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Imagination Connoisseur, Kenny Kraly, Jr., has more than one re-mastered DVD release with a sound mix that is underwhelming (to say the least). Why aren’t re-mastered movies put out with high quality sound remixes that reflect the improved image on-screen?

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Dear Robert,

I’m back again with another letter. And for today’s letter, I wanted to talk about Sound Design – specifically how certain films and how some classic films and their soundtracks are remastered for Blu-Ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-Ray in Dolby Atmos.

When we get a classic film on Blu-Ray Disc or 4K UHD we want the sound mix to sound like it did when we saw in theaters. But when the entire sound mix is redone or remixed sometimes the results are not the best.

Two examples I can think of is the 2000 DVD release of Jaws and The 2001 DVD release of Superman: The Movie. Both of these films had the entire sound re-mixed and it took years for the original mixes from 1975 (for Jaws) and 1978 for (Superman: The Movie) to be put on disc as an option for audio.

Thankfully, with the recent 4K UHD Blu-Rays of those movies you can watch those films with their original sound mixes.

Star Wars is another example. But at least for The Special Editions of The Original Trilogy on 4K UHD both on Disney+ and on disc, the re-mixes of those films in Dolby Atmos sound a lot better than the 2004 DVD mixes.

So the question I ask: is it always good to re-mix an older film in Dolby Atmos and redo the whole sound effects in it?

The answer, in my view, is no unless those original sounds effects cannot be found. But if the original sound effects can be found, you should try to preserve the original sound as much as you can on 4K Blu-Ray with Dolby Atmos.

You thoughts on this Rob?

Thanks and keep up the great work.

Sincerely, longtime watcher and listener,
Kenny Kraly Jr. (from Ohio)