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Which Spielberg/Williams film score do you most hope Mike Matessino will produce next? 2020 edition


Which Spielberg/Williams film score do you most hope Mike Matessino will produce next?  

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  1. 1. Which Spielberg/Williams film score do you most hope Mike Matessino will produce next for a specialty label?

    • 1974's The Sugarland Express
    • 1989's Always
    • 1991's Hook
    • 1997's Amistad
    • 2002's Catch Me If You Can
    • 2004's The Terminal
    • 2005's Munich
    • 2011's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
    • 2011's War Horse
    • 2012's Lincoln
      0
    • 2016's The BFG
      0
    • 2017's The Post
      0
  2. 2. Which Spielberg/Williams film score do you most hope Mike Matessino will produce for Disney Records?

    • 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark
    • 1984's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
    • 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    • 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


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FYI, I just talked with hornist Jim Thatcher for another project I'm contributing and he shared an interesting story about TLC--he clearly remembers that the sound engineer put baffles between section

I'm no audio engineer, but I would think the problem is in the Fourier transform. Audio processing depends on being able to go back and forth between time domain and frequency domain (e.g. taking a wa

I think Temple of Doom is the score for me that most benefits from being heard in complete and chronological format. There's no other presentation I ever need to hear again

15 hours ago, Jay said:

I think the 2008 edition of Temple of Doom sounds great! And so does the OST. That's a great recording!!

 

You're probably thinking of The Last Crudade, which sounds like a 1989 era digital master, not as full of detail as analog from the era, or modern digital, would have. We're hoping there's an analog 1st gen that hasn't been used for prior albums that perhaps could make a new edition soar in the future 

You're right, meant TLC. So the analog to digital conversion process was the problem?

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We don't technically even know if it was recorded onto analog or not.  All we know is the OST album and Concord CD sound like a 1989-era digital master.

 

We're *assuming* they ran nice analog tape as well, but we don't know that for a fact.

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I am always surprised a bit in discussions like this that analogue is automatically assumed to be superior to a digital master of CD resolution (which would have been the standard at 1989). Except for some frequencies above 22 kHz that are not audible to us, there is no scientific evidence for such a statement, only personal preference of some so called audiophiles. When I compare the best 80s digital recordings I own with my best analogue recordings, the former win in dynamic range and absence of harmonic distortion. I think if an analogue master sound subjectively better, it is due to other factors like mastering or EQ, not the basic technical capability of the digital format which is at least in theory superior.

 

Concerning Indiana Jones: Temple OST always sounded better to me: clearer and more dynamic, than Crusade OST. Temple was marked as DDD, Crusade as ADD, meaning analogue recording. 

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Nah it's more complicated and nuanced than that.  I'm not saying digital=bad, analog=good or anything like that.


I'm saying the Last Crusade OST album and Concord CD don't sound great.  There are any number of different reasons why this could be, and a lot of those reasons could be related to the tools and software they had available in 1989 to edit, mix, and master the music for the album.

 

There isn't a shadow of doubt in my mind, however, that if there exists in a vault a nice 2" tape holding 24 or 32 or 48 tracks from the original recording sessions, and they did a modern digital transfer of that at 192/24 and remixed and mastered a new album from that, the redbook CDs we'll be able to buy made from that will sound better than the 1989 CD or 2008 CD.

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Not to mention that transferring analogue materials in high resolution affords so much more data for the mixer/masterer to manipulate in their restoration, whereas a CD resolution digital master (standard for digital recordings of that era) has far less data to play with (reducing options). 

 

It's the same reason older film restorations would scan negatives in 4K, even though the final output was usually a 2K master. The high resolution scan captures more information off the print, allowing for more accurate dirt/noise removal (usually handled by an automated algorithm), repair to print damage/tears etc.

 

High resolution audio can help a restoration engineer identify the difference between pops/crackles/wow/audio defects and studio noise/performance flubs.

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10 hours ago, crumbs said:

Not to mention that transferring analogue materials in high resolution affords so much more data for the mixer/masterer to manipulate in their restoration, whereas a CD resolution digital master (standard for digital recordings of that era) has far less data to play with (reducing options). 

 

It's the same reason older film restorations would scan negatives in 4K, even though the final output was usually a 2K master. The high resolution scan captures more information off the print, allowing for more accurate dirt/noise removal (usually handled by an automated algorithm), repair to print damage/tears etc.

 

High resolution audio can help a restoration engineer identify the difference between pops/crackles/wow/audio defects and studio noise/performance flubs.

 

But those kind of defects are mostly irrelevant on a digital recording, no? 

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29 minutes ago, Gurkensalat said:

 

But those kind of defects are mostly irrelevant on a digital recording, no? 

 

Analogue defects? Sure. But it doesn't change the fact that digital recording technology from the 80s is locked in low resolutions that couldn't capture the full spectrum of orchestral recordings the way that multi-track tapes could.

 

One only needs to compare Williams' digitally-assembled OSTs from the 80s and compare them to Mike's restorations from analogue elements. Those early digital assemblies simply can't match the level of detail attainable from high-resolution transfers of analogue elements. The latter can capture details from the recording studio that were simply discarded from those primitive digital recordings, not to mention frequencies that were clipped off.

 

Your point is interesting about TLC being listed as analogue on the soundtrack though; that's even worse than if the OST was assembled from a concurrently recorded digital element. Instead, it's likely that all previous TLC soundtracks were created using second (or worse) generation album masters, or extremely primitive analog > digital transfers (even worse than a native digital recording from that era).

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35 minutes ago, crumbs said:

 

Analogue defects? Sure. But it doesn't change the fact that digital recording technology from the 80s is locked in low resolutions that couldn't capture the full spectrum of orchestral recordings the way that multi-track tapes could.

 

One only needs to compare Williams' digitally-assembled OSTs from the 80s and compare them to Mike's restorations from analogue elements. Those early digital assemblies simply can't match the level of detail attainable from high-resolution transfers of analogue elements. The latter can capture details from the recording studio that were simply discarded from those primitive digital recordings, not to mention frequencies that were clipped off.

 

 

 

But that is exactly the "fact" I am disputing! Digital Recording in the 80s was 16 Bit/44,1 or 48 kHz. 96dB dynamic range (more than analogue), and only frequencies above 22 kHz, that we cannot hear, were clipped off. Why should they sound worse? The original analogue curve can be reconstructed from those data without loss of detail according to Nyqvist theorem. You make it sound that digital recording is losing details, but that is not the case, only if you use a lossy compression algorithm like MP3.

 

When modern restorations sound better, then better mastering and EQ should be the reason, and those could also be applied to digital recordings. 

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39 minutes ago, Gurkensalat said:

When modern restorations sound better, then better mastering and EQ should be the reason, and those could also be applied to digital recordings. 

 

Except the engineer doesn't have access to frequencies beyond what's available in the digital recording, whereas high-resolution analogue transfers have far more data for the engineer to work with.

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18 minutes ago, crumbs said:

 

Except the engineer doesn't have access to frequencies beyond what's available in the digital recording, whereas high-resolution analogue transfers have far more data for the engineer to work with.

 

I am genuinely curious what the use of frequencies above 22 kHz is for the engineer. 

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I'm not sure what's so hard to comprehend about why a high-resolution analogue transfer would always be preferable to using some primitive digital recording master circa-1980s, locked at CD resolution and stored in obsolete formats. Modern technology can capture significantly more information off those tapes than what those early digital recordings could capture in the recording booth.

 

Every single restoration Mike has done using analogue masters has improved upon whatever digital sources were used for JW's soundtracks during the 80s. Don't you think Mike would just use digital masters for everything if there was nothing to be gained from analogue tapes?

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2 hours ago, Gurkensalat said:

But those kind of defects are mostly irrelevant on a digital recording, no? 

 

But TLC was not a digital recording, the back of the 1989 CD clearly states ADD.  That means it was recorded onto analog, edited digitally, mastered digitally.

 

So it would seem that Dan Wallin used 1989 technology and software to edit and mix the analog recording, and likely only saved that work as 1989-era digital files.  Since the 2008 Concord CD's extra cues sound about the same as the OST tracks, no extra detail and no speed issues or anything, we can assume all Laurent Bouzereau grabbed to make that album was those 1989 digital files.


All we're saying is that if you drop all of Wallin's 1989 editing and mixing, and go back to the original analog and do a new remix from the multichannel, it's practically a guarantee you'd end up with a better sounding new edition.

 

For years people have been saying TLC sounds like it was recorded with a smaller orchestra than TOD, and it's taken me a while to realize it's probably just the digital master that makes it sound like that.  A remix could be eye opening!  Ear opening?

 

1 hour ago, Gurkensalat said:

But that is exactly the "fact" I am disputing! Digital Recording in the 80s was 16 Bit/44,1 or 48 kHz. 96dB dynamic range (more than analogue), and only frequencies above 22 kHz, that we cannot hear, were clipped off. Why should they sound worse? The original analogue curve can be reconstructed from those data without loss of detail according to Nyqvist theorem. You make it sound that digital recording is losing details, but that is not the case, only if you use a lossy compression algorithm like MP3.

 

You just contradicted yourself within one paragraph.  First you admit frequencies were clipped off, then you say the digital recording is not losing detail.  Which is it?

 

Quote

When modern restorations sound better, then better mastering and EQ should be the reason, and those could also be applied to digital recordings. 

 

There's a million different reasons a modern restoration could sound "better" than a previous release, and the restoration of previously cut off frequencies is only one of those reasons.  Restorations are an extremely nuanced process, not a simple issue.  Many many different issues play into this and every single restoration is different.

 

48 minutes ago, Gurkensalat said:

I am genuinely curious what the use of frequencies above 22 kHz is for the engineer. 

 

I'd do more research into this than you already have because I don't know what to tell you other than it absolutely is.  I'd link to any specific resources if I had any at my fingertips but I dunno.  I believe Mike has talked about it, either on a podcast or a text interview.  There might be videos on youtube too that discuss this, not sure

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5 minutes ago, Jay said:

I'd do more research into this than you already have because I don't know what to tell you other than it absolutely is.  I'd link to any specific resources if I had any at my fingertips but I dunno.  I believe Mike has talked about it, either on a podcast or a text interview.  There might be videos on youtube too that discuss this, not sure

 

Sorry, Jay, I just have to quote our dear Stu here. 

 

On 9/15/2020 at 9:42 PM, Disco Stu said:

Regarding high res digital audio, well, there's a sucker born every minute

 

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36 minutes ago, crumbs said:

I'm not sure what's so hard to comprehend about why a high-resolution analogue transfer would always be preferable to using some primitive digital recording master circa-1980s, locked at CD resolution and stored in obsolete formats. Modern technology can capture significantly more information off those tapes than what those early digital recordings could capture in the recording booth.

 

Every single restoration Mike has done using analogue masters has improved upon whatever digital sources were used for JW's soundtracks during the 80s. Don't you think Mike would just use digital masters for everything if there was nothing to be gained from analogue tapes?

 

You already assume that those digital recordings are primitive and obsolete, but why? Of course, today they are even better, but even then digital recordings (if done correctly; not all were) were an improvement over analogue techniques. And when analogue recordings from the 70s or 80s were already worse than 80s digital, what do you hope to gain by even better digital tools? 

 

As I said, when Mikes restorations sound better, there are other possible reasons for it.

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18 minutes ago, Gurkensalat said:

And when analogue recordings from the 70s or 80s were already worse than 80s digital, what do you hope to gain by even better digital tools? 

 

Are you joking?  There have been amazing restorations of very old analog recordings.  Just look at how much better the 2015 Jaws sounds than the 2000 Jaws, both made from the same element.

 

Or the 2019 Poseidon Adventure compared to the 2010 Poseidon Adventure, made from the same transfer of the same element

 

These improvements were all made possible due to advancement in digital tools!

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7 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

But TLC was not a digital recording, the back of the 1989 CD clearly states ADD.  That means it was recorded onto analog, edited digitally, mastered digitally.

 

So it would seem that Dan Wallin used 1989 technology and software to edit and mix the analog recording, and likely only saved that work as 1989-era digital files.  Since the 2008 Concord CD's extra cues sound about the same as the OST tracks, no extra detail and no speed issues or anything, we can assume all Laurent Bouzereau grabbed to make that album was those 1989 digital files.


All we're saying is that if you drop all of Wallin's 1989 editing and mixing, and go back to the original analog and do a new remix from the multichannel, it's practically a guarantee you'd end up with a better sounding new edition.

 

 

 

I can totally agree to this. Today we have better tools to get the last bit of information out of analogue recordings. But 80s digital recordings were already excellent, if used correctly.

 

9 minutes ago, Jay said:

You just contradicted yourself within one paragraph.  First you admit frequencies were clipped off, then you say the digital recording is not losing detail.  Which is it?

 

 

There's a million different reasons a modern restoration could sound "better" than a previous release, and the restoration of previously cut off frequencies is only one of those reasons.  Restorations are an extremely nuanced process, not a simple issue.  Many many different issues play into this and every single restoration is different.

 

 

I'd do more research into this than you already have because I don't know what to tell you other than it absolutely is.  I'd link to any specific resources if I had any at my fingertips but I dunno.  I believe Mike has talked about it, either on a podcast or a text interview.  There might be videos on youtube too that discuss this, not sure

No contradiction, but unclear language by me. Frequencies above 22 kHz are removed, but we cannot hear them! Everything below 22 kHz is intact without loss of details. So for me as a listener there is no loss of detail.

 

And since I never found a scientific explanation, why frequencies above 22 kHz should matter, since as adult we cannot perceive even 19 kHz any more, I stay not convinced. I have no idea, why Mike might prefer analogue. I would like to believe him that this is a better starting point for Restauration than digital, but without a reason I cannot. 

 

Where I know that high resolution is advantagous, is for the mixing  process. When you add layers upon layers of recordings, you multiply the noise floor, so it is good to have a 20 or 24 bit recording as a start, if you want to end with a 16 bit noise-free result. But since analogue has a worse noise floor than 16 bit, it is not better in this respect.

 

For more reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_analog_and_digital_recording

 

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Well that's the point I've already made, I've never said digital is bad and ruined everything, I said whatever Wallin did in 1989 didn't end up sounding very good.  I'm not putting blame on anything in particular because I have no idea where to put the blame.


What remains true is time and time again, whenever restoration engineers go back to the earliest generation available, they always get better results.  Just listen to the 2017 remix of CE3K compared to the OST or 1998 expansion.  Or the 2019 remix of Superman compared to any of its prior expansions.


That's all I want them to do with TLC: Go back to the earliest generation possible.

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20 minutes ago, Jay said:

These improvements were all made possible due to advancement in digital tools!

 

I also have the impression that the analogue reading of tapes have improved, whether it's due to improved technology or better competance (choosing the optimal magnetic header and so on).

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16 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

Are you joking?  There have been amazing restorations of very old analog recordings.  Just look at how much better the 2015 Jaws sounds than the 2000 Jaws, both made from the same element.

 

Or the 2019 Poseidon Adventure compared to the 2010 Poseidon Adventure, made from the same transfer of the same element

No joking. 2015 Jaws sounds very good, much better than 2000 Jaws, but a proper digital recording in the 80s would probably top it further. At least I know lots of digital recordings from the 80s that sound even better than 2015 Jaws. I am only looking at the recording technique, not what may come afterwards like mastering and restoration; those can be applied to both analogue and digital recordings. 

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1 minute ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I also have the impression that the analogue reading of tapes have improved, whether it's due to improved technology or better competance (choosing the optimal magnetic header and so on).

 

Absolutely!

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6 minutes ago, Jay said:

Well that's the point I've already made, I've never said digital is bad and ruined everything, I said whatever Wallin did in 1989 didn't end up sounding very good.  I'm not putting blame on anything in particular because I have no idea where to put the blame.


What remains true is time and time again, whenever restoration engineers go back to the earliest generation available, they always get better results.  Just listen to the 2017 remix of CE3K compared to the OST or 1998 expansion.  Or the 2019 remix of Superman compared to any of its prior expansions.


That's all I want them to do with TLC: Go back to the earliest generation possible.

 

I agree. But above you write about "nice analogue" tape and other sentences that leave the impression that you think analogue recording is inherently better than 80s digital recordings. If I misunderstood, sorry.

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That's the point, it differs from project to project, room to room, machine to machine, engineer to engineer, etc et etc.

 

Bruce Botnik recorded the album-only cues for E.T. using 1982 digital technology and they sound fine.  Dan Wallin did something in the digital world in 1989 for TLC and it doesn't.  Who knows what happened, but I hope we can get a better sounding version of that score one day.  That's all.

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On 12/13/2020 at 4:27 AM, Jay said:

 

You're probably thinking of The Last Crudade, which sounds like a 1989 era digital master, not as full of detail as analog from the era, or modern digital, would have. We're hoping there's an analog 1st gen that hasn't been used for prior albums that perhaps could make a new edition soar in the future 

 

So we do not know exactly what the recording or master of LC was, right? Since the CD was ADD, It seems that it was an analogue recording and digital mastering. The analogue recordings would be the 1st gen, that you wish for. And we agree that a new digital master would probably sound better today. But I do not understand, that you think a AAD CD (meaning an analogue master) would have sounded better, as write above. I do not think that would have been the case, why should it.

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Well, then it is best to let it go. At least we agree that we wish for better sounding records and expect we will get them thanks to modern mastering methods. The more theoretical dispute about the merits of digital vs. analogue techniques is in the end not relevant; what counts is the result, no matter how it was achieved. All I wanted to say here is, that 80s digital recording technique was in most aspects superior to analogue recording, and not inferior as crumbs seems to think. And with that we should return to the topic, perhaps? :-)

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On 12/14/2020 at 4:38 PM, Jay said:

I'm saying the Last Crusade OST album and Concord CD don't sound great.  There are any number of different reasons why this could be, and a lot of those reasons could be related to the tools and software they had available in 1989 to edit, mix, and master the music for the album.

 

There isn't a shadow of doubt in my mind, however, that if there exists in a vault a nice 2" tape holding 24 or 32 or 48 tracks from the original recording sessions, and they did a modern digital transfer of that at 192/24 and remixed and mastered a new album from that, the redbook CDs we'll be able to buy made from that will sound better than the 1989 CD or 2008 CD.

 

FYI, I just talked with hornist Jim Thatcher for another project I'm contributing and he shared an interesting story about TLC--he clearly remembers that the sound engineer put baffles between sections of the orchestra and close-miked them, as if it was a record date (i.e. orchestra sessions for pop and jazz records). I think that changed the sound of the end product.

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2 hours ago, TownerFan said:

 

FYI, I just talked with hornist Jim Thatcher for another project I'm contributing and he shared an interesting story about TLC--he clearly remembers that the sound engineer put baffles between sections of the orchestra and close-miked them, as if it was a record date (i.e. orchestra sessions for pop and jazz records). I think that changed the sound of the end product.

 

There goes Wallin, wallin' off the sound again... 

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3 hours ago, TownerFan said:

 

FYI, I just talked with hornist Jim Thatcher for another project I'm contributing and he shared an interesting story about TLC--he clearly remembers that the sound engineer put baffles between sections of the orchestra and close-miked them, as if it was a record date (i.e. orchestra sessions for pop and jazz records). I think that changed the sound of the end product.

 

Very interesting, that would explain why the orchestral sections sound so weirdly discordant.

 

I wonder if that technique was used for The Cowboys as well? That recording sounds comparatively brilliant against the mediocre recording for TLC, despite being ~2 decades older.

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6 hours ago, crumbs said:

 

Very interesting, that would explain why the orchestral sections sound so weirdly discordant.

 

I wonder if that technique was used for The Cowboys as well? That recording sounds comparatively brilliant against the mediocre recording for TLC, despite being ~2 decades older.

The Cowboys 2018 delux edition liner notes also list Wallin as scoring mixer so...

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On 12/16/2020 at 3:52 AM, Gurkensalat said:

All I wanted to say here is, that 80s digital recording technique was in most aspects superior to analogue recording, and not inferior as crumbs seems to think.

 

Let's agree to disagree ;)

 

It's a nuanced subject. Early digital vs analogue recordings is one topic, 80s technology used to transfer and edit analog recordings into digital for CD releases is another issue entirely... not to mention mastering, when another set of ears reinterprets the score again.

 

The fact that TLC's OST was actually sourced from an analog recording (edited and mastered digitally in the 80s) gives me optimism about the potential for AQ improvements if those elements were transferred in high resolution today, then edited using modern software.

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1 hour ago, crumbs said:

 

Let's agree to disagree ;)

 

It's a nuanced subject. Early digital vs analogue recordings is one topic, 80s technology used to transfer and edit analog recordings into digital for CD releases is another issue entirely... not to mention mastering, when another set of ears reinterprets the score again.

 

The fact that TLC's OST was actually sourced from an analog recording (edited and mastered digitally in the 80s) gives me optimism about the potential for AQ improvements if those elements were transferred in high resolution today, then edited using modern software.

 

I absolutely agree to everything you said! My comments were only with respect to digital recording, not to digital mastering of analogue recordings. In earlier posts, those things might have been mixed up a bit. 

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7 hours ago, Gurkensalat said:

 

I absolutely agree to everything you said! My comments were only with respect to digital recording, not to digital mastering of analogue recordings. In earlier posts, those things might have been mixed up a bit. 

 

No worries :)

 

Another consideration with restorations is that Mike generally oversees every step in the process (from the element transfers, to the editing, the mixing, the mastering and finally the down-conversion to CD masters). No doubt this helps ensure no quality loss during the assembly, because he's handled the elements from their raw transfers to the final product.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think it's interesting that the other 2 polls got around 50 votes, but the one about Spielberg gets over 80....

 

I wish those pesky union fees weren't an issue and we could be hopeful for a 10th anniversary Tintin :(

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Maybe Sony would cover those fees if that expansion was produced on their own label? They did one of the Ghostbusters scores internally.

 

Seems like the only way it'll happen, outside that union fee date sliding to the previous ten years instead of a locked date. 

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