Iconic TV series Sex and the City has been remastered in UHD HDR Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos as the show prepares to mark 25 years since it first aired.
HBO Max brought together a special restoration team that was tasked with going back to the original Kodak Super 16mm film and two-inch analogue tape and rebuilding the series from scratch.
The team employed NUGEN Audio’s Halo Upmix software, which allowed them to convert the show’s old stereo mixes into an immersive format.
“The mono and stereo stems from the original tapes of the series provided reasonable mix group separation, but at the same time presented some challenges for an immersive environment,” said HBO’s director of post production sound, Glen Schricker, who served as sound supervisor and lead re-recording mixer for the project.
“Despite the age of the show and what we had to work with, we were able to make legitimate Dolby Atmos mixes from those stems, with Halo Upmix in our toolkit,” he added.
“I’m a huge fan of presets and NUGEN knocked it out of the park with the hard centre preset in Halo Upmix. It became our go-to background starting point. We ‘surgically ’extracted as many hard effects as possible from the original BG/FX stereo stems, yielding new FX objects for Atmos panning and cleaner stereo backgrounds for 7.1.2 upmixing.
“Occasionally, we would leave behind certain hard effects in stereo stems knowing Halo Upmix would appropriately direct those sounds to the centre channel, which would leave the upmixed ambience intact and immersive.”
Re-recording Mixer Aiden Ramos, who was tasked with restoring the original stems, says he impressed away by how well NUGEN’s Halo Upmix transformed the older audio that he painstakingly had to organise and premix before mixing began.
“I was basically taking the stems and lining up all the audio to picture, organising everything properly,” he explained.
“I was the one separating things into the correct environments―such as the background noises in Carrie’s apartment or in a bar scene. New York City background noise itself is basically like another character, so there were a lot of stems to go through and organise. Using Halo Upmix was super useful for all the backgrounds, just to get things to sit in the right place and feel immersive.
The remastered version of Sex and the City is currently available on HBO Max in Dolby Surround 5.1, a direct render from the Dolby Atmos mix.