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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:02 pm 
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Douglass Fake wrote:
I think I can live with most of Bruce's explanation because when we get down to comparing what our ears are hearing, I will stay with mine and he should stay with his. I would not dismiss one's ability to hear overtones and similar sonic items as quickly as Bruce does since those overtones are an absolute necessity in the reproduction of music even though many listeners do not realize they are hearing them. I admit having sat in the trumpet section of an orchestra for several years helped me take notice.

So all is probably peaceful save one thing factual, not creative or opinion in nature. The suggestion that the two track stereo mixes may have come from the three channel mixes can be disposed of since it is not only untrue but can be confirmed by reading the "technical note" Bruce Botnick attached to the back packaging of our original LP and the inside packaging of our CD. That text states - in admittedly clunky language designed to emphasize the word digital as often as possible - the source of our mixes was in fact the actual 3324 format twenty-four channel digital masters. (And for what we were billed by Digital Magnetics back then, it ought to be!) No two track mixes have ever been made from the three channel mixes that I know of until now. But I am certainly up for a new Poltergeist II experience. I find the opening cue ("The Power") to be one of Goldsmith's most powerful thematic cues ever, especially as it introduces not just one but both new themes associated with Craig T. Nelson's character, which is much more involved in this second chapter than the first one.

I think we are mostly in the same camp with regards to analog "warmth" over digital sampling rates and reproduction of same. That sadly is the nature of the digital beast, which admittedly today has sorted out most of the artifacts well enough to be quite listenable.

All this said, I will stick with my memory of the events that happened back at the Capitol Records building in February of 1986 where Digital Magnetics was then housed... and I will stick with my first-hand knowledge of the comments being made by Goldsmith and Botnick with regards to all of the mixes. Anything newly done today, without benefit of those artists, just becomes Bruce's creative liberty.

However, if Bruce performs some of his wizardry on this version, I'm all for it.
--Doug


Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. :)

Here's the bottom line - there is no difference in these mixes as far as I can hear (most of my comparisons have been between the Varese and our new one). The original three-track mixes were printed to both digital and analogue sources, and were done by someone named Jerry Goldsmith and someone named Bruce Botnick. If you are telling me they simply did not print those three-track mixes (from the digital source) to two-track as we are (from the analogue source), then I will bow in pure admiration that Mr. Botnick could recreate perfectly the spatial relationship of the orchestra and synths, putting everything in exactly the same place as the three-track mix downs at exactly the same level (save for the choir, which is an overlay). That would be some amazing feat, frankly, and I would also say it would be virtually impossible, but that's just me. And, BTW, his language in that original note can be interpreted in many different ways, I have to tell you. In other words, of course the source of the mix is the original multi-channel tapes, just as the source of the three-track mix downs is the original multi-channel tapes. But whatever. I don't think anyone will hear anything in the mix that is different - what they will hear is hopefully a cleaner sound, a more detailed sound, more of the amazing orchestral detail, and a cleaner-sounding choir. That has been my aim from the beginning. As to the constant talk of "overtones" and "similar sonic items" well, it's a little wacky to me because, again, I'm listening to the digital mix and the analogue mix and I don't hear any such things. Perhaps when you actually hear our CD you'll find that you don't hear them either - but then again, as you say, our ears may be attuned to different frequencies and things.

At this point, I'm with Roger - ordered!

I thought we were through, and I hope that we now are. Everyone has said their piece and I hope peace due to the pieces can now put us all in harmony with perfect overtones and a lovely mix.


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:25 pm 
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Doug & bruce, you guys are really fun.... good to see even you still are "fanboys" after all, some kind... :wink:

about freedom of speech... I'm not sure bout this anymore in the last years. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:41 pm 
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All I can think of, as nothing more than a consumer, albeit a passionate consumer, is how fortunate we are that people like Douglass Fake and Bruce Kimmel, among others, are the producers behind the releases of this music we few people care about. Because they obviously care too. Passionately, and it shows.


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:53 pm 
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Anakin McFly wrote:
I love all this tech-talk from you Doug. I really do ! I always read your tech-talk column in all the Intrada booklets and I always treasure those precious informations you're giving us and often comes back to it when i have any doubt regarding the original source of a given score or the story behind the transfer on CD.

Everything you are saying makes perfect sense to me : three channels mix for the movie (to make a proper mix in the center with dialogues) and two channels mix for a stereo album. Two different mixing works made from the same 24 tracks master.
As an amateur movie mixer myself (often doing 5.1 DTS mix) I wonder how can you properly downgrade the 3 tracks mix to a stereo mix, since the center channel which is in mono can't be split in two different parts. Unless using a software to separate some frenquencies from others (degrading the sound of the whole), if I had no choice but to downmix the 3 channels elements, I'd just have to equally balance the center channel with the right and left channel or choose to balance it in priority on the left or on the right channel. The result would be a very approximative placement of the center channel instruments, of course ! And it certainly wouldn't be what the composer had intended for his album since it was designed for the movie with dialogues and sound effects.

I'll stick to the digital master because it comes from the original 24 tracks elements and has been approved by Jerry and Bruce Botnick as the official stereo album mix. Just my opinion based on all this discussion and my own mixing logic.


Interestingly we are reissuing an album (next year) that first came out in the 80s and the three-track were not folded down properly, resulting in everything shifting to the center. While it's not mono per se, much of the stereo separation is gone. This same master was reissued a couple of years ago. We're remixing to restore the proper stereo balance. (Same issue that happened with Perseverance's MUTANT...people were complaining it sounded like mono. It wasn't, but whoever remixed the three track for got an important detail so the center channel was dominant).


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:09 am 
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Wow, I'm pretty sure you can do wonders with that !
Again when you have no choice but to use the 3 tracks elements to create a stereo mix, that's the way to go. Not an easy task to avoid making it sound mono, but still...

Quote:
As to the constant talk of "overtones" and "similar sonic items" well, it's a little wacky to me because, again, I'm listening to the digital mix and the analogue mix and I don't hear any such things. Perhaps when you actually hear our CD you'll find that you don't hear them either - but then again, as you say, our ears may be attuned to different frequencies and things.

You can hear those details when listening to the masters. In my opinion, you just can't on a CD (16 bits, 44 kHz) which is based on digital norms too old (1982) to clearly present such refined differences. If you had decided to put your master on a high def disc (SACD or Blu-Ray Audio) then you could have created an amazing multi-channels mix, with the center intruments on the specific center channel and mixing the choir whenever you wanted in space (right, left, center, rear). Then all the sound details of the masters could have been properly transfered on disc :
- 1 bit at a 2 822 400 Hz sampling rate with a dynamic range up to 120 dB on SACD
- 24 bits at a 96 000 Hz sampling rate on Blu-Ray Audio
I would certainly have bought such a "master disc" !


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:49 am 
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On a related but separate note ...

What were the circumstances between both Intrada and Varese Sarabande both releasing the original Poltergeist II CD back in 1986?

And were they the same mix?


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:15 am 
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Stephen Woolston wrote:
On a related but separate note ...

What were the circumstances between both Intrada and Varese Sarabande both releasing the original Poltergeist II CD back in 1986?

And were they the same mix?



This is not an answer, but I think it's an interesting aside:

When Intrada did its first CD release of "Poltergeiset II", I was on USS Carl Vinson and on deployment (we called those deployments "WestPacs" because we were in the western Pacific for many months). At any rate, we were in port (either Hong Kong or Singapore, but I suspect it was Hong Kong) and I was hitting all the CD shops I could find. One of my finds was "Poltergeist II"...on the Varese Sarabande label. That's right...the CD that Doug had only recently issued on the Intrada label was on the VS label in Asia. I knew Doug was releasing it and I was amazed it was on VS. I bought it and told Doug about it upon my return to the States.

I don't know if Doug remembers or not, but I swapped it with him for one on the Intrada label.

:D


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Ron Pulliam wrote:
Stephen Woolston wrote:
On a related but separate note ...

What were the circumstances between both Intrada and Varese Sarabande both releasing the original Poltergeist II CD back in 1986?

And were they the same mix?



This is not an answer, but I think it's an interesting aside:

When Intrada did its first CD release of "Poltergeiset II", I was on USS Carl Vinson and on deployment (we called those deployments "WestPacs" because we were in the western Pacific for many months). At any rate, we were in port (either Hong Kong or Singapore, but I suspect it was Hong Kong) and I was hitting all the CD shops I could find. One of my finds was "Poltergeist II"...on the Varese Sarabande label. That's right...the CD that Doug had only recently issued on the Intrada label was on the VS label in Asia. I knew Doug was releasing it and I was amazed it was on VS. I bought it and told Doug about it upon my return to the States.

I don't know if Doug remembers or not, but I swapped it with him for one on the Intrada label.

:D


Yeah, Doug remembers. What a strange arrangement. I will never allow us to get "worked over" like that again, either.

In a nutshell: We paid for the actual MGM project, paid the full 100% AFM "new use" fees (upwards of $50,000.00 for a half hour album) PLUS the AFTRA fees for the singers as well as virtually all mixing, editing and mastering fees from Digital Magnetics - then, incredibly - agreed to use MGM's suggested national distributor at the time (FastFire) to distribute for us. After shipping them thousands of LPs, CDs and cassettes, all fully paid for by us, that rotten-to-the-core distributor went under without sending us a single dime! Then, to top it off, MGM wanted us to sub-license to international territories. Since we were brand new, we agreed to let Varese Sarabande take our CD master and negotiate deals around the other territories. No need to tell you how that all worked out for us, either. AND - if that all wasn't enough of a hard lesson learned - we did not even think about asking for "in perpetuity" rights, which we certainly deserved and should have received. So now, any label can earn money out of it. It's the gift that just keeps on giving.

The good news: we survived, grew a lot stronger... and now negotiate our deals with a bit more business acumen and plain old common sense.
--Doug


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:14 am 
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I know nobody would have chosen to create a 30-minute program of Poltergeist II apart from the AFM fees, but I can tell you I was actually fond of that 30-minute program.

I had not seen the film. (Still haven't, actually), but the LP was the first one I bought when I moved into University dorms, age 18. I was in a doleful mood and I remember sitting down to play the LP. The music was immediately in-synch with that doleful mood and started to lift me. As a program, I thought it played very well.

I missed the Intrada expanded edition because that came out when I was in the poor house and was having to be visciously selective about what I bought, but when the Varese edition came out, I didn't love it as much. I could see how all this music I'd never heard would be desirable, but of course it was much more all over the place as a listen, compared with the original 30-minute program that had been devised.

Of course, this is a score that deserves to be expanded, but I'm just sharing a story of how one can become fond of a program even if it was never really what everyone wanted to do.

Whoever devised that 30-minute program, knew how to create a great, flowing listening experience, even if it was so incomplete.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:03 am 
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I've never liked the way this program ended so abruptly without the End Titles ! I had bought it in my local store in the mid 90's and then the Intrada's limited edition was already out of reach. I wasn't aware that on the expanded edition it ended softly with that Carol Anne's Theme instead of mine closing the listening experience to a very simple and frustrating bom-bom-bom-bom-bom. End.
I just discovered a new great listening experience when the Varèse was released, thanks to them !


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:08 pm 
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I've had a chance to play the new POLTERGEIST II. Here are my thoughts. It's definitely a different mix, just check out the pizzicato strings in "It's No Use." They are much more in your face than on the previous versions. I like in your face, and any recording like this that gives me a bloody nose is my preference. It definitely has a dryer sound as well. I do find it odd that Bruce gave us crap about Dressed to Kill being too dry because Donaggio prefers a wet sound (although I have plenty of dry Donaggio recordings, so not sure the basis for that hypothesis), only to "dry out" Poltergeist II when the reverb from the earlier releases was the sound Goldsmith and Botnik wanted. Nonetheless, *I* prefer a dryer sound so the Kritzerland release is preferable to me. And -- warning -- this is my preference and you can't disagree with a preference -- you can have your own, different preference though -- I prefer the Intrada expanded program best, so I will probably whittle this down to that program again, since it has the most impact to me.

I do take exception to a factual error in the liner notes -- the first LP and CD releases came on Intrada at the time the film was released, not Varese. Ordinarily it wouldn't be that big a deal, but Intrada paid all the new use (100% fee back then), including the choral stuff. And then in one of the scummiest moves I've ever seen in this business, MGM only gave Intrada US rights and gave (as in "for free") international rights to Varese, hence the foreign version that came out on CD shortly thereafter. That was only Intrada's second album and being new to the business, easy to take advantage of. I shudder when I think of that deal.

Overall, a fine release and I'm glad to have it.


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Roger Feigelson wrote:
I've had a chance to play the new POLTERGEIST II. Here are my thoughts. It's definitely a different mix, just check out the pizzicato strings in "It's No Use." They are much more in your face than on the previous versions. I like in your face, and any recording like this that gives me a bloody nose is my preference. It definitely has a dryer sound as well. I do find it odd that Bruce gave us crap about Dressed to Kill being too dry because Donaggio prefers a wet sound (although I have plenty of dry Donaggio recordings, so not sure the basis for that hypothesis), only to "dry out" Poltergeist II when the reverb from the earlier releases was the sound Goldsmith and Botnik wanted. Nonetheless, *I* prefer a dryer sound so the Kritzerland release is preferable to me. And -- warning -- this is my preference and you can't disagree with a preference -- you can have your own, different preference though -- I prefer the Intrada expanded program best, so I will probably whittle this down to that program again, since it has the most impact to me.

I do take exception to a factual error in the liner notes -- the first LP and CD releases came on Intrada at the time the film was released, not Varese. Ordinarily it wouldn't be that big a deal, but Intrada paid all the new use (100% fee back then), including the choral stuff. And then in one of the scummiest moves I've ever seen in this business, MGM only gave Intrada US rights and gave (as in "for free") international rights to Varese, hence the foreign version that came out on CD shortly thereafter. That was only Intrada's second album and being new to the business, easy to take advantage of. I shudder when I think of that deal.

Overall, a fine release and I'm glad to have it.


Preferences are preferences and are what makes horse racing. So, I take no issue with your preferences, but do with factual information. Here's the deal - it's exactly the same mix, pizzicato strings included - any differences you're hearing are strictly in the EQ and the added clarity of orchestral detail thanks to removing the incredibly huge layer of extra reverb. Believe me, Roger, I spent days going back and forth between all the releases and so did James and they're the same. People hear what they want to hear. This release has gotten amazing and unanimous raves on the FSM board, but I knew and expected exactly what would happen here on this board, and that's fine and am glad for any positive comments.

As to the difference between the dry Dressed to Kill and us removing completely unnecessary EXTRA reverb from Poltergeist II - it's night and day and you know it's night and day. Dressed to Kill was recorded in a completely dry room - no air, no space, no nothing. That is not Mr. Donaggio's sound. Poltergeist II on the other hand was recorded in a very wet room with plenty of reverb on the band and I know your very experienced ears tell you that instantly. It's wet as can be - can't compare the two, I'm afraid. All I know is what I hear - and what I heard on the previous releases was extra unnecessary and detail-killing reverb with so much verb on the choir that then added even MORE verb to the orchestra, causing all orchestral detail AND choir clarity to become a big ol' wash. Simply go to the FSM board, Roger, and you'll read comment after comment about improved sound, incredible orchestral detail heretofore buried under a wash, clarity and everyone preferring the long program. I don't find any of the cues that Intrada chose to omit on their expanded release unnecessary or frivolous - they are part and parcel of the score. You guys seem to be constantly at cross purposes here - when YOU do a complete release of a score, then all other incomplete releases then pale in comparison. But you can't have it both ways. :)

Finally, correct about the error - a silly one on my part, but I only had the overseas Varese in my possession and didn't check further, just made an incorrect assumption.


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:03 pm 
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haineshisway wrote:
Roger Feigelson wrote:
I've had a chance to play the new POLTERGEIST II. Here are my thoughts. It's definitely a different mix, just check out the pizzicato strings in "It's No Use." They are much more in your face than on the previous versions. I like in your face, and any recording like this that gives me a bloody nose is my preference. It definitely has a dryer sound as well. I do find it odd that Bruce gave us crap about Dressed to Kill being too dry because Donaggio prefers a wet sound (although I have plenty of dry Donaggio recordings, so not sure the basis for that hypothesis), only to "dry out" Poltergeist II when the reverb from the earlier releases was the sound Goldsmith and Botnik wanted. Nonetheless, *I* prefer a dryer sound so the Kritzerland release is preferable to me. And -- warning -- this is my preference and you can't disagree with a preference -- you can have your own, different preference though -- I prefer the Intrada expanded program best, so I will probably whittle this down to that program again, since it has the most impact to me.

I do take exception to a factual error in the liner notes -- the first LP and CD releases came on Intrada at the time the film was released, not Varese. Ordinarily it wouldn't be that big a deal, but Intrada paid all the new use (100% fee back then), including the choral stuff. And then in one of the scummiest moves I've ever seen in this business, MGM only gave Intrada US rights and gave (as in "for free") international rights to Varese, hence the foreign version that came out on CD shortly thereafter. That was only Intrada's second album and being new to the business, easy to take advantage of. I shudder when I think of that deal.

Overall, a fine release and I'm glad to have it.


Preferences are preferences and are what makes horse racing. So, I take no issue with your preferences, but do with factual information. Here's the deal - it's exactly the same mix, pizzicato strings included - any differences you're hearing are strictly in the EQ and the added clarity of orchestral detail thanks to removing the incredibly huge layer of extra reverb. Believe me, Roger, I spent days going back and forth between all the releases and so did James and they're the same. People hear what they want to hear. This release has gotten amazing and unanimous raves on the FSM board, but I knew and expected exactly what would happen here on this board, and that's fine and am glad for any positive comments.

As to the difference between the dry Dressed to Kill and us removing completely unnecessary EXTRA reverb from Poltergeist II - it's night and day and you know it's night and day. Dressed to Kill was recorded in a completely dry room - no air, no space, no nothing. That is not Mr. Donaggio's sound. Poltergeist II on the other hand was recorded in a very wet room with plenty of reverb on the band and I know your very experienced ears tell you that instantly. It's wet as can be - can't compare the two, I'm afraid. All I know is what I hear - and what I heard on the previous releases was extra unnecessary and detail-killing reverb with so much verb on the choir that then added even MORE verb to the orchestra, causing all orchestral detail AND choir clarity to become a big ol' wash. Simply go to the FSM board, Roger, and you'll read comment after comment about improved sound, incredible orchestral detail heretofore buried under a wash, clarity and everyone preferring the long program. I don't find any of the cues that Intrada chose to omit on their expanded release unnecessary or frivolous - they are part and parcel of the score. You guys seem to be constantly at cross purposes here - when YOU do a complete release of a score, then all other incomplete releases then pale in comparison. But you can't have it both ways. :)

Finally, correct about the error - a silly one on my part, but I only had the overseas Varese in my possession and didn't check further, just made an incorrect assumption.



You seemingly skipped over all the positive comments I made -- why do I need to go to the FSM board to read positive comments when I said nothing negative about your release. I said I preferred it over the Intrada and Varese releases. My comments weren't so long that they were lost, but you got so defensive you seemed to miss what I repeatedly said about your release, which was ALL positive. I am rarely in favor of complete releases...we do them because a majority of our audience want them. I have even been known to post a reduced track list of our releases for better listening. So no cross purposes -- and you'd need to point out where we say an incomplete release pales in comparison...I don't recall saying that.

I think we will need to agree to disagree. EQ can't change the balance of instruments...only the mix can. And frankly you're speaking out of both sides of your mouth on the reverb issue -- you give weight to Donaggio's (supposed) preference and completely disregard Goldsmith's, based on YOUR preference. There's no shame in it, but let's call a spade a spade.


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:18 pm 
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Roger Feigelson wrote:
haineshisway wrote:
Roger Feigelson wrote:
I've had a chance to play the new POLTERGEIST II. Here are my thoughts. It's definitely a different mix, just check out the pizzicato strings in "It's No Use." They are much more in your face than on the previous versions. I like in your face, and any recording like this that gives me a bloody nose is my preference. It definitely has a dryer sound as well. I do find it odd that Bruce gave us crap about Dressed to Kill being too dry because Donaggio prefers a wet sound (although I have plenty of dry Donaggio recordings, so not sure the basis for that hypothesis), only to "dry out" Poltergeist II when the reverb from the earlier releases was the sound Goldsmith and Botnik wanted. Nonetheless, *I* prefer a dryer sound so the Kritzerland release is preferable to me. And -- warning -- this is my preference and you can't disagree with a preference -- you can have your own, different preference though -- I prefer the Intrada expanded program best, so I will probably whittle this down to that program again, since it has the most impact to me.

I do take exception to a factual error in the liner notes -- the first LP and CD releases came on Intrada at the time the film was released, not Varese. Ordinarily it wouldn't be that big a deal, but Intrada paid all the new use (100% fee back then), including the choral stuff. And then in one of the scummiest moves I've ever seen in this business, MGM only gave Intrada US rights and gave (as in "for free") international rights to Varese, hence the foreign version that came out on CD shortly thereafter. That was only Intrada's second album and being new to the business, easy to take advantage of. I shudder when I think of that deal.

Overall, a fine release and I'm glad to have it.


Preferences are preferences and are what makes horse racing. So, I take no issue with your preferences, but do with factual information. Here's the deal - it's exactly the same mix, pizzicato strings included - any differences you're hearing are strictly in the EQ and the added clarity of orchestral detail thanks to removing the incredibly huge layer of extra reverb. Believe me, Roger, I spent days going back and forth between all the releases and so did James and they're the same. People hear what they want to hear. This release has gotten amazing and unanimous raves on the FSM board, but I knew and expected exactly what would happen here on this board, and that's fine and am glad for any positive comments.

As to the difference between the dry Dressed to Kill and us removing completely unnecessary EXTRA reverb from Poltergeist II - it's night and day and you know it's night and day. Dressed to Kill was recorded in a completely dry room - no air, no space, no nothing. That is not Mr. Donaggio's sound. Poltergeist II on the other hand was recorded in a very wet room with plenty of reverb on the band and I know your very experienced ears tell you that instantly. It's wet as can be - can't compare the two, I'm afraid. All I know is what I hear - and what I heard on the previous releases was extra unnecessary and detail-killing reverb with so much verb on the choir that then added even MORE verb to the orchestra, causing all orchestral detail AND choir clarity to become a big ol' wash. Simply go to the FSM board, Roger, and you'll read comment after comment about improved sound, incredible orchestral detail heretofore buried under a wash, clarity and everyone preferring the long program. I don't find any of the cues that Intrada chose to omit on their expanded release unnecessary or frivolous - they are part and parcel of the score. You guys seem to be constantly at cross purposes here - when YOU do a complete release of a score, then all other incomplete releases then pale in comparison. But you can't have it both ways. :)

Finally, correct about the error - a silly one on my part, but I only had the overseas Varese in my possession and didn't check further, just made an incorrect assumption.



You seemingly skipped over all the positive comments I made -- why do I need to go to the FSM board to read positive comments when I said nothing negative about your release. I said I preferred it over the Intrada and Varese releases. My comments weren't so long that they were lost, but you got so defensive you seemed to miss what I repeatedly said about your release, which was ALL positive. I am rarely in favor of complete releases...we do them because a majority of our audience want them. I have even been known to post a reduced track list of our releases for better listening. So no cross purposes -- and you'd need to point out where we say an incomplete release pales in comparison...I don't recall saying that.

I think we will need to agree to disagree. EQ can't change the balance of instruments...only the mix can. And frankly you're speaking out of both sides of your mouth on the reverb issue -- you give weight to Donaggio's (supposed) preference and completely disregard Goldsmith's, based on YOUR preference. There's no shame in it, but let's call a spade a spade.


No, Jerry and Bruce did the three-track mix-downs and they sound amazing - no EXTRA reverb as used on the previous CD releases - just a beautiful and natural room reverb that is plenty wet. That's the difference. No talking out of both sides of my mouth - I've tried doing that and it's very difficult. There is no difference in the balance of instruments - as I said, I spent days and so did James A/Bing the releases - so, yes, we can agree to disagree about that.

Finally, you must have seemingly skipped over the positive comment I made about your positive comments, to wit: "and am glad for any positive comments" :)

On occasion you know I agree about complete releases - some work some don't. This, IMO, works. We have another upcoming release that also works so much better than its original and quite bad first CD release - a major rediscovery and revelation when heard as it was written by the composer. It really depends on the score.

Looking forward to your next releases!


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 Post subject: Re: Poltergeist II: Complete & Remastered!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:38 pm 
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Posts: 2394
Like Roger, I definitely prefer Kritzerland's sound to all previous Poltergeist II releases. It is crisp and clear beyond any previous version. Wow!

I have for many years championed the nature of keeping added reverb to a minimum when I felt it warranted because of my oft-mentioned preference to instrumental detail and clarity over wet or concert-hall listening experiences. Neither a right thing or a wrong thing, it is just my artistic and creative preference as a producer of this stuff.

Where I am having difficulty with Bruce Kimmel's discussion, if I am understanding it correctly: Bruce, you took such artistic liberty with your version - which as I said I prefer - over the decisions made by the original artists, in this case Jerry Goldsmith and Bruce Botnick, because you felt you made improvements on what you wanted to hear. It's a decision I am happy you have made for I love the results. But this is exactly the decision Intrada made with Dressed To Kill and you loudly slammed us for making that very same decision for those very same reasons.

To me, the room size (between A&R in New York and Sony in Culver City) becomes but a mere distraction as you yourself know that literally ALL recordings made for film soundtracks are initially made with as little reverb as possible - no matter the size of the room - to facilitate cutting into the dialog and sound effects as smoothly as possible. (We have worked with the greatest engineers in the industry over the last 28 years and they have always spoken of the need for this when cutting cues into a film.) So in our crazy world of taking film tracks and turning them into viable listening experiences to our audience, we exercise those same creative rights that you adhere to. I find the instrumental detail in Dressed To Kill, especially with regards to the flashy trombone writing in the action cues, to be all but lost in the overly wet mastering that was done with the old mix. My creative choice was to hear those incredible trombone glissandi as crisply as when they were actually performed and recorded on the 2" rolls, even if the wet, mushy sound of the old 1980 two-track mixes for the old CD was made by the very artists who wrote and recorded the music back then.

If there is one common thread I read in most of your publicity bulletins it is that you are "fixing" what went wrong with various earlier releases of any given score. Those fixes are often just creative choices, a crossfade here, a level there, a cue sequence here, whatever. I sincerely wish you could move from the position that only you are capable of making appropriate and valid creative choices as a producer, but I suppose that may be wishful thinking on my part. No matter, I guess. We will continue to make the best musical decisions we feel we can with this music and you will do the same. In cases like Poltergeist II, I will definitely take the artistic choice you made over that which Jerry Goldsmith and Bruce Botnick themselves chose. And I will also take the choice we made on Dressed To Kill over that which the artists chose back in 1980.

With regards to that terrific sound on Kritzerland's Poltergeist II, now that others are enjoying this crisp audio over the wetter experience, I hope we can all turn more attention to the other big audio mastering issue that stays on my mind: the normalizing (or brick-walling) of the signal to it's maximum possible level overall, clipping off the peaks so savagely that the results become almost unbearable. It may do wonders for those listening with earbuds as they drive through noisy traffic oblivious to any musical nuance but for those of us enjoying music in our living rooms, it is dreadful. I wanted very much to enjoy Battle: Los Angeles and The Expendables, both of which have exciting, well-recorded scores in their respective films but offer incredibly harsh, overly distorted listening experiences on CD. It is artificial and phony. Orchestras don't sound like this. I applaud Kritzerland's decision not to do this with their releases, a bitter anomaly which surprisingly, certain other soundtrack labels actually continue to do. Letting the musical dynamics and their nuances be a part of the listening enjoyment is another purely creative choice, but it is one that Kritzerland, like Intrada, continues to make - and as with the new sound on Poltergeist II - is the choice I prefer.
--Doug


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