The classic Bond movies are being brought into the
21st century with special 5.1 surround sound remastering
ready for new DVDs in 2005...
UPDATED: 24th January 2004
Classic Bond DVD 5.1 Surround Sound Remastering
24th January 2003 / 14th July 2003
Whilst the James Bond series has spanned 40 years, audio technology
for the filmmaker, cinema-goer and home viewer has drastically
evolved. As Bond gets a foothold in the 21st century, his old
missions are being lovingly remastered in time for a new series
Los Angeles based Mi Casa Multimedia Inc, founded in 1997
when DVD technology was just emerging, are usually tasked
with mastering 5.1 Surround Sound and Dolby DTS tracks for
the latest blockbuster releases - but now the latest technology
is being applied to films up to 40 years old.
MGM have tasked Mi Casa with remastering the every film
from "Dr. No" through to "The Man With The
Golden Gun" from mono to Dolby Digital 5.1 surround
Mi Casa Multimedia Inc CTO Brant Biles in the "lounge
The first eight Bond films were all released in mono, as stereo
technology only became practical at the time of "The Spy
Who Loved Me" in 1977 - but not for much longer...
Original masters from the films only had mono dialogue, music
and sound effects - so how can 5.1 surround sound tracks be created?
The answer came in the shape of original scoring session at Abbey
Road Studios, London. A cornucopia of tracks and formats have
been reshaped to form polished surround sound sound by using
and segments from unused recordings to patch up the original
Faults such as crackle, hiss or other areas of low quality in
the original tracks have been surgically replaced with pieces
selected from up to eight hours of original session recordings.
Messing with a classic Bond film will have most fans gritting
their teeth, but this clever use of unused takes keep the soundtracks
authentic, without the need to synthesise replacements.
Unlike the music tracks, the special effects could not always
be put into the surround environment without some artistic licence.
Some spot effects and sounds had to be recreated or added as
new by specialist group "Lunatek Music" to deliver a rich surround
Due to the technical restrictions of the old formats, low frequencies
which went unnoticed would spoil a modern digital surround track,
so many of the deep bass noises have been altered or added as
necessary. At the other end of the spectrum, for similar reasons,
gun shots and tyre screeches have been dialled down. The larger
dynamic range of the modern technology should provide an exciting
new dimension to the audio special effects, but Bond purists need
not worry though, as the original mono sound track will also feature
on the DVD so you can switch back to the original traditional
if you desire.
Audio philes may like to know that Mi Casa selected the brand
new Bryston SP 1.7 multi-channel preamplifirer/processors for
use in the James Bond remastering project.
Completed: "You Only Live Twice", "Live
And Let Die", "Diamonds
Are Forever", "On Her Majesty's Secret Service".
In Progress: "Thunderball"
Pending: , "Dr.
No", "From Russia With Love", "Goldfinger","The Man With The Golden Gun".
Formats: 5.1 Dolby Digital, original mono soundtrack,
possible Dolby DTS track on some titles.
Release Date: October 2005
007 DVDs In 2005