Burbank, CA (March 26, 2008)–Chace Audio recently completed restoration of the soundtrack for Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition. This is the first ever Blu-ray Disc (BD) release of a Spielberg film.
The release includes the first-ever home video release of the complete 1977 original theatrical edition, as well as the re-edited 1980 theatrical special edition and Spielberg’s definitive director’s cut (originally released in 1998 on the Collector’s Edition DVD). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing all three versions on a single BD and a three-DVD box set.
Close Encounters is the first title to offer three complete versions of a film on a single BD, showcasing the format’s “branching” capabilities. Branching works by incorporating each version’s unique scenes and the scenes common to all the films, providing a seamless rendition with continuity flowing together as if it were a single recording. In terms of audio, the high data capacity of BD also allowed for both DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby Digital TrueHD audio selections. This is Sony’s first DTS-HD track for BD.
Chace Audio improved overall fidelity by returning to the two original 35mm magnetic soundtracks that together contained all of the audio for all three versions, digitizing them at 96kHz/24. A digital transfer on the Sondor OMA-SE Chace was then made for the Clarity Audio Restoration process, a combination of proprietary DSP and hardware for playback of 35mm mag film and audiotape to remove mechanical instabilities like wow and flutter.
“Clarity does not add any new information to the audio, but simply reveals the maximum potential of the original recordings,” says Brian San Marco, senior digital audio restoration engineer.
Chace Audio’s senior mixing engineer, James Young, performed the final mix. “Audiences will now be treated to a faithful rendition of the 70mm soundtracks re-formatted for 5.1 home theaters,” he says.
In all, Chace Audio engineers spent over 300 hours to prepare the film’s Blu-ray debut.