Classics Restoration

The 351 35 mm mag stems were sent to Signet Soundelux Studios in Hollywood. The stems were electronically auto-conformed in one day as opposed to loading manually which would have taken a month. Once the stems were received, the process to auto-conform the material posed an obstacle. The key to solving the issue was to create an unique identity for each stem of dialogue, effects and picture. Therefore, it was necessary to devise a method to accurately identify the information translated during the picture editing process. Keller met with Kim Waugh, President of Signet Soundelux Studios and it was decided that each reel for both dialogue and fx would have an unique timecode reference that would also correspond to the equivalent picture reel.

Sony Telecine Services was instructed to load both picture and guide track to an Avid Media Recorder. With the exacting timecode, the Avid CMX edit decision list accurately indicated the conformed information which matched the 35 mm stem loaded material in each sound editorís work stations. All 35 mm stems were loaded to Wave Frame digital audio work stations at both Soundelux/Audio Tracks and Signet Soundelux Studios utilizing this unique time code for each reel.

After receiving the edit decision lists from Nikel, the material was loaded and the sound editorial process of auto-conforming began. A conform crew was hired for dialogue and FX and the auto-conformed stereo tracks were split in into on-stage, off-stage and scene changes to make it easier for the mixers to create new predubs. The dialogue was fairly easy to split since the entire movie was looped. Once the movie was conformed, Keller had to listen through all the existing elements i.e. background, effects, foley and had to select what would remain and what needed to be replaced.

The original material was de-noised so that it would be of the highest quality and be best represented by the final SDDS 8 track release format. The effects editors and sound designers replaced nearly 90% of the new conformed 3 hour 26 minute version. Gerry Lentz, Dialogue Mixer at Signet Soundelux demonstrated his expertise on a 60 channel Neve VRP Flying fader console. Lentz transformed a typical German ADR looped dialogue track into a conventional stereo U.S. production soundtrack. A Dolby DSU 4 Matrix was utilized to create a hard center dialogue track keeping the stereo walla left and right. A Lexicon 480L was used to add unique reverb (reality) which gave a sense of being enclosed in a steel environment to scenes which had all been looped and previously untreated. Also used were Dolby CAT noise filters that reduced tape hiss, considering the conformed dialogue was third generation (1st: Original Dolby A Predub, 2nd: Baking original and making copy, 3rd: Loading into workstation and conforming).

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