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Remasters of the First 6 Star Wars Soundtracks now available (Shawn Murphy / Disney Records 2018)


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ROTS: Padme's Ruminations. The transition to "Palpatine Instructs Anakin" was done poorly as you can see:

 

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Seems like there is some hiss at the end of the Padme's cue that they forgot to filter so we can actually hear 7 seconds of hiss (ala AOTC) at the beginning of "Palpatine Instructs Anakin". The hiss stops abruptly after these 7 seconds which makes it really noticeable.

 

 

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The Phantom Menace arrived today. I've only had a chance to briefly A/B the first two tracks (Main Title/The Arrival at Naboo and Duel of the Fates) against the 1999 release, but my first impressions

So many versions over the years I've lost track, and similar number of screw ups is the reason that every time these scores are re-released, after a glimmer of hope, I throw up my hands and just stick with my flawed, but reliable and loved, Anthology & 1997 RCA sets.

 

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Well, for me, except in the SE, RoTJ always sounded great. I'd say the core of the quality is not that different from the 93 Anthology, but it does sounds livelier here, more colorful.

 

It definitely has more hiss than SW and ESB, but I don't consider hiss a bad thing. I see it like grain on 35mm film print, for instance.

 

Among the OT, SW sounds the best, hands down. And the best ever! ;)

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20 minutes ago, phbart said:

The spectral view of the "Asteroid Field" shows the mess they made. It looks like they applied some sort of agressive noise reduction on the right channel, but forgot to apply it on the left channel. Was it Mickey Mouse who mastered this, with the assistance of Pluto and Donald Duck?

Sem_título.png

I don't think they used a noise reduction effect here, I think they just REALLY fucked up on the stereo mix.

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2 minutes ago, Chewy said:

I don't think they used a noise reduction effect here, I think they just REALLY fucked up on the stereo mix.

 

Like, to the point where I legitimately don't think anyone listened to these tracks before releasing them?  Certainly not on headphones.

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On ESB, tracks like "Yoda's Theme", "Departure of Boba Fett" "Han Solo and the Princess", "Hyperspace", "The Imperial March", "The Magic Tree" and "Finale" sounds fenomenal, specially "Yoda's Theme" and "The Imperial March". Can't say the same about the rest. For me, it seems obvious that ESB came from different sources, and, like I said before, Shawn Murphy, Patricia Sullivan and their team have some sort of hard time handling and balacing different sources together (remember ToD from 2008, which from what I can tell, came from at least 3 different sources). MM does this MUCH better!

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3 minutes ago, phbart said:

On ESB, tracks like "Yoda's Theme", "Departure of Boba Fett" "Han Solo and the Princess", "Hyperspace", "The Imperial March", "The Magic Tree" and "Finale" sounds fenomenal, specially "Yoda's Theme" and "The Imperial March". 

 

I dunno, I listened to the sample for "Hyperspace" and then immediately listened to the 320 MP3 on my phone of the Sony '16 version and I honestly preferred the latter.  The stereo balancing seems off even on that track, if not to quite the dramatic degree of "Battle in the Snow" or "Asteroid Field."

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I liked the string sections a lot on "Hyperspace". It's more robust than it ever sounded. That's what it seemed to me. And now that you mentioned "Battle Snow", it looks like they made the same fuck up on it as they did on "Asteroid". I mean, take a look at this crap. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck were working on this while Minnie and Daisy Duck were giving them lap dances (or something else). It's the only explanation.

Sem_título.png

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2 minutes ago, phbart said:

I liked the string sections a lot on "Hyperspace". It's more robust than it ever sounded. That's what it seemed to me. And now that you mentioned "Battle Snow", it looks like they made the same fuck up on it as they did on "Asteroid". I mean, take a look at this crap. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck were working on this while Minnie and Daisy Duck were giving them lap dances (or something else). It's the only explanation.

 

 

I can agree that the individual elements of Hyperspace sound sounded better, but that channel balance is so key and it still seemed off to me.

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Yes, I must admit it's not as fenomenal as the other tracks I mentioned, but, unlike the fucked up tracks, it is more detailed than it was before, so included on my fav list anyway. The channel balance is not optimal here, indeed.

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I haven't checked these out on good speakers/headphones yet (waiting for the full albums), but even on crappy computer speakers I could tell Battle in the Snow was very wrong

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When I read all this, I must think of the possible lackadaisical destiny that my true love could be a victim of:

Mulan as a part of the Disney Legacy Collection? With never before released hiss, a shitload of demos in order to replace the alternates and the songs integrated into the complete score presentation!:crymore:

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3 hours ago, Jay said:

I haven't checked these out on good speakers/headphones yet (waiting for the full albums), but even on crappy computer speakers I could tell Battle in the Snow was very wrong

Asteroid Field is even worse.

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The mixing of EMPIRE's  the Asteroid Field, Hyperspace on the Video album that accompanied the ROTS OST set displayed a phenomenal mix back then (which was true to Eric Tomlinson's actual film mixes) and that was supervised by Shawn Murphy himself. I wonder what went wrong..(sigh)......

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I haven’t heard them yet. To be honest, what’s the point of remastering the prequels? They all are some of the best recordings around (Though AOTC has the hiss and is a tad bit center-heavy).

8 minutes ago, Amer said:

The mixing of the Asteroid Field, Hyperspace on the Video album that accompanied the ROTS OST set displayed a phenomenal mix back then (which was true to Eric Tomlinson's actual film mixes) and that was supervised by Shawn Murphy himself. I wonder what went wrong..(sigh)......

 

I’m still mad that they put dialogue and SFX in that presentation. We could’ve had great 5.1 versions of many major cues. 

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I was initially impressed with The Imperial March, now I've heard it all i'm a little disappointed. The Cellos and Basses are too loud, can't hear the balance properly with the Violas or Violins in the Ostinato in the introduction. The Brass in the first statement seems to sound out of phase, but then seems to be rectified in the final statement. Wish this was a bit more like the 5.1 mix from the 'Musical Journey' set. 

 

Overall it seems like the prequels have the best treatment in this set.  

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Judging by The Imperial March, it sounds better than both the 1997/2004 and 2016 remasters, but still not wonderful.

It sounds like they took apart each section of the orchestra and put them back in weird places in the mix.

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Duel of the Fates sounds nice. There is more clarity in the vocal lyrics and the orchestral accompaniment is louder. All this is at the expense of an organic recording but will nevertheless serve as an interesting resource for the orchestrations. Also, 2:55 in DOTF sounds like a different take.

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2 minutes ago, Drew said:

Duel of the Fates sounds nice. There is more clarity in the vocal lyrics and the orchestral accompaniment is louder. All this is at the expense of an organic recording but will nevertheless serve as an interesting resource for the orchestrations. Also, 2:55 in DOTF sounds like a different take.

It sounds like the one from the phantom menace ultimate edition, so these are 'the film mixes' as they've said. I'm glad we got these sets but there are some crazy decisions. 

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9 minutes ago, aj_vader said:

It sounds like the one from the phantom menace ultimate edition, so these are 'the film mixes' as they've said. I'm glad we got these sets but there are some crazy decisions. 

 

How can Duel of the Fates have a film mix if it was recorded as the soundtrack suite? The End Credits version does not have the different take either.

 

These are supposedly the film mixes yet no one bothered to track in the film-only percussion overlays from ROTS. Smh.

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I recall that TPM was remastered already for the Ultimate Digital Collection.

 

I could barely hear the difference then, I’m sure I won’t now either.

 

All the prequels sound fine to me, so no need to upgrade there.

 

The only one I might be interested in now, after reading the initial reactions, is ROTJ, But no one has really given that one a proper sound review yet, so I’m still curious to how it sounds.

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3 minutes ago, rough cut said:

I recall that TPM was remastered already for the Ultimate Digital Collection.

 

 

I'm pretty sure TPM was only remastered way back when the 3D theatrical version came out.

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1 minute ago, Demondm810 said:

The percussion added in is lovely. 

 

Where did you hear new percussion? To me, it just sounds like the existing percussion was touched up like the brass.

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13 minutes ago, Demondm810 said:

The overlays in Dark deeds and Boys into battle. Nice to have those now. 

 

Those were in the original albums but mixed lower. I do not think these are the other film overlays that appear in Boys Into Battle and Anakin vs. Obi-Wan. Granted, the drums do sound better in this release.

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1 hour ago, Drew said:

 

How can Duel of the Fates have a film mix if it was recorded as the soundtrack suite? The End Credits version does not have the different take either.

Duel of the Fates IS the End Credits.

He is not referring to the end credits version, he is talking about the version used in the actual duel (UE D2 T22). they tracked an earlier similar sounding passage to replace the one we hear in this remaster.

Also, @GoodMusicianclaims that it sounds like TPM uses the ROTS recording of the DotF choir.

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10 hours ago, MikeH said:

The Rhodes keyboard solo in Anakin and Padmé is definitely more centered and present in this new mix. In the Clones OST it was panned left and had a more organic quality since it was pushed further into the ensemble. 

1

 

Yeah, that sounds odd. I had always assumed that it was a real celeste.

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1 hour ago, Demondm810 said:

The overlays in Dark deeds and Boys into battle. Nice to have those now. 

 

You're right that there are some new overlays in Anakin's Dark Deeds. If they did exist in the original album, then this is an extreme change (and an epic one).

 

And speaking of Anakin's Dark Deeds, the now badly-edited transition at 3:30 is just begging for the expanded part to be released at this point...

4 minutes ago, Fal said:

JW mostly uses synth Celeste..... (at least in recent times)

 

The keyboard heard in the remastered cue barely even sounds like a celeste now. Lol.

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14 hours ago, Jay said:

I'm not familiar with the work of Mark Willsher

 

Music editor for The Hobbit (and The Return of the King I think).  He's in the documentary on the Smaug bluray.

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1 minute ago, Laserschwert said:

It'd be interesting to hear Matessino's thoughts on this set, though in favor of not burning any bridges, he'd probably stay silent on this topic.

 

I was about to write the exact same thing.

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38 minutes ago, Laserschwert said:

It'd be interesting to hear Matessino's thoughts on this set, though in favor of not burning any bridges, he'd probably stay silent on this topic.

 

I doubt he'll say a thing, for exactly the reason you said. I'm sure he'd be understandably frustrated by the lack of quality control though.

 

Unless, of course, this really is the best they could achieve with Empire. It's conceivable that better quality masters were damaged/unrecoverable and we're now stuck with this. Rather strange that two of the OT scores would turn out fine but only one would have this many issues?

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8 minutes ago, JTWfan77 said:

So what's the overall consensus, are we boycotting these releases? Or buying them to encourage Disney of the viability of C&C releases later on?

 

I think that overall they mark a big improvement in sound quality. The only fly in the ointment is a few tracks on Empire and, honestly, listening normally the only one that really leapt out at me as wrong was The Asteroid Field. Even that one seemed a little better when I listened to the full track this morning though. Generally Empire really shines, as do the others.

 

Ugly edits are still ugly edits though, analogue or digital.

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19 minutes ago, crumbs said:

 

I doubt he'll say a thing, for exactly the reason you said. I'm sure he'd be understandably frustrated by the lack of quality control though.

 

Unless, of course, this really is the best they could achieve with Empire. It's conceivable that better quality masters were damaged/unrecoverable and we're now stuck with this. Rather strange that two of the OT scores would turn out fine but only one would have this many issues?

 

If the masters were indeed damaged they could have gone back to the album masters which Sony used in 2015. Therefore, my guess is it's a case of incompetence.

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