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One & Only Thread About Star Wars Trilogy Audio Quality

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One & Only Thread About Star Wars Trilogy Audio Quality

Old 09-20-04, 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by candyrocket786
Why wasn't this shit reported earlier?

I thought various dvd reviewers (ie. press) had this set weeks in advance? Did they skip SW go straight into Empire, Jedi...assuming that everything was fine because the Holy Trilogy went through some "God-like" restoration process?

Reviewers are suppose to report this crap ASAP, not a day before the release.
While I agree on your point, pehaps the reviewers aren't die hard fan boys who noticed.

(Or these changes are not as bad as this guy says.)
Old 09-20-04, 03:30 PM
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I don't think there's any way everyone would've been satisfied with the release anyway even if they were the Classic Trilogy. Some people will just LOOK for stuff to crap about. I don't see how toning down the music a little bit changes the story or one's enjoyment of the movies. I don't see how changing Obi-Wan's Krayt Dragon Call changes the story. Somebody send me a file of how a Krayt Dragon call sounds like THEN maybe I'll think if it changes the story.

I'm just happy Star Wars is on DVD.
Old 09-20-04, 03:33 PM
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AUDIO PROBLEMS?

Taken from www.digitalbits.com:

In all the hype over the DVD release of Star Wars, I'm afraid to say there's a bit of bad news about the discs (or at least one of them) from a quality standpoint. We've discovered what we believe are serious audio defects on Episode IV - A New Hope. We've updated our DVD review of the set accordingly with the details as follows:

[Editor's Note: since we initially wrote this review, we've detected a number of audio/mixing errors on the DVD version of A New Hope. They are as follows:

1) The familiar Force theme trumpet fanfare that used to play right after Red Leader says: "This is it!" and just as the X-wings start diving towards the Death Star's surface has been dialed back in volume so that it's almost inaudible - it's almost completely buried in the surround mix.

2) The audio quality varies wildly as Tarkin says the line: "You would prefer another target, a military target? Then name the system." - almost as if the master sound element was damaged. It's very distracting.

3) Possibly most critically, John Williams' entire score for the film has been flipped in the rear channels, so that what should be the left rear channel is playing from the right rear channel (and vise versa). What this means is that the rear channels don't match the front channels - instruments heard from the front right channel come from the left rear instead of the right rear. Again, this is very distracting once you notice it.

These problems are certainly severe enough in our opinion to merit a repressing/exchange of the disc. We're waiting to hear back from Lucasfilm on this issue and we'll update this review with the details as soon as we do.]
Old 09-20-04, 03:36 PM
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Originally posted by davejt1
AUDIO PROBLEMS?

1) The familiar Force theme trumpet fanfare that used to play right after Red Leader says: "This is it!" and just as the X-wings start diving towards the Death Star's surface has been dialed back in volume so that it's almost inaudible - it's almost completely buried in the surround mix.
And if a plane flew by as I'm watching the scene, I'm not going to rewind it so that I can hear the Force Theme--which I love by the way. What's the big deal?
Old 09-20-04, 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by Green Jello
While I agree on your point, pehaps the reviewers aren't die hard fan boys who noticed.

(Or these changes are not as bad as this guy says.)
True....but the way some of these posters describe the audio issues, it sounds like the casual reviewer would notice something.

If the information is indeed true...then I am simply astonished, since GL & Co. have had 6+ years to perfect these films.
Old 09-20-04, 03:46 PM
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The more I read about this stuff, the more I think it might actually be a problem. In the THX WOW! demo that was remastered in Dolby EX a couple of years ago, there are very noticable changes to the sound in the Star Wars scenes. They were very easy to detect even to the untrained ear. I think this might be just more of the same. Remember the various complaints about the DD sound mix in Raiders of the Lost Ark a few months back?
Old 09-20-04, 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by davejt1
AUDIO PROBLEMS?

Taken from www.digitalbits.com:

In all the hype over the DVD release of Star Wars, I'm afraid to say there's a bit of bad news about the discs (or at least one of them) from a quality standpoint. We've discovered what we believe are serious audio defects on Episode IV - A New Hope. We've updated our DVD review of the set accordingly with the details as follows:

[Editor's Note: since we initially wrote this review, we've detected a number of audio/mixing errors on the DVD version of A New Hope. They are as follows:

1) The familiar Force theme trumpet fanfare that used to play right after Red Leader says: "This is it!" and just as the X-wings start diving towards the Death Star's surface has been dialed back in volume so that it's almost inaudible - it's almost completely buried in the surround mix.

2) The audio quality varies wildly as Tarkin says the line: "You would prefer another target, a military target? Then name the system." - almost as if the master sound element was damaged. It's very distracting.

3) Possibly most critically, John Williams' entire score for the film has been flipped in the rear channels, so that what should be the left rear channel is playing from the right rear channel (and vise versa). What this means is that the rear channels don't match the front channels - instruments heard from the front right channel come from the left rear instead of the right rear. Again, this is very distracting once you notice it.


These problems are certainly severe enough in our opinion to merit a repressing/exchange of the disc. We're waiting to hear back from Lucasfilm on this issue and we'll update this review with the details as soon as we do.]

So...how was this missed the first time?

I don't get it....

Reviewers constantly comment on edge enhancement, color saturation, black levels, ghosting, pixels, color differences, audio differences (DD vs DTS vs DDEX vs DTS ES) like they work in the industry yet they somehow missed the boat on this one.

Old 09-20-04, 03:54 PM
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How can you screw this stuff up? Seriously, who was doing quality control? TK-421..

How come the reviewers always miss this stuff? Its because they want to sell DVDs!!!
Old 09-20-04, 04:01 PM
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Its pretty sad that people are just trashing people that report problems with discs..does your allegiance to these movies overwhelm any common sense?

Even the great Lord Lucas has said the music is key to these films and the trashing of the "Force" theme - probably the central theme in all of the movies is taken away from the Death Star Battle? How can you excuse this?
Old 09-20-04, 04:01 PM
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most reviewers aren't the over-nitpicky type, or those that remember every sound change. that duty falls onto the public fandom, where the obsessively devoted are entrenched.
Old 09-20-04, 04:05 PM
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Originally posted by darmok
most reviewers aren't the over-nitpicky type, or those that remember every sound change. that duty falls onto the public fandom, where the obsessively devoted are entrenched.
These issues don't sound nitpicky to me.
Old 09-20-04, 04:07 PM
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Originally posted by chanster
Its pretty sad that people are just trashing people that report problems with discs..does your allegiance to these movies overwhelm any common sense?
No shit.... if it weren't for these same people, the framing issues with Back to the Future 2 would have never been noticed or resolved.
Old 09-20-04, 04:11 PM
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So should we wait to purchase this trilogy set?
Old 09-20-04, 04:15 PM
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Check out a comparision here:

http://home.comcast.net/~indysolo/Or...004_Re-Mix.m4a

Right click - Save as - requires a quicktime player! Pretty bad IMHO
Old 09-20-04, 04:15 PM
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Originally posted by chanster
Its pretty sad that people are just trashing people that report problems with discs..does your allegiance to these movies overwhelm any common sense?
Oh Chanster, if only I could have this statement engraved on a plaque!

Yeah - I don't remember the people revealing the missing bass in Jurassic Park's DTS track being scrutinized like they were Dan Rather showing a new National Guard memo!
Old 09-20-04, 04:25 PM
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I just listened to some audio samples of the reported problems from the first disc, and I have to admit that it's pretty noticeable. It's obviously a screwup for the R1 release, seeing how the same issues are not present on the R2 release.
Old 09-20-04, 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by NaturalMystic79
So should we wait to purchase this trilogy set?

Who knows??? Lucas is about making/saving money...not pleasing the fans. Very difficult to see.

I can just see Lucas issuing the following statement in lieu of a recall:


" I wasn't really happy with the force theme fanfare during the assault on the Death Star, so I thought it would be best if we toned it down"

"Also, I thought John's (Williams) original score needed a bit of tweaking. So to really screw with the audience, I decided to chang it up a little".
Old 09-20-04, 04:28 PM
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Originally posted by BrentLumkin
I just listened to some audio samples of the reported problems from the first disc, and I have to admit that it's pretty noticeable. It's obviously a screwup for the R1 release, seeing how the same issues are not present on the R2 release.
Would that mean these issues resulted from a pressing error for R1 and not from the actual audio mixing? sounds pretty thin.
Old 09-20-04, 04:29 PM
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I have no idea.
Old 09-20-04, 04:30 PM
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I don't care. I'm still buying them. I waited too long to have these and I'm interested in the extras (commentary & documentaries) more than anything else.
Old 09-20-04, 04:31 PM
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Here is a write up from AICN. Go down to the part about the sound, heh.

http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=18417

Good Lord, the picture is just unimpeachably great. I could cite any number of moments during my viewing of the ESB platter on a friend's flat-screen HDTV with six-channel sound where I nearly turned inside-out with pleasure. The final third of Empire already a pinnacle of design, effects, and cinematography looks richer than I could have ever possibly hoped. It's worth buying this set just for the last 40 minutes of Empire. Really.

I did notice that some explosions had been color-enhanced to the point that they actually looked a little too orange a bit more fake than before but that may just have been the calibration of the TV set.

Now. The sound. As I was writing this, I got an unsolicited e-mail from John Takis a film-score nut who specializes in lengthy online dissertations on John Williams. Allow me to throw his take on the sound mix into this review like a grenade:

"A good friend of mine has brought to my attention the fact that John Williams' awe-inspiring Star Wars score has been severely mishandled on the new DVD.

"The score has been flipped in the rear-channels. Not the sound-effects, which are properly placed. Just the score. Not in the front channels. Just the rear channels.

"This is not a minor or superficial detail. Readers will recall that the entire PURPOSE of stereo and surround-sound in music is so that the various instruments are correctly positioned. Violins on the left, cellos on the right. Percussion on the left, low brass on the right. And so on. Instrument direction matters in music, especially orchestral music if it didn't, there would be no reason to consider stereo or 5.1 recordings superior to mono.

"Just go to chapter 49 on the new "Star Wars" DVD the "Throne Room" scene. Violins come from the hard-right on the surrounds, cellos hard-left, while the front-channel mix is correct. Many people will not be sensitive enough to notice this flaw. That doesn't erase the flaw, or make it less significant. It is essentially a 124-minute audio glitch. And it's not simply a case of crossed speaker-wires ... as I said, the sound-effects are correctly positioned in the surround channels. It's just the music that's backwards.

"And this is just one flaw in a highly questionable sound-mix. We also have missing sound-effects (it's possible they were left off intentionally in some cases), dialogue-quality that varies widely over the course of a single line ("You would prefer another target, a military target?" crystal clear; "Then name the system!" old and cruddy, with no attempt to balance or smooth the transition), and perhaps most annoyingly dialed-out music. Remember the awesome fanfare-version of the Force theme that kicks off the Death Star battle? Good luck hearing it this time around it's virtually inaudible.

"Aren't these supposed to be the DVDs of the century as close to perfect as DVDs can get? OK, I understand lots of people are going to be so happy to have these films on DVD in any shape or form, or are insensitive enough, that they won't care about these mistakes. Good for them. Nonetheless, seeing as everyone under the sun is raving about how absolutely top-notch incredible the audio on the new DVDs is, it would be nice to have some balance. They ain't perfect, people! Far from it! A little more sophistication and attention to detail would have gone a long way. Mistakes were made, and the professionals in charge shouldn't get a "pass" just because it's Star Wars."
Old 09-20-04, 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by rennervision


Yeah - I don't remember the people revealing the missing bass in Jurassic Park's DTS track being scrutinized like they were Dan Rather showing a new National Guard memo!
I do. Those of us that agreed the bass was way off compared to the Dolby Digital version and original DTS laserdisc were told by many that we didn't know how to adjust our subwoofers, we were being to picky, we were insane, etc. Oddly enough Universal ends up fixing the sound. Guess Universal had their subwoofer improperly set up as well.

As far as Star Wars, there are just so many differences that I consider the new trilogy an entire new set of films. Trying to compare it with the original just doesn't work. I'll enjoy it as something new and different. Granted some of those sound errors are kind of big and I'm sure that I will unfortunately notice some of it as I'm watching the movie.

This is kind of like the extended version of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It was great having the extended footage, but they made no effort to match the original sound effects. This is a real danger in asking for new 5.1 sound mixes on older movies. You have to rely on the sound engineers getting it right and there is a lot of room to go wrong.
Old 09-20-04, 04:35 PM
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I'll enjoy it as something new and different.
New and different? How about fucked up?

Rear channel messed up? Inexcusable - thats just a simple mastering error. Somebody hit the wrong button.

Force Theme destroyed in the final battle? Well sure Lucas has done worse things, but it sounds like somebody decided to amp up the sound effects and lower the score. Was that an editorial decision? My money is on "NO"
Old 09-20-04, 04:40 PM
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Originally posted by chanster
How can you screw this stuff up? Seriously, who was doing quality control? TK-421..
Hey, don't look at me.. I just work here.
Old 09-20-04, 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by chanster
New and different? How about fucked up?

Rear channel messed up? Inexcusable - thats just a simple mastering error. Somebody hit the wrong button.

Force Theme destroyed in the final battle? Well sure Lucas has done worse things, but it sounds like somebody decided to amp up the sound effects and lower the score. Was that an editorial decision? My money is on "NO"
Maybe they (engineers/Lucas) figured, "Hell, it's Star Wars on dvd, fans will buy it no matter what".

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