Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2020 - 10:50 PM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

When Star Trek II got its analog-to-digital conversion at Precision AudioSonics, does anyone know what the bit size and sampling rate (in kHz) was? It's a missing piece in my documentation.

I have the following Lukas quote from 2009 in my notes:

"We used mostly the analogue safety 3-track 1/2" because the digital 3M 1/2" 3-track tape nobody can play anymore! There was also a 1" 32-track 3M tape that only one place can play anymore (Walt Disney Imagineering; they keep a machine working) that we used for some cues (the 3-track film mixes are printed along with the multitrack channels) but it had to be baked and this caused some ticks (which we have to painstakingly edit out) and the analogue was actually the better source. (Did you know the 3M machine ran at a sampling rate of 50 khz, not 44.1 or even 48? So you have to go analogue out anyway!) Hope that answers the question. In all honesty...digital converters must be better now than in 1982, right? Thanks!

Lukas"

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2020 - 11:18 PM   
 By:   Traveling Matt   (Member)

Zap, I hope you don't mind me piggybacking onto your thread ("piggy... back? A human metaphor, pardon me"). But this is just too close to appropriate to start another thread and the answers might come from the same person. I was listening to TWOK an hour ago and realized it's the only score from the original crew films to have very few extras. One, in fact. Which, considering the CD runtime, makes sense. But surely there's more from this great score to uncover, especially from the 28-year-old James Horner.

Would it make sense for a label to revisit this title one last time, covering all material that could fit on two discs and upgrading the sound, which could no doubt be improved over 2009 and in high resolution (which probably didn't happen back then)?

I think this is the only thing lacking among the ST movie scores at this point. Well, this and maybe a Search for Spock revisit too.

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2020 - 11:34 PM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)


Hi Guys,

Bit size and sampling rate I tried to explain in those notes, I guess I didn't do it right.

First of all, we mostly used an analogue source, because the digital source was a very wonky, early 3M digital tape that was, I believe, the first digital multitrack format. When we started the project, we didn't have any ability to play it. So we used the analogue master mixes source.

Then I think we discovered we did need some things from the digital 3M source and it was a huge pain in the ass because the only machine left in the world that can play it is at Walt Disney Imagineering...who very graciously let us go over there and transfer it on a rental basis. But it was quite expensive.

And, to answer your question, I think it was 16 bit/50 kHz (neither 44.1 nor 48) which means you have to use its analogue outputs and resample at 48. So much fun.

Traveling Matt: there are few extras because there simply wasn't much else there to use. I think the only alternate we didn't use was another version of Amazing Grace where the bagpipe was in a different key (a semitone away), because bagpipes don't tune well and Horner was trying to find the best key where it would be most in tune with the orchestra. Paramount was concerned it didn't reflect well on the score, because just an alternate that was sort of out of tune, so we dropped it. I also think there were a couple of experiments with the "musical sound FX" that were added to the Battle at the Mutara Nebula (not in the original album) before the Reliant charges out of the cloud and attacks Enterprise.

So there's just not much else to make it worth doing a 2CD set, I think.

Maybe Neil Bulk will have something more accurate and interesting to add, as he did so much more work on it than I did, with Mike Matessino of course.

Incidentally, we later discovered that Horner wrote a very short (20-25 second cue) called "The Reliant," slated 2M1, I think for a Reliant flyby on its way to Ceti Alpha VI/V—but it was never recorded!

Lukas

 
 Posted:   Dec 7, 2020 - 11:50 PM   
 By:   Traveling Matt   (Member)

Thanks for the reply, Lukas. And here I imagined a hungry, young composer trying everything he could on a budget bigger than Battle Beyond the Stars, and it all being captured for posterity on tape. Guess not. razz

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 7:51 AM   
 By:   Omni   (Member)

Hi Guys,

Bit size and sampling rate I tried to explain in those notes, I guess I didn't do it right.

First of all, we mostly used an analogue source, because the digital source was a very wonky, early 3M digital tape that was, I believe, the first digital multitrack format. When we started the project, we didn't have any ability to play it. So we used the analogue master mixes source.

Then I think we discovered we did need some things from the digital 3M source and it was a huge pain in the ass because the only machine left in the world that can play it is at Walt Disney Imagineering...who very graciously let us go over there and transfer it on a rental basis. But it was quite expensive.

And, to answer your question, I think it was 16 bit/50 kHz (neither 44.1 nor 48) which means you have to use its analogue outputs and resample at 48. So much fun.

Traveling Matt: there are few extras because there simply wasn't much else there to use. I think the only alternate we didn't use was another version of Amazing Grace where the bagpipe was in a different key (a semitone away), because bagpipes don't tune well and Horner was trying to find the best key where it would be most in tune with the orchestra. Paramount was concerned it didn't reflect well on the score, because just an alternate that was sort of out of tune, so we dropped it. I also think there were a couple of experiments with the "musical sound FX" that were added to the Battle at the Mutara Nebula (not in the original album) before the Reliant charges out of the cloud and attacks Enterprise.

So there's just not much else to make it worth doing a 2CD set, I think.

Maybe Neil Bulk will have something more accurate and interesting to add, as he did so much more work on it than I did, with Mike Matessino of course.

Incidentally, we later discovered that Horner wrote a very short (20-25 second cue) called "The Reliant," slated 2M1, I think for a Reliant flyby on its way to Ceti Alpha VI/V—but it was never recorded!

Lukas


Interesting regarding the short Reliant flyby. smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 10:03 AM   
 By:   NSBulk   (Member)

Our analog-to-digital transfers were done at 44.1/24. The 3M transfer done at Imagineering was 96/24.

Neil

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 11:48 AM   
 By:   Jason LeBlanc   (Member)

So perhaps in a future a fresh 96/24 transfer of the analog element combined with the existing 96/24 3M transfer could result in a nice new remaster for us all to enjoy?

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 12:17 PM   
 By:   NSBulk   (Member)

So perhaps in a future a fresh 96/24 transfer of the analog element combined with the existing 96/24 3M transfer could result in a nice new remaster for us all to enjoy?

Keep in mind it would all be coming from circa-1982 digital recordings, so there's not much there.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 12:24 PM   
 By:   Jason LeBlanc   (Member)

I thought the 3M was digital but the "analogue safety 3-track 1/2" was analog? You're saying that is just a dub of a native digital recording?

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 12:42 PM   
 By:   NSBulk   (Member)

I thought the 3M was digital but the "analogue safety 3-track 1/2" was analog? You're saying that is just a dub of a native digital recording?

The analog tapes are just selects and not the full recording sessions. Several cues are also slated "re-mix" which leads me to think they recorded everything to digital and mixed to analog for dubbing.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 1:01 PM   
 By:   Jason LeBlanc   (Member)

I read the main post more carefully - the 1" 32 track 3M would be the master recording. Got it!

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 1:01 PM   
 By:   Traveling Matt   (Member)

Hey Neil, so you're thinking it went digital > analog > 2009 digital transfer? And a better-sounding release, theoretically, would have to come from rebuilding using those original digital elements that are no longer around?

Edit: I read the first post more carefully too, and it looks like the original original is a digital format no one can play. That would be were a (worthwhile) high resolution transfer would come from? Is there any chance of those tapes being accessible now?

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 1:07 PM   
 By:   NSBulk   (Member)

Hey Neil, so you're thinking it went digital > analog > 2009 digital transfer? And a better-sounding release, theoretically, would have to come from rebuilding using those original digital elements that are no longer around?

I don't think there'd be much to gain going back to the original digital. This is locked into the 1982 3M Digital format of the era and re-mixing would be opening an all-new can of worms for few actual benefits.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 1:09 PM   
 By:   Traveling Matt   (Member)

Gotcha. Thanks.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 1:10 PM   
 By:   Jason LeBlanc   (Member)


I read the first post more carefully too, and it looks like the original original is a digital format no one can play. That would be were a (worthwhile) high resolution transfer would come from? Is there any chance of those tapes being accessible now?


They already did a 24/96 transfer of that original original, but it's not the 3 channel mixes - its 32 tracks. They'd have to completely remix it from scratch.

That's why it made more sense to use the 1/2" analog tape, which was already mixed.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 1:17 PM   
 By:   Traveling Matt   (Member)

I see. And since 1982 digital wouldn't yield better results, there was no reason to go thru the hassle.

Thinking on TMP now (and how much flexibility there was for the 3-CD in comparison) I wonder if the decision to go digital for TWOK was related to cost savings, or if it was simply the new thing to do and ended up more restrictive later on.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 1:47 PM   
 By:   LordDalek   (Member)

Early 80s Digital wasn't that great. One only need to look at the low scores early CBS Masterworks and Deutsche Grammophon recordings got back in those days to see why.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 5:00 PM   
 By:   Nono   (Member)

Early 80s Digital wasn't that great. One only need to look at the low scores early CBS Masterworks and Deutsche Grammophon recordings got back in those days to see why.

Brahms's 4th symphony by Carlos Kleiber and the Leonard Bernstein recordings on Deutsche Grammophon come to mind and they all sound superb.

The Chalfont and Varèse digital recordings of the early 80s also sound great.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2020 - 5:24 PM   
 By:   Traveling Matt   (Member)

IIRC issues back then had more to do with mastering naïveté than actual potential in source materials.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 9, 2020 - 4:26 AM   
 By:   Palomar   (Member)


I read the first post more carefully too, and it looks like the original original is a digital format no one can play. That would be were a (worthwhile) high resolution transfer would come from? Is there any chance of those tapes being accessible now?


They already did a 24/96 transfer of that original original, but it's not the 3 channel mixes - its 32 tracks. They'd have to completely remix it from scratch.

That's why it made more sense to use the 1/2" analog tape, which was already mixed.


Hi,
this is my first post, so I hope not to cause confusion, but what about the 24-track 2” analog backup mentioned in the liner notes (page 10) of the FSM edition? I guess that tape contains the unmixed channels and therefore it was excluded as a possible source due to Paramount's request not to remix the score (see this link: https://trekmovie.com/2009/07/28/review-of-wrath-of-khan-extended-soundtrack-producer-interview/)
However: was this analog multi-track recording performed in parallel to the digital one during the scoring sessions? Or was it just an analog copy made from the analog outputs of the 3M 32-track digital deck?

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2021 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved...