FUNimation downgrading surround sound to stereo

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Woodlandbuckle
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FUNimation downgrading surround sound to stereo

Post by Woodlandbuckle » Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:27 am

To be clear, I'm not talking about the dub with the Kikuchi score, I'm talking about the original broadcast dub.

So basically when FUNimation was in the process of re-dubbing the saiyan saga of DBZ and making the Johnson score, they decided to give it a 5.1 surround sound track for the Ultimate Uncut Edition DVDs. This was a bit weird, not in the "omg how could they ruin my favorite franchise" sort of way, but more because every other DVD was in stereo. It wasn't a bad change, if anything it was good that they upgraded from stereo to surround sound.

Then the orange bricks released and they downgraded, what I will now be referring to as, the dub johnson track down to stereo. Why? I don't know. I can only think of two reasons why.
1. FUNimation tried to have two surround sound tracks but that was to much for the DVD to handle on top of the original JP track, so they downgraded it to stereo.
2. They downgraded it to stereo to stay consistent with the rest of the dub score.
I highly doubt it's the 2nd one considering that FUNimation could have just made a surround sound mix for those later episodes too. They changed the audio mix for the season set AND level set Blu-Rays so I don't think it's out of the question that they could've just updated it. It definitely isn't as expensive as making another Level Set since they updated the audio for that release and the season sets too (not for the 30th anniversary set though, I guess FUNimation was just being especially lazy that day).

If I'm gonna be honest, the main reason this annoys me so much is because I try my best to rip Johnson's work so having the potential for a 5.1 track of the dub johnson track in TruHD quality would be a blessing for me.

If anyone has a reason FUNimation decided to do this please tell me, I want to know.

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eledoremassis02
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Re: FUNimation downgrading surround sound to stereo

Post by eledoremassis02 » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:39 am

I assumed it was to save disc space? And then future releases they were lazy/forgot/didn't care and we've had the stereo track since.

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Re: FUNimation downgrading surround sound to stereo

Post by VanceRefrigeration » Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:19 am

Surround sound requires more bitrate than stereo, and DVDs have a shared bitrate cap for the video and audio. What this means is that having two surround sound tracks would worsen the video quality so it makes sense to only include one. And it seems like they were trying to prioritize the Japanese score (the audio defaults to dub + Japanese score) so they chose that one to have the surround sound treatment.

And as for the Blu-rays, maybe they just wanted to keep it consistent with how it was on the DVDs. Or maybe having 2 surround tracks would mean less episodes per disc, meaning they'd have to spend more money on discs. They may even have had to spend some time optimizing the dub music to work with a surround mix. So I imagine their thought process went something like this:
slightly more cost + slightly more effort = not worth it.

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KBABZ
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Re: FUNimation downgrading surround sound to stereo

Post by KBABZ » Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:35 am

I have the Blue Bricks and I can confirm that they in fact DO have a Surround Sound mix, albeit a rather basic one. The center channel has vocals and sound effects, while the corner channels have music and sound effects (including voice echoes). This is the entire reason why I can make such extensive and clean edits in my The First Chapters project because it allows me to outright remove dialogue in many places.

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TheGreatness25
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Re: FUNimation downgrading surround sound to stereo

Post by TheGreatness25 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:09 am

Maybe the rest of the series was only done in stereo and they didn't want it to be a huge change (which is why they haphazardly redubbed "seasons" 3 and 4). Or maybe, they felt that nobody cared about the dub of the Ultimate Uncut portion of the series. I know that I never cared about it -- I can't think of one musical composition from that release.

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Re: FUNimation downgrading surround sound to stereo

Post by LostTimeLord » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:41 pm

Some of the "remastered" Z movie DVDs have both dub options in 5.1, as does the GT TV special, so I'd say that it's probably not a space issue.

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Re: FUNimation downgrading surround sound to stereo

Post by Planetnamek » Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:30 pm

TheGreatness25 wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:09 am
Maybe the rest of the series was only done in stereo and they didn't want it to be a huge change (which is why they haphazardly redubbed "seasons" 3 and 4). Or maybe, they felt that nobody cared about the dub of the Ultimate Uncut portion of the series. I know that I never cared about it -- I can't think of one musical composition from that release.
I cared about and I was bummed that UUE releases got abruptly cancelled in favor of fake widescreen, never knew about the audio being downgraded though, just one more reason to dislike those releases.
"Why run away from something you're not afraid of?" - Goku

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Re: FUNimation downgrading surround sound to stereo

Post by SuperSaiyaManZ94 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:05 pm

Planetnamek wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:30 pm
TheGreatness25 wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:09 am
Maybe the rest of the series was only done in stereo and they didn't want it to be a huge change (which is why they haphazardly redubbed "seasons" 3 and 4). Or maybe, they felt that nobody cared about the dub of the Ultimate Uncut portion of the series. I know that I never cared about it -- I can't think of one musical composition from that release.
I cared about and I was bummed that UUE releases got abruptly cancelled in favor of fake widescreen, never knew about the audio being downgraded though, just one more reason to dislike those releases.
The Ultimate Uncut Editions being silently cancelled back in 2006 was an unfortunate decision, and i feel for the poor fans that bought those Vegeta Saga II boxes at the time and then got left with a set which could never be completed after the first two discs and just before the next two. If you were someone who had been buying the Z singles up to the point of the cancellation it lead to the last bit of the Saiyan arc and early Namek being unavailable uncut in 4:3 with that format. This along with the shelving of the Level sets after just two volumes are by far the two worst instances in FUNi's history of releasing the series on home video that i can think of.
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1.) Find decent priced copy of Dragon Box Z Vol. 4 (Done)

2.) Collect rest of manga

3.) Get rest of Daizenshuu (2-7)

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Re: FUNimation downgrading surround sound to stereo

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:46 am

TheGreatness25 wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:09 am
Maybe the rest of the series was only done in stereo and they didn't want it to be a huge change (which is why they haphazardly redubbed "seasons" 3 and 4). Or maybe, they felt that nobody cared about the dub of the Ultimate Uncut portion of the series. I know that I never cared about it -- I can't think of one musical composition from that release.
They remixed the rest of the series at the same time as they reissued the Ultimate Uncut audio with stereo-only US music on the Season DVDs, so this doesn't work. They could have easily made the US music track on all 291 episodes 5.1, but they chose not to. Similarly, they have chosen to go with stereo-only audio on the US music track on the new releases of the movies, GT, etc.

It seems Funimation's standard approach for Dragon Ball since ~2007 is that Japanese music + dub is 5.1, US music + dub is stereo, and then Japanese is whatever they have, usually stereo or dual-tracked mono.
The point of Dragon Ball is to enjoy it. Never lose sight of that.

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