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 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 4:25 PM   
 By:   Chris Malone   (Member)

Interesting! I’d love to have access to these.

Best case for the EMPIRE tapes is a LEDO (leadered edited duplicate original) copy of the 2LP assembly. Incidentally, if the original JAWS LP album (which is the one John Neal engineered) is ever reissued on CD, a remix to put the percussion back in phase would certainly be in order.


 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 4:37 PM   
 By:   danbeck   (Member)

In the case of Jaws I'd not worry, Douglass Fake recently post in Intrada's forum that the original tapes exist and are in great shape. Therefore this must be a copy and not the 1st gen. tape.

 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 4:47 PM   
 By:   itstownerman   (Member)

None of these are master tapes. None. Not one. Does anyone actually read the listings before getting on their podiums? Seriously.

One is a QUAD master - who cares? Has nothing to do with the session masters.

One is a safety (Empire) NOT the originals - who cares?

And the other is four cues and I guarantee you a back-up of either the film mixes or the LP mix - again, who cares? None of these are worth squat to any label.

This! These are not the Master Tapes.

 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 6:12 PM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

Maybe these tapes are mislabeled and they're actually some holy grail that exists nowhere else!

 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 6:50 PM   
 By:   Chris Malone   (Member)

The STAR WARS multi is now sold. If it is indeed the edited 16-track original, let’s hope that its contents are available to the current rights owners for use should a new album ever eventuate.

Dan Melson is identified in the letter. I gather this is the same person mentioned here (despite the misidentification of STAR WARS as a 24-track recording):


 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 8:10 PM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)

I was at a Star Wars-related convention in L.A. maybe 6-8 years ago where Dan Melson had a booth trying to sell these tapes he got from the John Neal estate—he's been trying to unload them for years. He has every right to own and sell the master tapes, even though he does not own the intellectual property recorded ONTO the tapes. He always asked a fortune and, not surprisingly, people were not interested, seeing as how the tapes are worthless except for the "cool factor." He had a lot of rock stuff too. Of the film music, the tapes are basically dub-downs of little importance except for the Star Wars 2" 16-track masters which contain the edited "selects" Williams and Ken Wannberg chose—I remember when they did the Star Wars Special Edition CDs, they had the 16-track masters, but all of these master takes from the original album had been snipped out! So that's where they went, making those 16-tracks are highly important. Now, the good news: at that Star Wars con was Matthew Wood, a sound editor for Lucasfilm (voice of General Grievous, I think?) and he and I were like, WTF?! I am quite sure he subsequently coordinated to have the 16-tracks digitized at Lucasfilm (in exchange for a tour or something for Melson)...whatever. I think it's all OK, so people should RELAX.


 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 8:52 PM   
 By:   foxmorty   (Member)

Thanks for the great info Lukas. Made even more palatable by your level headed delivery. A+!

 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 11:56 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Lukas and Bruce - this is one reason why I love the fact that fanboys make the absolute best score album producers....thanks for the authoritative information on this.

 Posted:   Jan 30, 2014 - 1:05 AM   
 By:   TheSeeker   (Member)

I think it's all OK, so people should RELAX.


You're new here, aren't you? wink

 Posted:   Feb 9, 2014 - 11:34 AM   
 By:   babyjdrums   (Member)

Hi everybody! Long time film score fan as well professional musician and master tape collector.

Just a little note: Safety dubs sometimes are run from either a second tape deck that is simultaneously running alongside another (hence, they both are equally master mixes) OR a 1 to 1 copy from the master mix. The generational loss is inaudible if the machines are operating in specification - so in essence, if the tapes are in good shape, the difference between the labeled masters and the safeties are very slight at worst. This isn't dubbing cassettes OR the loss that's experienced from lacquer cutting/plating for LP's or 44/16 digital. Yes, there is loss there.

I say this out of full respect (since CD's are still a decent medium) and just as a little educational tidbit.

To say the tapes are "worthless" is not accurate at all. In fact, they're probably quite wonderful. But, you'd need a 4 track 1/2" to play the Jaws quad "mixes" and a 1/4" deck that not only can 12"-14" reels, but that can play 30ips Empire.

All the best!

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