One more upgrade for the time being:
s08e08 - ST, The Space Traveler
Upgraded video quality! My old source was an ancient Spanish VHS rip that’s circulated online for nearly a decade now. There was also a German broadcast available online, although I had no access to it myself until last night. Someone I asked about it months ago came through with a copy, and while it’s not perfect (it’s an AVI encode circa 2009 with hardcoded frame blending from NTSC>PAL conversion), it’s a definite step up.
Screenshots 3 and 4 are actually comparative of the original 1990 NBC broadcast (which was very low quality) and the German source, as those scenes were entirely missing from the Spanish transfer. Until now, all I had for those scenes was the NBC broadcast, so I’m grateful something much better turned up.
I’ve also entirely recleaned the songs in the episode! A lot of songs from the last three of seasons come from Italian broadcasts, where they weren’t dubbed. I try to pull from the best sources, and a lot of English episodes tended to have inferior audio to the Italian recordings. However, I have no Italian broadcast for ST, only Spanish and as of recent, German. When doing the original cleanup, I spliced the NBC broadcast and Spanish together; the Spanish capture was done far too loud, the audio constantly peaking and destroying the bass and background music. NBC had the opposite problem, far too bass-heavy and entirely lacking higher frequencies. Felt the best case scenario was to put them together, it was all I could really do.
Sadly, Germany dubbed the songs, so I figured there was no real use for the audio; late into editing, I decided to try something kinda off the wall. I manually removed the vocals from the German songs, and spliced the instrumental underneath; the NBC/Spanish versions both lost almost all their instrumental from degradation so it brought a lot back to the sound immediately. I then equalized and cleaned the vocals the best I could, and I think it’s certainly a lot better.
https://streamable.com/4lfjmk [First half is the original mix, the second half is newly cleaned]
I had had to splice back in the proper English title card; the German one removed it, but thankfully the Spanish broadcast did not. I’ve spliced that to the best of my ability, and it’s serviceable.
V2 of ST is now available in the Alvin folder, so if you already downloaded it, feel free to upgrade to the new one!
I’m also working on a soundtrack compilation of all the show’s songs, as a bonus. I have seasons four through eight finished, only the first three to go. I’ll make that available to all who’ve already downloaded the episodes and anyone else who asks for them.
As for the last handful of episodes with very low quality audio…
s06e18a - Uncle Adventure
s07e04 - Bye, George + A Day in the Life
s07e07a - Maltese Chipmunk
s07e09a - Inner Dave
s07e11 - The Return of Uncle Adventure/Princess and the Pig [11a needs an upgrade, 11b is missing entirely in English]
s08e08 - S.T. The Space Traveler [video is better but the dialogue is still pretty miserable quality]
s08e11 - Gremlionis
There’s not much I can do without better sources, which I doubt will appear anytime soon. These shows only aired once in the US so it’s unlikely at least. They did air on BBC in the UK until at least 2003 however, and for many years in the 90s in Australia, so there’s hope. If new sources appear, I’ll definitely update the set. Still, I am incredibly thankful for the wonderful people on originaltrilogy who have helped me upgrade quite a few episodes with better sources, and with any luck, one day that’ll happen again with more episodes.
***I also have episodes that I download from a YouTube channel, I still remember when it was broadcast on Mexican television