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

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14 hours ago, Datameister said:

 

ESB is more salvageable. You can get it to a very listenable state by artificially widening the stereo field, adding a touch of reverb, and adjusting the EQ a bit. ROTJ is what is...those higher frequencies are just gone, full stop. Nothing you can do to unmuffle that album.

 

Now I see what you mean. The stereo widener does wonders for Empire but not Jedi.

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Talking about the state of the Star Wars soundtracks is so depressing, but sadly it's something I think about a lot and it gets worse with every release. Help us Mike Matessino, you're our only hope. 

 

also ROTJ SE is awful, it's horrible to listen to. 

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1 hour ago, Þekþiþm said:

 

Apparently it's just your headphones.

 

Um no it's not just his headphones. I've had good headphones over the years and the Special Edition for ROTJ does have crap sound.

I took the SE one and 'remastered' it. Here it is and hopefully sounds good to people. Yes this is the Special Edition version as that's all I have.

The_Battle_Of_Endor_III_(Remastered).flac

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22 minutes ago, Trent B said:

 

Um no it's not just his headphones. I've had good headphones over the years and the Special Edition for ROTJ does have crap sound.

I took the SE one and 'remastered' it. Here it is and hopefully sounds good to people. Yes this is the Special Edition version as that's all I have.

The_Battle_Of_Endor_III_(Remastered).flac 27.07 MB · 0 downloads

 

Yes, according to Drew, if ROTJ SE sounds bad, it means your headphones suck. Case closed.

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RotJ is nigh on unlistenable in how cruddy it sounds. Like it was recorded on a wax cylinder and played through a makeshift gramophone. I don't know how they fudged it up.

 

Could you imagine Rise of Skywalker sounding like that and they just left it and said 'Eh, whaddya gonna do about it?' 

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I like the 2004 ESB set. The 2018 remaster is all over the place - some things sound ok, others like they pissed over the tapes one drunken night and never looked back.

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3 hours ago, Holko said:

ESB SE is nowhere near great and a mess but unlike RotJ, it's listenable.

It's definitely in need of improvement, however it at least provides nearly all of the music that the OST is sorely missing.

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And that somehow excuses some of the shoddiest "whothefuckcares" "work" he industry has ever seen which makes everyone involved in the recording look bad when it's just a few clueless morons in the 90s with zero pride in their work and respect for what they're handling?

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10 hours ago, Trent B said:

 

Um no it's not just his headphones. I've had good headphones over the years and the Special Edition for ROTJ does have crap sound.

I took the SE one and 'remastered' it. Here it is and hopefully sounds good to people. Yes this is the Special Edition version as that's all I have.

The_Battle_Of_Endor_III_(Remastered).flac 27.07 MB · 5 downloads

Thank you for sharing this Trent! 

 

It does sound way better yes, congratulations. But it in someways exemplifies the problems that were there before, which cannot be removed using post production on a mastered stereo track. There is no denying yours is better though. Ridiculous that fans can make something better using post production effects. I was listening to the Harry Potter John Williams Collection this morning, dreaming that we were going to get an equivalent Star Wars set...

 

"I've held out hope for so long."

image.png

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40 minutes ago, Manakin Skywalker said:

I find it peculiar that they decided to talk about this now; 2 years after those albums were released. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I just find it strange, and perhaps hinting at things to come.

4K set.

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19 hours ago, Jay said:

 

Capture1.jpg

 

Neat!

F*ck me! No wonder why Imperial March and Yoda's Theme sounds terrific on the 2018 release. Yes, they do (haters gonna hate).

 

Chris Malone had already pointed that the 24 track masters of ESB that contained the cues used for the 1980 OST were used for the 97 SE, but were horribly mixed. Hope they found all of the 24 track masters.

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"I never would've imagined that I'd be able to have my hands on the original masters"

-Dann Michael Thompson, Analog-Digital Transfer Archivist

 

Let's just pray that those digitized masters have been handed over to Mike Matessino.....

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Interesting filename...

 

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RhoGOxp.png

 

Of course, this could just be an internal naming convention referring to the complete scans of each reel. I have no idea what their process was; maybe they recreated all the performance edits for the complete scores before starting the OST reassemblies?

 

Also, not sure what format the first film was recorded with (24-track masters?) but here's confirmation that 1/4" four-track masters were used for Throne Room & End Titles:

ySZkb3g.png

 

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"So ...You have accepted the truth.." - Darth Vader

 

This just shows everything they have in good condition.They just messed up the mixes here and there.

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40 minutes ago, Amer said:

"So ...You have accepted the truth.." - Darth Vader

 

This just shows everything they have in good condition.They just messed up the mixes here and there.

 

Absolutely. So far as clarity and detail, the Demaster wipes the floor with all previous releases. They just totally botched the mixing in some tracks, with little consistency from one track to the next (Asteroid Chase being the worst offender).

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The idea was that they were re-creating the OST assemblies from scratch using the original film recording masters, instead of remastering the album masters created at the time.  But then they botched it.

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Sony had just remastered the album masters 2 years prior, so it was wise of them to do something different, and to dig out the oldest surviving masters to get fresh modern high res transfers.  There's no indication that after doing all six albums, they didn't move on to working on complete score version after, or passing all the transfers to Matessino to do them.  We just don't know.

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Yeah it just sounds silly when you watch that video and they explain the project, and that this is how the music was "intended" to be heard. Not really... the album mixes were meant to be heard in the album configuration, and the film mixes were meant to be heard in the film!

 

Just a fluffy marketing piece. But at least we got some small insights from it.

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The only insight I gleamed was that they have the 1st gen 24 track masters for Empire, which is awesome; that the best they could find for Star Wars was the 1/4" second gen they used for the 1997 SE set, which is unfortunate (where'd the first gen masters go?); and that we still don't know jack about what exists for ROTJ...

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12 minutes ago, Jay said:

The only insight I gleamed was that they have the 1st gen 24 track masters for Empire, which is awesome; that the best they could find for Star Wars was the 1/4" second gen they used for the 1997 SE set, which is unfortunate (where'd the first gen masters go?); and that we still don't know jack about what exists for ROTJ...

 

Although it really only establishes those masters were used for certain tracks. The sonics are all over the place, esepecially on Empire. It sounds like it was assembled from several different elements with little regard for consistency across tracks. Even in the same tracks; that inexplicable quality drop at 4:40 in The Heroics of Luke and Han is atrocious.

 

Are the 4-track masters for Star Wars second gen? I'm not that familiar with how these scores were recorded but maybe it's just a case of the first generation masters being degraded beyond repair for some cues. :(

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1/4" tape is very small and would never be the primary medium a proper film score was recorded onto in 1977.

 

I am guessing Kenny Wannberg did his performance edits directly with the 1st gen multitrack (which was probably 2" like TESB), like he did with CE3K (77) and Superman (78), a practice he thankfully abandoned after that I think (I don't think 1941 was done that way for example).  Then they made the 4track mixes from that, which they dubbed onto the 1/4" tape.


I speak with no authority on the matter, just assuming things based on what little we know

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http://www.malonedigital.com/starwars.pdf

 

Quote

The mixing console in use during the Star Wars sessions was an original Rupert Neve,with 24 inputs and 16 direct outputs,

Quote

Live mixes were made in a left, centre, right (LCR) configuration to two 35mm magnetic film recorders, both encoded with Dolby A-type noise reduction.

Quote

After scoring was completed the best takes from one of the 35mm magnetic recorders were edited by Ken Wannberg on a moviola. The 16-track tapes were also spliced with exactly the same edits for backup purposes and for preparation of the soundtrack album. Principally, the final edited cues were a combination of two or three different takes.

Quote

During preparation of the Special Editionfilms, sound designer Ben Burtt and his team located all audio recordings for the trilogy in order to source the best versions of dialog, effects and music tracks for a new 5.1 split-surround remix. At this time the original, unedited three-track 35mm magnetic film recordings of Star Wars were located as well as the 16-track master session tapes. Vice-President of postproduction at 20th Century-Fox TV, Ed Nassour, discovered the magnetic film recordings in 1986 by accident. “They were in the back of an old editing room where a leaky roof had soaked the cases. Fortunately, the contents were still in good shape. I informed [music editor] Len [Engel], and the material was quickly placed in proper storage.”66The 35mm magnetic film recordings offered a breathtakingly close and incredibly detailed version of score. There were no discernable issues with wow that can affect older magnetic film recordings through shrinkage. Balance between the left, centre and right channels appears to have been properly achieved during transfer to digital.Michael Matessino re-edited these recordings in the digital domain following Ken Wannberg’s original editing paperwork. The 16-track tapes were of limited value as the sections that corresponded to the preferential takes were edited out and presumably stored on another set of reels that are now considered misplaced. The tapes did allow inclusion of an alternate “Binary Sunset”cue together with certain pieces that were missing or damaged on the 35mm recordings. It is surmised that the mixes made from the 16-track material consisted of a transfer of the left-centre-right live film mixes contained there in.

 

So technically the SE 3-track 35mm source is first gen and already a good live mix? It's no Jaws for sure. The raw 16-track recordings were split up and the actually used takes lost. I see no mention of 4-track 1/4" here.

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That would be downright awful if the 2" masters were lost or damaged beyond repair for such an important film score. So the status of those masters was lost back in 1997 for the SEs?

 

The multi-track masters are the best chance anyone has of restoring these scores to their best audio quality, simply because they hold so much more data. I'm sure Mike would still work miracles if 1/4" tapes were the best available source but it would always be that "what if?"

 

I'm sure he'll be emptying every box in the salt mines looking for them, if he's ever hired.

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