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Why does the audio in Ocean's dubs sound fuzzy?

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Joined: 16 Sep 2011
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:50 am Reply with quote
Watching the dubs of Shakugan no Shana and Black Lagoon reminded me, why the hell does the audio quality of Ocean's work suck so much? For those who have listened to Ocean's dubs, you may know that they have a distinct, echo effect in the audio, making it sound like the voices were recorded in a bathtub. Compare this to another Vancouver based recording Studio, Voicebox productions (who bronies may recognize as the recording facility for My Little Pony: FiM), the audio in Voicebox's work sounds natural, high quality, and is mixed well with the other sounds. I want to know, does Ocean use some sort of dated recording equipment or something?
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Tony K.

Joined: 18 Nov 2003
Posts: 9874
Location: Frisco, TX
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 4:48 pm Reply with quote
I haven't heard Shana's dub, but I can possibly vouche for Black Lagoon's, depending on which version you were listening to.

I believe for the North American video release, BL was re-mixed into what I call a "faux-5.1,"where a studio will basically take the 2-channel sound masters given to them by the Japanese side and matrix it into a 5.1 field to create a "fake surround sound experience." ADV was notorious for this technique when they were still around and FUNimation continues this practice, today.

Personally, I don't like it. The original masters were designed to output every single bit of the sound (effects, music, dialogue) through the left and right channels, only. But when you take something that wasn't supposed to be super high-quality in the first place, and then start manipulating it into something it clearly is not, then it ends up sounding awkward (dialogue sounds a little hollow, spacial placement and separation to the surround speakers don't feel as natural as native 5.1 mixes, etc.).

From the few other Ocean-Vancouver dubs I've listened to on home video (Gundam Wing, Master Keaton, Ranma, all of which were mixed in their natural 2.0 fields), they don't sound too much different than their Japanese counterparts, aside from a slight difference in volume level. But I find that to be a regular occurrence through a lot of dubs in general, anyway, regardless of the studio.
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