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Old February 23 2012, 04:25 PM   #150
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Re: Ray's TAS shuttlecraft...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I'd love to get copies of those recordings for my computer or iPod.
Well, depending on what browser you use, you might find an extension that allows you to download YouTube videos. I use YouTube Downloader in Chrome -- it allows me to download videos as audio-only MP3s.

However, I'm on something of a very long-term project to liberate and reconstruct all of TAS' music cues. I've got my DVD copies of the episodes, and these include an isolated music track. Four isolated music tracks, in fact.

I choose the clearest cues with the widest audio range and load them into Audacity. I then painstakingly normalize them. It's a hideous process.

See, what they did on TAS was crank the music levels up high when there was no dialog. The moment someone speaks or certain sound effects occur, the levels dip by three to six decibels. When the dialog/sound effect is over, the levels are cranked back up.

Since this was the early 1970s, this was naturally done by hand with a simple analog potentiometer. The individual "valleys" aren't particularly uniform, as the editor might adjust the levels slightly to react to changes in an actor's delivery.

So you wind up with all these analog "valleys" in a digital waveform. You can normalize the bottom of the valleys to be consistent with the peak levels in a couple of passes, but the slopes are really difficult. They must be broken into tiny individual chunks and normalized fractions of a second at a time.

When it's all finished (and at this rate and with my schedule, I could retire before it's done), I plan to release everything: original music cue rips in FLAC, my edits in native Audacity format, and the resultant music cues in FLAC.

Man, do I wish I had access to the masters.

Warped9 wrote: View Post
TOS music has been released and even re-recorded note-for-note for a clean sound. When you really listen to the TAS music (which has quite a different feel than TOS') you can hear it's not as simplistic as it sounded on '70's era televisions.
While I'm not yet satisfied with the way the levels turned out in "Danger Approaching (Variation)", I am extremely fond of the cue I went with. The frequency range is really excellent and allows you to hear a lot more depth than would ever have been possible in 1974. The tiny drum and cymbal crash at the very end is virtually impossible to hear in any other cue. There are occasions when I think I can hear the electric guitar echoing in the studio.

I think it would be awesome if a modern orchestra were to record these cues. Admittedly, it would probably require some re-orchestration: these were never composed with an 80-piece in mind. Also, in terms of time, there's between fifteen minutes and half an hour of unique music -- though to be honest I've not yet tried adding it up.

You might be able to have a "Star Trek: The Animated Series Suite" -- and in point of fact, I'll probably put one together when I finish it all. The music (actually very good stuff itself) was used pretty formulaically:

You had the main titles followed by the episode titles, followed by the Captain's Log: each of them used identical cues in every episode. Then you usually had one of two or three cues that would indicate suspense. Then there would be one of several action cues. Repeat as necessary until the tag, which almost always included the Captain's Log with the exact same cue in each episode (the one that starts with a fanfare and ends with a drum roll).

I think a "suite" could very easily re-create the "feel" of watching a TAS episode, but if arranged correctly would still have emotional impact. As I say, it's something I think about as a "final product" for the project.

Dakota Smith
"No human being has the right under any circumstances to initiate force against another human being, nor to threaten or delegate its initiation."

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