Douglass Fake wrote:
One big thing to keep in mind, and this we know from being the original label to finance the project back in 1986. The three-channel mixes for Poltergeist II were NOT designed for true stereo listening but made for the Dolby four-channel film prints. On this title, the center channel was mixed specifically with balancing underneath dialog. As such, instruments were positioned in that region separately from where they were in the proper stereo listening mixes. Re-mastering these mixes can address lots of audio issues for today's marketplace BUT can not alter the intentions of them being made to accommodate dialog in Dolby presentations. We already went through all of this with both Goldsmith and Bruce Botnick when we made the original album, one of the first digital soundtracks to hit the then-new CD marketplace, and again when we put together our first expanded release. Goldsmith specifically stated the mixes for the film presentations altered the violas, woodwinds, percussion and some of the electronics considerably and said they were not designed for listening apart from the dialog because they would phase improperly.
While there is warmth to the analog three-channel elements, the instrumental positioning is out of kilter with the actual two-track digital mixes Botnick created. Both he and Goldsmith preferred the digital two-track sources (Sony PCM format) because they reflected what the orchestra spread was intended to be. Though it was then state-of-the-art, the Poltergeist II recording has never been my favorite in terms of audio, and hot and brittle is a good way to describe the digital sources. However, the correct stereo imaging and spread of the true stereo mixes is certainly an important consideration and trumps warmth for me.
If the 1/2" three-channel tapes were all that survived, using them would be a necessity. But the true stereo PCM masters do exist. When we decided to delete the release, we sent the masters to Varese so they could do their own version.
I'll look forward to this upcoming new version and probably enjoy it just fine. Bruce Kimmel can work wonders with the audio on his albums. But that said, my personal preference will still be the true stereo mixes Goldsmith and Botnick created.
Let me be as nice as I can be here and believe me, I'm biting my tongue so hard that it's bleeding
First of all, Goldsmith did the three-channel mixdowns and they sound AMAZING and there is nothing funky or incorrect about the orchestra placement and they are, of course, true stereo, and I would posit that Mr. Fake has never even heard them. And yes, we chose the half-inch analogue because the digital sounds like crap. I had no interest whatsoever in replicating any of the previous releases - why would I? We have the digital two-track mixes and I don't need them from the PCM because I have - wait for it - the Intrada and the Varese releases and if I wanted to use them I would, but I don't so I'm not. Furthermore, the stereo mixes Goldsmith and Botnick created (mostly Botnick) don't really reflect the music as heard in the film, so there's that. Furthermore, there is more orchestral detail on the half-inches and one hears more of certain bits of orchestration and let me tell you I'm all for that. Furthermore, there is so much awful reverb wash on the choir that it affects the orchestra, which is already plenty wet in the room and it all just becomes mush, IMO. But, if anyone is concerned by all means keep the shorter Intrada version - I'm afraid that I'd have to disagree that the material added to the Varese is inconsequential and I'd further disagree that even the four short new tracks we have are inconsequential, and then to get the film versions of the two cues that play without choir in the film as bonus stuff, plus some other fun bonus stuff, including one alternate we found - well, it's two CDs and at 19.98 if this were being released by someone else, say Intrada, I'd snap it up instantly. In fact, my feeling is that if this were being released by Intrada they'd be trumpeting all the extras and lambasting Varese for not making it complete in the first place.
Now, if we're going to go down this road, which is a road that's not really necessary, maybe we should discuss Dressed to Kill. Shall we do that? I'm happy to oblige and go into great detail
I now return you to Intradaland.
Love and kisses,