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The Recording Process

I wrote the songs on a music notation program called Sibelius. I had originally intended to use the midi track from that file as the background for images we were going to put together to make a feaux opening credit sequence for a web site to a show that never was. As it progressed however I got the crazy idea to record it for real using real people. It just seemed logical. Before I knew it it had taken on a life of it's own. I was calling people I knew who had little or no knowledge of this episode who were saying yes to playing on the recording just on the enthusiasm I showed for it. I went out and bought the M-box and Pro Tools program to do the recording. This is the very thing that has put lots of the big studios out of business. Everyone and his dog has their own home studio. However, it's one thing to have the equipment, -- it's another thing to be have the expertise to put it all together and make a good product. We're tooting our own horn here so to speak, but in short -- the talent and vision.

These are all live musicians except for synthetic harpsichord and bass guitar. This was way beyond the call of what I originally planned but is ultimately what makes this most rewarding. The music was done using the Digidesign M-Box, using Pro Tools. We recorded each person individually using a single AKG 2000 B condenser mic. No two people were in the room with each other during the recording. They all recorded multiple tracks of themselves, 10 string bass, 9 or 10 cello lines, 6 french horn, 4 trumpet,...etc. Most tracks were recorded in the living room of my house. As we recorded instrument after instrument it started to all fall into place. I was very pleased how it was going early on. When it was all done we had about 76 tracks on each song to mix down. It was at times a daunting, but fun, task of mixing 76 tracks of people down to sound like a studio orchestra who actually played together. Ultimately I was very pleased with how it came out; what we started out with, and the results we got out of our bare bones little studio. We tried to also keep in mind the sound and recording technique being used in 1968. If you looked at our automated mixing board during the process it was as they say, a war of the faders, to make this come off. It was always my intention to write a song that composers of the period might have written. It was then our intention to make it sound like it could have been recorded by musicians, in the studio conditions of that time period. We had some super great players on this and I explained to each one of them they were playing to fit a different time period; to sound like a studio player from the late 60's. Everyone tried very hard and really rose to the occasion. Most people gave of their talent and time freely either because of their enthusiasm for the project after it was explained to them or to get me off their back. Maybe both. I thank them all. Again, we had some super musicians to play on this and got super performances out of this. Having done several commercials, jingles and personal recording projects, this was one of my favorites to work on. I look forward to the next project.

Songs (Gary Seven Assignment: Earth theme 1 & 2 as I call them) written by- Andy Patterson

Recording engineers- Philip Patterson, Andy Patterson

Mixed and produced by- Philip Patterson, Andy Patterson

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