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hairy_hen

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27-Mar-2006
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3-Apr-2021
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Post
#1318638
Topic
Concerning the Millennium Falcon’s Targeting Computer
Time

Those beeping sounds are in the mono mix, but were never used in any of the others until the special edition came along.

It’s also worth noting that the beeps are mixed at a relatively low volume in the mono version, but are much louder in the SE, which is completely typical of all the audio changes made to the soundtracks from 1997 on (everything is loud and in your face rather than leaving any room for subtlety).

Post
#1314628
Topic
Star Wars 1977 70mm sound mix recreation [stereo and 5.1 versions now available] (Released)
Time

About a year ago I re-calibrated my 5.1 system again, so I can relate a few insights from having done that.

I’ve never used MCACC, but my receiver has Audyssey and I’ve been letting it do its thing with EQ and time correction for the speakers. The results seem to be quite dependent on giving it accurate measurements, so it can potentially end up sounding weird if this isn’t done correctly, but if you do it right it can be remarkably good at balancing the level and tone of each speaker. Before running the measurements you should do everything possible to make the room itself suitable; make sure the speakers are ideally placed at the proper angle and distance from the listening position; try to avoid putting them in the corners to avoid boominess, etc. If you can (as in, if money and space aren’t an issue), try to add bass traps and diffusers to cut down on room reflections, which can be particularly nasty in smaller rooms with hard parallel surfaces. Corrective EQ alone can give great results, but chances are the correction will only actually sound good within a small area of the room unless the larger acoustic issues are dealt with. Acoustic treatment makes the room correction have to work less hard, enabling it to sound good within a wider area. Doing this properly is out of the realm of realistic possibility for many people, but it’s something to look into if you can.

I have found that dialing in the subwoofer to blend with the main speakers can be the trickiest part of setting up a system like this, but it is very rewarding once you do get it right. Room issues are particularly problematic with bass, and you will almost always end up with huge jumps in loudness between different frequencies. Because my receiver only seems able to correct the main channels, last year I decided I’d had enough of my room’s unevenness and ended up getting a miniDSP 2x4 HD to handle subwoofer EQ. After some trial and error doing measurements with Room EQ Wizard, I was able to dial in a very smooth response that is almost perfectly flat at my listening position throughout the sub’s operating range. This made a huge difference to the tonal quality of the bass, and it has made it much easier to trust the results and know that it will sound correct in other rooms and on other playback systems. The 5.1 mix for 4K83 is the first project I worked on with the miniDSP after doing this, and I noticed right away that I was able to dial in the LFE levels far more quickly and reliably than I ever had on any previous version.

One thing to keep in mind is the Fletcher-Munson effect. Human ears are not very good at hearing low frequencies compared to the midrange, so many people often complain that flat bass response sounds weak and boring. Since this perception is rooted in the science of how we hear, applying some amount of bass boost to compensate is a valid thing to do. The question becomes how to do this, and how much. Using a system with Audyssey, I always engage the ‘Dynamic EQ’ feature, which is essentially a Fletcher-Munson compensation curve applied during playback. Low frequencies are boosted in relation to the master volume setting; the lower the playback level, the more boost is applied, and the very low bass notes are pushed up to a greater extent than the upper bass. Our hearing is closest to flat at 85 dB (C-weighted), so movie theaters are calibrated for a flat response at this level, with 20 dB of headroom above this in the main channels (30 dB for the LFE). In the acoustics of a small room in one’s house, playback settings louder than -15 dB or so from reference level tend to be far too loud for comfortable listening, so at lower levels the bass response is almost inevitably going to be too weak unless it is boosted beyond flat to some extent.

With the typical low end boominess found in most rooms, chances are you can just measure the sub with an SPL meter, set it to the same output as the speakers, and its total level will sound approximately correct even though the frequency response is all over the place. This is exactly what I had to do before I got the miniDSP. But once you actually set up your system for a flat response and do any kind of critical listening on it, it becomes equally important to listen at the right level to make things sound even. At 85 dB no bass boost is required, but below that it is actually essential if you don’t want it to sound too quiet. Audyssey’s Dynamic EQ tends to make things sound boomy if there isn’t any subwoofer correction applied, but with a flat response, it boosts by just the right amount. I’m not sure what MCACC does about this, but it may be necessary to apply some kind of custom ‘house curve’ if it doesn’t automatically compensate for lower playback level. Such a custom curve would only be completely correct at the volume setting at which it was measured, but it would be better than not having one at all.

Another thing to think of is the potential effect of Dialog Normalization, which reduces the total playback volume by a set amount (usually -4 dB for tracks that use it). Dynamic EQ is supposed to compensate for DialNorm and apply more bass boost, but on my receiver they seem to have forgotten to implement this. I noticed right away after setting up the miniDSP that movies with DialNorm had significantly weaker bass than they should have (comparing Dolby tracks at -27 DialNorm vs DTS versions of the same mixes with no reduction made this really obvious), so eventually I ended up creating my own ‘house curve’ to use on DialNorm tracks. I started with the same EQ settings as before but applied 3.5 dB of additional gain to the subwoofer output, along with a 2 dB shelf filter below 40 Hz. These settings are only completely correct for tracks with a DialNorm setting of -27 at a playback level of -11 or so (-15 after the reduction), but it’s been working well for me for many movies and TV shows that have DialNorm applied. If your receiver doesn’t have Dynamic EQ then obviously this workaround isn’t directly applicable, but it’s something to keep in mind when considering whether to implement a bass boost that will work with your preferred volume setting.

The issue of needing to ride the volume knob to compensate for dialog being too quiet compared to action scenes is unfortunately a very common problem these days, and it has a lot to do with digital mixing and its lack of safeguards against abusing headroom. (I talked about this at some length in my post on the 4K83 mix.) A lot of people seem to regard boosting the center channel as a go-to solution for this, but remember that many sound effects may be mixed into the center in addition to dialog – if you do this they’re just going to get boosted too, so it’s not really ideal. I’m not especially in favor of unbalancing a playback system to compensate for mixing deficiencies… a potentially better thing to do, if the action scenes are too loud, would be to compress the dynamics (with ‘Night Mode’ or whatever they call it) when listening to material that has bad dialog levels. That way all of the speech will be intelligible, while the peaks will be cut down to something that won’t blast your head off. Using compression shouldn’t be necessary during any of my Star Wars mixes – I went to a great deal of trouble with 4K83 in particular to ensure that it wouldn’t be – but unfortunately there’s a lot of material out there that doesn’t take adequate consideration for such things.

Now, about demo-worthy scenes… captainsolo is correct that there isn’t really that much “flashy” surround usage in the original mixes for the Star Wars films. Usually they only used the surrounds for ambience, so it’s not the kind of thing you’ll notice right away unless you’re specifically listening for it. The mixers approached them knowing there was a good chance any given theater wouldn’t even have surround speakers or subwoofers hooked up at all, so their primary goal was to make the movies work with just the front channels and only add in the rest afterwards for extra flavor. There are stand-out moments here and there, of course: right at the beginning the rebel blockade runner can be heard from behind before it appears on screen, Obi-wan’s roar to scare away the sandpeople swoops from front to back and fills the room, the sound of his lightsaber in the cantina emanates from all speakers at once, etc. Luke can be heard in the surrounds deflecting blaster bolts on the Falcon, his and Leia’s speech just before the chasm shootout echoes from behind quite obviously, and there are several instances of the Millennium Falcon and other ships panning from front to back or vice versa. It doesn’t sound like a modern movie with lots of surround effects moving all over the place, but it’s just a matter of adjusting your expectations. I actually prefer this sort of mono-surround mix to a lot of the more recent stuff, because they tend to be more balanced between all the different elements. The special editions are way more flashy in this respect, but I find them kind of crass because it’s so obvious that all of the new sound effects are mixed a lot louder than the ones that were already there.

Anyway, as long as you aren’t downmixing it anymore, I’m sure you’ll think it’s fine… 😛

Post
#1311991
Topic
<strong>The Rise Of Skywalker</strong> — Official Review and Opinions Thread
Time

I was already planning on giving this a miss due to the previous movies being garbage. Now that I’ve read the spoilers and they’ve actually turned out to be true, it looks like it has somehow managed to be even worse than I’d expected. Definitely not going to waste my time on this crap now…

Ugh. Such a waste. I actually like Daisy Ridley and think her character could have been good in the hands of capable writers, but these clowns wouldn’t know good storytelling if it came up and bit them in the balls. Thanks a lot, Disney, for keeping this zombie franchise going well beyond the point it should have been allowed to expire with dignity.

Post
#1261580
Topic
The GOUT Sync Thread
Time

I have not yet had the time to perfect the sync on my soundtracks. The existing versions are all close enough to be watched without any perceptible issues, but at some point I would like to get them even closer. It is only possible to do that with Jedi currently, since there are exact timing references from the film source, but I’m hoping to obtain similar references for the other movies as well.

Post
#1261118
Topic
Mulan (1998) - 35 mm opportunity (WIP)
Time

Also, it is likely that the colors and contrast were rendered knowing that the process of putting it on film (the intended viewing format) would change them in a certain way. It is often the case that going back to the earliest generation source causes post-production decisions that were made later in the chain to be lost. So viewing the film version tends to gets you the closest to what it was really supposed to look like.

Post
#1260975
Topic
Star Wars 1977 70mm sound mix recreation [stereo and 5.1 versions now available] (Released)
Time

I recently received a request for information on the new 5.1 soundtrack included with 4K83, and I realized that while I had posted a detailed explanation of its contents on williarob’s forum, I had neglected to put that information here. There are actually two versions of it, which I discuss below. So without further ado, here it is:

I have never been able to call my mixes for either Empire or Jedi ‘70mm recreations’ as I have for the first movie. The 1993 mix of Jedi, which must be used as the main source since it is the most dynamic mix for the unaltered version of the movie, was remixed entirely from stems and often sounds quite different than the earlier mixes did. (Its balance actually resembles the '97 SE in a number of ways.) Since it was mixed direct to digital, and not to tape as the original mixes were, it suffers from what I call “digititis” — the tendency to have too wide a gap between loud and quiet elements in a mix.  Mixing to tape requires that the average level always be high enough to avoid the quieter parts of the mix getting buried in tape hiss, and it prevents you from pushing the levels too high for long periods since it will saturate and blow up quite obviously when its headroom is exceeded.  But digital doesn’t do that; it sounds exactly the same no matter how loud or quiet you go, until you reach the very limits of its performance.  Then you will hear some truly hideous distortion as the mathematics break down beyond their proscribed boundaries.  But you can stay just short of those boundaries and maintain the same quality throughout.  While that sounds like a good thing (and of course in some ways it is), it has the unfortunate effect of allowing the user to easily abuse its available headroom.  With nothing stopping you from going too loud or too quiet, it is inevitably the case that many film and television soundtracks turn out with far too wide a dynamic range to listen to comfortably.  Loud scenes are unrelentingly loud for far too long, and quiet scenes are turned down so far you have to strain to hear them.  In the acoustics of a smaller room, and with higher levels of background noise, typical of a home environment, this is particularly unbearable.  We’re all familiar with the syndrome of having to turn up our volume to hear speech on various programs, only to turn it way down again because the action scene comes along and is suddenly deafening.  Blame a combination of poor judgement by content producers and the lack of sufficient standards and safeguards for digital mixing levels.  Analog mixes, with their inherent limitations, just so happened to fall into the range of what is comfortable for people to listen to over long periods.

The 1993 mix of Jedi does not suffer from this to anywhere near the extent that many modern soundtracks do, but nonetheless it does take steps in that direction.  Its average levels are too high for too long in several places, mainly because the music has been turned up a lot in those scenes, and its quieter scenes can be harder to hear than the original version of Jedi was.  One of my goals for making this new 5.1 was to constrain these wide shifts in level, keeping them closer to how they would have been on tape, and how they are for the other two movies.

I used the 35mm stereo mix as a guide here, first adjusting its level so that the dialog was approximately equal between the 35mm and 1993 versions for the majority of the film.  Then I went through the '93 version and adjusted its loudness on a scene by scene basis to match up any part where there was a significant variation of dialog level between the two.  As I expected, this resulted in a number of louder scenes being turned down somewhat, and some boosting of quieter sections.  Having done this I was able to make the '93 sound a lot closer to the '83 much of the time.  I also adjusted the EQ to sound more like the original; this mainly involved reversing the cut at 2 kHz which has been applied to all the 1993 soundtracks. Since 2 kHz is right in the most sensitive range of human hearing, this made many parts of the track sound significantly louder, making the level reductions even more important.

However, in certain sections the balance between the two was so different that no amount of editing, EQ, compression, or other tricks could make them resemble each other any more closely.  In these cases I had to decide which of the two sounded better and then use the one I preferred for that scene.  I think it went through about four different iterations of which version was used for which scene, but generally it ended up being whichever one presented the music to its best advantage.  Quite often this was the 35mm, but not always. Switching back and forth between the two so frequently I came to notice a great many differences that I had never noticed or been only peripherally aware of. Aware from the start that I was not recreating any particular version, I felt a greater degree of freedom to make the track sound the way I preferred, which was actually kind of refreshing after having meticulously sought accuracy above all else for so long. Most of it is still the 1993 version, but about 50 minutes of the movie’s runtime comes from the 35mm; specifically the US laserdisc from 1986, being the most dynamic version of that mix. That version is very shrill by default but its EQ is adjusted to sound like the print audio.

Here is a list of the edits:

  • The main title music is reduced by 1 dB since it was very loud to start with. It served as the primary EQ reference for the rest of the 1993 sections, once it had been matched to the original. (The only known difference in content for the 70mm version of Jedi is that it used the main title music from Empire, for some reason, but I did not attempt to edit this in.)

  • The droids going to Jabba’s palace comes from the 35mm, because there is a noticeable sound of wind in this section that is harder to hear in the ’93.

  • Leia unfreezing Han from the carbonite is the 35mm, due to the music being much more prominent in the scene. The 1993 version has the music pulled down in level significantly here, which sounded much less cool. A tiny dropout in the 35mm was repaired using the ’93 during this section.

  • The Rancor scene is ’93-based turned down a bit since it was fatiguingly loud — especially after the EQ adjustment. The cheers of the crowd were especially in need of reduction here.

  • In between the Rancor and Sarlaac scenes, many adjustments have been made to the level of the 1993 version, to keep the dialog at the same level as the 35mm. This also prevents the track from being too loud before the Sarlaac scene begins, allowing it to be louder in comparison.

  • The beginning of the Sarlaac scene was much too loud, and the rest of the scene slightly so. In comparing this with similar action scenes in the other films I could immediately spot the difference; the average level was just too high. Believe it or not, reducing the average level can increase the perceived dynamic range because then transient peaks are able to reach higher in comparison to the average, which is what I aimed to achieve here.

  • The Emperor’s arrival on the Death Star is ’93-based but has been reduced by a 3.5 dB — an enormous difference. The music was unpleasantly loud here and badly in need of this. The 1993 version has a different edit in the music than the 35mm; the edit itself transitions between the different takes less abruptly than in the 35, but the difference in loudness between the takes was too great to be seamless. My level adjustment had the additional benefit of enabling this music edit to transition more smoothly because it no longer jumps obviously from loud to quiet.

  • Dagobah is mostly 35mm-sourced, except for the very beginning (the ’93 version has some extra thunder which I kept in). Yoda’s scene sounds very similar between the two, but using the 35 made subsequent edits easier to manage. After Yoda dies and Luke goes back to his X-wing, some of Artoo’s beeps are panned hard left in the 35, to match his position on screen, whereas in the ’93 and the special edition they come from the center channel like the rest of the dialog. The Obi-wan scene is 3.5 dB louder in the 35mm than in the ’93, making the dialog easier to hear. Obi-wan’s voice also sounds more natural in the original, whereas in the remix his voice is thinner and more distant.

  • The music. Yes, the first released version of this mix has extra music in the Obi-wan scene, which was not present in official releases. John Williams scored this scene but for some reason it ended up not being used. I can’t imagine why: to me the scene plays far better with music than without. There are some heavy topics of anger and betrayal and startling revelations being discussed, and every other emotional dialog scene of this type in the movie has music except this one, which feels weirdly empty. Even as a kid I knew something was wrong with it, though I couldn’t explain what. I added the music back using the soundtrack CD, and as soon as I heard the result I knew immediately that this was what had always bothered me. The level had to be varied throughout the scene to ensure it did not ever obscure the dialog, but I was amazed at what a positive difference it made. Nonetheless I knew that others would not all see it the same way, so this was intended to be only for my own use. But I was obliged to work quickly due to lack of time, and with so many other edits to keep track of, it ended up being left un-muted when I recorded the track. So what should have remained my personal tweak to the scene ending up reaching a wider audience. I later corrected this error and issued a second version without the added music.

  • The Emperor’s first throne room scene, Shuttle Tydirium approaching Endor, and Han trying to ambush the Imperial scouts all come from the 35mm. The music is significantly more prominent throughout this section. When the action starts it’s back to the ’93 for its dynamics, but as soon as the speeder bike chase ends I returned once again to the original mix, and this continues all the way until the rebel fleet jumps to hyperspace. Pretty much all the Endor scenes in the middle of the film sound better in the original, both because of the music level being higher by several dB and because the foley tracks are more controlled and varied. The 1993 version has some bird and insect tracks that play more or less continuously and are quite noticeable, while in the original these are usually mixed lower and only become prominent in certain places. This is especially obvious during the Luke and Leia scene. There is also some more dialog panning in the original: once during the scene of Leia meeting Wicket, where her line about being stuck is panned half-left during a wide shot, and once when Han calls to Luke from off screen, he is panned hard right. In the remixes, of course, these are all centered.

  • Most of the rest of the film uses the 1993 soundtrack because of all the action scenes, but some of the leadup to the battle uses the 35mm again, due to its better music and foley levels. Luke’s first scene with the Emperor is also 35mm for the same reason. Some control of levels was needed during the action scenes, but not to the extent of earlier in the movie.

  • Luke defeating Vader is 35mm, because the ’93 version is decidedly inferior at this point. The ’93 mix plays up the lightsaber sounds too much, making them irritatingly loud, while the music is only at a moderate level. In contrast, the original allows the music to carry the scene in a way that no remix even come close to. It is more glorious by far, and I can specifically hear that the sound effects were deliberately pulled back and the music pushed up even more about halfway through the scene. I increased the whole thing by 2 dB over its level in the 35mm to make it stand out compared to the dialog scenes before and after. It is helped by the laserdisc source being both less compressed and of greater fidelity than the print audio during this part. Strangely, Vader’s voice during the leadup to this scene was stronger and more bassy than in the remix.

  • The Emperor electrocuting Luke is the ’93 version, but turned down by 2 dB because it was obnoxiously loud. The scene is not dynamic at all, and there was no reason to have the average level turned up this high for so long. It reverts to its original level when he explodes at the bottom of the pit.

  • The ’93 mix has some extra sounds of the Millennium Falcon zooming away from the exploding Death Star, which I considered taking out but ending up keeping.

  • Vader’s funeral pyre and the Ewok celebration are turned down to match them to the 35mm.

  • The LFE channel is completely new, except for one effect that uses the SE bass since I couldn’t get it to work otherwise. Some of it follows the existing low end of the original mix, other parts are based on how the special edition did it, and others I just followed my own sense of what sounded good. It was nice to be able to exercise my own creativity as a mixer, and doing it fresh this way was actually quicker and easier than trying to re-edit any previous tracks.

As before, the soundtrack was upmixed through the Shure HTS-5300 and then combined with the LFE. The Shure did an excellent job, arguably sounding even better here than it did for the first movie. All in all I’m pleased with how it turned out, and I hope you guys are too.

Post
#1260964
Topic
4k77 - shot by shot color grading (a WIP)
Time

Yes, I know. I’m in favor of a warm look for the movie, because that’s what the prints looked like. You’ll recall that when people tried to take the yellow out of the cantina scene, I argued against doing that, because it was obviously put there on purpose, and getting rid of it would defeat the intentions of those who made the film in the first place. But in your more recent screenshots, a good deal more blue and green have been removed from the image than appears justifiable. It makes everything look strangely lifeless.

It is important to be wary of overcorrecting. It is inevitable that when trying to reverse a problem with a source, it will always end up going too far in the opposite direction at first. Everyone was always trying to take the blue out of the DVD/Bluray versions – and then when unfaded film sources finally became available, it turns out the movies tended to be a lot more blue than anyone realized. And I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve worked on audio sources with excessive high end, and found myself turning the treble down to try to balance them, only to overdo it and end up with a muffled and muddy sounding result. It is only after taking a step back and listening again later with fresh ears that I could hear how I’d messed it up in the opposite way, and then find a balance in between the extremes.

I believe you’re on the right track with the warm look and the overall color scheme, but I would advise caution so that you don’t overdo it. An image can appear warm without having cooler colors taken out of it so extremely. Be careful that you don’t make the picture appear lifeless in the name of chasing accuracy, that’s all I’m saying.

Editing to add: I keep forgetting that the shots you’re posting are Bluray-sourced, and not from the film print. The general crappiness of that source may be enough to explain why they look ‘off’ to me, and applying similar colors to the print source directly will probably be better. But my advice about overcorrecting is valid in pretty much all situations.

Post
#1258474
Topic
<strong>4K83</strong> - Released
Time

It’s true that Dolby A decoding may not be the whole issue, or only part of it. Primitive A/D conversion could have altered the sound of the top end, and EQ adjustment could have been done to make it sound better on small tv speakers.

For Jedi at least, and I believe for Empire too, restoring the frequency balance of the early LD’s to match print audio can be done with a single shelf filter. A 10 dB reduction at 10 kHz gets it remarkably close, so it may be that this is all that was done to them.

For the first movie, it seems to be more complicated than that. Dolby A decoding is rather finicky, requiring the signal to be input at just the right level – a calibration tone on the tape at 0 VU indicates what level is needed. If the level is set incorrectly, the decoder will either remove too much top end, or not enough, and it may also produce other artifacts since the decoding is a dynamic process that varies by how loud the input is. Fluttering distortion in the low frequencies seems to be the most obvious problem that can result. Such distortion can be heard at times in the print audio, so even properly decoded audio apparently isn’t completely immune to it. Obviously the laserdiscs do not have a calibration tone included, and so it is quite difficult to say how much level adjustment would even be needed to decode them. For that reason, EQ is going to give better results overall (along with digital noise reduction if needed), as schorman said.

@You_Too: Most of the EQ that I’ve done for these projects has used iZotope’s matching function as a starting point, with subsequent adjustment as needed. It really is a fantastic tool for this kind of thing! For music projects I love my Universal Audio stuff, but for Star Wars, iZotope is pretty much essential.

Post
#1258355
Topic
<strong>4K83</strong> - Released
Time

The print audio has the correct frequency balance for the soundtrack since it has been recorded through a Dolby A decoder. Most of the laserdisc versions are extremely bright and are too shrill in comparison. However, the print audio is less dynamic than any of the laserdiscs, since stereo optical on 35mm film has very little headroom.

Soundtracks made with Dolby A noise reduction (which includes all the mixes for the Star Wars films except the mono versions) sound much too bright in their undecoded state. It is apparent that none of the early laserdiscs have been Dolby A decoded, hence their excessive high frequency emphasis. The RotJ soundtrack from the Special Widescreen Edition does have the correct frequency balance, so it is likely that it has been Dolby A decoded.

The best possible version of the 35mm stereo mix can be produced by using the early US laserdisc (since it has the most dynamic range) and adjusting its EQ to match the print/SWE versions. That way you get the best of both worlds; the greater dynamics and the correct frequency balance. This is exactly what I did for the 35mm soundtrack on Despecialized v2.5, but I haven’t yet put out one like this that is synced to 4K83.

I will release a track like that at some point soon, but for the moment, I would recommend using the SWE version, because it sounds extremely similar to the print audio, but with better quality.

Post
#1252643
Topic
Info Wanted: 4K versions vs. DEED (Despecialized Editions) - which is better and why?
Time

Yes, the 4K83 print was faded to a dull red. The colors weren’t gone for good, they were able to be brought back without too much trouble, but it’s hard to say exactly what they looked like when it was new. The best way to get Jedi’s colors would probably be to take an unfaded LPP version, somewhat reduce the excessive blue the LPP’s all seem to have, and then make the 4K83 print look like that.

Regardless, the 4K83 colors do look nice the way they are, and I suspect that my suggested method would probably yield a similar result, minus any remaining issues caused by fading. Jedi seems to have been a rather blue film overall; probably not as much as the exaggerated LPP’s, but still blue nonetheless. Some people have complained about the leaves on Endor not being green enough and things like that, but honestly I think that’s just how it was. It just takes a little getting used to. Even with a blue tint, it’s still not monochromatically dull the way the 2004/2011 version tends to be in many scenes, and it is entirely lacking that version’s overly pumped up reds.

Post
#1252640
Topic
The GOUT Sync Thread
Time

It’s a bigger deal with Return of the Jedi than for the other movies, I’d say, since the frame discrepancy caused the sound to be in advance of the picture for over half the movie’s runtime. In addition to that, the audio was apparently already in advance of the picture to begin with, so the dropped frames made it even more off. Overall this is more about correcting existing sync problems, by using the more reliable reference which is now available.

It isn’t yet possible to tell exactly how far off the audio sync is for the other two movies, but I’m hoping to get some film print references for those as well. Even if they are not complete it should still be possible to get an exact alignment by looking at the mid-reel splices and seeing where the corresponding dropouts line up. I’m currently beginning the tedious process of converting the frame numbers for the reels into timecode that I can see in my audio editor, so once I’ve done that I’ll know exactly how the sync of Jedi is supposed to work.

Post
#1251870
Topic
The GOUT Sync Thread
Time

In the course of syncing audio for 4K83, schorman and I found that the audio sync issue is more extensive than previously imagined. While the NTSC GOUT is missing two frames in the middle of reel 3, its audio actually turns out to be missing four frames worth of material at this exact spot. Given that the GOUT audio and the print audio run at the same speed nearly all of the time, this means that the sync on the GOUT audio has been incorrect all along. It is not correctly matched to the picture, and was apparently kludged together in a way that just barely works.

I am increasingly suspicious that this is also true for the other two movies as well. I am recalling in particular a spot about halfway through Empire: before the scene where Vader speaks with the Emperor, there is a shot where an asteroid crashes into one of the Star Destroyers. In the GOUT there is a clunky and awkward-sounding edit in the soundtrack in this spot, where it is plainly obvious the soundtrack has been looped to extend it in length. No other version has this awkward edit here, so I can only surmise that it was done in order to re-establish sync that would otherwise have become visibly wrong at this point. To be clear, the 1993 laserdisc source does not have this kludgy edit; only the GOUT itself has it.

I haven’t noticed any obvious edits of this nature in the SW GOUT (its sync may be better than the others, perhaps), but I can also tell you that all three movies seem to have their main title music start too late relative to the picture. If you look closely, you can see that the ‘STAR WARS’ title has appeared several frames before the music is heard to start, for all three. But watching other releases, the music and title card are aligned more closely. My guess is that the GOUT soundtracks were deliberately shifted a few frames late in order to cover up any obvious sync errors that might have occurred later, due to the audio perhaps not being the right length to fill the whole thing. The laserdisc source had side breaks that would have disguised this, since sync could be re-established on the next side, but the DVD’s do not have this and apparently needed additional edits.

GOUT-sync has been an established standard around here for some years, and for good reason. It is a convenient point of reference; it is (nearly) complete in terms of frame count, and the audio sync is good enough that there are no obvious issues with it. But in comparing it to the 4K83 print, which is entirely complete, inaccuracies in timing become more apparent. Because of this, I think it would be a good idea going forward to instead use a “frame-complete” version of all three films as the ideal timing reference, and match all audio tracks to that. The main thing to start with is exactly what frame the main title music should begin on, and I have not figured this out yet. The precise timing of everything else can be established once this is known.

Post
#1251691
Topic
If you need to B*tch about something... this is the place
Time

For the sake of clarity, my use of the term ‘horrible monster’ was not meant to apply in any way to anyone here. It was intended only to allude to certain people I’ve met in real life who frustrate me far, far more than anyone on this site ever has, but I did not immediately realize that my phrasing was unclear and could be taken to refer to people here as well. My apologies for any offense caused by this.

At any rate, Jay is right that we all need to cool down, including me perhaps. There’s no need to walk on eggshells around each other, but it probably is for the best to avoid topics that inevitably seem to cause such vehement disagreement and resentment. As is usually the case, I now kind of wish I hadn’t said anything, but sometimes frustrations can’t always be contained into polite little boxes, I guess.

Editing to add: what are we all doing going on about this stuff for, anyway? 4K83 has just come out, so rather than waste energy arguing over this silliness, go check out oohteedee’s fantastic restoration work!

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#1251188
Topic
If you need to B*tch about something... this is the place
Time

I don’t really want to wade into this mess, because usually I’m content to either ignore the stupidity that goes on, or just sit back and occasionally throw spitballs at it, but I feel compelled to say that the administrative “contributions” to the political thread before its removal were utterly infuriating.

When terrible things are happening in the world, and people try to express their frustration with said terrible things, for someone to come along and tell them their concerns are meaningless, and that they are just overreacting, is a remarkable display of tone-deafness. This is the message I heard over and over, and not only was it ill-advised, it was extremely condescending and insulting. I couldn’t even begin to guess the number of times I had an angry response to these absurd posts on the tip of my tongue, only to end up restraining myself because it simply would have fallen on deaf ears and accomplished nothing.

I won’t get any more specific than that, but suffice to say I was very disappointed to learn the latest round of disagreements had been settled in such an arbitrary fashion. When there’s as much bad feeling going on in this forum as there is, it’s helpful to be able to recognize that people have genuine reason to be as upset as they are, rather than just dismissing their concerns and calling them “childish”. That seems to be an ongoing theme with the administration of this place, though.

Truth be told, I’ve hardly posted here very much for the past few years, because I quickly tire of petty bickering and simply have better things to do than engage with it. I like to think I’ve made meaningful contributions to the cause of Star Wars preservation, if the positive comments on my work are anything to go by, but this is no longer the only place where that can happen. In spite of the stupidity, I often looked to the silliness of the off-topic section for a laugh when I needed one, but it looks like there’s going to be a lot less fun and a lot more bad feeling around here from now on.

Still, maybe it is better to just get rid of the whole topic. After all, I know plenty of people in real life who are perfectly nice in many other ways, but bring up anything political and they immediately turn into horrible monsters, and the only way to avoid strangling each other is to avoid the subject completely. If generations of human society can’t solve this dilemma, there’s no reason to think one forum should be able to do it, either.

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#1250350
Topic
Goldeneye - 35mm Scan and Preservation (a WIP)
Time

Be aware that early home video releases of GoldenEye have the level for the LFE channel set incorrectly. After recently having done some careful subwoofer calibration on my system, including room equalization with a miniDSP 2x4 HD, I can confidently state that the bass is absurdly loud and totally unbalanced.

I have compared the special edition DVD and the ultimate edition, and the early release just sounds ridiculous. It’s obviously wrong, the low end overwhelms everything on the old release, while the newer version is correctly balanced. The LFE itself is exactly the same effects, they just haven’t been boosted to crazy levels on the ultimate edition. I haven’t measured exactly how much the difference is, but I’d estimate it’s probably around 6 dB, which is quite a lot.

The old version may sound okay if you’re not using Audyssey Dynamic EQ, which boosts subwoofer levels to compensate for the Fletcher-Munson curves (ie, the decreasing ability of human hearing to clearly perceive bass at lower listening levels), but only the new version sounds correct when the correct frequency balance is restored in the room.

If anyone is able to send me the theatrical mix from the DTS CD-ROM’s, I would love to give it a direct comparison to the existing home video releases.

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#1246185
Topic
Politics 2: Electric Boogaloo
Time

May I be the first to offer a hearty thanks for helping me keep my hysterical liberal tendencies in check.

I know I would be in great danger of plunging off the deep end into paranoid, delusional ravings without such intervention, but I think I’ve really started to turn things around. Now I know that every time I hear voices coming out of my phone telling me to vote Trump or die, there’s only a 10% chance it’s actually happening.

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#1239023
Topic
Politics 2: Electric Boogaloo
Time

You know what this argument about anthem-kneelers reminds me of?

That scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, where the crowd is stoning someone for saying the name ‘Jehovah’, and then the guy in charge of the stoning accidentally says ‘Jehovah’ himself, and they all turn on him and start stoning him too.

The misplaced outrage and slavish devotion to symbols of certain people reminds me very much of those in that crowd. Seriously: don’t be the people in that crowd.

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#1238703
Topic
The Silent Film Thread
Time

There’s a theater in New York called ‘Film Forum’ that sometimes plays Buster Keaton movies, with live piano accompaniment. When I was young my dad took me there to see Our Hospitality, which was preceded by three of the short films. It was absolutely a formative childhood experience for me.

(Many years later I also got to see an original and unfaded print of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service there.)