Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Stereo Shenanagins

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  • #257410
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Watching the end of Ouroboros Xtended, I was struck by how loud the tambourine is mixed during the end credits, and how it is hard-panned left and right, which is deeply unpleasant to listen to through headphones. This led me down a rabbit hole of wondering when the show switched from mono to stereo, which led me to discover some vaguely interesting things:

    Series 1 and 2 appear to be entirely in mono, and use the same end music.
    Series 3 appears to be in mono, but uses a re-recorded version of the ending.
    Series 4 switches to stereo for the opening credits and the main show, but the music starts to become inconsistent, with some episodes using the original ending and others using the re-record, all in mono though.
    Series 5 is where I start to lose my mind. It’s all in stereo, including what appears to be a THIRD version of the ending theme. or is it just one of the older ones remixed, oh god is is BOTH of the older ones remixed, depending on the episode? My head is spinning.
    The music at the end of Emohawk sounds like the Series 3 music with an even differenter mix, and possibly some extra overdubs.
    Back in the Red Director’s cut is entirely in mono, for some reason.
    X-XII have the ending music back in mono again, for another reason I cannot comprehend.

    I want to do a deeper dive into comparing every single version from every single episode, but it’s also half past four in the morning and hearing this theme dozens of times is starting to do my nut in. Does anyone know more about the history of this stuff? From the deepest recesses of me memory, I seem to recollect one version of the theme possibly being in “fake stereo”, or just being played in mono with a stereo tambourine track (but why the fuck would they do that), and something about one of the re-records of the theme being done while the singer was pregnant, which led her to finding the high notes a bit difficult, or something. This is stuff I remember from hearing/reading it in about the year 2000, mind.

    #257412
    (deleted)
    Participant

    Both of the ending themes were recorded in stereo originally, as was all the music. The mono mixes are just folddowns of the stereos as the episodes themselves were dubbed/delivered mono until series 4. Series 4 is indeed the first time that you hear the end theme in true stereo, and you’re right that some episodes of series 6 feature the series 3 end theme in stereo. Additionally, the Clayton Mark/Elvis theme is based on a remixed backing track of that 1989 version. It gets complicated after that, but everything later is either the stereo 1987 ending or the mono one with stereo reverb added. There are still essentially only 2 versions.

    #257413

    Well, we’ve found John’s replacement already.

    #257414
    (deleted)
    Participant

    Oh and the stereo version of the 1987 ending is mostly quite mono-ish anyway, due to way it was produced in a Wall Of Sound style – you mention the split tambourines at ten to two – they’re the only really wide part of it. But that’s just what the stereo version is like. It might be why they favour the mono mix or reprocessed versions of such later on. And the records it is a pastiche of were famously, aggressively, resolutely made in mono right into the stereo era.

    I did have notes on all of this once, when I thought I might do some fan writing for the anniversary. And I do have a CDR somewhere with every mix on it, in case the world ends.

    #257416
    Hamish
    Participant

    > Well, we’ve found John’s replacement already.

    He wishes.

    #257417
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    The end theme sure does not sound like it’s in true stereo, it sounds like it’s entirely in mono but with the occasional artifact where an extremely quick blip will play in the right speaker or something, that sounds more like a glitch than anything. Also, the music art the end of Justice feels very thin and like it’s been panned too far left (but is still a mono track, panned). They also alternate between the two versions of the ending theme, for some reason. The hammond organ version of the theme at the end of Dimension Jump is in stereo. For some reason my download of the show is fucked and has a couple III episodes in place of IV ones, so I can’t check if the Elvis version is in stereo or not. XI and XII also seem to just use the mono version, without any stereo reverb or anything.

    #257423
    (deleted)
    Participant

    Stereo dubbing for TV was surprisingly crude right into the early 1990s, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in that.

    The stereo version of the 1987 end theme, heard between IV-VI, definitely is true stereo. Much is bounced into the middle but the ten-to-two on the double tracked tambourine is genuine.

    The Elvis version is definitely stereo.

    Something I noticed a while ago – the Smeg Outs version of Tongue Tied, with the finger clicks? The song is mono, the clicks are mono, but the digital reverb on those clicks is stereo, meaning they foleyed those in especially for the video. The actual master of Tongue Tied used across all versions also has a compromised freqency response and bass artefacts which suggest it can only have come off a domestic compact cassette.

    #257425
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    The end theme is stereo from V onwards, not IV. There is a very noticeable difference between the version(s) used in IV and V, the notorious tambourine mainly.

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