Update from King (July 15th, 2009)

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 in News

- July 15th, 2009 -

“We’ve been staying very busy lately. We’ve had to put the KD/MF DVD projects on the backburner for a little while, but we’re back working on that full power now. We’ll get to the DVDs at the end of this update.

As some of you might already know, the two re-recorded MERCYFUL FATE songs, ‘Evil’ and ‘Curse Of The Pharaohs’ will be available for download tomorrow – Tuesday, July 14th on iTunes, etc. through Metal Blade. Both ‘Evil’ and ‘Curse Of The Pharaohs’ were mastered by Andy LaRocque, which makes ‘Evil’ slightly different sounding from the version you can find on Guitar Hero: METALLICA, which was mastered through Activision.

These two songs will also be available as limited edition 12-inch vinyl picture disk from both Metal Blade and Massacre Records. We were so fortunate to be granted a license by Activision to use a King Diamond image from the Guitar Hero: Metallica videogame on the front, including the use of the Guitar Hero logo. Also Metallica have been very gracious and given us a license to use their logo on the front.

The four remastered King Diamond albums: Spider’s Lullabye, The Graveyard, Voodoo, and House Of God, all mastered by Andy LaRocque now have tentative release dates. If all goes well, the first two will be released on October 13th, and the last two on November 10th. The bonus tracks have finally been delivered to the record labels. They will be live versions (with video footage) of the following songs: ‘The Spider’s Lullabye’, ‘Trick Or Treat’ and ‘Up From The Grave’, ‘Voodoo’, ‘House Of God’. Cover artwork will be revamped by Metal Blade’s art designer Brian Ames.

It has also been confirmed that the two King Diamond songs ‘Welcome Home’ and ‘Cremation’ will appear on the upcoming videogame, Brutal Legend, scheduled for release in October.

Both King Diamond and Mercyful Fate have worked out a deal with C1rca Shoes to have featured artwork on several of their sneakers. At this point, C1rca has mentioned a possible release of an ‘Abigail’ sneaker and a ‘Don’t Break The Oath’ sneaker for this fall. Further approved designs for possible spring 2010 release is ‘Them’ and ’9′.

Regarding the King Diamond double DVD of old improved private video recordings, it should be, if no other unforeseen problems smack us in the face, be ready for release on Halloween or shortly thereafter. I’ve noticed that some of you have wondered what kind of system we’re working on, and also why it has taken this long. Part of it is, as you can see, because we have had other things that had to be dealt with along the way. The other part is a lot of unforeseen problems that has kept on messing with the progress.

The software we use is Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 on a Gateway 2.7 GHz Quad Core computer with 6 Gigabytes of RAM, 650 GB HDD, an Nvidia GeFore 9800GT, and this far, far exceeds the highest system requirements of the Premiere Pro program.

Just to give you an idea of some of the technical problems we’ve ran into, right off the bat we had problems in the transfer of the source footage into the computer. The old footage was originally recorded on handheld video 8 camcorders with tape. They were transferred to DVD for storage and preservation so many years ago I don’t even know when, but a long time ago.

At some point, five or six years ago, I got curious and wanted to take a look at all the material we were in possession of, and the guy that was holding onto all our recordings made some copies for me that I was supposed to be able to see on my NTSC DVD player. When I received them, there was no picture, and horrible sound. Obviously something went wrong and Ole Bang then acquired a system with which he then started to convert all our PAL footage to NTSC. I got those a couple of years ago and they played perfect on my DVD player. That’s about the time that the initial idea for this never before seen footage to be made available came about. After a long, long time of negotiations, we finally got to the point where it made sense to go get the equipment and start working on the material. So here is the first problem.

We started out by importing footage into Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 and started an NTSC project. All the footage was TALL and the video play extremely choppy. The source video showed up with a frame rate of 25 which is European PAL and simply couldn’t be transferred properly to the NTSC standard of 29.97 frames per second.

We contacted Adobe to try and figure out what we were doing wrong, and when we told them that I could play the source DVDs fine on my DVD player and gave them the source specifications (frames per second and the source aspect ratio), they told us that they had never heard of any source footage with those specifications and that I must have a real good DVD player since it could make up for these very odd specifications. They practically told us that it was impossible to do an NTSC project with the strange source video we have, and suggested that we try to convert our already strange video (which is not straight PAL specifications either, it was a bit of both) into straight PAL specifications during the transfer from the original source DVDs into the computer. Then start a PAL project with that.

Solving this first problem took longer than days, more like weeks, since you try all kinds of things yourself first because you think you’re the one who doesn’t understand what’s going on and you keep trying. Then you give up and call the experts and then it’s ‘try this.’ No. ‘Try that.’ No. ‘What about this?’ “Wait, I see normal people, but the picture is choppy!” ‘Then what about doing this? What does this do?’ And finally, yes, we got something here.

This is probably extremely boring but I really wanna try and emphasize that we’ve not just sat on our lazy asses but have actually run into many of these kind of problems. I’ll skip all the in-between, and tell you about the last wall we ran into.

Transferring bonus footage for the 4 KD remasters, the DVD converter we had used practically just ceased to exist. We must have overlooked some of the small print when we downloaded this one which worked really, really good, and now we sat with a message saying it expired. Our mistake. We did find the DVD conversion program again, but could not reinstall it since it was registered in our computer’s brain as being expired. Then we started searching for another similar conversion program, and found one which we now can make work, but at first we wasted a couple of days trying to find out why everything we brought into the computer had no sound with it, and the picture was tall again. For some reason the program would not bring MP3 files into Premiere Pro CS3, which makes no sense. But by trial and error, we found some settings through AC3, which is my understanding relates to surround sound, which is certainly not what we had, but somewhere else in this converter program we found a way to make the AC3 only run through two channels. Sound problem solved.

With this new program it was not obvious what the source aspect ratios were, and we had to go through a couple of menus to find it, and find the place where we could change it. For those of you who know about aspect ratios, one source disk was 702×576, another was 704×576 etc. etc. (normal PAL should be 720×576). I was not there when all this footage originally was transferred to DVDs but something obviously went wrong. This whole DVD adventure has been like picking something that’s wrong apart and then try to put it back again in a form where it would play as if it was right.

To be quite honest, I’m amazed that I have not given up this DVD project yet. I don’t think I can even count how many times I have said, that’s it. I fucking had enough of this shit, this piss just doesn’t want to work. But in the end I’m sure it will all have been worth the while. You guys really need to see some of this stuff. It certainly has given me a lot of great entertainment to see again.

Stay Heavy,
King Diamond