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What happened to the sound on the 1997 SW 2-CD sets, and how did it happen?


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On 3/20/2019 at 9:36 AM, Stefancos said:

Simple, these releases were done on the quick by Lucasfilm/RCA and because of that they arent quite what they should have been. 

I still consider them vital because there hasnt been any legit release after that wholly replaces them.

 

ANH and TESB sound fine, imo.

 

 

 

 

Empire sounds too dry and thin.

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2 hours ago, El Jefe said:

 

 

Empire sounds too dry and thin.

Half of Empire was remixed! It also has been a bit compressed. Just compare 'Hyperspace' cue from the Arista box set to this and you will see how the strings are wrongly mixed. 

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How come nobody’s discussing Williams’ greatest sounding recording of The Raiders’ March?

 

Is it the OST? Aisle Seat version? The Boston Pops recording on the original Williams/Spielberg collaboration? Is it the re-recording on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?

 

Hmmm, I’m sure there are others...

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9 hours ago, rough cut said:

How come nobody’s discussing Williams’ greatest sounding recording of The Raiders’ March?

 

Is it the OST? Aisle Seat version? The Boston Pops recording on the original Williams/Spielberg collaboration? Is it the re-recording on Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?

 

Hmmm, I’m sure there are others...

 

If you want balls-to-the-wall excitement, go for the original Raiders recording. If you want technical accuracy, go anywhere but. 😋

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's been a huge question regarding the sound on these expanded Star Wars Trilogy Soundtracks from 1997 by RCA victor. Don't know the answers as to why they sound off. to me A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back sounds fine while Return of The Jedi does not sound great at all. I'm sure if they ever do another expanded release of these scores the sound will fix fixed on any future releases.

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1 hour ago, Ghostbusters II said:

Why does it seem like every reissue of E.T. has just increased the bass and treble?

 

 

E.T. was already a very bright recording from the onset. When Matessino redid the final version; Williams himself requested that the brightness (treble) be toned down a bit. So I think its quite balanced than the previous versions.

10 hours ago, A Ghost From Highwood said:

ANH oddly sounds better than ESB and ROTJ!

 

I actually find no real faults with ANH and its definitely the best restoration to date. They pretty much stuck to the original mixes.

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2 hours ago, Amer said:

I actually find no real faults with ANH and its definitely the best restoration to date.

I bought the Blu-spec CD2 of ESB and it doesn't sound better than the other Sony release. What a disappointment. 

Now I wonder if Disney will ever release the OT faithfully in supposedly better formats like BSCD2.

hk7xbnocurn01.gif

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10 minutes ago, A Ghost From Highwood said:

I bought the Blu-spec CD2 of ESB and it doesn't sound better than the other Sony release. What a disappointment. 

Now I wonder if Disney will ever release the OT faithfully in supposedly better formats like BSCD2.

hk7xbnocurn01.gif

 

Keep in mind that blu-spec CDs are only supposed to sound better if you're listening to the CD with a CD-player. If you rip it, the added precision in the physical CD manufacturing doesn't matter.

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4 hours ago, Amer said:

I actually find no real faults with ANH and its definitely the best restoration to date. They pretty much stuck to the original mixes.

 

What are your thoughts on the audio quality of Disney's SW Remaster? I know Empire was botched in parts but, to my ears, ANH sounds better than any prior release.

 

And to be honest, even with all the QC issues in Empire, it's still vastly superior to the audio quality of the SEs (barring the two or three cues that were completely wrecked, like the Asteroid Chase).

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The SW77 demaster lost some of the punch I'm used to with the SE, like in the brass in TIE Fighter Attack.

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In all honesty, I think the ANH SE doesn't sound bad at all. Less 'bright' than the Anthology versions, sure, but presentable nonetheless. At the very least, the takes used were correct and the assembly was decent. Empire is a mixed bag, and Jedi is just badly-mastered all around, and that becomes evident especially in cues not recorded in Abbey Road such as the Superstructure Chase cue. I'm not sure what they were thinking or why on subsequent reissues it was never corrected. However, I'm pretty sure that someday soon, we'll actually get properly-mastered complete presentations of the three scores anyway, so I'm not going to lose too much sleep over it.

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I haven't done a direct side-by-side comparison. It would make an interesting podcast though, purely exploring all these different releases and their varying sound qualities.

 

That extra "punch" with the '97 SE could just be artificial enhancement, possibly artificial treble and bass boosting. While the Disney remasters are mishandled in places (especially their down-conversions of 3-track masters to stereo), they don't sound particularly "enhanced" or manipulated to my ears. They sound fairly natural and faithful to the recordings, actually.

 

The original mixes are so brilliant they really don't need much mastering for a modern release. Unfortunately, as with film studios who "remaster" old movies for Bluray with sloppy amounts of digital noise reduction and edge enhancement, these score releases often suffer the same fate (as evidenced by the needless, likely miscallibrated, noise reduction applied to the '97 SEs).

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OK, I'll reiterate: compared to what's in my memory, the brass in TIE Fighter attack on the demaster almost sounds muffled at times.

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3 hours ago, crumbs said:

...what on earth is wrong with Eric Tomlinson's mixes for the Star Wars trilogy?!

 

ANH sounds a bit small and tinny, for example. Rough, in any release I've ever heard.

Compare it to the sound of the Gerhardt/NPO recording and you will see what i mean.

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7 hours ago, crumbs said:

I haven't done a direct side-by-side comparison. It would make an interesting podcast though, purely exploring all these different releases and their varying sound qualities.

 

That extra "punch" with the '97 SE could just be artificial enhancement, possibly artificial treble and bass boosting. While the Disney remasters are mishandled in places (especially their down-conversions of 3-track masters to stereo), they don't sound particularly "enhanced" or manipulated to my ears. They sound fairly natural and faithful to the recordings, actually.

 

The original mixes are so brilliant they really don't need much mastering for a modern release. Unfortunately, as with film studios who "remaster" old movies for Bluray with sloppy amounts of digital noise reduction and edge enhancement, these score releases often suffer the same fate (as evidenced by the needless, likely miscallibrated, noise reduction applied to the '97 SEs).

Agreed with you on that also not just on CD with the sound quality of the soundtracks (mostly the 1997 Special Edition Releases of the OT) but the film mixes themselves for The OT on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2004 and 2011 they even don't sound the same but that's a whole different topic all together. So in many ways both the soundtracks on CD and film mixes have been botched in some cases since 1997. I hope someday Mike Matessino does get to do a proper re master of all 3 Star Wars Trilogy Soundtrack releases at some point. 

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9 hours ago, crumbs said:

What are your thoughts on the audio quality of Disney's SW Remaster? I know Empire was botched in parts but, to my ears, ANH sounds better than any prior release.

 

And to be honest, even with all the QC issues in Empire, it's still vastly superior to the audio quality of the SEs (barring the two or three cues that were completely wrecked, like the Asteroid Chase).

 

5 hours ago, JJA said:

To my mind, the 2018 edition of ANH is largely superior in sound compared to the SE, which sounds far more "artificial" (hard to explain what I precisely mean), and has some loudness war issues in louder passages. Listening to the SE is rather fatiguing to the ears for these reasons.

 

 

The Disney 2018 RoTJ also sounds better than the previous releases

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