I think the masters used for Empire and Jedi are the same ones used for the later Special Widescreen Edition (SWE) releases in the US. These also seem to have varying colour, Jedi being the worst with the drastic yellow shift you’ve already noticed, but a far more consistent pulldown cadence as Mallwalker has stated, and the colour variances are less frequent overall. All of the films are missing frames compared to their GOUT counterparts, too.
The JSC is unique in that it utilizes a source separate from that of the 1993 Definitive Edition/2006 GOUT (possibly from a 1st generation interpositive of the O-Neg?), and yields substantially different colors and idiosyncrasies as a result.
IIRC the JSC is actually composed of two different prints spliced together. There are a few places where the last frame of a shot has different framing and colour balance to the previous frames, meaning a blanket correction of a unadjusted capture can be yeild inconsistent results over the whole film. I think the brightness level is higher to begin with too, at least compared to the other common widescreen laserdisc releases.
But wait – there’s a DCP-sourced V2 of the Empire grindhouse. It’s a WMV, unfortunately, but isn’t it an upgrade to V1?
The way I understand it, the WMV pre-dates Grindhouse. Its not DCP-sourced, but rather created as a DCP for a private screening that was held a few years ago.
I could be wrong, as I’m going from vague memories of things I read a while ago. There seemed to be a couple of different ‘older’ versions released after Grindhouse and I wasn’t paying too much attention. I am sure that Grindhouse has only had one version thus far, though.
I'm not sure I know what laserdisc video you're referring to, unless you mean the video reference for each film included with the DTS-HD files?
You need to mux them into a container such as MKV, M2TS, or something similar using one of the many free tools available (such as mkvmerge).
edit: But not MP4, I don't think that accepts DTS-HD.
I've tweaked the surrounds on the SE mixes because they weren't right and I've stuck the final versions up on the spleen. Same format as before with video and the Dolby Digital tracks from the Laserdiscs for muxing so there is something to go along with/compare them to.
I'll make mono WAVs available privately to any who want them in the coming days.
I'm going to upload the final versions of the cinema DTS soon, I intended to get it done ages ago but haven't had much time over the last few of months to do so. They are finished, though ESB might need a quick tweak. I hope to have it available this week. I just need to make final checks to make sure its all finished so I can move on to other things.
I've downloaded your latest JSC capture of Star Wars. I'm really looking forward to checking it out given the results you have achieved in the past.
Jetrell Fo said:
If the changes don't affect frame count, yes. Its possibly not worth it though. If the mix hasn't been changed since the theatrical release, then the lossless audio on the blu-ray is better.
At least having the theatrical audio is beneficial for preservation.
It's only really beneficial if the mixes differ. If they are the same then there is no benefit to cinema DTS. Its compressed, only partially discreet, and has a lower bit-depth and fewer samples per second than a lossless track found on a blu-ray. At least some Cinema DTS discs, if not all, have clipping in places too.
That said, it could be useful in determining whether there are any differences in the blu-ray track. If there do prove to be some, it would be worth preserving.
If the changes don't affect frame count, yes. Its possibly not worth it though. If the mix hasn't been changed since the theatrical release, then the lossless audio on the blu-ray is better.
You are right, a cut to the surrounds provides a much better balance. The annoying thing is that I now need to make one final release of these less than a week after I thought I had made the 'final' release and washed my hands of them (I don't like the SE, although I have enjoyed playing with the DTS audio).
I incorporated the surround cut into my Ozone filter, and left the LFE alone because boosting it really doesn't work for the mix. It sounds better than it has ever sounded.
I have prepared ANH and ROTJ with these settings and they're good to go, but I'm going to have one last check of ESB because something doesn't feel right. I'll hold off posting the WAVs until all is perfect. Free time permitting, it should be very soon.
My opinion in the end was to trust my ears and my gut. I can't help but feel that the official crossover spec is redundant unless you happen to have the same equipment, correctly positioned in a space of the same size and shape, and with the same calibration as an actual cinema. In the end, after resigning myself to the fact that it just never sounded right, I used my ears and some reasoning.
At this point I've tinkered with it so many times that I cannot remember exactly what I did in the end to get the final result. I took hairy_hen's advice and processed the surrounds and LFE in Ozone to get a better crossover, and adjusted the low-pass cut-off to create a cleaner, and more relevant, LFE channel because it seemed too active before.
I also tried the foobar plugin to see what it ouput. In my tests it produced decoding errors in the surrounds and LFE's in short bursts, and in several places; sound that most certainly isn't present on the discs. I don't know whether it was a configuration issue on my end, but it did it with each AUD file that was fed to it, so in the end I stuck with the files I decoded three years ago using the Winamp plugin.
Its a combination of the 'TB' broadcasts your team used for your 97SE release, patched with the 'Gkar' broadcasts, which are pretty much frame complete but of a lesser quality. ROTJ also had to be patched with the official DVD in a few places due to the fact that every 1997 release is missing quite a few frames from what was deemed 'complete'. It was agreed that the official DVD's were frame-accurate to the 97SE when you excluded the '04 changes (Palpatine in TESB, Naboo appearing in ROTJ).
I'm almost certain the frame counts are accurate because of how easily it was to synchronise; position each reel correctly to the reference video and mixdown; no time-stretching or cutting the audio mid-reel was needed to make it fit.
My video sources have been included with the DTS-HD versions for the sake of having a visual reference to go with the audio, and they are by no means a preservation. I leave that sort of thing up to people who are much better at it.
The synch information is in a text file with the audio (and will be with the WAVs too), but is taken from this thread where it was discussed quite a while back.
Check the spleen. ;)
Mono WAV links will be following shortly to anyone who is interested, just let me know via PM (DJ, you don't need to; you'll be first on list when its ready).
I'm sticking with DTS-HD because these are already synced to a frame-accurate source (as far as was determined), conformed to 23.976fps, manually adjusted for better balance, and are intended for general use for everyone, whether it be in preservations or just personal projects. These aren't the decoded vanilla WAV's of each reel that I made available on the Spleen a few years back.
I'm going to include an encode of the video sources I used for each film so that people will have something mux with them. They were upscaled to 720p so that I could see mouths moving when I did the sync, and I will encode them to a relatively small file size as video quality was not my objective anyway. I'll also hit the blu-ray compatibility flag in the encoder in case people should want to play them on blu-ray players or TV's via a usb drive or disc. These aren't colour corrected or enhanced, just upscaled with nnedi3 (probably... it has been a long time since I produced them). No frills, basically.
Mono WAV's will also be available for any that want them for their own projects.
I'll just be glad to finally get around to getting these out there. I should have done it years ago. I might take a look at the prequels in future, but aren't particularly bothered about them right now.
I didn't do all six films in the end, just the 97SE trilogy. They sync to the standards that a few of us figured out between us a while back. The NTSC laserdiscs aren't all we've got and are actually missing frames. The digital broadcasts are far more complete, as are the PAL laserdiscs and after comparing the various releases together we discovered that between them they are frame accurate to the official DVD and Blu-Ray releases. The only exception was a single missing frame in TESB, which we decided to include as the standard because it would conform to the DVD video frame count.
I don't have TPM on laserdisc, so my only source for that would be the digital broadcast of the theatrical version. Frame counts for the prequels weren't discussed at the time, and I never investigated them properly because I find it very difficult to watch them without sighing in disappointment throughout most of the films. I might have a crack at them some day, but I don't know whether there is enough of a difference between the lossless tracks on the Blu-Ray's (at least for AOTC and ROTS) to actually be worthwhile.
Thanks for that, will you release each in 6 mono wav files?
I was planning on DTS-HD so that people can mux it with a conformed video should they want to. The standard that they are conformed to was discussed in the Special Edition preservation standards thread a long time ago. That said, I will make them available to you privately in any format you need so that you can adjust them if necessary.
I'm revisiting the master files from my revised synchs from a couple of years ago. I think I've got a nice balance for home systems now. The audio isn't really fit for home systems as-is; crossovers and overall volume reduction are necessary because the audio is too damn loud (clipping in places too!). I'll see about making these available when I've finished the final touches.
It'd be awesome if the whole movie was anamorphic! (But I have doubts, it might cut to regular size after the first shot transition)
My guess is that they just transferred the '81 crawl flat up to the splice point.
That is correct. The '82 PAL Laserdisc and the earlier PAL VHS releases are pan & scan after the opening shot.
I'm well! Just taking a break from messing with laserdisc players and soldering irons and saw you're once again undertaking a Star Wars project.
I'm sure I have Flunk on a DVD9 somewhere. I got it off the spleen a few of years ago, but I guess the torrent might be dead by now. I haven't watched it in ages, but I think it suffers from crushed blacks and a bit too much sharpening. Reivax has a load of frames missing (100+, I believe). Gkar generally suffers from excessive compression artifacts and has a washed-out look to the colour palette. The TB version for ANH is fine, I believe, but TESB has a video error and missing frames as a result. All are slathered with the same DVNR. Its the same old story we're used to by now; each source has its issues. Nevertheless it will be interesting to see how you get on with this. Some of the techniques you have developed over the last few years have produced some nice results.
Thanka! I'm using DVB TV broadcast as source.
Which broadcast, or are you using a combination?
Scratch that, just saw you're using Gkar. TB has far fewer artifacts, IIRC.
I too have been playing around with happycube's software in the past couple of weeks and have it working well enough on a VM through VirtualBox on my i7 machine. I've had to use an old AMD64 system running Xubuntu for capturing due to the hardware limitations of my main system (no PCI slots!), but have been succesfully capturing from my CLD-2950 for several days now.
For what its worth, I'm using a Compro VideoMate with the required CX88 chipset, and its capturing just fine. It is a basic non-tuner model that uses the generic linux CX88 drivers (not that it matters; I had to blacklist the driver from loading to get the cxadc driver to work!), I just had to change the vmux setting to 2 whilst loading the driver from the terminal.
The biggest problem I encountered was figuring out the correct dependencies to get the software to run and I'm sure I'm still missing one or two. I'm also unsure as to whether there are more parameters I can set from the command line to change decoding options as thus far I've been trawling through the encode scripts to figure out the basic variables I've been using. I also had to edit the Makefile to allow it compile on my i7 without the AVX optimisation because my i7 couldn't use them through the VM.
Despite the lack of clear documentation, that I'm sure will follow in due course, this software provides exceptional results. The output I'm getting compared to the composite on my player is detailed and sharp, although I am still having a few chroma issues. Multiple captures with averaging soon irons those out, though!
The noise reduction you have applied to this shot to remove the grain makes it look more smeared than it was before. I'm not convinced that applying more noise reduction to a source that has already suffered from noise reduction before is the way to go. It seems a bit like you're fighting fire with fire.
Don't forget that the excessive grain is part of the detail now, and in removing it you are inevitably softening the image further. If you were going to soften the image in this way, it would be nice if it were the result of anti-aliasing, but the aliasing still remains and the image looks less impressive. Your earlier, more subtle efforts were looking really impressive, though. I'd like to see those in motion to see how they look.
EDIT: Your post above looks much better, but beware of applying noise reduction to the GOUT. You will often end up with aritfacts and patches of grain on the image that can be far worse than just having the grain.
I still maintain a Pentium 133MHz and a Pentium II 333MHz for gaming purposes, and I do think the VGX XL's are cool. I just don't think they're a good idea for someone who will probably want to do video editing. That said, I completely forgot the biggest cash drainer when building a PC: a Windows licence. I was configuring a system within your budget and as doing fairly well with an mATX AMD-based setup until I remembered Windows.
You can get an OEM version that will be cheaper than a retail version, but it gets tied to your hardware so you may find difficulty with activation if you upgrade your core hardware. I haven't used an OEM version since I had XP, because it only allowed 10 activations, and over 5 years I used them all up and it wanted me to buy a new licence. I then went with the more expensive retail package of Windows 7 Pro, and I can activate as much as I want and change my hardware as much as I want, I just need to call Microsoft's automated activation line and type in a code after I've reinstalled.
Of course, if you're a linux user, all I just said is redundant. ;)
If it were me, I would get something newer. Those Sony systems are obsolete and are surely out of warranty by now (unless you've got a very good deal!). You cannot upgrade the motherboards in them either, so you would be locked into slow and pre-owned hardware. The slowest Haswell CPU's (Intel's current gen. processors) are faster than anything the Sonys can take. If building systems is new to you then I only recommending hardware with a warranty, because components, old and new (especially old ones bought on the internet) can arrive D.O.A. from time to time. I would also suggest that the GPU is actually a much lower priority than CPU/RAM/HDD and even power supply because most modern CPU's have decent graphics processors built in. A quality power supply can be crucial for stability, plus the more components you add then the higher the power it will need to provide. Do some research on features such as RAID, memory speeds, CPU benchmarks and GPU benchmarks if you plan to play 3D games or use GPU supported* video applications. If the budget is tight, take a look at AMD components. If you can afford Intel components, then they are very robust and usually use less power for faster processing speeds. Its all about preference, really, and what you aim to do. Google is your friend in this case, you just need to ensure that you get a motherboard that will take your CPU, get RAM that is of a compatible speed and that you get a case that it all fits in. The other components should be pretty universal.
* GPU really isn't that important for video processing unless you're using commercial tools with a supported graphics chip to do real-time video effects rendering using certain plugins. In other words, if you just want to capture and process video with AviSynth, a fast GPU will actually make no difference.
In other words, theatrical DTS has a design flaw, and I figured out how to cover it up. ;)
Since I'm doing this in Pro Tools, my specific method (a combination of iZotope Ozone and the program's own Downmixer plugin) may not specifically apply to what other people are using, but I can try to help in finding settings that yield the correct results. It is very important to get this right, or else we won't be hearing the level balance of these mixes the way they ought to sound. I think I've finally figured it out, and I want to make sure we all know how to do it properly.
I'm going to check out the Star Wars DTS files again and try out a revised crossover emulation. I came to similar conclusions when I first started working with these files, there was just far too much information in the LFE channel for it to sit right with me. My initial processing reflected this and as I performed 'non-spec' processing on the LFE channel, stepping down from 80Hz to 60Hz with a dB reduction along the way (I forget my exact figures as it was over two years ago). This yielded much better results, but wasn't perfect. The current state of my mixes is very basic processing, as the feedback I got seemed to want that more than a rebalance. One comment I received was that my older version of ANH was lacking the 'punch' of the version TeamBlu used on their release, when the only difference was I had adjusted the LFE to only contain more relevant frequencies and reduced the overall volume to something more in line with a home release to match better the existing Dolby 5.1 and 2.0 surround tracks. Given your information here, I think I'm going to go back and take another look. Thanks for this information, hairy_hen, I'm still relatively new to this kind of sound work (I'm primarily music production and live sound, all in stereo!), so I may have some questions for you soon. It seems at some point I lost sight of the fact that we don't have DTS theatrical audio systems in our homes, something that I was emphatic about that when I first started with cinema DTS. You are absolutely correct about getting this right. ;)
I'd go with DTS-HD for the theatrical DTS, and consider either LPCM or Dolby Digital at an appropriate bitrate for the 2.0 track. The advantage of Dolby Digital over LPCM is that you can set the surround flags on the encoder to preserve the surround that is matrixed into the two channels. I don't know if that can be done with LPCM.
It could be possible to do a similar thing with the 2.0 track with DTS-HD. There should be an option to create a stereo surround file, but how it would sound could hinge on whether Dolby and DTS use the same/very similar methods for matrixing the surrounds into the two channels.
You could preserve the DTS as LPCM if you really wanted to as the Blu-ray spec allows for up to 8 channel LPCM audio, but your 6 WAV's would need to be in a single multichannel WAV or RAW PCM file to do that. Any DAW that supports multi-channel audio should be able to export to these formats.