Movie music magic — Out with the old, in with the old?

We worked on a film now with an interesting challenge:

An old opera recording from the 1930s is playing.  As the scene transitions, the music transforms from the old recording into a lush, new one.  How will we do it?

First, we took a recording from the 1950s (“Un bel di vedremo” from Madame Butterfly, sung by Renata Tebaldi) and made it sound like it was recorded in the 1920s:

      un bel di vedremo

Then we took out Renata Tebaldi’s voice:


and made a new orchestra part that very closely matched the old one:


We gave the film’s sound editor both recordings so she could make the transformation just exactly as she liked.

Renata Tebaldi

Meanwhile, just for fun, here is the version of the old Renata Tibaldi recording superimposed on the new orchestra track:


This won’t appear in the film, but we created this to make sure our new recording more or less matches the old one from start to finish.

1 reply
  1. Arthur
    Arthur says:

    Very interesting! This definitely works! Would love to see the change with the new soprano!
    I am curious about the way in which you removed the voice from the recording. Normally this would be done by some sort of phase filtering, right? But in this case it is a mono recording.. so there is no phase information. Did you remove each sung note in particular with EQs?


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.