Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > DVD Discussions > DVD Talk
Reload this Page >

One & Only Thread About Star Wars Trilogy Audio Quality

DVD Talk Talk about DVDs and Movies on DVD including Covers and Cases

One & Only Thread About Star Wars Trilogy Audio Quality

Old 09-23-04, 02:29 AM
  #201  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 1,187
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Spiky

The dialog quality can be distracting. I wasn't paying close attention, but even so the quality changes were noticable a few times. I remember writing something and hearing an imperial discussion at some point (not Tarkin/Leia, noticed that too) that made me look up at the screen it was so obvious.
That happened to me also - before I ever read any reviews discussing the audio problems. I was reading something on the internet while playing the movie, and the uneven dialogue during the Leia / Tarkin exchange made me look up.

It's funny that everyone is complaining about the Tarkin line, when I spotted other places where the discrepancy in level / clarity was far more obvious:

57:18 - Notice a drastic change in the clarity of Leia's voice between "holding Vader's Leash" and "I recognized your foul stench..."

1:10:40, Luke's voice suddenly gets much louder and clearer between "The Princess - she's here!?" and "Where - where is she?".

These occur when we go from side view to close up of the character, but the variance is too great to be explained by that. It's not just a change in volume (which is exaggerated), the whole character of the voice and ambient sound changes (as though you went from an acoustically dead room into a lively one).
Old 09-23-04, 02:48 AM
  #202  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 1,187
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And now - to open a new can of worms - am I the only one who thinks they forgot some of the LFE in ESB? I don't have any prior versions to compare it to, but it seems to me that some of the sounds are lacking.

I have only watched the first 35 minutes or so, but I was eagerly anticipating the bass during the Empire attack on Hoth - surely those ATATs would shake my walls, right? Wrong. They sounded impressive when knocking pieces out of the ceiling of the underground bunker onto R2D2, but in the close-up scenes the footsteps of the ATATs were underwhelming or even silent.

Examples:

27:00 Close up of walkers, no footsteps to be heard

27:12 Close up of foot hitting ground - deafening silence.

And so on - every explosion rocks the walls, but it seems any time there are close ups of the ATATs, someone forgot to add in the LFE.

And most obvious of all - when the first ATAT falls at 29:15, there is just a dull thud with no resonance. Compare that to the second one coming down at 33:05 - now THERE is the rumbling bass which had been missing!

Having JP DTS flashbacks here...

Last edited by NCYankee; 09-23-04 at 09:59 AM.
Old 09-23-04, 02:49 AM
  #203  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: You have moved into a dark place. It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
Posts: 4,533
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just want to say again how pleased I am with the Return of the Jedi sound mix. God, it's so good - one of the best damn DVDs just for the audio.

If only A New Hope fared the same. It's not horrible, but it's distracting. When you're watching a film you shouldn't be noticing the quality of the audio in the dialogue, over-loud foley work, listening to the music fade down at any dramatic scene, music cues coming out of your left front and right rear speakers so the music sounds like you're sitting sideways, or other glitches. Is it too much to ask that we can just take the damn sound mix for granted?

Burtt said on the featurette for the lightsabers that when he did the first saber sound effects no one mentioned it, and that if he's doing his job no one notices his work. He's right. So how the hell did he forget that with the sound-effects-heavy mix for ANH? Does he have a new girlfriend he's trying to impress? Did someone at THX lose a bet or something?

I'm happy that the sequels sound better than they ever have on home video (or possibly just EVER) but damn, Star Wars is a milestone. Since they're including a 2.0 track on there anyway couldn't they have mixed it so that it sounds good when played on two speakers?

I figured I'd try the 2.0 track with my Sennheisers to see how that track sounds, and it's even worse than the 5.1. Oh, the music doesn't fade in and out awkwardly like the 5.1 track - it's just ALWAYS way way down in the mix. But those robot footsteps sure are crystal clear and really loud! Thank god for that!

Admittedly, I've still had these on constant repeat. But some of the scenes in ANH just make my flesh crawl now. I may not have noticed the switched rear channels had I not been looking for it (although it did sound "off" to me even before I read this thread) but the muted music, mis-matched dialogue quality (check out the Han/Greedo scene for crystal clear Greedo matched with muffled and scratchy Han!) and ridiculously loud effects and even worse, foley work, and it's pretty obvious even to the untrained ear.

A friend of mine was asking "what's the room-shaking thumping sound coming out of the woofer?" Me: "Oh, that's 3PO walking. On the SAND."

I hope they fix this shit by the 30th anniversary edition in 2007.
Old 09-23-04, 07:53 AM
  #204  
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I rented ANH last night and overall thought the sound effects and music were excellent. The dialogue on the other hand was not very good.

The main issue I had was hearing this crackling static noise when a character would speak. This noise was most apparent in quiet scenes. ex: When Ben and Luke talk after Luke is rescued from the Tusken Raiders. Then soon later when Ben and Luke are talking in a house... In this scene I hear a new sound effect added in an attempt to mask the static dialogue noise. The sound effect is when Ben is cracking some sticks(?) with his hand.

After hearing this noise i kept trying to hear it later in the movie. It was apparent in just about every scene, but sometimes hard to hear when music or ambient sound effects were playing.

I am listening at reference level on a Paradigm Studio 6.1 setup with a Denon 3802 so all the details of the sound are quite audible.

I hope ESB and ROTJ are not like this.
Old 09-23-04, 04:17 PM
  #205  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 9,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Did anyone feel the audio was a touch of out SYNC at the beginning of ANH? It looked like the people's mouths weren't matching on the Tantive IV
Old 09-23-04, 11:28 PM
  #206  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 1,187
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Chanster - yes, I thought I noticed that too - just a hair, but enough to be disconcerting.
Old 09-24-04, 12:22 AM
  #207  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 7,534
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Just got done with ANH. Didn't notice any of the music or sound effect sounds that other people are complaining about. Didn't notice if a particular sound effect didn't come through a rear speaker or not. Didn't notice if a bass rumbling had a .5 decibal reduction or whatever. I don't notice that stuff and it's no big deal to me. I'm not that picky.

BUT, what I did find surprisingly inconsistant was the dialogue!

Holy crap! This was inconsistant throughout the whole friggin' film!!! You'd get a few lines that were muffled, then you got the next line or two of dialogue that was perfectly crystal clear! It was like the difference between night and day! (I just have a Sony DVD 5.1/DTS receiver thingy).

Horribly distracting and definitely took away from the SW experience for me. I mean I read someone complain about a line of Grand Moff Tarkin's being muffled, then clear, but I noticed this throughout the whole movie!!! (Could it be me? I mean I do listen to my music pretty loud. Could I be going deaf?)

I hope the other 2 movies are more consistant!

edit: only read the first 5 pages of this thread. Ok, other people noticed it too... sorry for the redundancy.

Last edited by nodeerforamonth; 09-24-04 at 12:26 AM.
Old 09-24-04, 12:30 AM
  #208  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 1,187
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by nodeerforamonth
Just got done with ANH. .... Didn't notice if a bass rumbling had a .5 decibal reduction or whatever. I don't notice that stuff and it's no big deal to me. I'm not that picky. .
If you were referring to my missing LFE post (which I am assuming you are, since I don't think anyone else has mentioned rumbling bass) - that was in Empire Strikes Back, not ANH. And it is not .5 dB reduced LFE, it is completely missing in places. Tiptoeing ATATs which should sound like elephants. And the second walker falling is probably 3-4 times as loud as the first one, which seemingly had no LFE at all.

Last edited by NCYankee; 09-24-04 at 12:35 AM.
Old 09-24-04, 12:33 AM
  #209  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 7,534
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by NCYankee
If you were referring to my missing LFE post - that was in Empire Strikes Back, not ANH. And it is not .5 dB reduced LFE, it is completely missing in places. Tiptoeing ATATs which should sound like elephants.
Nope. Wasn't referring to that at all. Was just making up a random example off the top of my head, actually.

Yes, they should sound like elephants.

I'd give the sound on ANH a 2.5/5. Maybe a 3/5. If the dialogue was evenly matched, I'd give it a 4 to 4.5/5.

Normally I'd say that everyone was nitpicking, but definitely not on the clear/not clear dialogue. Totally distracting. For someone like ME to notice, it's a big deal.
Old 09-24-04, 12:39 AM
  #210  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 1,187
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by nodeerforamonth
Nope. Wasn't referring to that at all. Was just making up a random example off the top of my head, actually.

Yes, they should sound like elephants.
Ok then - nevermind.

Also, don't get me wrong - there is lots of LFE in ESB, it is just that in a few places where I was waiting to hear it, there was none. I was sitting there thinking - "OK - the ATAT is falling, better turn the volume down a bit so I don't bottom out my woofers" - then nothing but a thud.

The when the second one fell, I didn't bother turning the volume down - and I DID bottom out my woofers (actually, the one with the slightly warped voice coil), because the second one ROCKED! I don't have a sub yet, but I do have a pair of big old Genesis floorstanders with dual 8" woofers that are flat to 38 Hz and have useable output down to 25 Hz, and can take some abuse before complaining - driven by a Denon 3803 putting about 180 watts into 4 ohms.

Last edited by NCYankee; 09-24-04 at 12:48 AM.
Old 09-24-04, 10:43 AM
  #211  
Cool New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I certainly thought the guy's list of "errors" or "problems" in ANH was funny; not the fact that the errors/problems were there, but just the mere fact that the guy knew the film so well and could compare changes over multiple releases/versions/formats of the film dating back to 1977. THAT is some serious dedication and support of the movies! More power to him!

But I do think it odd that neither he, nor our buddies here at DVDTalk who actually got the film last week, have commented on this MAJOR problem. Notice how none of them who've posted "I HAVE IT" threads have ventured in here yet.
I'm flatterd that you appreciate my dedication to this film. I have most of it's sound memorized, so I can tell differences. I'm still learning though.

As for not pointing out the surround mistake, that's where you are wrong. I broke that news on the JW board I moderate last Thursday. You can read that here.

I communicated with Bill Hunt about these mistakes and when he ran his story, he declined to give me credit. When I e-mailed him that his report has a mistake in it (it still does, he has the wrong line of dialogue mentioned regarding the Death Star trench dive) and that a little credit would be nice, I never heard back from him. I guess he wanted to look like the hero that saved Star Wars. Too bad I broke the news before he did.

Neil

Last edited by Neil S. Bulk; 09-24-04 at 11:16 AM.
Old 09-24-04, 04:10 PM
  #212  
Cool New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The IMDB is now running a story on the messed up audio!!

You can read it here!

Neil
Old 09-24-04, 04:29 PM
  #213  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 819
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
They really need to fix these audio problems for ANH.
Old 09-24-04, 04:47 PM
  #214  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Rypro 525's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: a frikin hellhole
Posts: 28,263
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
i might check the audio switching again, since i didn't notice it when i watched it today. however, i did notice the new sound effect of Obi Wan calling off the sand people. i'll also have to check the vhs for the theme that is "virtually inauduable". i do have the cd soundtrack as well.
Old 09-24-04, 05:47 PM
  #215  
Cool New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rypro, just switch to the French track to hear the music that is dialed out at the Death Star strike. It's right after the line, "I'm going to cut across the axis and try and draw their fire!".

Neil
Old 09-24-04, 10:53 PM
  #216  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Mountain Biker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,416
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by NCYankee
And now - to open a new can of worms - am I the only one who thinks they forgot some of the LFE in ESB?

Yep I noticed too and I'm surprised it's not being discussed here very much. Some other annoyingly noticable LFE omissions: The scene where the Falcon begins it's takeoff from the base on Hoth (right after Han says "punch it"), as well as the scenes where Han shoots the ground/monsters mouth, and when Luke decapites Vader on Dagobah..

Last edited by Mountain Biker; 09-24-04 at 10:58 PM.
Old 09-25-04, 01:49 AM
  #217  
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Germantown Maryland
Posts: 2,488
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
A New Hope sounds like shit on this release. There is no way to get around it. From the weak soundtrack mix to the inconsistent audio on numerous lines throughout, the only thing more depressing than hearing these "mistakes" on what is supposed to be the definitive release is hearing this bullshit from the Lucasfilm camp that this shitty audio was intended all along. Watching the end of the Death Star trench run tonight, a scene which used to build to a climax of such palpable tension, I only hope that the powers that be realize this grave mishap and issue a recall soon. Star Wars deserves better than this.
Old 09-25-04, 09:44 AM
  #218  
Retired
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 27,449
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I watched ANH last night without having read up on the specifics of the audio problems just to see if they were noticeable to someone who wasn't aware of what they are and isn't at all an audiophile.

The only thing I noticed was the inconsistent volume on dialogue here and there. Didn't really bother me.

I didn't notice any other problems, so IMO things like the reversed audio tracks are something most people aren't going to notice if they're not aware of it and listening for it.

I doubt I'd bother doing a mail off for a replacement ala BTTF if that happened here as the sounds fine as is for me.
Old 09-25-04, 01:48 PM
  #219  
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Germantown Maryland
Posts: 2,488
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by Josh Hinkle


The only thing I noticed was the inconsistent volume on dialogue here and there. Didn't really bother me.
How about the raping of John Williams' classic film score?
Old 09-26-04, 12:39 PM
  #220  
DVD Talk Legend
 
darkside's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 19,862
Received 8 Likes on 5 Posts
Finally watched ANH from beginning to end and I agree with the complaints. I tried to put them out of my mind and not be biased going in, but even my wife who has never read about the sound errors or had anyone mention them noticed that the lips seemed out of sync at one point and how the dialog quality changed dramaticaly throughout the film. There are also weird things like R2 falling and making a huge rumble in the subwoofer, but other larger things make no subwoofer sound at all. The soundtrack being reversed in the rears was terrible, but actually less noticible than the other stuff.

Glad they did such a good job on the other two films, but ANH is definitely screwed up. I don't remember noticing any of this when I watched the film at theaters in '97. BTW, I did like all the changes done from the '97 version visually. The sound was the only thing that was almost laughably bad. If this was Lucas' original vision for ANH he needs to get his vision checked or at least his hearing.

Last edited by darkside; 09-26-04 at 12:41 PM.
Old 09-26-04, 01:17 PM
  #221  
Cool New Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 26
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was hoping that people were just exaggerating, but I have to agree that the audio on ANH is poor. The constant shift in quality of the dialogue is very noticable even through the speakers on my TV set. And the score really is dialed down, killing the mood for most of the movie. ESB and ROTJ sound perfectly balanced.
Old 09-26-04, 02:40 PM
  #222  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 819
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm sticking with my '97 boot DVDs until Lucas acknowledges and fixes the sound problems with ANH. That day may never come, then so be it.
Old 09-27-04, 08:46 AM
  #223  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,533
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aunt Beru's voice was horrible. I cringed the few times she talked.
Old 09-27-04, 12:46 PM
  #224  
Retired
 
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 27,449
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by Rivero
How about the raping of John Williams' classic film score?
Sounded fine to me, didn't notice any differences. I never pay much attention to scores anyway. The best scores are the ones you don't notice IMO. I tend to only notice them when they're annoying and don't fit the movie.
Old 09-27-04, 01:16 PM
  #225  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 1,187
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
Sounded fine to me, didn't notice any differences. I never pay much attention to scores anyway. The best scores are the ones you don't notice IMO. I tend to only notice them when they're annoying and don't fit the movie.
I beg to differ here. The best scores are the ones which complement what is happening on the screen without calling attention to themselves, yet leave a hole when they are missing. Like this one.

I notice the soundtrack on Last of the Mohicans, yet IMO it is an integral part of the movie. And I hate that they removed the song by Clannad during the chase scene up the mountain in the Director's Expanded Edition.

Last edited by NCYankee; 09-27-04 at 01:19 PM.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.