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[Proposal] Mad max (1979) audio preserv
Hey guys,

So I've been spending some time on the first Mad Max trying to sort out the craziness of the different mixes.

There is a little information out there, but scattered. Let's all put it in one place.

The goal is to have a reference here of all the different mixes, so that anyone will be able to pick of the correct tracks.

Here's french canadian Retromike video review of the problems about the sound on this film:

DVD releases:

- AIP print American dub mono from the original 1997 Image snapcase DVD.
American dub. The sound is 1.0 channel and the DVD is non-anamorphic, but widescreen. The colors are clearly from a print, vivid and superior to the Blu-ray that look like someone switched off the light. A nice archival print capture.

- Warner europe DVD from 2001
This is actually the best looking Mad Max on video out there, and it's in 16/9 1024x576, with the Australian, English, French, German, Spanish and Italian original mono mixes in 1.0. It features the correct colors, akin to the AIP print, unlike every other MM release after. I did my own custom 23.976 version of it on mkv, and slowed down all the audio and pitch on those, so for now it's the only way for me to enjoy the original film with correct mixes and visuals.

After this, comes the problems.

MGM had Chace Stereo do a Stereo remix for Mad Max in December of 1999 for a new 35mm print they struck for theatrical showings in early 2000. Then they decided to work on a 5.1 remix based on that one, alas they substitued many sound effects on it, and generally did a terrible job. That is what was included on the US video releases thereafter. So this feature on:

-  2001 R1 America - MGM Home Entertainment Special Edition
...which has this Australian Dolby Digital 5.1 track remix (complete with the missing Johnny The Boy line in the end scene as shown in the video above), an Australian Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono that is actually a downmix of the remixed track (except the missing dialogue line of Johnny in the end scene is still in it whereas it's missing in the 5.1), and the U.S. Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono dub. It looks like this DVD only "mono" track is actually a hodge podge of the original mono track + downmix of the 5.1! This is as nuts as the Nightrider.
Australian Dolby Digital 5.1
Australian Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (downmix of the 5.1 edited with some sections of the original mono)
U.S. Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (only correct track on this!)

- 2002 R4 Australia - Village Roadshow
In 2002, Roadshow created their own 5.1 remix that is notably superior to the MGM one though it has the same crap reverb. It was included on the R4 DVD as DTS/1509kbps and DD/448kbps tracks. It sounds totally different from the MGM though it uses the same source tracks and added sound effects. Also this DVD release as a unique, interlaced master, that looks a lot like the Image DVD one color wise, incidentaly.
Australian DTS 5.1 special Remix of the Chace remix
Australian Dolby Digital 5.1 same as above but in lossy DD.


- Blu-ray A America - MGM Home Entertainment
Then comes Mad Max remastered for Blu-ray and it looks like crap. The shine of the original prints is gone, and it looks like someone switched the lights off. It's grey and dull and sadly it looks that way on every Blu-ray release. In addition, the sound is a disaster:
- Australian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) This is the Chace remix with some tweaks. The end scene is edited differently on that one, like they tried to fix it.
- Australian Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono Those idiots have not included the original mono there, despite the label. It's still a downmix of the 5.1, resulting in out of phase sounds during the whole film, but has some different edits than the mono downmix of the MGM DVD! The swindle continues...
- U.S. dub Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono This is the correct track.
- French Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo I'm not sure but it maybe this stereo track is taken from the french 1985 stereo Laserdisc. It sounds excellent and is mostly mono, with some slight differences between the channels.
- Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono Sounds like the correct track.
This release comes with the MGM DVD as bonus, so you actually get the different 5.1 and 2.0 australian doctored tracks from that one.

Blu-ray A America - Shout! Factory Collector's Edition
You think the indie label would have fixed those problems. They didn't. Their master is DNRed resulting in some details erased from the picture, too. Collector's only by name.
- Australian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Still the same remix as the MGM Blu.
- Australian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo This is supposed to be the mono track again, but is actually a stereo downmix of the 5.1 track. So this is the third fake "mono" australian track available out there.
- U.S. DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo. Surprise, this actually isn't the mono US dub, but a stereo version. It's mostly mono with some differences between channels. This is the best sounding version of the US dub.

- Blu-ray ALL France - Warner Home Video
Same master as the others above, just sightly cleaned up with a DNR pass to make room for the additional languages. Also released across Europe. Japanese language options available only when player's language is set to Japanese.
The French subtitles translate the U.S. English audio track.

- Australian Dolby Digital 5.1 useless as it's the MGM Chace remix fix in DD.
- U.S. dub DTS-HD Master 2.0 Stereo Great, same as Shout! track.
- Czech Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
- French Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono sounds to me that this might be a downmix of the stereo track and not the original mono as heard on the Warner DVD.
- German Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
- Hungarian Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
- Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
- Japanese Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono This is absurd because in Japan, the movie was released in 4 tracks stereo.
- Portuguese Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
- Russian Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
- Spanish (Castilian) Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono.
- Spanish (Latin) Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
- Polish Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (Voice-over)

- Blu-ray B Australia - Roadshow Home Entertainment
Australian) DTS-HD Master 5.1 But we don't know if it's the Roadshow remix fix or the crap Chace remix.
Australian Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo We don't know if it's the real mono or a downmix.
English Descriptive Audio Service Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Note:The disc's menu incorrectly claims the Stereo mix is the US dub, but it plays Australian audio.

So it all comes down to the fact that the original Australian mono track do not exist anymore on Blu-ray.

- 4K remaster
On a final note, I took a look the HDR 4K version stream, it's more luminous and colorful, and shift a bit the colors back to what they were, but it doesn't get it exactly, and it's based obviously on the Blu-ray. I think it may be an upscale. So for now, there are only three releases that get the colors of the film exact, and these are the Image DVD and the Warner DVD and the Roadshow DVD.

- 4K UHD
The new HDR-Dolby Vision 4K version out now on UHD is in way better shape. Alas, it still fails to represent exactly how the film originally looked as they applied the grading from the HD master as base! You can see it right from the beginning when the shots lighting don't match between the cops during the chase, as they don't obviously on the negative, (due to changing weather) whereas this was seamless on the original Interpositives.
As for the so called mono mix in lossless included, it's still the same recent crap downmix with doctored sounds, missing foley sounds, and music cues wrongly spotted. Avoid.
I have the US LaserDisc ->

What about the Blu-ray from Shout-Factory? It supposedly has the original aussie mono mix in lossless.
Thanks given by:
Nope it's a fold down of the remix and it's actually thus stereo LOL, I'm reviewing the discs right now, will add the Blu-ray breakdown to the original post later.

The Image LD is the same as the DVD.
Thanks given by:
I have a couple of UK sources that may be of use: the 1986 PAL laserdisc with the US mono in analogue, and the 1992 widescreen VHS with Australian mono (not Hi-Fi as far as I can tell).
Thanks given by: Stamper
Like an idiot I threw that vhs away lol.

Yes audio rips would be great! With the image even better.

I updated the original post to include the Blu-rays.

Bottom line: There is no mono Australian available anywhere on Blu-ray. They are all downmixes.

That Pal VHS with the Australian mono is probably better sounding than the Warner Europe DVD.

A rip with the image for syncing purposes would be fantastic and probably easy to sync.

Would a preserv of the Pal DVD I converted to 23.976 with all the mono tracks be OK to post here as a project?

All I would need is to upload it.
Thanks given by:
If anyone has a PAL VHS and needs to rip the audio I'm well equipped on the VHS front (usually two tapes are required though). Just throwing it out there.
AKA thxita on OriginalTrilogy
I preserve movies as they first appeared in Italy.
Thanks given by:
Maybe this can be helpful.
Here is R4 review with screenshots.
Thankfully some of the problems with dialogue being drowned out by effects and music have been rectified, this problem only cropping up in a couple of instances throughout the film.

R4 review
Audio -
Originally made in flat as a tack mono, anybody who hasn’t experienced Mad Max for a while will almost literally be blown away by either the Dolby Digital or full bitrate DTS 5.1 remixes served up here. As is generally the case there is little easily discernable difference between the two other than the DTS version being noticeably louder, however those with bionic hearing may pick up a bit more with the beefier mix. Sadly purists miss out on the original mix, and we also aren’t given the option of the ludicrous and often extremely comical American dub which the region 1 DVD contains.

Naturally most of the dialogue is delivered from front and centre, however quite a bit of work has obviously been done on stereo effects across the front, as well as shaking the surround channels from the ennui they’d have endured if we’d just been given the standard old sound mix the film originally had. Revheads will be in rapture at the thunderous throaty rumbles which burble across the room throughout the film, many of which are given added oomph with what could only be described as gloriously in your face (or should that be bones?) subwoofwoof usage. All is synched to perfection, and dialogue comes up beautifully clear.

The score comes from the late ABC stalwart Brian May, and it’s an interesting affair. Running the gamut from being all mushy and swelly in the rare romantic moments, to sounding much akin to a marriage of the themes from Division 4 and Homicide colliding head on with Bernard Herrmann’s creepier work for Alfred Hitchcock, it is an orchestral soundtrack which truly adds no end to the tense atmosphere of the film.
Thanks given by:
(2019-03-31, 08:48 PM)marin888 Wrote: Maybe this can be helpful.
...Sadly purists miss out on the original mix, and we also aren’t given the option of the ludicrous and often extremely comical American dub which the region 1 DVD contains.

This was helpful, as the disc can be avoided, because lacking what is searched for...
"Never cut a deal with a dragon..."
- Old Shadowrun wisdom
Thanks given by:
Actually if that mix is unique to the R4 DVD it's worth being tracked and preserved Smile
Thanks given by:
Here is deeper review for audio.  Wink
Thanks given by:

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