Don't be Mono, Embrace Mono

It annoys me a great deal that mono and stereo films are remixed for DVD, without the option of the original track - this is particulary annoying outside of Region 1, where major studios omit to include the original track included on the Region 1 DVD

Now some people prefer 5.1 as a recording. OK, but for the sake of history, not to mention common sense, the original track is preferable. Do we really want to hear new sound effects clumsily inserted on top of the original - MGM's Leone restorations - or key sounds ommited or muffled in the mix - Misery, Contendor's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? No, a decent copy of the original track would do fine and - hopefully - have none of these problems.

Frequently the worst offenders are in HK. Celestial have done mostly sterling work in visually restoring the Shaw Brothers films but the audio work is awful. Films like The Chinese Boxer and Anonymous Heroes have had new background and frontal foley added, and worst of all, new synthesiser music hammering on in the background to fool the audience into thinking they're getting a top-notch 5.1 surround sound treatment for their home cinema.

Even TV programmes are not safe - witness the sabotage on Thunderbirds and Transformers - the clowns doing those re-mixes can't even get the balance right!

I also don't hold favour with the idea that a re-mix is fine if the director approved it. We all saw how John Badham screwed up the cinematography of Dracula and how Lucas messed with Star Wars. Directors can be just as clueless as studio execs.

It must stop. By tampering with the audio, the DVD producers are denying people the chance to hear the film original audio track, and in some extreme cases, completely sabotaging the film.

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