will try this card sometime soon.  If that doesn't work, I'll buy the Prodigy 7.1 HiFi, noted in the post:

 

i am able to record DTS using a Prodigy 7.1 HiFi soundcard with a Toslink connected directly from laserdisc player (have an Audigy2ZS but it doesn't have a digital input). Under the card's Config, selected EXT and it automatically detected the Toslink connection. Set to 44100

Recorded a 16-bit 44100 stereo wav in Cool Edit Pro 2.1, and it recorded great. Saved as a Windows PCM Wave, ran the wave through BeSliced using BeSplit 0.9 beta 8 and it created a .dts file that worked - older builds didn't.

http://besweet.notrace.dk/BeSplitv0.9b8.zip

Used eac3to to extract wavs, used Cool Edit Pro to cut out silence, etc. down to the millisecond and resample all wavs to 48000, then DTS Suite to make DTS-HD MA file (didn't want to go from lossy to lossy, so I have "lossless" of "lossy")

Last edited by sierranevcellie; 19th January 2010 at 20:41.

 

 

 

 

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Very interesting.

Ripping AC3 or DTS off Laserdisc is something I've always wanted to try but never got around to attempting. From what I've heard, the problems stem from the tendency of some sound cards to resample the SPDIF input while recording, which of course destroys any encoded data.

However, some members (e.g. Karyudo, Darth Editous and Adywan) have successfully accomplished this.

Please keep us updated with your progress, it will be a useful for others who want to attempt this in the future. 

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Moth3r said:

Very interesting.

Ripping AC3 or DTS off Laserdisc is something I've always wanted to try but never got around to attempting. From what I've heard, the problems stem from the tendency of some sound cards to resample the SPDIF input while recording, which of course destroys any encoded data.

However, some members (e.g. Karyudo, Darth Editous and Adywan) have successfully accomplished this.

Please keep us updated with your progress, it will be a useful for others who want to attempt this in the future.

PCM Stereo recorded out of the box, but I'm sure you're correct in that the sound card resamples the SPDIF input. Dolby Digital might be easier to capture since it is more widely used than DTS and programmers tend to know and support it [better]. I did not try capturing an AC3 stream, but others claim that it isn't affected by resampling. Here's a post from techarena.in, which shows it as being just a little bit of work.

 

10-03-2009

RoninBlade 

Re: Need to decode AC3/DTS using Xonar?

You can try this:


>>>If the AC3 source is from something with an RF AC3 output (like a LaserDisc player), you will need an RF demodulator to convert the RF-modulated AC3 to SPDIF coax or optical (TosLink). 

The least expensive one available is the Yamaha APD-1


>>>Now, you need to capture the SPDIF stream into the computer.

There are a few relatively inexpensive sound cards that can do this.

After you install one of the soundcards, you will run a professional sound editor (CoolEdit Pro or Sound Forge) and set the input the the SPDIF connector on the sound card, and begin recording.

However, the sound editor application knows NOTHING about IEC61937 non-PCM datastreams, and will think that what you've captured is PCM audio. When you play it back, it will sound like white noise.


>>>Save that white noise as a .wav file, and run BeSplit on it with a type of ddwav. BeSplit will un-encapsulate the SPDIF framing from the file and will leave you with an .ac3 file.


That will get your AC3 audio captured digitally into the computer.

 

 


I do have quite a few Dolby Digital LaserDiscs and a Lexicon RF Demodulator, but output is coaxial and I'd need to route it through my video processor to convert the signal to optical, since I don't have a coaxial input on my recording device.

Seeking out a capable sound card is proving to be harder than expected. Sound card manufacturers are under pressure from the recording industry to exclude on-board Dolby/DTS decoding, so not many cards were capable to begin with and acquiring one of the capable cards means shelling out more money than I can afford to spend :( Really wish the JP Blu-ray came out earlier, as I had a motherboard with onboard audio that supported Dolby and DTS inputs, but it died over the summer after 6 years of service.

My weekend comes in the middle of the week, so I'll be able to search for the old, possibly capable sound card that I had and run a few tests with it soon.

It's my understanding that the LaserDisc DTS tracks were direct duplicates of the mixes used in theaters. I've never done an A/B comparison between the Jurassic Park DTS LaserDisc and the (fixed) DTS DVD, but I wonder if they are the same mix. If they are, then that makes my work for this project irrelevant as the only DTS LD titles I have are the original Jurassic Park and Scream 2 (and Fluke, but that doesn't count, since it's DTS Stereo and the only reason I picked it up was because it was $1 and had a DTS logo on it). I do not recall being disappointed with the DTS DVD version of Jurassic Park, but I'm confident that the LaserDisc mix is the theatrical mix.

...'til next time...

 

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Did you know there is an R8 DVD from China which has a different DTS track to the others?

I read about it and apparently its comparable to the Japanese Superbit DVD.  Has anyone got this and know how it compares?

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NeonBible said:

Did you know there is an R8 DVD from China which has a different DTS track to the others?

I read about it and apparently its comparable to the Japanese Superbit DVD.  Has anyone got this and know how it compares?

I've read about the R8 and Superbit releases.  Some say that the R8's are actually better than the Superbits.  I haven't come across them though.

 

Unfortunately, I haven't made any progress in ripping DTS.  My old sound card has new drivers that seem to have removed the SPDIF input entirely :(  My only choice is to find one of those sound cards that have drivers to allow it.

If anyone in the Chicago area has one of the aforementioned sound cards and wants to arrange a meet-up ripping session, that would be cool.

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Correction, I meant the R6 DVD not R8. I also read that the Chinese DVD has a mix closer to the theatrical soundtrack than the Superbit (which have more prominent surround effects).  Still, I'm sure the LD track is a lot truer.

ElDonante, are you not able to install the older drivers?

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The older drivers were for Windows XP and I've since moved to Windows 7.  The card hardly worked in Linux, but that was was two years ago.  Still, I'd prefer to go with a known-working card so that I'm not always running the same tests to figure out if the card's rate resampling has ill effects on the DTS stream.

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Maybe a solution could be to record the digital output from the laserdisc player with a CD-recorder... it must be a perfect 1:1 digital copy!

Then put the recorded CD into your PC disc drive and take the DTS file.

The only thing to do is to transform it to be playable by a DVD player (possibly only adding "zeros" to fill the empty space and reach the DVD datarate of 1536kbps from the LD datarate of 1411kbps)

There is no problem about the fact the CD could hold only 74 minutes, as each side of a laserdisc is about 60 minutes long... the only bad thing is that you have to record 2 or 3 CDs for each movie - and recordable audio CD aren't cheap (at least here)...

If someone is able to convert the file and interested in the project, I'll record one CD and post the file on the net (hoping my old, rarely used CD recorder still works...)

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It should work if there's no funny business happening at the CD recorder's spdif-in port.  There can't be any resampling at the input.  I do believe resampling has to occur afterward, though.  I read that you have to convert to 48khz, precisely remove all silence, and then place in a DTS container.  There's a chance it might just work, though, but you'd need to start the recording at the exact time that DTS encoding is discovered.

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Ok, this is how you do it, I just made an account so I can tell you guys how.

I've done this before so I know it works, I've got a Pioneer CLD-D606 with an Optical AC-3 audio output.

You buy yourself a MiniDisc player with a 3.5mm Optical input (You will need an adapter to go from Optical SP-DIF to 3.5mm Optical input Plug that into your MiniDisc player and load the Minidisc up with a 1GB MD disc, then setup your Minidisc player to save in WAV format.Rinse and repeat until the 1GB Minidisc is full, then copy the uncompressed PCM .WAV file off of the MiniDisc player onto your PC and edit it and sync it up to your bluray rip copy.

I have apsolutley no idea if it will work with DTS 5.1 audio, all I know is that once I loaded up a Dolby Digital copy of Terminator 2 on LD and got audio recording directly to my MD recorder in WAV. which is Stereo.

It sounded freakin great through the headphones too by the way. which were plugged into the MD player's audio output.</p></p>

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Ok, this is how you do it, I just made an account so I can tell you guys how. I've done this before so I know it works, I've got a Pioneer CLD-D606 with an Optical AC-3 audio output.

You buy yourself a MiniDisc player with a 3.5mm Optical input (You will need an adapter to go from Optical SP-DIF to 3.5mm Optical input.

Plug that into your MiniDisc player and load the Minidisc up with a 1GB MD disc, then setup your Minidisc player to save in WAV format.

Rinse and repeat until the 1GB Minidisc is full, then copy the uncompressed PCM .WAV file off of the MiniDisc player onto your PC and edit it and sync it up to your bluray rip copy.

I have apsolutley no idea if it will work with DTS 5.1 audio, all I know is that once I loaded up a Dolby Digital copy of Terminator 2 on LD and got audio recording directly to my MD recorder in WAV. which is Stereo.

It sounded freakin great through the headphones too by the way. which were plugged into the MD player's audio output.

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Freax said:

Ok, this is how you do it, I just made an account so I can tell you guys how.

I've done this before so I know it works, I've got a Pioneer CLD-D606 with an Optical AC-3 audio output.

You buy yourself a MiniDisc player with a 3.5mm Optical input (You will need an adapter to go from Optical SP-DIF to 3.5mm Optical input Plug that into your MiniDisc player and load the Minidisc up with a 1GB MD disc, then setup your Minidisc player to save in WAV format.Rinse and repeat until the 1GB Minidisc is full, then copy the uncompressed PCM .WAV file off of the MiniDisc player onto your PC and edit it and sync it up to your bluray rip copy.

I have apsolutley no idea if it will work with DTS 5.1 audio, all I know is that once I loaded up a Dolby Digital copy of Terminator 2 on LD and got audio recording directly to my MD recorder in WAV. which is Stereo.

It sounded freakin great through the headphones too by the way. which were plugged into the MD player's audio output.

 

 

This will work for a PCM stereo track, however Dolby Digital is output via coax only and requires a separate AC3 RF Demodulator.  It may work for DTS, again, if there's no shifting of the audio resolution at the MD's optical input.

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Would it lose much information to do this via analog outputs? I know it wouldn't be a digital copy, but this is how some people have to listen to/convert their SACDs.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.

“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford

My review blog: thehificelluloidmonster.wordpress.com