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Mono versus 5.1

Old 10-06-04, 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by Mike Lowrey

I swear, talk about double standards, first we want the best picture/transfer, and then great sound, but bitch if the original mono/stereo track isn't included. I'm shocked that the purists don't still want all the little film scratches and black spots on the print to come across on the DVD.
There is a difference between cleaning up the original sound and picture to make it sound and look as good as the original theatrical version and just plain making a brand new sound track.

When a DD 5.1 remix of a mono soundtrack is made it requires replacing a lot of the original sound with new stuff. With a film like Vertigo they took a detailed effort to exactly recreate every sound effect and did an amazing new track which still kept the feel of the original. Sometimes though with films like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly or Terminator they make no effort to match the original sound effects and they end up changing the film overall. Granted with many old films all they do is split the music on the surrounds and it ends up sounding like the same soundtrack with just a little more music around you.

There is no reason in most cases (unless new scenes are added) not to put the original track on there as well. If you don't want to listen to it stick with the 5.1, but I would like to have a choice.
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Old 10-07-04, 12:45 AM
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Mike,you obviouslly do not 'get it'.

Just because CGI exists today. Should that mean all older films should have their original effects replaced? Great example with the Ray Harrihausian stuff. Who needs a stop motion King Kong? Give me a newly created CGI version anyday!!!

Darkside says it best. You can RESTORE the original film & audio elements to their original as great as possible condition. But ALTERING the soundmix is NOT a 'good' thing.

Big difference between 'restoring' and 'altering'.

Remember mono does not mean 'bad' or 'inferior'. They can sound just as great as any 5.1 mix,it all depends on how well they were mixed and what care went into the recording.

Not all 5.1 mixes sound 'great',as exampled with Starsky & Hutch. So a lazy sound mixer can ruin a sound mix regardless of how many speakers it is coming from.

Yet most movie mixes,actually have some competent people doing the mixing. So they make the best of what they have. Thus there are many great sounding mono mixes out there. But the 5.1 everything junkies who think 'newer is better' have some delusion that it is 'outdated' & 'bad' in some way.

You mention silent films. So I take it,you would prefer them to add dialogue to them? Might as well, since we have dialogue recording now! Why not add a new score in the process? Anything is possible today. So we might as well alter all films,since technology has advanced!

So you see,just because technology 'improves',does not mean it is 'ok' to alter past works of art. You can preserve the original work in a new format. But altering it,is not a 'good' thing...and has lead to many horrible remixes and or other bad alterations since some people think it is 'ok' to tamper with history and art.

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Old 10-07-04, 06:16 AM
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Interesting debate and 2 very different opinions coming out clearly.

I can see the "purists" viewpoints, the arguements for keeping old movies the way they were. I can also see there can be a double standard here I.E. you tamper with the original soundtrack, but don't under any circumstances tamper with colorisation. (Although I feel there is a big difference between "enhancing the sound" and "colorising an entire movie".)

On the other hand, I would agree as someone said, Mono at home sounds nothing like Mono in a cinema.

I think Darkside summed it up well when he said,

"There is no reason in most cases (unless new scenes are added) not to put the original track on there as well. If you don't want to listen to it stick with the 5.1, but I would like to have a choice.

I would probably be what Julie describes as "a 5.1 junkie" but that's my choice, and I am as entitled to it as she is to hers. I simply just do not enjoy Mono soundtracks. They come across to me as dull and lifeless, and although I agree some sound engineers have made a fair old mess of some 5.1 remixes, and should have left well enough alone, I, generally speaking, would still rather have a 5.1 remix to Mono anyday.

I suppose it's all a matter of personal choice isn't it?
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