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[Help] "PAL speedup" pitch shift... on Blu-ray?!
#1
Music 
So... I've discovered something extremely unsettling on a few Blu-rays lately and it doesn't make any sense to me.

The first one was my German copy of SNOWPIERCER. I was working on a sort of "ultimate remux" of sorts with my own newly-translated English subtitles (in both SRT and PGS format) and checking all the sources I have to ascertain which elements to use, and I was alarmed to discover that the German disc has exactly the sort of "PAL speedup" pitch shift you'd expect from an old-fashioned PAL (and thus 25 fps) DVD. However, it's got a framerate of 23.976 fps (24000/1001)! I thought maybe they're done something shonky to do with using audio from a master created for the German DVD or something (Germany being PAL etc.) and moved on with my life. After all, the Korean, American, and French Blu-rays were absolutely fine and had consistently lower pitch than the German audio. Weird anomaly, but no biggie, right?

The thing is though, now, I'm working on another one of my favourite films: NEAR DARK. I have many copies of this one as well: the much maligned US/UK BD, one from Spain, and the most recent one from France, as well as my old 2-disc Anchor Bay DVD copy, which is of course PAL (running at 25 fps, presumably with the associated speedup and resulting heightened pitch). The DVD has a director commentary that isn't on any BD release, so I was going to correct the PAL speedup on that and mux it into the French BD video track when I discovered 2 very confusing things:

  1. The PAL DVD audio was not pitch-shifted upwards, as the music is in the same key as the soundtrack CD

  2. On the contrary, the DVD audio is actually lower in pitch than all three of the Blu-ray releases, consistent across every audio track on each release. All the BDs have the pitch shifted too high, the same as German Snowpiercer!

This explains why the audio has always felt weird when I've watch the film on Blu-ray. I'm flummoxed, though. What the hell could have caused this?!

Anybody got any ideas?
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#2
Recycling of old 25 fps audio masters?
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#3
(2020-04-17, 01:50 AM)TomArrow Wrote: Recycling of old 25 fps audio masters?

See that's originally what I thought, but it happened with a new release (Snowpiercer) and in both of these cases the pitch is wrong but the speed isn't. Plus, in both cases, there were clearly masters available at correct pitch. It's bizarre!

It's also infuriating because it means having to try to artificially lower the pitch without quality loss, which I very briefly tried in Audacity but it sounded TERRIBLE.
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#4
I see, strange. Maybe it's one of those cases where there's established structures based on how things were run for decades and corporate inertia has made it impossible to do stuff correctly. Big Grin
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#5
Near Dark has on all Blu-ray release the Stereo track not in the right pitch, if memory serve.

I was going to adjust it to the correct one.

Doesn't the NTSC DVD have the correct tracks pitch?

ADDITION: Near Dark is property of StudioCanal and these guys are experts in audio botching of everything they release.
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#6
It has occurred to me that this might have been an intentional effect for the European market, anticipating that we would expect to hear the higher pitched audio because of PAL speedup previously affecting VHS and DVD releases here, but they screwed that one up considering the Anchor Bay PAL DVDs didn't have that pitch shift in the first place!

I've asked if anybody might happen to have a US copy so that I can see if that suffers the same pitch shift issue, and I'll try to grab a copy if it doesn't (though that'll be pricey here, and 2nd hand since it's been OOP for ages).
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#7
(2020-04-17, 10:24 AM)Stamper Wrote: Near Dark has on all Blu-ray release the Stereo track not in the right pitch, if memory serve.

I was going to adjust it to the correct one.

Doesn't the NTSC DVD have the correct tracks pitch?

ADDITION: Near Dark is property of StudioCanal and these guys are experts in audio botching of everything they release.
I replied before I saw you post this, sorry!

Yeah, I posted in another thread asking if anybody happened to have that NTSC DVD audio, because I don't live in an NTSC region and never got an NTSC copy of it. Mine are all PAL (one from a box set, one 2-disc edition of this film on its own). What I'm even more interested in is that there was apparently a LaserDisc release in the US (as well as one in Hong Kong) that had digital audio around 1990. I've no idea if there's anybody out there in this community that might have that.

I'm going to try a few things in the meantime:

  1. Stretching the PAL DVD audio to 24000/1001 fps, mostly as an experiment to see how it turns out because someone's already said they can provide the NTSC DVD audio (I already tried doing this but it sounded atrocious, though it might just be because I was working with AC3; I've converted it to WAV this time before doing the stretch to see if it's any better, but I'm not holding out much hope).

  2. Attempting to lower the pitch of the LPCM audio from the UK Blu-ray and possibly the 2.0 DTS-HD off the French one, though I don't know how to do this precisely enough to get the right pitch, and the processing in Audacity may - like the stretching - not be transparent. I reckon I've got a pretty good ear for pitch (not quite absolute pitch by the strict definition, but I can accurately hit some notes without reference points) but I'd much rather figure it out mathematically to ensure I've done it exactly right, working on the basis that it's been pitched up from an NTSC (thus 24000/1001 fps) master.
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#8
FWIW, by the way: DOG SOLDIERS' German audio on the UHD Blu-ray is also pitch-shifted. So this seems to still be a thing even in the HD era.

Mind boggling stuff.
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#9
This is because they do Pal crap.

The only way to avoid confusion is NOT to ever release anything in Pal anymore, and only do NTSC DVDs even if they are releases for the Pal market.

By never doing any copy in Pal, you avoid any confusion. Alas, I think for TV sales, they have to speed up the HD masters to 25fps, as TVs only show HD at 25. Mind boggling.
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#10
(2020-06-09, 07:07 AM)Stamper Wrote: This is because they do Pal crap.

The only way to avoid confusion is NOT to ever release anything in Pal anymore, and only do NTSC DVDs even if they are releases for the Pal market.

By never doing any copy in Pal, you avoid any confusion. Alas, I think for TV sales, they have to speed up the HD masters to 25fps, as TVs only show HD at 25. Mind boggling.

Yup! Bloody stupid, isn't it?
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