Rudolph sound issue

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Keith V, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    As I write this, CBS is playing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and (just like my DVD) the pitch of the music seems to waver in a very noticeable way. Does anyone know why?
    The VHS I taped from TV years ago doesn’t seem to have that problem. Any info would be helpful.
     
  2. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    My memory is some of the 35mm tracks for these old shows were lost and all that was left were an (inferior-sounding) 16mm mag, which inherently has a lot of wow & flutter.
     
  3. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    Location:
    Ohio
    My issue with Rudolph or any other old Rankin Bass holiday special, is that they aren't the same anymore, without this classic tag at the end of each ...

     
  4. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    I agree. That’s one of my favorite songs. :)
     
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  5. Keith V

    Keith V Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    I would think nowadays they could fix it digitally. Although knowing big networks, they’d just speed up everything to make room for commercials.
     
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  6. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Maybe it’s sped up to make room for the ads.
     
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  7. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Forum Resident

    I think its more likely that they cut out certain songs (like the Major's song in The Year Without A Santa Claus) to fit in more ads.
     
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  8. empirelvr

    empirelvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    I should be so used to it, but I still get a twinge of incredulity over the cavalier way valuable assets are treated by their owners. Sigh....
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
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  9. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Forum Resident

    Sadly, its not unusual. Doctor Who, Benny Hill, and Ernie Kovacs all have lost episodes because they weren't kept, and we almost lost the first season of Monty Python's Flying Circus (the tapes would have been erased and reused had Terry Jones not offered the BBC replacement tapes in exchange for the Monty Python's... tapes. Although it's not a well known series, I'd like to see all the episodes of My Living Doll but sadly only 11 episodes still exist with the rest being lost (although hope remains that some are still out there).

    Fortunately, with the advent of home video recording it is doubtful that episodes will disappear in the future. Plus, I think the companies now realize the value of their programs and will maintain copies in some form even if it is not in the best quality.
     
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  10. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I assume you know about the My Living Doll DVD release, right? I was very happily surprised we got that.
     
  11. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Freeform did that?
     
  12. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Forum Resident

    Yes. It contains 10 episodes plus a bonus episode. The bonus episode looks like it came from a video tape source and it doesn't look as good as the other episode on the disc. I hope that more episodes are still out there, but at least some were saved.
     
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  13. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Forum Resident

    I don't know, I'm going but what I've seen with viewings after the initial 0nes where I noticed a song that I'd seen was cut from the broadcast. This is one of the main reasons I prefer to watch them on home video (it's for the same reason that I will only watch the classic Warner Brothers cartoons on home video).
     
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  14. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I can guarantee that it was Freeform who did the editing to cut it down so they could fit more commercial breaks into it.
     
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  15. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Forum Resident

    Reading the above, I apologize for not being clear. The viewings I mentioned were on reruns of the specials on broadcast channels a long while ago. I've not seen the programs on Freeform.
     
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  16. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I wouldn't bother watching them on broadcast or cable. I'd stick with the home video release.
     
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  17. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Did you watch?
     
  18. Derek Gee

    Derek Gee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Detroit
    The 1965-1998 version of the show that was released on VHS & LD doesn't have the bad soundtrack with the wow and flutter and it has the song "Fame and Fortune" still in it! I'm still miffed that the version I grew up with is now completely unavailable, but some hybrid version that *nobody* ever saw is the official released version.

    Derek
     
  19. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    This isn't the first time that the later version of a film soundtrack actually sounded worse than an early 1990s home video version did. I can think of an example where in the early 2000s, I did an HD version of Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down, and we wound up using a soundtrack from a 1989 analog home video master tape because the distributor had lost all the master tracks to the film. Stuff falls through the cracks all the time.

    Another time, Fox sent over the "restored" version of a 1950s stereo film, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. I put up the tracks and it sounded awful, plus the oxide (from the 1990s) was starting to flake off. I asked them if they had anything else, and all they had in the studio was the original 1956 mag tracks. Much to our surprise, the original tracks actually sounded better than anything, and that's what we wound up using for that remaster. So bad decisions get made sometimes, and original tracks sometimes get discarded in favor of newer tracks that actually sound worse.
     
  20. empire145

    empire145 Member

    Not quiet a sound issue, but what has happened to “The Little Drummer Boy”? It was always a little murky but it’s almost unwatchable. The image is blown out and grainy as though it were a 5th generation dupe.
     
  21. Derek Gee

    Derek Gee Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Detroit
    Rumor has it that when the film made the transition from VHS (via Family Home Entertainment) to DVD (Sony Classic Media), the 35mm master print was lost. Allegedly, Classic Media's 2015 HD (and new DVD?) version is a reconstruction from 16mm B-roll footage and an unfinished underdub of the audio that's missing most of the sound effects and a hunk of Greer Garson's narration...! My 2007 multipack issue of LDB (along with other Rankin-Bass shows) has the correct soundtrack and looks about like it always did.

    Derek
     
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  22. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    It is astonishing how often stuff like this happens. Sometimes, what happened was the original negatives or the IP (the latter is a positive finegrain copy of the negative) got used for a transfer in, say, the 1980s, but was never returned to the original vault. Years, decades pass. Somebody decides to do a new HD version, and they go to the vault... and there's a big hole on the shelf where the original elements used to be. They check the files, call the company that received it in the 1980s... and they're either out of business or have no record of it ever being on their premises. So the distributor has no choice but to use a substandard film element for the HD version, or they just give up and cancel the release.

    Sound elements are equally problematic. I have encountered projects where we get the camera negative, but then the only soundtrack the studio has available is a really rotten optical soundtrack -- even for films made long after the studios switched from optical to magnetic recording (late 1940s/early 1950s). There are cases with relatively-recent TV shows, like Star Trek, where some of the original soundtracks were lost due to studio fires or flooding. And cases where the master tracks for films mixed and released in stereo (or surround) have disappeared, and all that survives is mono. Or worse, all that survives is incomplete. I've worked on a few projects where we got halfway through, then realized that either the picture was incomplete compared to the soundtrack, or the soundtrack was incomplete compared to the picture, so the studio abandoned the entire job. Bad stuff happens.

    It gets even worse when the original production company's assets got sold to various distributors and studios. There are a lot of films where the original film elements kind of got tossed to the four winds, because they went back and forth between NY and LA, or NY and England, or just got shuffled around about every 10 years for the last half-century. When a massive library gets moved -- we're talking 20,000 or more cans of film and mag tracks -- things always fall through the cracks. Boxes get mislabeled, things get thrown out... it's a nightmare. But that is the gist of why it happens.
     
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  23. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    To top that off there is also the issue of overtinkering with audio tracks in terms of remixing and cleanup that can cause even more issues. Many times I’ve gone out and found an older copy for nothing and discovered that the older release sounds better-particularly Laserdiscs. I’ve gotten to where I look at video releases the same way I do with different issues of favorite albums.
    This thread reminds me of why I’ve never bought the remastered Charlie Brown Christmas which chucked out the mono track in favor of a not so good 5.1 remix in addition to not restoring the still missing bits.
    And for some reason they then decided to release it in 4K.
     
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  24. empirelvr

    empirelvr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    I never did really understand that "Charlie Brown Christmas" remix. Another case of not going all the way. They obviously had the three channel DME to work with, but instead of going to the tapes of the true stereo soundtrack LP for the music (which, if it doesn't have 100% of the exact same cues used in the special, is so close I doubt it matters) they "widened" the mono music track of the DME which makes the whole thing sound terrible. A perfect opportunity to do it right missed as well as the best chance to fix the "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" cue at the end of the special completely wasted. I just don't get it. Good grief. ><
     
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  25. MarkTheShark

    MarkTheShark Forum Resident

    I actually saw that movie in the theatre when it came out. What are the odds that it would be mentioned in a thread about the Rankin-Bass specials?

    And thanks to Vidiot for all the stories and insight into the stuff that can happen with various elements.
     
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