Compiling episode scores? Scotty, we have a problem.

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by BeatleJWOL, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Talk about the La-La Land Records complete TOS scores box seems to have slowed down somewhat, both here and on the FSM forums. That said, I think there are still a small amount of people interested in taking the box set and creating all 80 episode scores from it. This thread is for us.

    So, what options do budding music editors have? Well, if you're fortunate enough to have audio rips from the laserdisc, as Neil S. Bulk did when working on the set, you're good to go. Start listening and matching.

    Aside from that, the next best option may very well be the mono audio track from the TOS Blu-rays. There have been a few comments made that they are not 100% broadcast accurate, but only largely in reference to sound effects.

    A third option would be the fan-made soundtracks, or the surround sound mixes they were extracted from over the last few years. Those, however, would incorporate some mistakes that have supposedly existed since the earliest post-laserdisc TOS releases, including wrong cues and some of the 1970s re-recordings being used in various episodes.

    All that said, I would like for this thread first to document any incorrect cues used on either the TOS Blu-ray sets' mono audio (hopefully very few) or the DVD/Blu-ray sets' 5.1 or 7.1 surround audio (there should be several glaring errors there, for those familiar with the material). Second, I'd like this thread to be a jumping off point for those compiling the scores, if at all possible.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've got the La-La Land TOS box set. I enjoy it very much. I believe it contains *all* music from TOS, as advertised.

    That said, the whole thing would be complete if I had a cue sheet for the eps, so that I might listen to complete eps scores.

    As they are provided on the CDs, I have had some difficulty in finding tracks from eps where they might be located on each of the various discs. Eps cue sheets would be tremendous. I have no idea how to accomplish this myself and I must hope and rely on the talents and generosity of others.
     
  3. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The cue sheets, according to several individuals involved in working on the boxed set, are Paramount's internal property and not able to be released. Jeff Bond did say, however, that he included several in his The Music Of Star Trek book by typing up the information himself.

    Of course he immediately followed up that information by saying something along the lines of "if any of you want to volunteer"... ha ha, very funny Jeff, you going to check them out of the Paramount library for us?

    So, aside from the small handful in the book (which I could dig up, if anybody's interested), it's all up to listening. The other problem is that there were cues that were created from cutting up and editing together several different cues that are only presented in their original format on the box. Putting complete scores together is therefore a little bit more complicated than just making 80 playlists, unfortunately.
     
  4. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Largely, that's the case, but there are a number of episodes that have weird music changes, added cues and such. However, for the most part, going by the DVDs or Blu-Rays should be good enough.

    Just keep in mind that recreating a tracked episode is a huge undertaking if you want to be accurate. It took me days to do The Corbomite Maneuver and it wasn't until I was well into the editing that I realized how repetitive the music choices were. The same cue from Charlie X was used three times. And the Fesarius and Cube cues were reused over and over.

    Another person is putting together Balance of Terror and the edits between the multiple episode scores to create one sequence are insane. If anyone gets all the episodes done, I'd be VERY surprised.
     
  5. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Me too; although, maybe if a whole bunch of people get all the episodes done, it'll be much easier. :p
     
  6. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, when I did Corbomite, I had a copy of the laserdisc print which I had transferred to my iPad and kept it at my workstation while I compiled the cues. It took about three days, maybe an hour and a half a day. It turned out pretty good, but the sound guys on Trek got away with covering clumsy edits with sound effects once in a while. Without the benefit of that, I fudged a couple of edits to make them transition more smoothly. So it's not 100% accurate. It;s more like 98%, but it makes for a less jarring listening experience.
     
  7. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Neat! I'm sure the bridge sound effects background alone did wonders for questionable edits sometimes. :p

    The problem's just having something accurate to work from; somehow, laserdisc rips just aren't that popular on the internet. (I kid, I kid.)
     
  8. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not much of a music editor, so I would never attempt a project like this for even a single episode. But I have formed a couple of impressions lately of tracked episodes.

    "The Lights of Zetar" struck me as a really good one. The music from WNMHGB seems, if anything, even more appropriate in this episode than the one it was composed for. It comes off as perfectly spooky and atmospheric in moments when "Zetar" is going for that rare thing in STAR TREK, horror. It really clicks.

    But I just caught "Let that be Your Last Battlefield" on TV and the tracked music seemed clunky in places. "Elaan" works well enough when Bele's invisible (read affordable) ship is coming at us, but there's a use of "The Empath" in sickbay at one point that stuck out. Overall the tracking was kind of patchy and disjointed.

    Maybe the uncut episode on DVD is better, but surely not that much better. LTBYLB would have been elevated to Fair or perhaps even Okay status if it had been given it's own score. But as a tracked ep it never gets off the ground.

    My favorite tracked score would have to be "This Side of Paradise."
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The episode that I think was most undermined by its tracked score was "A Piece of the Action." The cues they had didn't really fit the gangster scenario. Just imagine if it had been given a full score in a jazzy Untouchables-esque style, perhaps by Fried or Fielding.
     
  10. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It seems odd. Paramount will license/authorize/sell all types of ST material and media, but not the eps cue sheets? Not even transposed into a simple playlist?

    Which leads me to say... yes, I suppose I am just looking for 80 playlists based on the TOS box set. Each eps complete score probably is more complicated as you suggest. But I'd be satisfied with simple playlists and eps track listings. I'll work on it.
     
  11. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Even just getting all the tracked music into playlists in remotely the right order, without doing all the editing, would do wonders for such a project.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Quite right. As with many soundtrack CDs, some of the tracks on the discs combine several consecutive cues rather than keeping each one isolated. Not to mention that a lot of the tracked scores edited down the cues and only used portions of them. So recreating them would require a lot more work than just creating a playlist. You'd need software that would let you edit music tracks rather than just play them.
     
  13. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Easy! Audacity is a nice and fairly simple free audio editor, and Adobe has Audition 3.0 available for a free download from their site, complete with serial number.

    Now, just what to cut... I'm hoping the few people that are interested in doing such a thing are getting rolling on this.
     
  14. The Warlord

    The Warlord Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Which episodes in particular? The only music changes I know of are during The Menagerie, Part II. That episode's DVD [Region 2, both original and remastered] version uses a re-recorded cue in the opening fly by shot, and again later in the episode. After the opening titles, during the episode titles/Capt's Log, a cue from The Doomsday Machine replaces The Enemy Within. Also, the truncated Max's Factor cue when Vina is returned to beauty is slightly modified on the DVDs.

    I also *think* some of the instruments from Kaplan's Doomsday Machine are added into some of The Enemy Within Enterprise cues.

    Other than that, I'm not sure...
     
  15. Dalen Quaice

    Dalen Quaice Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    There are issues with just about every issue of Trek on video. The laserdiscs are not perfect because they were taken from the syndication masters. In syndication the opening/ending theme music was changed for a number of the early episodes that had the electronic sounding theme. Also, the original opening of The Man Trap with Gene Roddenberry's name in the opening credit (looking similar to Season 2) was changed along with the music. Some of William Shatner's opening VO's are not correct for the episodes. The VO was re-recorded a number of times over the course of the series, and often times they use a generic version instead of the episide specific version as that cuts the costs of doing multiple film transfers and restoration. As I recall, some epsiodes also lack "Also Starring" before Leonard Nimoy's name originally. The Desilu/Paramount logo is often slightly different at the end - sometimes with incorrect music or logos from other seasons, etc. Again, trivial to some but changes are changes...

    Documenting all the changes over the years and comparing every version available is a huge undertaking and would require you to have very old copies of TOS as first syndicated by NBC (that still had the NBC logo intact at the end after the Desilu/Paramount logo) before the later late 70's changes were made. The problem is that most people may not have ever seen these early syndicated versions nor the original air copies -- and even if you have, you are going from memory from years ago unless you happen to have a copy.

    As far as the cue sheets go -- I saw them for sale at a convention in the 70's. I should have bought them, but they were really very poor xerox copies bradded together... and I didn't realize I'd never see them again. :(

    We will likely not see these from LA LA Land as you would instantly be able to notice music missing from their complete set. I also doubt that Jeff ever publishes a new book with more than 10 of the cue sheets -- and they are re-typed there so you still don't see the originals as apparently the cue sheets are considered legal documents which is why they can't be distributed as actual reproductions legally. However the data on these can be distributed if retyped... assuming someone has them? I have seen copies of William Shatner's contract around... someone must have them?
     
  16. The Warlord

    The Warlord Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Ah, all very interesting! Had no idea Shatner's VO was recorded multiple times! Had no idea some of these were episode specific!

    But as far as the actual episodes themselves go (not counting the opening/closing titles plus Desilu logo etc.) could anyone point out the music modifications to the actual episodes themselves? As I say, the only ones my ear can pick up on are Menagerie, II and Enemy Within...
     
  17. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Agreed. The new box set pretty much settles the discussion of which main/end theme goes where; I'd very much like to know how specifically the surround mixes and/or "original broadcast" audio tracks on the Blu-rays differ.
     
  18. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Commander Red Shirt

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    I wonder if one of the main reasons for this is, Paramount feels they cannot release the cue sheets because they are documentary evidence of them violating the terms of the agreement with the musicians union. The business with the "Force Field" cue in Lights of Zetar is one example; and that's got to be the tip of the iceberg. If Paramount perceives legal issues, they will bury these things.

    On the other hand – the mere existence of these recordings is itself a violation of that agreement. Tapes were supposed to be destroyed after each season. And I haven't heard anything about the musicians union being up in arms over this release. Would there really be more of an issue over documents?
     
  19. Cap'n Claus

    Cap'n Claus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, to document every single change in the sound mix would be a huge undertaking. Let's just say that certain music cues were substituted (The Menagerie Part 2) or added (The Deadly Years), while others used different takes of the original cues (The Doomsday Machine). The sound effects were changed across the board. Pilot and early first season bridge sounds were added to the mix in every episode; the Enterprise exterior engine rumble was added to every episode; photon torpedo sounds were added to Balance of Terror; "sliding door" sounds were added to the Klingon torpedo hits in Errand of Mercy and the memory beam in The Paradise Syndrome; the laser beams in The Cage vary in volume during firing and it is VERY annoying.

    Really, seriously, it goes on and on and on. The Blu-Ray mono track for the first season seems accurate, but the 2006 version of the main theme is used at least once, the "cello" theme is used where it shouldn't, and so on. The mono tracks for the 2nd and 3rd seasons still have the engine rumble.

    The sound mix is so thoroughly screwed up it will never be the same again. The VHS/LD mix isn't perfect either, but it's much closer to the original.

    If anyone has 16mm prints of the episodes, those would have the original "night of broadcast" sound mix. To my knowledge, no alterations, other than the title of the Next Week preview, would have been made for prints sent out to for initial syndication.
     
  20. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In terms of music, man, music! It seems you know of three instances (excluding the main/end title mistakes, as I still think the CD set clears that up now) where the actual music was changed in terms of the Blu-ray's mono audio track. Are there more and do you know them? I understand completely if you don't have the time to write everything you know out, of course.

    Just...to have every note of music from the series available on CD and not be able to put it into place has to frustrate somebody out there, yes?