For example - the Batman series Blu-Ray release which I gather was given the royal treatment - the original films were scanned and then digitally massaged. While the release looks amazing the mono audio is decent but not as good as the mono hi-fi that had existed for some time as heard on numerous LP's. Presumably they used the best version available for the release.
Another example is the Green Hornet theme where there's no comparison between the theme song heard on the show vs a re-recording of it done for the album "The Horn Meets The Hornet" - which is the recording that was used many years later in the movie "Kill Bill", not the tv series recording which is clearly a different arrangement.
Of course the intended playback devices were small, very limited-range speakers on tv's of the era, but I'm wondering about what happened to it between the musicians in the studio and broadcast.
Was the gear used in the recording sessions any different than that used for album releases or is it a function of how it was subsequently treated/stored?
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The finished release prints of '60s TV shows like Batman, Green Hornet, etc. were on 35mm film. Optical sound tracks on those film prints had limited range. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_sound.) Original sound editing elements from those TV shows, though having started from magnetic media, likely no longer exist. On the other hand, for music-only releases, the same magnetic media used to strike phonographic LPs were usually preserved for posterity, and as such, could be digitally remastered many years later with higher fidelity range intact. The folks who mastered Blu-Ray from 35mm prints of the TV shows had to use what was printed on the films.
Even if the original 35mm 3-track (Dialogue, Music and Effects) magnetic mono tracks were preserved and used, the mixes for TV and for 35mm optical prints would have been limited at ~10,000 Hz and with a much more limited dynamic range. TV speakers were tiny.
One would have to go back to the original unmixed stems (which probably don't exist anymore) and remix from there.
The audio broadcast (over the air) in the 1960s was pretty low-fidelity, but fortunately the original source material, whether optical track on a Kinescope, or the magnetic audio, is usually really good. Unfortunately, some releases don't bother to go back to the original source material and so the result can be severely compromised.
Last edited by johnmeyer; 28th Jul 2020 at 21:32. Reason: clarity
Also, up through to the mid/late 60s, the vast majority of magnetic tape masters were 1" or 1/2" (sometimes even 1/4") mono reels, running at 15ips (inches/sec) or worse. 30ips and 2" and multitrack with companding really didn't appear en masse until the 70s (whether you're talking about film or music, and TV lagged behind those).
The big game-changer was Dolby Surround in ~'75. Prior to that almost every link in the audio chain from live capture to editing to processing to distribution to exhibition was poor.
As usual, bottom line is money. In the 50's and 60's, with rare exceptions (e.g. I Love Lucy), show syndication wasn't a thing. Shows were created for their first run and possibly summer rerun and that was it. Films and videotapes were regularly tossed or erased to make storage room (e.g. The Tonight Show tapes pre-1972 were mostly/all erased and reused). The reason Batman and The Green Hornet have quality soundtracks is because they appealed to kids who would buy them along with other merchandising.
In Australia and NZ and most of Europe the film medium was 16mm with optical sound tracks, so the upper frequency response was around 6Khz. The originals would have started life as 1/4" tapes on Nagra IV tape recorders running at 7.5" per second. Transferred onto 16mm magnetic film to be edited and synced with the film.BeyonWiz T3 PVR ~ Popcorn A-500 ~ Samsung ES8000 65" LED TV ~ Windows 7 64bit ~ Yamaha RX-A1070 ~ QnapTS851-4G