As I'm going to record the 1997 SE AC3 soundtrack from my laserdisc trilogy, I noted that, on the analog channel a mono soundtrack is present.
There are so many discussion about OT soundtracks, but so few about 1997 SE... I wonder if it's only a mono version of the stereo/Dolby Surround track, or a proper *different* mono soundtrack, originally especially mixed for those theaters without surround systems - I feel not the case, as in 1997 there were few theaters without surround sound... well, if the latter is true, it will worth a preservation!
I would be amazed if there had been a special mono mix for the SE. I thought that the only reason a mono presentation is on the disc at all is due to the AC3 track occupying the right channel on the disc?
It's worth checking out but, as you suspect, its probably either just the left track from the stereo mix, or a simple down-mix to mono. Either way, I doubt it has a lot of significance as, besides discreet channel mapping, all the '97 mixes (or the English ones, at least) should be the same.
Another thing: soon I'll begin the audio processing of SET; does someone knows if the german, the english UK and the english FR laserdisc soundtracks pitches are correct?
I can check the UK set for you tomorrow. ;)