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Am I particularly weird and/or alone for liking the drier mix of TFA's score to the lushness of JW's prequel scores?


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There are other posters who prefer the sound of the sequels to the prequels... can't say I'm one of them though!

 

That said, all 3 sequels have different acoustics anyway, despite being recorded at the same venue. TLJ is easily my favourite recording of the 3; it sounds significantly richer, more balanced, with deeper orchestrations and better rehearsed performances. I have no idea how much that comes down to mixing, recording or musicians.

 

Maybe the drier recordings from TFA/TROS just enhance the harsher elements to my ears, especially the horns (which are rich and velvety on the prequels, while the sequel horns have a radically darker, less romantic texture). I find TFA a far less enjoyable listen purely due to that dry mix (especially after hearing it live and discovering all kinds of details Murphy's recording/mix totally failed to capture).

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23 minutes ago, Jay said:

I do wonder if MM gets to work on these and is given the entire original protools sessions, if he could master them differently than they sound on their OST albums

It would be wonderful. Although I still find that TFA and TLJ are quite equivalent, only TROS has some major issues... damn JJ what were you thinking...

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1 hour ago, TSMefford said:

TFA is still my top score in the sequel trilogy.

 

I *think* it's mine too, but I love so much of what we can hear from TROS, I kind of expect when the vaults are opened up and we get an expansion, my opinion will change

 

I still get chills thinking about how he turned Kylo Ren's evil theme into that amazing heroic version, and Falcon Flight is still my favorite action cue of the trilogy

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Yeah TROS doesn't as an already released score.

I just realize that I was experiencing the same things as the Snyder fan about JL. I'm waiting for the score that should have been. Imagine instead of the two hours score we've got a four hours long one.....

Omg GIF by WE tv - Find & Share on GIPHY

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I can't think of anything truly groundbreaking on the TLJ FYC that would change the original listening experience completely. I thought that all of the film's best material was on the album already. I'm very willing to have my mind changed on this matter.

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Okay, yeah. I can agree on Holdo's Resolve. I excuse it only because of its appearance in the End Credits track but I do like the drama it brings when I listen to it on my TLJ FYC+OST combo.

 

I do agree that TROS is a significantly improved listening experience with all of the unreleased music from the FYC included in, and I would love an expansion on that album for sure.

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7 minutes ago, Datameister said:

One of these days I'm really going to pore over the spectrograms for similar trumpet passages from "The Adventures of Han" and Powell's London recordings to see if I can suss out the difference...

 

Oooh, please do. I suspect that the difference you're hearing is probably a matter of "warmth". Whenever you listen to the brass in the LSO recordings, there sounds like there's a lot of deeper resonances even in the higher registers that really give the brass some "oomph". But for me, I prefer a brighter, bite-y tone (not to say that the Prequel sound is not welcome, as it is certainly big, bold, and beautiful).

 

EDIT for disclaimer: I am in no way an expert in the field of sonic frequencies. I'm just some idiot on a forum so I might have just been talking out of my own ass about this stuff.

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1 hour ago, TheAvengerButton said:

 

Oooh, please do. I suspect that the difference you're hearing is probably a matter of "warmth". Whenever you listen to the brass in the LSO recordings, there sounds like there's a lot of deeper resonances even in the higher registers that really give the brass some "oomph". But for me, I prefer a brighter, bite-y tone (not to say that the Prequel sound is not welcome, as it is certainly big, bold, and beautiful).

 

EDIT for disclaimer: I am in no way an expert in the field of sonic frequencies. I'm just some idiot on a forum so I might have just been talking out of my own ass about this stuff.

 

I too am a member of the "ass-talking idiot on a forum" class, but I'll let you know if I turn anything up!

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3 hours ago, Jay said:

TLJ and TROS do feel like exceptionally fragmented experiences in comparison, especially when just the FYCs of each alone provide significant, important music that should have been on them

 

And I'd say TROS has at least a couple clear highlights—to the point of regularly being called out by non-obsessives—missing from both OST and FYC, namely 'Rey's Training' and 'Dunkirk'.

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I like TFA’s sound a lot, but I would say the brass and especially the trumpets are just so loud that it just drowns out a lot of colours in the orchestra.

 

Rian Johnson did mention something about the sound he wanted for TLJ’s main title that as opposed to TFA – which is weird since they re-used the one from TFA but anyway I think it says something about how he approached the overall sound of the score. It is my favorite mix of the ST for sure. When I first heard ‘Escape’ in the theaters I nearly jumped out of my chair because I realised they had ‘learned’ from TFA.

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2 hours ago, Remco said:

...Rian Johnson did mention something about the sound he wanted for TLJ’s main title that as opposed to TFA – which is weird since they re-used the one from TFA...

 

It is absolutely bizarre thinking about how we still have an episodic Williams recording of the Star Wars opening that we have yet to even hear at all (through professionally-recorded means). 

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11 minutes ago, karelm said:

Am I crazy to like them all?  OT has a vintage analog quality I grew up with and was considered the pinnacle in its day.  PT is consistently heavy on reverb but also adds a richness to the sound that fits it's "early republic" stage.  To me, it is like technicolor.  I love those 1950s films with hyper colors that smack you but they have a vintage quality to them.  Sort of like vibrancy on an image.  It's not quite what reality looks like, there is a sheen over the colors but here, I mean musically.  Then ST has grit and reality.  Dust on the lens.  The republic is sort of in ruins and the trilogy sound reflect this through its drier mix.  It is like you can hear the rosin of the violin bow in this trilogy only but that adds a gritty quality too.

 

Nicely said!

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  • 4 weeks later...

ANH has always sounded far too dry for my liking. Everything recorded in Abbey Road (Empire, Jedi, PT) just sounds fabulous. Do correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure no reverb would have been artificially added to the natural Abbey Road Studio 1 sound - the room sounds wonderful as it is!

 

The ST has been such a mess in filmic terms, I'm yet to get round to listening to the score by itself.

 

Mark

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On 5/21/2021 at 2:30 PM, Marian Schedenig said:

I'm always a fan of "natural" reverb which lets the instruments breathe a bit, which usually means not too dry, especially for big orchestral stuff. Generally, I like that as reverby as possible without losing details. That said, I've never understood the complaints about TFA's sound - I think it sounds just right for what it is.

To me, it sounds like they were trying to replicate the sound of the original SW. Which makes perfect sense.

 

I don't mind the recording. In fact I like the recording on all three sequels, with TLJ being my favourite.

 

EDIT: Oh I think others picked up on the dry mix homage already.

 

Karol

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I prefer hearing the finer details of a score. If that can be achieved alongside an expansive sound, great. But if I can only have one, I'll almost always choose the details.

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I've never found a dry sound necessary for hearing the details. For me, a healthy dose of reverberation (artificial and otherwise) doesn't make it harder to pick out individual instruments or sections, at least in the hands of a skilled professional. It just adds something pleasant to the character of the sound.

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A super-dry mix can make it hard to hear details (or make the whole thing sound unnatural). A super-reverby mix can make it hard to hear details.

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On 5/21/2021 at 8:42 AM, TheAvengerButton said:

Like in A New Hope

 

ANH sounds alright.

 

On 5/21/2021 at 8:42 AM, TheAvengerButton said:

most of Giacchino's output

 

Nope!
 

On 5/21/2021 at 8:42 AM, TheAvengerButton said:

Silvestri's newest stuff


Absolutely not! Endgame has one of the most disgusting mixes I have ever heard!

 

On 5/21/2021 at 8:42 AM, TheAvengerButton said:

I'm not sure what it is about them I particularly like over larger sounding, lush orchestras. Maybe it's just how intimate they sound. Even when I compose my own music I don't like to drown the mix in a lot of tail verb. I keep the sound of my artificial room and then put a miniscule amount of tail on there to keep everything present. So when it comes to it, I always find myself going back to The Force Awakens most often out of all of Johnny baby's latest material. There's just something so nice about how it's mixed. It's my go to score for when I'm trying to mix my own material.

 

Am I the odd man out here or do I at least have one, maybe one-and-a-half compatriots? 


My ranking of the ST mixes are 1. The Last Jedi, 2. The Rise of Skywalker, and 3. The Force Awakens. The TFA mix is okay in some areas (the textures in celeste and harp Rey's Theme have an interesting sound) however the dry sound is not ideal. The Main Title recording is really disappointing.

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Whenever I think about the sequel scores, I think of those loud trumpet chords played on the dry recordings.

 

When I think of the prequels, I think of that regal sound sounding like they're performed in a huge temple. 

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