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35mm VS 70mm Mixes (And where to find them?)
(2021-10-12, 12:48 PM)spoRv Wrote: A "35mm Dolby Surround Vs 70mm 6-track" debate should worth its own thread... who will start it? Wink

I decided to be the one to take the step forward with this since I’ve been poking around and trying to track down as many different 70mm mixes available on home media and thought this thread would be a good place to help keep track of that as well as serve as a place where people can talk about the differences between these mixes.

Apologies on my behalf in advance if I make some stupid assumption.

From what I’ve been able to garner so far as a general rule of thumb, THX laserdiscs appear to be a consistent go-to for finding original 6-track 70mm mixes on home media? It appears to be the case for both the first two Alien movies as well as Top Gun for example.

I do want to take this opportunity though to ask if whether or not certain movies ever had their 70mm mixes ever got released over their 35mm counterparts (which are prevalently found for any movie with nearly any laserdisc release it seems).

Something like The Goonies for example.
https://www.in70mm.com/library/engagemen.../index.htm Wrote:[Image: goonies_02.jpg]
The audio was Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded “baby boom” format).
From everything I’ve seen on the LDDB, all the releases appeared to be in stereo so there’s no real easy way to tell if any of them stemmed from the 6-track spread mix from what I could tell? I’m operating off of the assumption the surround tracks on latter releases are remixes atm.

I also wonder about the 70mm for Big Trouble In Little China, especially given I am currently working on the regrade project.
https://www.in70mm.com/library/engagemen.../index.htm Wrote:[Image: little_china.jpg]
The audio was Six-Track Dolby Stereo (“A” encoded).
It was determined the stereo track for the Fox master sounded the closest to the Dolby-decoded optical but has anyone properly determined whether or not the 70mm mix is the 5.1 surround track on the BDs or perhaps some older laserdisc? It was briefly mentioned on the older quick regrade project by @PDB but there was no certainty on the matter it seems.

Anyone have any thoughts on the matter of that movie or any other movie that got a 70mm blow-up for that matter?
[Image: ivwz24G.jpg]
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wasn't the 5.1 mix on the Die Hard laserdisc also from the 70mm mix?
seem to recall Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country also having it's 70mm mix on a Laserdisc or DVD release. I think those collectors edition DVD's of the Star Trek film might of also been included with that presumption as well
Thanks given by:
It does seem to be a rule that AC-3 laserdiscs tend to include the original 70mm mixes, often with mono surrounds in the case of Format 42 tracks, with the accompanying 2.0 PCM tracks tending to be fold-downs. Laserdisc also saw the first of the 'Chace' style 5.1 remixes with Evil Dead and I think A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Although technically not 70mm as it was released in Dolby SR-D (AC-3), the Criterion release of Bram Stoker's Dracula contains the 6-track mix, albeit as 2.0 matrixed PCM. So the legend goes this mix contains extra effects not present in the original 2.0 Lt-Rt mix, which was included on the earlier Columbia LD. I have this LD now but wouldn't like to say whether this is true but in the early scene with Elisabeta and the waterfall there is water sound coming from the surrounds.
There is a chance the AC-3 re-release of Dune has the 70mm 6-track, it is a very dynamic mix but someone who has seen it in 70mm would be in a better position to confirm this.
Thanks given by: LucasGodzilla
(2021-10-19, 09:52 AM)Bigrob Wrote: wasn't the 5.1 mix on the Die Hard laserdisc also from the 70mm mix?
seem to recall Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country also having it's 70mm mix on a Laserdisc or DVD release. I think those collectors edition DVD's of the Star Trek film might of also been included with that presumption as well

In regards to Die Hard, I'll refer to an old Zoidberg post.
(2019-10-12, 11:47 PM)zoidberg Wrote: This has been discussed elsewhere on the forum, but to cut a long story short every DVD release of Die Hard has seen the audio remixed, even the original non-anamorphic THX DVD.

The general consensus is that the first LD (1666-80) has the original Dolby Stereo track while the subsequent THX LD (8905-85) has the 70mm 6-track (with mono surrounds) presented as 5.1 AC-3 and matrixed 2.0 PCM. The DTS LD (0890584) also has this 70mm mix and it's a cracker  Smile  Much like True Lies, the DTS LD is also not THX-certified, make of that what you will

As for Star Trek VI though, I honestly have no clue on that matter. All I could find on the matter on the In70mm website was the following...
https://www.in70mm.com/library/blow_up/y.../index.htm Wrote:Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
[Image: undiscovered_small.jpg]
Super 35
Dec 6 (USA)
6-Track Dolby Stereo SR (SS)
Paramount 70mm trailers: “Wayne’s World,” “Cool World” and “The Last Boy Scout”
This was also test screened in 35mm-Dolby Digital.
[Image: ivwz24G.jpg]
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The difficulty is that, unless it's explicitly stated from a reliable source, there's no way to know which home media tracks are a recreation of the original 70mm 6-Track mix. I say recreation because there's always a degree of remixing involved in converting an original 4.2 6-Track mix into a 5.1 channel home mix. Many releases claim to use the original 70mm track but often that just means they used it as a basis of what is essentially a new mix rather than faithfully recreating the original.

One can look for telltale signs that a 5.1 track is not a modern remix such as mono surrounds or dialogue panning but this could also mean it's just a discrete upmix of the 35mm Stereo track. On the other hand many original 70mm mixes may be hiding in plain sight as 5.1 mixes on titles that the studio didn't feel warranted the expense of a full remix.

Here's an old list I started at one time based on info I'd gathered online. Original sources are long since lost so please take with a shaker of salt.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
LD and 1998 DVD have 5.1 track derived from 70mm mix.

Alien (1979)
UHD contains a 4.1 track likely derived from 70mm Dolby Stereo mix.

Apocalypse Now (1979)
Remastered BD contains a 5.1 recreation of the original 70mm mix.

Batman (1989)
70mm mix is basically the same as the Stereo Surround mix with a discrete surround channel. 1997 DVD contains this mix in 5.1.

Die Hard (1988)
DTS LD has original 70mm mix.

Ghostbusters (1984)
1999 DVD 5.1 track has mono surrounds so possibly 70mm mix. BD/UHD releases have split surrounds.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
2003 DVD 5.1 is derived from 70mm mix.

Spaceballs (1987)
2000 DVD 5.1 is supposedly 70mm mix.

Superman: The Movie (1978)
UHD contains a 5.1 recreation of the original 70mm mix.

The Black Hole (1979)
BD 5.1 has mono surrounds. Possible 70mm mix.

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954)
BD 5.1 has mono surrounds. Possible 70mm mix.
Thanks given by: LucasGodzilla , borisanddoris , SwatDB
Here's the thing, most 70mm mixes were simply discrete presentations of the 35mm matrixed tracks. However the increase in quality going up to 70mm mag was huge, plus the discrete tracks were full phase which opened up the soundstage further ('spread'). Occasionally the 70mm was the primary mix which was then massaged to work as a matrixed 35mm track but more often than not it was the other way around.
It's also important to distinguish between Todd-AO style 6-track (5 fronts and 1 rear) and 70mm Dolby Stereo which had 3 fronts, mono or split surround and also the option of a baby boom (subwoofer) channel. Dolby were recommending even then that dialogue be locked to the centre channel so a lack of dialogue panning should not be used to rule out a 70mm mix. Also on a mixing desk the subwoofer channel would have been a separate track and added to the LC/RC (which later became the split surrounds) during mastering/transfer to mag so it is somewhat disingenuous to suggest a 6-track mix not presented as stored on the mag tracks cannot be an original mix
Thanks given by: LucasGodzilla
regarding Dune, i saw the 70mm twice. the opening dialogue is very deep and quite bassy compared to how it sounds on home video.
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The way I see it is that in most cases, LaserDiscs are going to get us closer to the original theatrical mix (whether 70mm mag, optical Dolby, or AC3/DTS) than any other format. Next would be a handful of DVDs that either match their LaserDisc counterpart or were made early on in the life of the format. Very rarely are BD/UHDs going to have anything totally original unless specifically stated. Superman's 70mm mix comes to mind as something that is a surprise to see on the format. Columbia/Sony also seems to be providing original mixes (Labyrinth is up for debate).

Doing some research and comparing rips of the old tracks may help point us to more answer, like Ghostbusters. I had always felt the 1999 DVD's 5.1 track felt more accurate and when I examined the wave forms vs. the BD, I found those mono surrounds...which is certainly a tell tale sign that its more original than things that came after.

I know that New Line was known for doing near field remixes, going back to Seven on LD, so tread lightly with anything from them. I also found that some early Warner Bros. DVDs had their AC3 tracks slightly modified for better folding down into 2 channel sound vs. their LaserDisc counterparts. I'd love to put some of those under a microscope to verify that feeling. Twister comes to mind.

What would be nice is if we could get some official words from folks working at the studios to confirm their sources for the audio mixes. I mean, more often than not, they are open about which picture elements they use...why can't audio be the same?

EDIT: We should also be careful when comparing home video tracks to the cinema because not all cinemas are aligned the same, have the same gear, etc. It's certainly a good base to start with, especially in terms of content like music cues, sound effects, etc. Also, I'd argue most cinemas today sound like garbage compared to the 90s-early 2000s before digital cinema came in and ruined just about everything.
Thanks given by: SwatDB
I was under the impression that the New Line Se7en LD had a near-field mix (by Ren Klyce) due to the fact it shared the master with the Criterion LD, and that it was a Criterion thing rather than a New Line one (The Game had a near-field too IIRC, and quite a few Crtierion LDs feature 'remastered' or 'optimised' mixes). Although New Line did go all in in the DVD era with Mi Casa etc.
Thanks given by: borisanddoris
Ah yes, Mi Casa. Yeah, re-mix wizards. Ugh. Smile


"The home-theater platform is a distinct format in itself and requires a certain degree of preparation. It’s not just a direct transfer from theatrical 5.1; it requires translation. You have speakers that are six to 10 or 15 feet away from you at ear level in the home theater versus speakers 75 feet away from you in a large movie house. The quality of the audio necessarily has to be different."
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