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the volitar miner  - news from the 22nd  century  a monthly publication based on the science-fiction world of volitar ® july 2003
a monthly publication based on the science-fiction world of volitar

issue #12
in this issue:

1) 2002 alaska and yukon territory volitar marketing tour

2) the making of volitar:

"who are murder mystery mayhem's unsung heroes"?


  locations around the state of alaska volitar: murder mystery mayhem is available at.
2002 alaska and yukon territory volitar marketing tour

volitar: murder mystery mayhem is available at these locations.

alaska and yukon territory

1) barnes & noble
2) metro music
3) mammoth music
4) uaa campus bookstore

1) mead's coffee house

1) sparks general store

1) youngs chevron

beaver creek:
1) buckshot betty's

mile 1147 alaska highway:
1) pine valley lodge

1) erik's audiotronic

1) mallott's general store

1) mabel g. smith's

1) caroline's closet

1) ad lib
2) capitol records
3) rock paper scissors
4) rozwick-giles music

1) rock rack

1) parnassus books



1) avalon music
2) cellophane square
3) village books



1) reckless records




volitar creator andrew engstrom & wife/co-script writer becky signing cd's at caroline's closet - haines, ak.
becky & "father mars, mother earth" author bobbi mccutcheon at khns radio - haines.
khns radio's john hedrick helping to promote bobbi's book - haines.
andrew & bobbi at khns.
truffles guitarist mike rostron skippers an afternoon sail on the lynn canal (haines in the background).
andy enjoying a beautiful alaskan day on the water.
becky and her million dollar smile!
and we are off again.






"who are murder mystery mayhem's unsung heroes"?


if you've read through volitar: murder mystery mayhem's cd jacket or the "credits" page at volitar.com, then you might have noticed the names listed under "for their technical contributions". you might also have wondered 'who are these people' and 'what is a technical contribution'? in the following article you'll find out who these people are and what they did to help.

technical contributions for mmm range from studio engineering to computer teching. for purpose of simplicity, i'll start at the top of the list:

albert mcdonnell

albert mcdonnell, owner of skate bottom sound studio in juneau, alaska, was instrumental in helping me prepare and record some of the first tracks on the cd. in october of 1999, the synthesizer tracks for "deep freeze", "soul searching", "the fire of section 17" and "nightmare" were performed and recorded at albert's studio. albert's job as engineer, was to "dump" the sequenced synthesizer performances onto digital recording tape. along with the stereo digital audio tracks, albert dumped the "click track" down on a separate track.

this digital audio tape recording was a precursor to recording the drum tracks for those 4 songs in hollywood, california later that month. for those of you who don't understand the process of recording music, here are a couple of techniques we employed when creating the mmm album.

1) click track - a click track is basically a recorded metronome which helps cue the musician, while he or she performs their part in the music studio. generally, after the drum tracks have been recorded, the click track can be erased, thus freeing up a track to record new information on.

the click track was especially important for me in recording the drum tracks because, volitar's music is filled with odd meters and tempo changes (i.e. deep freeze goes from 6/8 in the main body of the song to 5/8 in it's development section and then back to 6/8 to end the song). furthermore, the tempo of the 5/8 in deep freeze is equal not in pulse but, in the time it takes the bar of 6/8 to pass by. very technical! sorry! for those of you with a musical background, the 6/8 was at 180 beats per minute (bpm) and the 5/8 was at 150. yes, math skills are needed in music composition! as you can imagine, without the click track, this album would have failed miserably!

2) overdubbing - instead of recording a whole band performing a song all at once, most songs are recorded 1 instrument at a time. it's a very time consuming process but, it allows each performer to obtain a perfect recording of their part. imagine how difficult if would be to record all of the musicians at once! every musician would have to play flawlessly from the songs beginning to it's end. not to mention, the sound quality diminishes as different instruments "bleed" into other instrument's tracks making the audio difficult to manipulate during the song's mixing phase.

thanks to albert, i was able to start the cd off on the right foot. having the synthesizer performances on digital audio and in a format that was compatible with the equipment i'd be recording with in la, these were important first steps in making the whole album and they were absolutely necessary to it's success. for more info on skate bottom sound or the services albert mcdonnell provides, please call him at: (907) 586-3488.

josh lovett, bruce dawson & ford james

josh lovett, bruce dawson and ford james provided specialized computer services and were responsible for maintaining my computer systems functionality. considering 80% of the music for mmm was recorded, mixed and produced on pc, their contribution was not only appreciated but, saved hundreds of hours in wasted time. having a smooth running pc provided an environment from which this kind of cd, with it's mixings of mediums (i.e. music, sound effects and voices), would be possible to create on a budget. in a recent volitar review, writer joel reynolds said, 'we all 'understand' that the computer has radically changed music creation and production but, then you encounter something, like volitar, that makes you really begin to understand how'. thanks to these guys, i was able to get the cd produced from it's start to it's finish. contact ford james at http://www.yasuremedia.com for more info on his computer and web based services.

interesting fact: the murder mystery mayhem cd files in my computer consumed a whopping 40 gigs of audio information!

ryan stanley

ryan stanley at alaska media hand selected the computer tower i used for recording mmm. from the installation of the mother board, cpu and all of the towers components, ryan was their to guide me with his expertise. he's definitely the guy to see if you need a computer built for specific needs. contact ryan at http://www.alaskamedia.com .

bill kozlowski

after coming back from the 1999 la recording trip, i met with bill kozlowski to begin working with some of the sound effects samples i had obtained while searching through paramount recording studio's fx libraries. at this time, i didn't have the recording studio setup that is currently in place, each phase of volitar's production has developed as the funds were obtained. so, when i met with bill, i didn't have the capability to place audio sound effects into a music computer program and manipulate them. luckily, bill had the technology and the experience to help me put together parts of the "blast-off" and "landing" sequences. all of the preproduction - layering of sound effects in these sequences, not including trevor's and desiree's voices, foot steps and door opening and closing sounds, bill helped to produce. it was with his guidance i realized the depth of realism that could be created. this realism now allows the mmm listener to feel as though they really are traveling to a futuristic world. whether it be a night club scene, machine shop or laser research laboratory, bill helped me realize volitar to it's fullest potential. visit bill at: http://www.rockalaska.com .

mark alton

although most of the recording of mmm was done at volitar studios, some of the the recording process was accomplished at gold street studios in juneau, alaska via the help of george bryson and mark alton. mark was instrumental in helping to produce the final drum and bass tracks of the ending jam austinato of track 16 - "free". the greatest contribution came is his designing and building of an excellent drum isolation recording room. the room's acoustic quality is easily heard on the mmm cd. listen to the drum tracks for free and deep freeze, both were recorded at gold street. contact mark or tag eckles at gold street studios: (907) 586-1992.

to all of volitar: murder mystery mayhem's unsung heroes - your song has now been sung! thanks guys!

written by andrew engstrom

buy the cd!

get your copy of our rock'n sci-fi musical production volitar: murder mystery mayhem $12 ----> click here.

...an innovative blend of audio book, comic book, concept album and movie for the ears! jedd beaudoin - ghostland.com

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