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Bram Stokers Dracula- which sound mix?

Old 11-30-05, 11:56 AM
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Bram Stokers Dracula- which sound mix?

Hey all,

Just curious if anyone knows which sound mix was used to master the current Superbit/regular DVD releases. I ask this because the Criterion version was made from a special mix exclusively for that release and I was wondering if the home video mix utilized the same mix.
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Old 11-30-05, 12:03 PM
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Hiya Craig, I don't know but the DTS mix is exceptional. INCREDIBLE use of surrounds.
VERY atmospheric...
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Old 11-30-05, 02:20 PM
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Criterion version? Did I miss something?
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Old 11-30-05, 02:21 PM
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Strictly speaking, the DVD's 5.1 mixes would have to be different than the special Criterion LD track, as that was just 2.0 matrixed surround. I'm guessing the real question you're getting at is whether the 5.1 mixes utilize the new sound effects that the Criterion LD had. As far as that goes, while I have the Criterion LD, I don't have any of the DVDs for comparison.

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Old 11-30-05, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by filmfreak
Criterion version? Did I miss something?
Yes: laserdisc.

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Old 11-30-05, 03:03 PM
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Damin, you have the Criterion LD? (drool, drool....)

Wish they would maybe do a SuperBit Deluxe with all those extras!

d
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Old 11-30-05, 03:49 PM
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Davy,

I'm working on that right now...which is why i wanted to know if I should include that Criterion audio track or just use the one from the laserdisc. Looks like I'll be porting over the Criterion movie audio as well as Coppola's commentary and the effects/score track...with a 2nd disc of extras.

I didn't realize there were extra special effects included on that Criterion version.
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Old 11-30-05, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by djtoell
Strictly speaking, the DVD's 5.1 mixes would have to be different than the special Criterion LD track, as that was just 2.0 matrixed surround. I'm guessing the real question you're getting at is whether the 5.1 mixes utilize the new sound effects that the Criterion LD had. As far as that goes, while I have the Criterion LD, I don't have any of the DVDs for comparison.

DJ
Damn, between the two of us, Astoria must have one helluva dvd/laserdisc collection
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Old 11-30-05, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Davy Mack
Damin, you have the Criterion LD? (drool, drool....)
Yeah, I got it 3 or 4 years ago when I was on an eBay LD buying rampage. I recall that I got it for very cheaply (under $10?) at a time when it was generally going for a few times that. I'm not sure if it's worth anything these days. Now that Frighteners has hit DVD with all of the LD content, I'm guessing that The Game is probably one of the last LDs that go for a decent amount of money on eBay (Coppolla's Dracula was never in their category, price-wise, when I was hunting it down).

As for the Dracula LD, the commentary is great. I went from finding the film to be rather blah to, while not loving it, finding it to be a very interesting and watchable exercise in filmmaking technique.

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Old 11-30-05, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by djtoell
Yeah, I got it 3 or 4 years ago when I was on an eBay LD buying rampage. I recall that I got it for very cheaply (under $10?) at a time when it was generally going for a few times that. I'm not sure if it's worth anything these days. Now that Frighteners has hit DVD with all of the LD content, I'm guessing that The Game is probably one of the last LDs that go for a decent amount of money on eBay (Coppolla's Dracula was never in their category, price-wise, when I was hunting it down).

As for the Dracula LD, the commentary is great. I went from finding the film to be rather blah to, while not loving it, finding it to be a very interesting and watchable exercise in filmmaking technique.

DJ
After making my recent 2 DVD set for The Game, I've put mine up on Ebay. We'll see how much it goes for when it ends tonight

I've never listened to the Dracula commentary but the extras (especially those various takes of Keanu, which are HILARIOUS) are pretty cool. I can't wait to get started on that project.
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Old 11-30-05, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by digitalfreaknyc
I didn't realize there were extra special effects included on that Criterion version.
The new sound effects thing may be wrong. I know I read about it on IMDb's entry about the Criterion LD for the film, but upon looking at a scan of the cover (I'm in my office and don't have the LD handy ), I don't see any mention of that. I'm thinking that IMDb entry may be more than a bit off, as it claims the original Dolby Surround mix is included on the analog tracks, but the analog tracks actually have an isolated music & effects track and the commentary. The LD cover only says it was mastered from the "Dolby Stereo six-track digital master." This master was presumably the basis for the theatrical Dolby SR track and, if it had one, a Dolby Digital track. The cover doesn't mention any modifications to the master, or that the master was different than what was originally released.

What was it about the Criterion's soundtrack that you thought made it exclusive? Hopefully there's another piece of information out there...

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Old 11-30-05, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by digitalfreaknyc
After making my recent 2 DVD set for The Game, I've put mine up on Ebay. We'll see how much it goes for when it ends tonight
The current price ain't bad, but that's about half of what it used to end for a few years back. Do I save on shipping if I pick it up in person?

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Old 11-30-05, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by djtoell
The current price ain't bad, but that's about half of what it used to end for a few years back. Do I save on shipping if I pick it up in person?

DJ
Depends how nice you are.

duh. of course

we'll see how it ends. I'm sure i bit myself in the ass by torrenting my dual-layer 2 disc 16x9 version.
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Old 11-30-05, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by djtoell
What was it about the Criterion's soundtrack that you thought made it exclusive? Hopefully there's another piece of information out there...

DJ
Well, I don't have the disc with me either at the moment but I remember there being something about it being a specific downmix created from some master and was wondering if that was different than the one on the current DVD. Like I said, didn't know if I should port it over for my DVD version.
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Old 11-30-05, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by digitalfreaknyc
Depends how nice you are.

duh. of course
Actually, it wouldn't even be worth it for me. I haven't had my LD player connected to my other components for months. I mainly use them as autograph bait at horror conventions these days.

we'll see how it ends. I'm sure i bit myself in the ass by torrenting my dual-layer 2 disc 16x9 version.
Well, I don't have a DVD burner or sufficient harddrive space to DL that torrent, but you still might get a house call.

DJ
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Old 11-30-05, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by digitalfreaknyc
Well, I don't have the disc with me either at the moment but I remember there being something about it being a specific downmix created from some master and was wondering if that was different than the one on the current DVD. Like I said, didn't know if I should port it over for my DVD version.
If your goal is to be a completist, I would port it to be safe. Even if the same master was used for the DVDs, the DVD's 5.1 mixes are probably remixed and/or re-EQ'd for home viewing, so the Criterion LD is likely to provide a different listening experience (in addition to the fact that the surrounds would be matrixed, rather than discrete as on the 5.1 tracks).

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Old 11-30-05, 10:39 PM
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Not bad. Ended at almost $105.

Email me if you want directions to my apt lol all i ask is payment for the discs.

i've also done Se7en thus far...and others.
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Old 11-30-05, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by djtoell
If your goal is to be a completist, I would port it to be safe. Even if the same master was used for the DVDs, the DVD's 5.1 mixes are probably remixed and/or re-EQ'd for home viewing, so the Criterion LD is likely to provide a different listening experience (in addition to the fact that the surrounds would be matrixed, rather than discrete as on the 5.1 tracks).

DJ
Yeah. I might as well at this point. It would be very easy anyway. I'm using the video from the superbit with the 3 other audio tracks.
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Old 11-30-05, 11:11 PM
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This is the first time I've ever heard of the Criterion LD having new sound effects. Sounds very fishy to me. I saw the movie 3 times theatrically and a number of times on the Criterion LD and nothing struck me as new. Then again, the IMDb listing just claims it has "about 40 sound effects which are not present on the normal Dolby Surround mix". I mean, really, 40 sound effects in a 2 hr effects-heavy movie? Unless they're very prominent, who would even notice?

The statement that "The standard Dolby Surround mix is also included on the analog track" is patently untrue, so I'd personally just chalk this up to an IMDb user submission error.
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Old 12-01-05, 12:43 AM
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The DTS track on the superbit is pretty sweet...

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Old 12-01-05, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
for the Criterion laserdisc it actually states on the back that the soundmix is a remixed from the original 5.1 sound stems. While the back surround track is essentially mono, the discrete stereo surround sounds effects that were created for the 5.1 mix are actually re-incorporated and culled to create this alternate Dolby 4.1 'exclusive' Criterion version, so, yes it's a different mix than the past 4.1 versions.
Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like I'm including it.
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Old 12-01-05, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by digitalfreaknyc
Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like I'm including it.
where's my 'Evita'?
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Old 12-01-05, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
for the Criterion laserdisc it actually states on the back that the soundmix is a remixed from the original 5.1 sound stems.
Well, it calls them six-track stems, but I agree that we can really only assume that those six tracks were in the 5.1 configuration, given that Dolby had been using that configuration for their six-track mixes since Apocalypse Now's original release (well, since Superman, actually, but that was only a test release).

While the back surround track is essentially mono,
What back surround track where? Unless the sound designers purposely made both surround channels identical, the six-track master already had stereo surrounds. As you even note yourself, the master was surely in 5.1.

the discrete stereo surround sounds effects that were created for the 5.1 mix are actually re-incorporated and culled to create this alternate Dolby 4.1 'exclusive' Criterion version
First, the Criterion LD doesn't have a 4.1 track. It has a 2.0 matrixed surround track (on the digital channels, at least; the analog channels have the isolated M&E track and the commentary track). The matrixed surround track is necessarily mono. If anything, you've got it backwards: the master had discrete stereo surrounds, and the Criterion LD downmixed and matrixed that to a single mono surround channel.

Further, even if what you're saying is right (that a mono surround track from the master was spread out into stereo for the LD), that wouldn't make the Criterion soundtrack any different from the DVDs, which also contain discrete stereo surrounds. It also doesn't really seem to me to count as "re-incorporating" or "culling" the effects, it's just modifying the staging of the effects.

so, yes it's a different mix than the past 4.1 versions.
What past 4.1 versions? First, the Criterion LD is not 4.1, as I noted above. Second, what 4.1 soundtrack for the film existed prior to the LD, anyway? The master was six-track, surely in the 5.1 configuration. The theatrical prints were in Dolby SR, which is 2.0 matrixed surround. If Dolby Digital prints were struck (this film came out shortly after DD had its official premiere via Batman Returns), they were in 5.1. Any other video releases prior to the Criterion LD would also have been in 2.0 matrixed surround. So what 4.1 versions are there?

And, on top of everything else, the LD cover simply doesn't say any of that. It says that it has a "Digital Surround track transferred directly from Dolby six-track." This doesn't indicate any additional tweaking to me. From where are you getting your information?

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Old 12-01-05, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
where's my 'Evita'?
That will be coming AFTER Dracula.

Obviously there's much less demand for that one.
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Old 12-01-05, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Giles
do you know how many times I kept on re-editing this - for starters 6-track: (1)left front - (2)center- (3)right front, (4)right surround, (5)left surround (6) or (.1 as it is referred to nowadays) is bass.
Er...I know.

For the Criterion laserdisc the disc's producers went back to the 6-track masters and remixed the mono surround track to include those specific sound effects for the Criterion edition. (I read this in Widescreen Review)
It's a good thing you mention the WSR review, as I was able to find excerpts from it on usenet:

...The Criterion soundtrack is made from the soundtrack that won the Academy Award...It was combined into the Dolby Surround matrix from the actual six track 35mm mag Dolby SR master stems which contain the split stereo surrounds used to make the Dolby Stereo Digital six-track release prints. The stereo surrounds were summed and the bass boom track combined into a remixed four-track discrete master which was then passed through a Dolby SEU4 encoder to produce the LT/RT (left total/right total) matrix encoded two-track laserdisc soundtrack master. This was laid straight across to the D1 digital telecine picture master that Pioneer used to press the laserdiscs. The soundtrack was mixed and monitored through a Dolby SDU4 decoder at 85db SPL wiith no added equalization in a living room sized 15x20x10 foot suite at Digital Magnetics in Santa Monica.

...The Columbia soundtrack is the Dolby Stereo composite mix from a different set of Dolby SR stems. It is every bit as dynamic as the Criterion but is missing about 40 sound effects, most of which are contained in the split stereo surround Dolby Stereo Digital master. In the opening scene, for example, when Dracula's wife Elisabeta throws herself off the castle to the river below on the Criterion version, we hear in the surrounds the thunderous sounds of water, while the Columbia is virtually silent. Actually, the Criterion package contains on Analgog track 1 the same music and effects track as is on Columbia's digital soundtrack.


So here we answer two questions at once. First, this clarifies that the Criterion soundtrack did indeed have additional sound effects. Second, it makes clear that the six-track master did indeed contain stereo surrounds, and the Criterion disc uses that as its source. Beyond the necessity of turning the stereo surrounds into a single channel, putting the LFE channel back into the main channels, and matrixing everything (all of this has to be done any time a 5.1 track is turned into a 2.0 surround track, anyway), the Criterion soundtrack simply faithfully represents the six-track master.

Columbia's LD used a 2.0 composite source (they likely just used the theatrical Dolby Stereo SR master that was already matrixed) for that disc's track. While Columbia used what was already a composite source with the stereo surrounds converted into a single mono channel (just as Criterion had to do with their track, anyway), WSR doesn't say that the film itself originally had a mono channel or that Criterion mixed a mono surround channel into stereo. Criterion went a generation back from the composite source to the six-track master that already had stereo surrounds; Criterion turned stereo surrounds into a mono surround channel (just as I said earlier: "If anything, you've got it backwards: the master had discrete stereo surrounds, and the Criterion LD downmixed and matrixed that to a single mono surround channel.").

Criterion did not re-edit or remix the soundtrack. They just did a straightforward conversion of the discrete six-track master into a matrixed 2.0 surround track. Now, that master happened to contain some different sound effects than the composite 2.0 Dolby Stereo master that had been used by Columbia for their LD, but that doesn't mean Criterion had anything to do with that fact. Those different sound effects just happened to be on the master they used, and were not mixed into it by Criterion. Columbia and/or Zoetrope were responsible for the differing mixes back when the original master and theatrical composite master were created. (Personally, it sounds to me as if Columbia needed the Dolby SR composite master prepped sooner rather than later, and then Zoetrope had additional lead time to finish/tweak the 5.1 master.) The result is that Criterion's track contains some additional sound effects. And, although WSR indicates that they have equivalent dynamic range, from the tone of other usenet comments, it seems to me that the Criterion track is also a generally more aggressive mix as far as dynamic range and surround staging goes (it would seem to me that the agressive mixing in the 5.1 master survived even into the 2.0 matrixed track on the LD because Criterion didn't do any additional processing or remixing - Columbia and/or Zoetrope likely toned down the surround staging and dynamic range for the 2.0 Dolby Stereo composite master that was the source for the Columbia LD). Again, these differences occurred not because Criterion did any remixing, but specifically because they didn't.

I was referring the 4.1 as to the sound replicated through Dolby Pro-Logic sound: left front, center, right front, mono surround sound track, bass.
First, Pro-Logic decoding (at least, not the original Pro-Logic, which is all that existed at the time of the LD's release) doesn't create a separate LFE channel, so there would be no .1 involved. Any LFE directed to the sub is done so by the bass management settings of the receiver, not by any functioning of the Pro-Logic decoder (indeed, one can have a Pro-Logic system that is up to spec without having a subwoofer). Further, the entire point of the channel-numbering system (2.0, 5.1, etc.) is to describe the way the soundtrack is encoded (as opposed to decoded, as you've done), and then as to discrete channels only. No matter how your receiver decodes it, the soundtrack on the Criterion disc is 2.0. Referring to it as a 4.0 or 4.1 track defeats the purpose of the standard of channel numbering.

Jeesh you don't need to chew my head off. I'll reedit it to make sense.
First, I didn't chew your head off - I asked you to clarify and support claims that you made. Just because that happens to involve you not being happy about it, it doesn't mean I was chewing your head off.

DJ

Last edited by djtoell; 12-01-05 at 11:42 AM.
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