Hugh Robjohns wrote:It is certainly rather 'dry'...
The sound issue mentioned by the buying public and myself included was not the background noise, ambience, but the speech intelligibility
. I gave the reference to the UK buyer reviews. Have you read them?
Hugh Robjohns wrote:But... we don't know what the source film soundtrack was like; we don't know what the production company wanted; and we don't know the available restoration budget -- all things that have a very big influence on the resulting product.
No we don't have access to the source soundtrack. But we know that if data compressed generations downstream can be rebalanced for much clearer speech, then it's even more possible using the better source
! I managed it from the TV transmission. I have a library copy of the DVD of the 2016 release. That too can be rebalanced for much clearer speech. But I hear much more intelligible speech on my old VHS copy than what we hear on the remastered versions. Have you tried rebalancing the speech in the Network Distributors file which I linked to? It's all about the speech intelligibility. That is what the public has been complaining about, and they have either the BluRay, the DVD or perhaps a download.
Hugh Robjohns wrote:Here's a story of a broadly similar situation that might shine a different light on things:
A few years ago a friend of mine was involved in the recording of a top quality opera for bluray/DVD release, and the production company told him they wanted full, natural dynamics throughout. He suggested to them that this might not be appropriate for a typical domestic audience but despite all his professionalism and experience they were adamant. ...so that's what he delivered.
And I have to say that it sounds fabulously naturalistic when listened to at high levels on a good full-range system like wot I have here... But on an ordinary TV at ordinary domestic volumes most of it is inaudible -- as he warned it would be -- and so it was the worst selling disc the company has ever put out, with lots being returned as unlistenable.
It sounds a pity they didnt listened to him. Perhaps a compromise could have been worked out…
But the two soundtracks are hardly comparable. The opera sounds as if it carried the large dynamics of a live opera, which can be very problematic for casual listeners. But TIOBE was a dialogue recorded in 1951 with the limited dynamics of the equipment of that day. So as good, competent recordists they recorded it allowing for that. It isn't dynamic and was never going to be. We cant with all the modern technology today turn it into something it never was. But even insofar as we try to improve it, the last thing we would do is mess with the speech intelligibility. The play/film centres on the speech, the words, the text.
Hugh Robjohns wrote:It would be very easy for Tim or someone like him with lots of opinions but no knowledge to assume all the blame lies with the sound engineer (or mastering engineer!) for doing a crap job -- when the reality couldn't have been further from the truth.
All we have is the result. The engineer may have stated his objection as per your friend.He may not have.The manager may have listened to his objection and disregarded it. We dont know what happened as you rightly say.
Hugh Robjohns wrote:So I'm always very wary of criticising the production crew. Saying a product is not to your liking is one thing. Making assumptions and allocating blame without accurate knowledge of the situation is quite another and makes me very uncomfortable.
I don't and wont blame anyone, because as you say, we dont know.
the engineer was forced to mangle the speech clarity to that degree, against his expert advice to the management, then more fool the management. Goodness, only recently I shared my experience of being overridden on a technical matter by someone who hadnt a clue about the matter. Wouldnt I of all people be sympathetic to an engineer placed in a similar position by an ignorant or bullying manager ?! Wouldn't we all?