La-La Land to release 15-disc original series score set

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Harvey, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sure. That's also very common in classical music recordings: an 18-min long movement is Beethoven is cobbled together from a couple different takes.

    I think of that as different from what we're talking about here.


    Ah, I wondered what those "M" numbers were.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It seemed to me you were talking about whether or not we were getting the cues "raw" as originally performed, without any editing. I was saying that maybe that's an unrealistic standard to go by, since even the "pure" cues can be edited.
     
  3. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    QFT

    Which is stunning. Amazing. What people never thought they would ever really have, for over 40 years.

    Or just listen to the music and enjoy it.
     
  4. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Regarding the "missing" Spock's Brain cue just after "there is no mind" - it really looks like it was editorially created. It reuses the sting from "Poor Spock" and then segues into "Spock Walks." There's an overlay in there apparently, but there isn't a missing cue. It may have been reused in later episodes because they felt it sounded good and kept the edit for later use. Stranger things have happened.
     
  5. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    No, that's – ha, I feel a weird sense of displacement, like we've switched roles a few pages later in the thread from our previous argument – that seems an over-literal interpretation of what I was trying to say. Cleaning something up for quality is one thing; of course it's an editor's job to assemble the best version of a cue, say using the beginning of one take and the ending of another, also omitting that part where the percussionist knocked over the cymbal and it clattered on the floor, or the orchestra manager sneezed during a take, etc.

    But going the extra mile and fading one completed cue into another so you lose the ending of one, that would be different. Esp in working with material of great archival value; and especially where "the composer's intentions" are among the guiding values. I guess I agree a little more with Dalen as I've come to understand the issue better.
     
  6. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Dalen, what version of Zetar are you using for this comparison?

    I was reading on the FSM forum that when they made the first DVDs, in several instances they used the GNP release as the source for the cues on the soundtrack. Doomsday Machine was one of the examples Neil (Indysolo?) gave in the thread. According to that post, prior releases of Star Trek (esp the laserdiscs, I think also the VHS) used the original mono mix. But starting with the first DVDs, they re-mixed the sound, and took their sources from various places – not the original masters. One of the sources was the GNP release.

    That would mean, of course it matches, but it may not have been how the episode was originally released. It would be interesting if the laserdisc of Zetar has the same cue at that spot in the episode.
     
  7. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's not what I'm talking about. There may have been two or more takes of a given cue that were all technically fine, but the composer, producer, and/or music editor may have felt that an early portion was performed better in one take while a later portion was performed better in a different take. After all, musicians do things a little differently every time, as we can hear in those cases where there are multiple takes of the same cue included on the discs. Editing in film and television is usually about piecing together the best available bits, not about faithfully preserving an entire uninterrupted take. And that's surely as true of music editing as of any other part of the process.


    I'm not crazy about that myself, but you don't really "lose" anything except the fadeout of the final note. You can still hear that last note, and you can still hear the first note of the next bit, so nothing's really missing. Essentially the main problem with it is that it prevents people from creating their own fan edits of tracked episode scores, and while I can sympathize with the desire to do that, let's face it, it's a luxury, not an entitlement.

    But the intention of a television composer is not to produce a pure, unadulterated piece of performance. The intention of a television composer is to contribute a piece of the final episode. And the composers probably worked with the producers and editors to take the raw recordings and refine them into the finished form that would work best in the episodes -- which might entail trimming notes, blending separately recorded cues together, adding sweeteners, etc. A given recorded take is intended to be merely raw material for the editors. The composers knew that going in and worked with that in mind. So a case could be made that recreating the aired versions of the cues, complete with edits and overlaps, is serving the composers' intention.
     
  9. Dalen Quaice

    Dalen Quaice Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes, the collection is a luxury item. Just because you are buying a luxury item does not give the producers the right to misrepresent the product. If you buy a Stradivarius violin, it should be a real one and not a replica - especially if you are led to believe it is in fact, a real Stadivarius.

    Any expectations about this collection were set by the producers comments. Clearly one of them or more of them said "We're not modifying anything, we're preserving things" -- So that begs to ask why say that if you are planning to take editorial liberties with the set? The original soundtrack and "selections from" the original soundtrack are different products.
     
  10. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What they started out with are a bunch of reel-to-reel tapes. Those tapes are not necessarily exactly what you hear in the finished episodes due to editing and overdubbing. They tried to get the pitch and speed to match the original episodes, but they did not try to recreate the way the music was occasionally mashed-up in the finished episodes. You can not listen to this set expecting to hear the music flow exactly like watching the episodes. It doesn't work that way. It is an archive of the original sessions, complete with outtakes and studio chatter like the bass player of Amok Time referring to his guitar strap as a "jock strap". It's a priceless historical record, something for the library of congress.

    I don't really care about the language La-La Land used leading up to this set. I certainly feel, aside from a few typos in the liner-notes, that this is exactly what people wanted to get, which is an archival digital transcription of those master tapes.
     
  11. Dalen Quaice

    Dalen Quaice Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    IMHO, some tracks are original sessions while others have been editorially changed somewhat crudely to match the flow in the episodes. The set seems inconsistent in that regard; sometimes "clean" and sometimes "edited" -- the original tapes were, according to the producers ~ 150 reel to reel with ~ 30 minutes each - that means ~ 75 hours of material edited down to what we have on the collection. "IF" you can condense the material to that size and be complete, then I see no problem at all. Certainly there are going to be duplicates of music; however, if you CHANGE the way the music is recorded OR edited, it becomes a unique work that neither matches the episodes nor the exact studio recordings... which I think is what we have here. It is fine for casual listening, but not an enthusiast item. That is my opinion, of course.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^Only if we take "enthusiast" to mean you.
     
  13. Dalen Quaice

    Dalen Quaice Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks - I'll have a listen.
     
  14. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    I've posted this before, detailing the score composing process for a weekly dramatic series today, but Christopher basically has it right here.

    Granted, my experience is from the last four or five years, but based on Gerald Fried's commentary at the release/premiere event last month, things haven't changed all THAT much in the process. If anything, about the only difference I could tell based on his comments was simply that these days composers get to watch rough cuts of the shows they're scoring more than just the one time.
     
  15. JimZipCode

    JimZipCode Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Right, I understood that. I thought I said I understood that, in the portion of the post before "also omitting..."


    Dalen, just FYI, it's when you use phrases like "misrepresent the product" that you cross the line. :) Key words like "lie", "misrepresent", etc are good indicators that you might be heading into delicate territory.

    The problem with those ideas is that they attribute, uh, misbehavior (malfeasance?) on the part of people who (a) obviously labored with love on this package, and (b) are due a debt of gratitude from all of us, and (c) know a great deal more than we do. They have access to primary sources, that we just don't have. Their motivations seem pretty pure. They deserve the benefit of the doubt. Let's ask questions, sure; but let's assume they did what they said they did, until we exhaust alternatives.

    We can construct an alternate scenario of what happened with the "Force Field" cue in Lights of Zetar:

    • Courage records the Where No Man score. The music editor takes "Force Field" and "Silver Orbs" and edits them as we hear on the set, for inclusion in the episode.
    • Season 3 rolls around, and the music editor grabs that same "Force Field" cue from season 1 to use in Lights of Zetar. I mean the same version that we now hear on the box set, where the cue ends "early".
    • Some releases of Trek use the original soundrack, probably including the laserdisc and maybe the VHS.
    • ~Twenty years after the series, GNP Crescendo used Courage's personal copies of the score recordings, and releases their version of the pilot soundtracks. Courage's personal copies have some problems with sound quality. And notably from our perspective the GNP release does not use the same takes that were actually used in the episodes, esp in the case of cues that were worked-on by the music editor, including cues that were cobbled-together from multiple takes and cues that were faded together, etc.
    • The first DVDs are produced, and the team working on those re-creates the soundtracks. In some cases they use the GNP Crescendo as the source for the music, even though that source is inaccurate. In our scenario, Lights of Zetar is one of those cases.
    So in this scenario, the version of "Force Field" on the DVDs and BluRays is not the version that originally aired in 1969. There is no "misrepresentation" on the part of the La-La Land team, because what they provided us on the set is what was used in both Where No Man and Lights of Zetar. Yes we can sync up the DVD or BluRay to the GNP, but that's just an historical artifact of how the DVD & BluRay releases were put together. It doesn't have anything to do with the completeness of the soundtrack box set. We're not using the right reference to identify cues.

    I find that scenario quite plausible, in light of what I learned yesterday on the FSM forum. And as long as we can construct viable alternate scenarios, it's just not appropriate to throw around accusations of lying etc. We should really assume that the La-la Land team did exactly what they said they did, and proceed using that as an operating assumption. By all means let's ask about discrepancies and stuff we can't identify; but let's also do our homework, and make sure we are checking the right reference, etc.

    This particular scenario is a testable theory. Does anyone have the laserdisc of Lights of Zetar?
     
  16. EnsignRicky

    EnsignRicky Commodore Commodore

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    Seriously. We got it after more or less thirtieth identical post

    Personally I'm VERY enthusiastic about this set. It's more that I have ever even bothered to hope for; And since I have no intention of sitting in my house meticulously re-creating all 79 episodes in exacting detail, it's way more than I could have expected.

    If there's anything unsatisfactory to my ears, I haven't found it yet; And if I did, I certainly wouldn't go obsessively bitching ceaselessly to the masses about it.
     
  17. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Now you're just being rude.

    Your opinion is uninformed. As has been explained, what you are describing is a common and necessary presentation when it comes to soundtrack albums.
     
  18. Dalen Quaice

    Dalen Quaice Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Jim -I used multiple versions. The oldest was a 16mm film chain recording from the early 80's of TV braodcast. It has been the same in every version I have tried, but I don't think I have the laserdisc. I have some of them, but I don't think all. Anyway, I don't have the time to go over it again. I'll let you test it more and decide for yourself. Any conclusions are my opinion and just my opinion as are all the posts I make here.

    If someone had the cue sheet, then we could see what actually aired originally?
     
  19. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Or--now hear me out--we could listen to the music and enjoy it.
     
  20. The Warlord

    The Warlord Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    This may be true, but it seems to me that this is somewhat over complicating the matter. A theory: the original Force Field cue was made as one standalone cue which had a proper 'end'. This was joined together with the Silvery Orbs cue during the editing process for WNMHGB. However, series 3 rolls around and the editors decide to use WNMHGB music in Zetar; they use the *original* unedited tapes, resulting in a decision to end the teaser with the original Force Field end in tact.
    2012 rolls around and La La Land decide to recreate how the cues were edited in their originally intended episodes. Result: the end of Force Field is merged into Silvery Orbs as per the original episode it was intended for.
     

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