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The Third Man (1949) Italian DVD R2 Synced to Studio Canal Bluray
The Third Man (1949) Italian DVD R2 Synced to Studio Canal Bluray

More noise. More detials.
Better than Criterion DVD audio.
Excelent sound.

More info:

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[Image: THIRD%2BMAN.jpg]
I had a correspondence with @sertoli about the statement that his “The Third Man (1949) Italian DVD R2” sounds better than the “Criterion DVD”. For obvious reasons I was excited that this was possible after hearing parts of the Criterion-Sound from 1999(or 1998) on, which I found already good, especially in contrast to the muted and attenuated Studio Canal from 2015.

That being said, I obtained the Italian sound-file and made a mere listening comparison without getting into it too much. First of all, it has less hiss, sounds way better than the Studio Canal, but somehow attenuated in comparison to the parts I could listen to the Criterion 1999 Edition on Blah-ray-Blog, but not in a bad way, but still enough to hear it. I was not looking at the performance of the Italian-file (it is good and I am not an expert to judge this finally), but for the reason why @sertoli thought it has more hiss and noise than the Criterion. For I was confused for obvious reasons, therefore, I asked him if I could listen to the sound-file of the Criterion Edition and gladly he also gave me a very fast opportunity to listen to his Criterion-sound-file.

@sertoli was right with his statement, the Italian file sounds way better than the Criterion-sound-file he provided. But how can it be, how is it possible while in comparison to the file on Blah-ray-blog the Italian still lacks the lavishly presented hiss and noise of the Criterion?

I started doing what seemed the only way to show that something was off, at least there has to be a reason for this coincidence. I got into Audition eventually (my first time) and started looking at the waves of the Italian and the Criterion release and naturally, they look different, for they are from different sources. But here it comes:

I also compared the waveform on Blah-ray-blog with the waveform I generated with the edition which @sertoli used as a reference. Not only it sounded differently it also looked different. 

Here a comparison I did with the Criterion 1999 Edition which Blah-ray-blog used and the Criterion Edition which @sertoli provided to me:

For that everybody can check this: (obviously the Criterion from 1999 is missing, I do not know if I am allowed to post it in here, but anybody can look this up directly on

Criterion from sertoli , probably from 2007

italian edition from sertoli

Criterion 1999 DVD-Release (Update!)

After doing lots of research I found out that there was a Re-Issue of the Criterion DVD in 2007(read it on I assume that the DVD that @sertoli used as a reference was from the 2007 roll.  Of course, I cannot tell for sure, but when Blah-ray-blog listed the DVD correct from the 1999-Release, then I should be right with my assumptions. 

Update: I confirmed this assumption after I heard the 1999-Release from Criterion, it sounds like the version provided on Blah-Ray-Blog, just not that loud. While I still need to figure out why this is the case, at least we have clarity about the releases and how they sound. When I composed a video, you could then tell for yourself if there is even much of a difference between the 1999-Release and the Italian-Release. As for now, both are good performers, but nothing sure yet.

To sum it up: 
  • The Third Man (1949) Italian DVD R2
    This edition sounds good so far, but it lacks the generosity of hiss and noise which the Criterion 1999 Edition has, assuming Blah-ray-bog listed the release date right.

  • The Third Man (1949) 1999 Criterion DVD (listened to the parts composed on Blah-ray-blog)
    This sounds also good, but has the most hiss and noise and also sound airy and is upwardly open, but in a good way. Sadly, I have no access to this file yet to finally prove my assumption.

  • The Third Man (1949) 2007(or 2008) Criterion DVD
    This is different and also differs to the Criterion-Blu-ray which is amplified too much. Some hiss and noise is hearable, but not like the Italian version nor the 1999 Criterion-DVD. This should be definitely from a different process. When my assumption is right, @sertoli should has this and made his statement on the ground of this edition and not in reference to the 1999 edition.
Finally to say, I am not looking for the best edition, but acknowledging the fact, that the versions differ and in the case of the three listed versions I want to analyse how they perform and if they are related somehow or are from different elements, when this is even possible to find out. For the fact, that I am an absolute beginner regarding the sound department of movies (I normally am interested in the picture), I can not judge ultimately and finally I am counting for the experts and for their experience here.

Therefore, I would like to compare the three different releases in parts and make an audio-comparison-video, but for this I need access to the Criterion 1999-sound-file. I heard from here and there that someone also could have a Laserdisc-edition, but this would come as a cherry on the top. I will be glad, if someone could help me in obtaining the 1999 Criterion DVD or track in the first place.
Thanks given by: The Aluminum Falcon
I also plan to capture and resync not one but two different Japanese LaserDisc copies of this film. Curious to see how those compare to these DVDs as well. I have both of them in my collection but I've got so much to get through that it hasn't happened yet.
Thanks given by: The Aluminum Falcon , freedomland
Thanks @pipefan413 . That is good to hear that you plan to capture these Laserdiscs. I am also curious how far they are to the one track Criterion offered 1999, I guess it could be very similar, but that is just a guess. Do you think I should also open a thread in the request department of the audio section? Up to now, I did not want to go over this thread, because @sertoli already worked on this and without his efforts I wouldn't be able to investigate in this at all.

But right now I need this 1999 file to have a good ground from where we could locate the quality of each release. When I find it I could also sync it to the Studiocanal. You members here are very productive from what I have seen here as of yet, that is remarkable, good to be here.
Thanks given by:
There is some progress, here my update on this: Smile

My first assumption seems to be right, @sertoli must have used the 2007 DVD-Release from Criterion as a reference. I am able to tell this, because I heard the original 1999 Criterion-DVD-Release now. I will update my first post here for better comparison, and next thing is, that I want to provide a comparison video, so you might give an analysis if you hear the difference. It is interesting that the Criterion-1999 is in Mono while the from 2007 is in "Stereo"(but obviously also Mono, same for the Italian Release).
Criterion 1999 and the Italian Release are not that much of a difference than I thought. The sound on Blah-Ray-Blog with the 1999-Criterion seems louder somehow, but I don't now why this is the case yet. Here and there I found some differences but I still need to figure out if this really matter. We'll see later.

Criterion 1999
Thanks given by:
The louder version of the 1999 DVD mono is the result of a ripping/extraction process that could have removed the Dial Norm thing on AC3 tracks.
Thanks given by:
(2021-03-14, 02:44 PM)SpaceBlackKnight Wrote: The louder version of the 1999 DVD mono is the result of a ripping/extraction process that could have removed the Dial Norm thing on AC3 tracks.

Thanks @SpaceBlackKnight

You mean the tracks you can hear on Bluh-Ray-blog? That could be it, the file I looked into was not that loud.
Thanks given by:
(2021-03-14, 03:05 PM)freedomland Wrote:
(2021-03-14, 02:44 PM)SpaceBlackKnight Wrote: The louder version of the 1999 DVD mono is the result of a ripping/extraction process that could have removed the Dial Norm thing on AC3 tracks.

Thanks @SpaceBlackKnight

You mean the tracks you can hear on Bluh-Ray-blog? That could be it, the file I looked into was not that loud.

The AC-3 format has a "dialogue normalisation" metadata attribute that basically tells the playback device to reduce the "volume" when it decodes the track, which is theoretically meant to result in an approximately consistent playback level between different AC-3 encoded tracks, so you don't s**t yourself when you switch from one AC-3 track to another one with a significantly different level. Thing is, in practice, AC-3 frequently coexists with DTS and other formats, which are usually louder than AC-3 with dialogue normalisation, so I'm not sure I really see the benefit in most cases, in real terms.

When you decode AC-3, you can either honour the dialogue normalisation attribute or ignore it. The command line tool eac3to ignores it by default to more accurately reproduce the source audio rather than reproducing the intended playback level, but it can be changed with the option "-keepDialNorm". Since dialogue normalisation reduces gain then by definition it also reduces dynamic range so in general I'd agree with eac3to's default behaviour and decode without honouring dialnorm, methinks. You could always edit the result of that to adjust gain and apply an appropriately transparent (ideally auto-blanked) dither if you later decide you'd rather have the lower playback level.

Here's an explanation from the developer of eac3to:

madshi Wrote:Please also be aware that there are some Blu-Rays where the audio track is stored in different audio formats. In this situation often the Dolby tracks have DialNorm activated while all other tracks have not. If you decode them you'll find that if you honor DialNorm the Dolby tracks will decode to lower volume compared to the other tracks (e.g. PCM or DTS). So the volume "as intended" is usually the one which you get if you remove DialNorm.

The Dolby encoders have DialNorm activated by default and set to a default value. So if the studio doesn't manually change anything, their audio tracks will have DialNorm activated with a default value. The DTS encoders have DialNorm disabled by default. Now from my experience it seems that most studios don't change the defaults. And this renders DialNorm completely useless because it's a value which is supposed to be set differently depending on the volume level of the specific audio track.

The latest receivers have features like e.g. Audyssey Dynamic Volume (there's a similar THX feature, too, I think). This feature does the same thing DialNorm was originally intended for. But it's even better because it works for every audio source and doesn't depend on DialNorm information being available (and set correctly!) in the audio source.

Just like tebasuna51 I consider DialNorm obsolete. Or even "bad" because it's rarely set to the correct value by the studio, anyway. Sadly a Dolby license conformant decoder is not allowed to even offer an option to turn DialNorm off. Some parts of Dolby's license agreement are plain stupid.
Thanks given by: sertoli
Thanks @pipefan413

From what I understand right now, the file with less volume could be the one with dial norm, right? First, I thought that maybe vimeo etc could have comprised Blah-Rays video, but in this case, what I am supposed to do?
Thanks given by:

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