Hi everyone. I have been keeping this journal here on DisneyChris.com since 2013, so that anyone interesting in tracking my audio editing and web design adventures will have an easy means to do so. In 2017 I began doing these updates in video format on my YouTube channel "DisneyChrisDotCom" and Brian Crawford has been providing show notes for these videos. On this blog and in these videos, I discuss all the changes and additions I am making to the website, including an insider's look into all that goes into my audio editing work. I will provide insight on the process of editing my audio tracks, the reasoning behind my artistic choices and the work involved in creating this audio for your listening pleasure. I may also share with you some personal anecdotes along the way. In general, this is to be a "sort-of" look inside my thoughts and the inner workings of how DisneyChris.com is being developed over time. I am also interested in your thoughts and opinions. You are welcome to respond to my blog by contacting me via email at DCLyndon@gmail.com. I will respond to any of your emailed questions or comments either within the blog or in a private email response. Just let me know if you choose to be anonymous. You can scroll to the bottom of this page to go back in time to read up on what you may have missed in the past, or you can just start with today's blog post and read or watch the videos from here forward. The choice is yours. Enjoy!
• To view posts for 2019-20• To view posts for 2017-18
• To view 2015-16• To view 2014 • To view 2013
December 24, 2014
Merry Christmas everyone!
Sorry it has been so long since my last update, but I was frantically trying to edit something in time to have it completed for Christmas. Now that I just finished that project, I have some time to bring you all up to date of the Disneyland Audio Tour.
Everything that has been added to the Disneyland Audio Tour since my last blog post is all on the following page - TV Land part two...
The first addition is a great medley of songs by the Kids of the Kingdom that was featured in the 1976 TV special "America on Parade." This includes a great version of the song "Now is the Time" which was from the Walt Disney World 1975 version of Carousel of Progress. Originally I intended to add two additional audio tracks from this TV special. After reviewing these, I realized the sound quality was quite bad. Also, one track, Liberty Square's "Son and Daughter of Liberty" ceremony, was filmed at Walt Disney World and not Disneyland, so it was out of place. The other eliminated track was a dialogue only reading of the Pledge of Allegiance, by Red Skelton. This is not something really associated with Disney, as his Pledge of Allegiance is quite famous and the original version predates this Disney special by many years. So the combination of bad audio, and material not necessarily affiliated with Disneyland was enough cause to omit these two tracks from the program. But the remaining track is a great overview of the TV special, so I am satisfied that it has been sufficiently been represented.
Another change I made was to move all of the "Wonderful World of Disney" main titles into one block, and have them lead off the chapter. Originally I had the 1969 version alone as the first song, and later down the page had the rest. I decided it would work better if all of them were together. I also added more versions from different seasons and later incarnations of the series. I am missing one version. I have a DVD being shipped to me that has the remaining version on it, and will be adding it as soon as I receive it in the mail. I know that this version is on the DVD because I once owned it, but had sold it on Ebay. Then my computer crashed in 2011 and I lost the audio from it that I had saved. So I bit the bullet and finally re-purchased DVD so that I could get the missing audio I need, and therefore I will have every version of the "Wonderful World of Disney" main title theme from 1969 into the 90's.
Next project was the 1974 TV Special "Sandy in Disneyland" - Which I completed all 9 tracks. Followed up by a new and much improved version of the Disneyland After Dark segment from the 1968 TV episode "From Pirates of the Caribbean to The World of Tomorrow." I also added an all new track from the same show, a behind-the-scenes at the WED studio introductory segment. However, I found a better copy of this, and plan to redo it with even better audio, so stay tuned for an improved version.
Two more fun additions made are the 1980 episode of The Muppet Show featuring Golden Horseshoe star Wally Boag. The track includes all of the scenes with Wally and the opening and closing music from the show. Then I added another track from the 1980 TV special "Disneyland's 25th Anniversary" - "Don't Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be" with Danny Kaye.
And my final addition is something I am very excited about. I managed to find a copy of the 1976 TV special, "Christmas in Disneyland." As far as I know, this has never been published on Youtube, shown on the Disney Channel, or been available to view in any format on the web whatsoever. I think it may have only re-aired a couple of times in the 70's after its original broadcast. So this is a major coup de gras. The copy I found I had to pay 30 dollars for. The person who sold it had it listed on a site called iOffer. The copy is not perfect. It seems to be an very old VHS recording, but considering its age, it was something I was able to work with and turn into some usable and enjoyable audio tracks. I had not seen this special either since I was a tiny boy, remembering virtually nothing about it accept a few unforgettable images still in my head, so it was amazing to watch this vintage show with almost totally fresh eyes.
I also have posted the video on YouTube. Now everyone call watch this amazing bit of Disney nostalgia!!!
Consider this my Christmas gift to all my fellow Disney fans...
Let me remind everyone about my PayPal donation button. I have been spending a lot of my own money to buy new content to share with all of you. I am on a fixed income, so this is sometimes tough for me to do. So, if anyone can manage a small donation to my site, it would be a great Christmas present to me. Remember, my site it 100% non profit, and I do not place any ads on the site, so donations are very appreciated, and its great way to let me know you appreciate all the work I do.
Once again, let me wish everyone a fantastic and holly jolly Christmas! Lots of great new audio will be coming in 2015, so stay tuned for more.
November 30th, 2014
Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday. Lots of changes have come to the site since my last blog post, so time for another update....
All of the new audio added to the "Disneyland Audio Tour" since my last post has been to the same page. I have been concentrating on "Disneyland in TV Land" Part One which is Chapter 22. I would like to try and get this one fully updated by the end of the year.
I have completed the block of audio focused on the Mickey Mouse Club with the addition of "The Mickey Mouse Club Newsreels" and "Anything Can Happen Day - The Firehouse 5 Plus 2" - The newsreel track includes an introduction and two stories that focus on Disneyland park. One is about the horse cars, the other is about the Disneyland Railroad. Sound quality is not ideal, but I did make a huge improvement over the material I had to work with. I also hope to track down more of these newsreel stories that focus on Disneyland. I know of two that exist that I do not have, One is for Midget Autopia, and the other is for the Viewliner trains. The Firehouse Five track includes the "Anything Can Happen Day" theme song as a lead in, followed up by: "I Want to Be a Fireman" sung by the Mouseketeers. Great stuff! Tracks 26 and 28.
I also added a really nifty bit of audio from a short documentary film explaining how the opening day "Dateline Disneyland" broadcast was achieved... technically speaking. It is narrated by Paul Frees, and I added in some background music that matches perfectly. The song I used is called "Children's Overture" and I picked it because I noticed it is the same song (different arrangement) that seems to underscore a vintage Autopia queue announcement from the 1950's which is widely circulating around the web. So the song does have a Disney connection, and just the right 1950's era documentary feel. Very proud of this one. It is track 23... "Operation Disneyland"
Rounding off the "Disneyland After Dark" block of audio, I added a short track with the early "Dapper Dans" as seen in the TV special. This is track 56.
The next addition is from a one hour 1965 Jack Benny TV special that featured Walt Disney as the special guest. The audio is not ideal, but again, huge improvement over the original materials I had to work with. The track includes a very funny skit between Disney and Benny, which works very well without the visuals. This is followed by a short excerpt from a Disney themed skit that was discussed in the proceeding skit. This one is a very fun listen. You will find it under track 78.
And the final thing added since my last blog post is "Disneyland Around the Seasons" This is a 23 minute abbreviated version of the 49 minute 1966 TV episode. I left out the Small World tour by Walt, since it is identical to the "World's Fair tour which is included under the "Disneyland Goes to the World's Fair" block earlier on the same page. I also left out the Fantasy on Parade segment, since this can be listened to on my "Disneyland On Parade" page. What is left is an introduction to all the new attractions added to Disneyland from 1965-1966. This DOES include the opening ceremonies of Small World and an introduction the the Small World Clock, but I ended the Small World segment before Walt begins his ride through narrative. Also included are Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, New Orleans Square and the Primeval World.
This track was perhaps one of the most difficult I have ever edited. I had an excellent audio copy of this, so the sound quality is excellent. The issue was all the of the ambient noises, bumps and bangs heard in the background under Walt's in studio introductions. These noises do not stand out when you have a visual to coincide with it, which explains to you where these noises are from, but without the visuals, this heightens the awareness of these noises and they become a distraction to enjoying the audio as a listening only experience. So, I therefore had to pull out all the tricks from up my sleeve to remove these ambient noises. This was tedious and time consuming. But I am extremely satisfied with the final result. It came out nearly flawless. This is track 79.
Having reached 812 tracks in the Disneyland Audio Tour, I then had to take a few days to prepare the web site for my annual "Song of the Day" holiday countdown, which for those new to the site, is the posting of one Disney/Christmas song each day all through the month of December. This is the third year I have done this. To make things fresh, I am adding many new songs to this years lineup. So there are lots of surprises in store. I just finished editing the audio for all the new additions this morning, and I am all set up and ready to go. The countdown begins tomorrow, December 1st.
I also edited and selected a lot of great new images to go along with these songs, while improving the resolution on some of the old ones I am reusing this year. I also have a specially designed Christmas themed home page which will replace my regular home page for the month of Decimeter, with lots of bright and cheery Disney themed Christmas illustrations.
I then decided to streamline my "Song of the Day" archives a bit. You may notice that I have removed all of the 2013 pages from the archive. The archive now begins at January 1, 2014. There are a couple of reasons why I decided to do this...
First of all, now that I have a new computer, I am able to better see the resolution of the images on my site. The older pages contained images that were not up to the standards of the newer pages. I decided rather than to try and fix all the old pictures, I would just get rid of those pages.
Another reason for the streamlining, I wanted to clear up more space on my web site in order to be able to add more music before I would have to upgrade to a more expensive subscription with my web host.
And the final reason for streamlining, I wanted to keep from having too much duplication in the song selections. Especially because of the Christmas countdown, a lot of the songs would be posted more than once.
For January 2015 I have picked 31 of the best tracks from 2013. (Which stared in the month of May) So many favorites will be making a come back soon. However, one page I did decide to keep was the October 2013 page. This can now ONLY be linked to from the October 2014 page. The reason I kept this page is because I did a Villain Countdown for October this year, instead of a Halloween countdown, so a lot of the songs focused on Halloween were not recycled in 2014. In order to allow visitors to still enjoy the ACTUAL Halloween songs, I decided to keep the page alive, for now. However, it will be replaced in October 2015 with an all new Halloween focused countdown.
So now that i am all set up for December and January's "Song of the Day," I can solely focus on the "Disneyland Audio Tour" for two whole months without any more interruptions. Please stop by every day in December, because a lot of great songs are coming this month, and some real fun surprises. Talk to you soon.
November 13, 2014
I have a lot of things to let you all know about since my last post. Sorry it has been a while since my last update. I have just been so busy adding to the site.
First of all, I have decided to start posting some of the thousands of images I spent over four months photo-shopping for my planned future additions to the Disneyland Audio Tour, for as you know, each audio track has a picture to go along with it. I also edited hundreds of extra pictures that I likely will never post on the site. So in order to share them all, I have decided to post four pictures every day on my Twitter account. I am calling it: #DisneylandVintageDaily4 and so far I have been doing it for four days. That is twelve pictures thus far. There are some very neat, and very and rare things to see, so be sure to follow me on Twitter @DisneyChris73 - I have also been posting a notice, and a link, on Twitter every time any new audio has been added to the site. So if you want an immediate update when anything new is available, just follow me there.
Since my last blog post, I added a really neat track to my Main Street USA page. Track number 11 - http://disneychris.com/15-disneyland-soundtracks/160-disneyland-audio-tour-chapter-3-setup.html - This is one of the longest audio tracks posted on my site. It runs over an hour and a half long. It is a great one to listen to in the background while doing stuff around the house or for background music at work. This track represents the now classic 1992 Main Street USA background loop with alternate versions of nearly every song featured in that loop. The difference is, all the versions I have used contain vocals. So now, when you go back and listen to the actual loop, you will be able to sing along. It is a whole lot of fun to listen to, and it was a lot of work to edit. The reason it was so difficult is because there were so many different audio sources I used, all of varying sound quality, and a lot of clean up was involved to match everything up so it sounded good together and of equal resonance. A lot of the sources were from older recordings with a lot of background noise, and some had some issues with scratching and clicking, because they were from a vinyl source (side note - Why does Itunes sell so many recordings taken from vinyl sources?) Anyway, there are only about four songs from the loop I did not include, because they do not actually have any lyrics. Everything that has lyrics, is included.
A sort of similar but less ambitious audio track was also added to my 1970's/80's Tomorrowland page, track 4 - http://disneychris.com/15-disneyland-soundtracks/146-disneyland-audio-tour-chapter-15.html - This is a tribute to the Modern Times finale to America Sings. It consists of the five classic Rock n' Roll songs that were used in the show, only they are all the original versions of these songs. It is fun to compare. The rarest one is "Twisting USA" which I could not find for download on any retail sites, but was able to find a very clean vinyl recording posted on Youtube. I plan to add more America Sings mini-medleys to the site in the future, so be sure to watch out for those.
I have added three new tracks to my Disneyland Records page. http://disneychris.com/15-disneyland-soundtracks/134-disneyland-audio-tour-chapter-21.html - Track's 38-39 are from a 1964 album recorded in Disneyland live at the Golden Horseshoe. It features a legendary Dixieland pianist and singer known as Sweet Emma. This was her only appearance in Disneyland, but Walt really wanted to have her as a guest and charmed her into appearing at his annual Dixieland in Disneyland festival. At the time, her career was seeing a small revival as she had recently released a very popular single that hit high on the charts. Walt sent his private jet to pick her up, but she was too scared to fly, so she sent her entire band in the jet, and followed by bus.
The next album added is track 44. You may think this is an odd thing to include in a Disneyland audio tour, but the album, "A Country Coyote Goes Hollywood' actually has a strong connection to the park. This record was a free give-away promotional souvenir, handed out at the lost and found/guest lockers facility in Town Square. This was also when the movie of the same name was originally released in 1965. The sponsor of the Disneyland locker venue was, at the time, Global Van Lines, a moving truck company. They were also involved in the filming of the movie, as they provided the moving vans needed for the plot-line of the film. So it was a natural cross promotion to hand out these records in the park. Also interesting side note, Global Van Lines' corporate headquarters used to be literally next door to Disneyland, located behind It's a Small World, exactly where the "Team Disney" cast member training and executive office building for Disneyland is located today. Another reason to follow me on Twitter are the lively discussions that occur when I announce new audio added to the site. When I added this track in particular, many pictures where shared, and ideas were exchanged on this topic.
The last chapter I have added new content to is the part one of Disneyland in TV Land (1950's - 1960's) http://disneychris.com/15-disneyland-soundtracks/136-disneyland-audio-tour-chapter-20.html - First addition is from the 1950's Mickey Mouse Club, track 27. This is audio from a guest appearance by Golden Horseshoe star and comedian Wally Boag. I also included the theme music for Guest Star Day, "Today is Tuesday" as an introduction. This track is a lot of fun, because it includes a neat song about Wally Boag's balloon animals.
Next addition is audio from a 1956 episode of the panelist game show, "What's My Line" when Walt Disney appeared as the celebrity mystery guest. This episode also had Jerry Lewis as a surprise guest panelist, and it a whole lot of fun. I did a major clean up job on this audio, and it sounds pretty amazing. Very crisp and clean, with little to no background noise. This found under track 31.
Next, I added a short, but very fun track featuring the 1958 introduction to the "Walt Disney Presents" TV show. For those who do not know, the 1958 season of "Disneyland" the show saw a name change. The show became "Walt Disney Presents" for the next several seasons, up until it moved to NBC, and became "The Wonderful World of Color." I included both the very short opening announcement, and well as the closing credits music. Track 34.
Next addition is a new and improved edit of the song "Every Day's a Holiday" first featured in the 1962 episode of "The Wonderful World of Color" entitled "Holiday Time at Disneyland." This was one of the earliest songs written by the Sherman Brothers for Disney, after they began to branch out beyond writing songs for Annette. It is also the first song they ever wrote for the park. I used my new editing software to produce a much cleaner copy of this audio. Sounds much better. Track 65.
And last new addition is a fun bit of audio form the "Wonderful World of Disney" episode entitled "Disneyland Goes to the World's Fair." This features Walt describing the wacky visuals being shown of vintage silent films featuring World's Fairs of the past. (Some artistic liberty was taken with this footage) The music is of the nickelodeon old time cinema variety, and is quite amusing. Very fun little track. This one is track 68.
In addition to this, I have added some slots for several more "Coming Soon" items for both part one and part two of the Disneyland in TV Land Chapters...
I came up with a few new ideas for things to add, so I gathered the needed pictures for these additions, and wrote some new liner notes in order to pre-set the page for what is coming. While I was at it, I also cleaned up and replaced some of the existing pictures I was not totally happy with. Both of these chapters are 100% visually set up for all the things I plan to add to these pages, all that is needed is the audio. So if you want a preview of what is coming up, be sure to check out the above links.
In fact, chapters 21, 22, and 23 are all completely set up for what is going to be added, so there are no surprises left for these pages. Everything I currently plan to add has a slot in place already. So I plan to focus mainly on these three chapters until they are completed, before moving on to other areas. I hope to have these three chapters completely up to date by the end of the year.
One more thing to mention, I am looking for the 1986 TV special, "Disneyland Summer Vacation Party" - This used to be posted in its entirety on Youtube, and I was planning on using some audio from that video for my site. However, when I recently went back to find the video, it apparently had been taken down. Now I cannot find it anywhere. If anyone has a copy of this TV special, please let me know. I will credit you on my site for your contribution.
Well, sorry this was such a long update, but I had a lot to share. That brings us completely up to date on what has been going on, but there is more to come, so stay tuned.
October 29, 2014
Time for another update.
Since my last post, I have hidden, (and removed from the "Welcome to the Hub" table of contents directories on each page) my future planned Chapter 24 from the Disneyland Audio Tour - which is a sort of bonus chapter that will feature audio from the other Magic Kingdom style parks around the world. The reason I did this, is because I have so much content to add to the other 23 chapters, that Chapter 24 is not going to be worked on for months and months, and since there is no audio posted, I do not want people new to the site to go to that chapter and be disappointed by it. For now, I want to focus on the actual Disneyland related material first, since I have my self imposed deadline to have the tour completely updated by July 17 2015, the 60th anniversary of Disneyland. After I finish the other chapters, I will revisit Chapter 24. So do not be concerned that it is now missing, if you were looking forward to the new content planned for this chapter. I do still plan on adding it to the collection down the road.
I have also added some new audio since my last update. First of all, I added two new tracks to the first chapter, "Welcome to Disneyland." The first addition is a very bizarre song from the early 60's that I found on Youtube. The song is called "Take Me to Disneyland" and I have no idea what it was used for. I think it may have been part of a short-lived local southern California TV series from 1962 called "Meet Me at Disneyland" which featured Disneyland's regular roster of live performers. (This is on my wish list of coveted audio) Perhaps this was the theme song for the series? It is from the exact same year, but I have no idea if this is the case. This is why I did not put it on my Disneyland in TV Land chapter. If anyone has more information about this song, please let me know.
The audio I was dealing with for this new track was very problematic and required a great deal of noise reduction to remove some major background hiss. The result is less than perfect, but still a great improvement over what I started with. However, I have some great news! Just today I came across a remarkably better copy of this audio, so I will be replacing the version currently posted with a much improved version, and this should be available later today or tomorrow the latest.
The second addition to the "Welcome to Disneyland" chapter is a track to represent the short lived Holidayland recreational facility just outside the main gate of the park, which was open from 1957-1961. I used audio from a 1958 Disneyland TV episode entitled, "An Adventure in the Magic Kingdom" and added some vintage audio from the Mickey Mouse Club. I am very happy with this track. It is a lot of fun and represents Holidayland perfectly.
You will find both of these tracks on the following page, #9 and 10...
I have also added quite a bit of new audio to the Disneyland Records chapter. First of all, I added a rare album recorded at the Disneyland Hotel featuring some fantastic Big Band dance music. I was able to quite successfully remove all scratches, clicks and background hiss from this album, and it sounds fantastic. This album has been floating around various websites for a while, but this is likely the best version you will find.
Next, I added some vintage Disneyland storyteller albums from the early 70's featuring stories focused on Disneyland attractions. So far I have posted It's a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean. I am working on Haunted Mansion as well, and it will be added soon. Again, I was able to successfully remove all the skips, clicks and background hiss from these albums. This was not an easy task, because these records were generally owned by children, so it is nearly impossible to find copies that have stood the test of time. However, I was able to track down some half way decent copies, and with my editor tools was able to improve upon my source audio quite successfully.
Next addition came to me thanks to Foxxy. She is the moderator of this fabulous website... http://passport2dreams.blogspot.com - She sent me her copy of the 1973 album "A Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom" Having her very clean and well preserved album to work with, I was able to do amazing improvements on it during the audio clean up process, and the result is a near to perfection, digital CD audio quality recording. Again, this audio has been floating around the web for a long time, but you have never heard it so clear and crisp before. By the way, Foxxy is working on an amazing audio collection of vintage Walt Disney World audio, and she is going to release this collection in December. I highly recommend you seek this out. When it comes to vintage Walt Disney World audio, Foxxy is the absolute authority, bar none.
My final new addition is a 1973 souvenir picture disc album, sold in Disneyland, of the original Main Street Electrical Parade soundtrack. This was just a small 45 lp, so the entire album is less than 9 minutes long. At the end of side A the music fades, then it fades back in on side B, and I was able to match the two sides together so that there is no break in the music, and it sounds seamless. It is really fun to listen to this version and compare the original to the more commonly known 1977 version. There are some similarities, but also some very distinct differences.
You will find all the new Vinyl audio on the following page...
I also have 6 more new tracks I plan to add to this page, which I have already posted the placeholder images and liner notes for, so you can get a sneak peak if you visit the page. I also have some improved audio of existing tracks which I am going to be replacing. I am going to work on finishing all the updates to this chapter for now, before moving onto another chapter, so keep your eyes focused on this page over the next several days.
Have a fantastically frighting Halloween everybody, and talk to you soon.
October 18, 2014
Hi again everyone. A few things to update you all on today.
First of all, the second half of my two part interview on the "Stories of the Magic" podcast was released yesterday. If anyone would like to listen, here is the link...
Next bit of news. I decided to go ahead with a new chapter added to the Disneyland Audio Tour, as I suggested I might do in my last blog post. This is a chapter devoted to the other Magic Kingdom style parks around the world. I decided to only include material from Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, so the chapter does not get too out of hand with the number of tracks. So, Hong Kong Disneyland and the future Shanghai Disneyland will not be a part of this chapter. I also am only including content that comes exclusively from Magic Kingdom style parks, and not attempting a comprehensive collection of audio from other non Magic Kingdom parks or resort areas. Reason being, I am using this chapter as a conclusion to the rest of the Disneyland Audio Tour, so it is meant to be a comparison to the original Disneyland, and not a comprehensive tour of these other Disney destinations. Here is a link to the new page...
No audio has been posted yet, and I have not written the liner notes either. You will notice I have written "A quick brown fox jumped over a lazy dog" repeatedly to fill in the space where the liner notes will eventually be placed. What you will see is all of the audio tracks I am planning to add, and all the new pictures and artwork for this chapter. The tracks I have posted are not all set in stone. This is just my initial plan on what to include in this chapter. I am not as familiar with the other parks as I am with Disneyland in California, so it is a bit more of a challenge for me to pick out the "best of" and most historically significant audio that needs to be included. If anyone has any suggestions on items I did not include, that you feel need to be included, please email me your thoughts. Keep in mind, this is not meant to be as comprehensive as the rest of the Disneyland Audio Tour is. This is just a general overview of any important or significant things from the other Kingdoms. As it is, I already have 70 tracks picked out, and want to keep the chapter from getting too out of hand, after all, this is merely a supplemental addendum to the rest of the Disneyland Audio Tour.
Sorry I have not been posting any new audio over the past week. I was busy adding the new chapter, then I got a bit of a flu bug and had to take it easy for a few days. Good news is, I am in good health again, and ready to get started on more audio. I am thinking about moving to a different chapter other than TV Land, which is what I was working on before. I may start to add some content to the first chapter. "Welcome to Disneyland." I have some fun new things to add that I am excited to share, and I am getting a little tired of doing the TV stuff. Need to mix it up to keep me excited and motivated. But do not worry, all of the "Coming Soon" items from the TV Land chapters will be added in due time. So stay tuned.
October 11, 2014
Time for another update. There are some big things to let you all know about this time...
First of all, I need to mention that I am yet again featured in another podcast as the invited guest. This time it is an extensive interview about my personal connections to Disney, including my time as a cast member and the origins of my website. This is a two-parter, and the first episode has just been released. It is part of the "Stories of the Magic" podcast. Here is a link to this episode if you would like to check it out: http://storiesofthemagic.com
Next big news is that I have added a new chapter to the Disneyland Audio Tour. The Disneyland in TV Land chapter was getting way out of hand as far as how many tracks were included on the page, so I found it necessary to split it into two chapters. I decided to make the split at the point where the Wonderful World of Color's name was changed to The Wonderful World of Disney. This worked out well in that it split things up things pretty much on the new decade mark, with the first chapter covering the 50's and 60's, and the second chapter covering the 70's, 80's and 90's. It also split it up so that the first chapter is more about Walt Disney's time as host of the show, and the second chapter being the "After Walt" segment. For the new chapter I created some new artwork and added some fun new pictures. You can check out the new page here...
I also had to slightly redesign the "Welcome to the Hub" table of contents directories at the bottom of each page to accommodate the added chapter. In order to fit in the chapter names in a more aesthetically pleasing way, I had to reorder the Disneyland Records chapter to be placed before the TV Land chapters. So now the Disneyland Records page comes in front of the TV Land pages. I also removed the Mickey and Minnie images at the bottom of the box. I was never thrilled about them because I felt it looked too busy with them, but there was no way to organize the chapter names before now without leaving an empty space, so I had to put something there. But the new arrangement of chapter titles has allowed me to eliminate them. I am much happier with the new look. It looks less busy and overall is an improvement visually.
I also slightly tweaked the main chapter logo image for the first page of TV Land so that instead of having "The Wonderful World of Disney" inside the TV set, I now have a picture of Walt Disney. I did this because I have renamed part one... "And Now, Your Host Walt Disney" - and Chapter two is now named "The Wonderful World of Disney" so it did not make sense to have the TV set display "Wonderful World of Disney" when it was the second chapter that used that name. The TV Land 'part one' logo was taken from a vintage TV Guide cover. I had previously replaced the Walt Disney image inside the TV with that "Wonderful World" title card, but have reverted back to the original cover design by putting Walt back in. However, this is a different image of Walt than was featured on the TV Guide version. I just liked the picture I chose better than the original. Walt had less of a smile in the original, and it did not capture the happy spirit of Walt as much as the picture I chose. To see the new image here is the link for part one of TV Land...
I am a strange person when it comes to numbers. I always like things to be in even numbers or rounded off to the nearest 5, so it sort of bugs me that I now have 23 chapters. I have had in the back of my mind an idea for another chapter for some time, and I think it would make a better final chapter to the collection than ending it with TV Land, and would give me an even number that eases my OCD. (I know I am strange) So now I am seriously considering adding this whole new chapter. 24 chapters just feels like the right number, and I also do not like ending the collection with 1990's television. That does not seem like a fitting end.
I have not completely thought this out, but I am going to have a chapter that includes things that are unique to other Magic Kingdoms, but cannot be found in Disneyland. This would include things like The Mickey Mouse Revue, If You Had Wings, Mickey's Philharmagic, The Hall of Presidents, and even Meet the World from Tokyo Disneyland. I would also include alternate versions of attractions that are different in the other parks, like Phantom Manor, and the Walt Disney World version of Carousel of Progress. I would also include some the Japanese versions of Disneyland attractions as they are presented in Tokyo Disneyland. This is still something I am brainstorming, and I have a lot of other work to do before I can get to this, but I really would like to include it.
Since my last blog, I have completed the 1980's and 1990's TV commercials. All of these are now posted in the second page of TV Land. I also did a new edit of the Mickey Mouse Club theme song which can be found on page one. The Mickey Mouse Club is my own unique version, and includes lots of little extras. I also combined the ending Alma Mater, ("See you real soon. Why? Because we like you") and the closing credits. And I did some clean up and removed several editing glitches present in the 1955 recording. So this is a Mickey Mouse Club March '2.0' version that you should all check it out.
Well now that all my chapter rearrangement is completed, I can get back to editing more audio. So stay tuned for more in the days ahead.
October 7, 2014
Well, a lot has been added to the site since my last blog, so time for yet another update.
I have been trying to work on one block of tracks at a time for the Disneyland in TV Land chapter. I decided to go to the bottom of the page and work my way back, thinking that this would be easier to edit, since I would be working with more modern recordings. Not so much. The Disneyland home videos that I edited next were very difficult to do. Part of the problem was the length of each track, averaging about 30 minutes each. Another issue was the fact that there were so many tiny audio editing glitches. I have found that when dealing with visual media, the audio often takes a back seat to the visual, and often this means that in order to time things to the visual properly audio mistakes are often overlooked, because correcting them would alter the timing with the accompanying visual footage. I suppose the engineers also assume people will be mostly paying attention to visuals, and not notice the audio as much, so they turn a blind "ear" to it. But when I am focusing on the audio specifically, these things that are overlooked become much more noticeable. So I had dozens and dozens of little glitches to manually fix, and this was a major project and a whole lot of work.
I finally did finish all three of the vintage Disney home videos, and all of them are now posted on the site. You will find them at the bottom of chapter 21 ---
I also included, as a lead in to this section, an advertisement jingle that was often tacked on to the end of early 1980's videos. I am sure anyone around my age (early 40's) will know this song quite well. I decided to include these extra little things, like the main title to each Disney TV show, even though they are not specific to Disneyland the park, because I wanted to also feature how these TV episodes, specials and other media where originally presented in full in order to give people a sense of how people back then would have experienced them.
This is why I added a section of the many incarnations of the later Disney prime time TV show's theme music, which is the next section I completed. This includes four different versions of the main title from 1977-1986 - It is interesting to hear how these main titles changed. These are posted as tracks 91-94. The titles were also a bit of a challenge to edit, because the source materials I had to work with was often not the greatest sound quality, and I had some major clean up to do to remove an extraordinary amount of distortion and hiss. I am pretty happy with the results. The "Disney's Wonderful World" title being the least exceptional of these. If you heard what I had to start with, which was a mess, you would know that even this is a major, major improvement. For this track I also had to work with bits and pieces and slice them all together, because i did not have the full audio beginning to end all in one recording. That was a major challenge as well, but I think I pulled it off very nicely.
So now I have just started my next block of audio, which is the "And Now... Another Word From Our Sponsors" section. So far I have completed the first three tracks, 111-113. These came out really nice. I am very happy with how clean these sound. The audio I started out with was again a major mess, but the final edits sound crisp and clear with no background hiss at all. I had a bit of a problem with the "Disneyland is Your Land" commercial. The cleaner version I had to work with had the first 5 seconds of the commercial cut off. Luckily, I also had a very muffled version of the same ad which did not have the intro missing. So I had to combine that first five seconds of that version to the other version. I had a real difficult time getting the sound quality to match up so you would not notice a difference. After much tinkering, I got it to sound pretty good. Then I came up with the idea to add some cymbal noises to enhance the treble, and this turned out to be the perfect solution, because the end result sounds flawless. I am very excited about how this turned out.
So next I plan to work on the rest of these ads, and then likely will continue to work from the bottom to the top of the page. So stay tuned for more coming soon.
Now a favor to ask. I am a pretty good writer, but not such a great editor. I have a touch of dyslexia so it makes spelling a bit of a challenge for me. The program I use to add written content directly to my site has issues with the spell check, and it does not work. I usually move the text to another place and correct any mistakes I can before posting it, but in the past I have been a bit lax in this, as I was so busy just trying to get content posted, that I neglected to do it. I also have a real issue with commas. I just cannot grab the concept of when one is needed and when one is not needed. I have read many articles about this to try and figure it out, but I find it very confusing, and the rules seem to be very loose and open to interpretation. So I am sure that I have a lot of commas where they don't belong, and a lot missing where they should be. I likely have some comma issues right in this blog post as well.
So my favor is that if anyone comes across any grammatical or spelling issues anywhere on my site, please inform me. It would really help me out a lot, and I will take absolutely no offense to to being corrected whatsoever.
Well that is all for now. Talk to you soon.
September 27, 2014
Well, it's my Birthday today. I can't believe a year has gone by since my big 4-0 milestone. I hope this will be a great year.
Since my last update, I have added 8 new tracks to the Disneyland in TV Land chapter. Track #1 and tracks #6-12. All can be found on this page...
Track number one is a vintage TV ad promoting the Walt Disney TV show. It is sort of a variation on the main title of the Disneyland TV series itself, as heard in track number 2. I did the very best I could with this audio. The file I had to work with was quite awful. I removed all the hiss, skips and editing flubs, but the sound is a bit muffled. If anyone can locate a better sounding copy of this audio, please inform me, and I will replace it. It is acceptable as is, but could be better. I am a perfectionist after all.
I had much better luck with tracks 6-12. These are seven tracks for different 1950's commercial sponsors that all have ties to the Disneyland series or the park, with a few random ads featuring Disney characters thrown in for fun. All of these came out amazingly well considering the originals I had to work with. They all sound fantastic. No background hiss and very clear. I removed all distortions skips and editing flubs very successfully. I just posted the last of these tracks this morning, track number six. It took me the longest to do. It consists of 8 commercials for American Motors, running just over 11 minutes total. Each commercial I posted had several challenges, but the hard work paid off. They are a very fun listening experience. Please check them out and let me know how you like them via Twitter or email.
I am going to carry on with the TV Land chapter for now. I still have a lot to add. The vintage commercials were some of the most challenging to edit, so I am glad to have them done. I may do some easier things next before diving into some of the more challenging tracks left to edit for this chapter.
Also, I should mention that the third and final episode of the History of Disneyland Parades has been uploaded over on the Disney Dose website. I will be a guest on a different podcast in October, so stay tuned for details. Here is episode 3...
That is all for now. Stay tuned for more.
September 22, 2014
Hi all. Some exciting news today. After working hard for several days, I just posted in the wee hours this morning five new tracks on my Disneyland in TV Land page. My usual practice is to post things one at a time as they are completed. But for this one, I waited until all five were done and ready so they could be posted together, since I want people to be able to enjoy them as a full program of music.
I have been very lucky to have made some wonderful contacts though twitter and my website. This has lead to me acquiring a lot of audio that I would have never in a million years thought even still existed,
Several months ago, I contacted Scott Wolf who runs the web site called http://mouseclubhouse.blogspot.com/ (excellent site BTW, you should all go check it out) The only reason I contacted him was to see if he could share some his photographs from his website with me for my website, since his are all watermarked. Not only did he share some wonderful pictures with me, but he looked at my wish list and sent me a bunch of items on the list. These all will be coming soon I promise.
After a few emails back and forth, I just happened to bring up a recent vintage Disney television program from the early 1960's that I just discovered its existence of in an article over on Daveland.com. Upon that I did a web search and found two more articles, one on VintageDisneylandTickets.com and one more on Gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com. And just in conversation with Scott, not knowing anything, I mentioned this discovery to him, without expecting anything in return other than a discussion about it.
Well, it turned out that he actually had a copy of the program. Not only that, but he sent me a copy of the DVD, and gave me his blessings to post any audio I wanted from the show onto my website!!! I had to pinch myself. I never thought in a million years that this one time only broadcast from 1961 was even still in existence.
The show was an special episode of a long time series that ran for about 10 years, from 1957ish to 1967ish. It was called the Bell Telephone Hour. I am guessing that this was not a regular weekly series, but likely just a broadcast with new episodes only a few times a year, featuring high budget big production TV "event" type special program. The name of this particular episode from 1961 was called "The Sounds of America" and was filmed entirely on location in Disneyland. It also included several all new songs written just for the program, and was an hour long musical extravaganza. In fact, there is only a few lines of spoken dialogue in the entire program. It is mostly all music for the full hour.
According to the articles I read, this was filmed in the park on days when it was closed (yes Disneyland was not open 365 days a year at one time) and in the morning hours before it was open to the public. There are some fantastic musical numbers in this show, and the sound quality of my copy was excellent. I did still have quite a bit of editing to do regardless though. I mean, this was a 1961 TV production, so there were many, many editing phopahs, and there was some buzzing and humming that had to be removed. Also some skips and abrupt cuts that had to be smoothed out. So this took me several days of hard work to prepare for the site.
The audio posted is pretty much the entire program with one exception. The aforementioned spoken dialogue was a little anecdote and song introduction spoken by an actor portraying Mark Twain. The actor was so bad, and his delivery so monotone and dreadful, that I could not leave it in. He sounded nothing like Mark Twain at all. He sounded like he was on heavy medication with his slow and completely unenthusiastic delivery. So I cut him out of the audio. This is probably less than two minutes of the program, but I really feel it is better without it.
So you will find this amazing audio on the following page. Tracks 41-45
Although the pictures posted on my site are black and white, the show was shot in color. I just couldn't find any good color stills of the program. It is amazing I could find pictures at all. I also could not photoshop any decent screenshots from the DVD, because it was watermarked right in the center of the screen for the entire hour.
I am going to continue to work on the TV Land chapter. So look for more additions to this page later today, and in the days and weeks ahead...
September 19, 2014
Well, I have been quite busy since my last blog post, even thought I have not added any new audio since then. Here is what I have been up to.
First of all, I have prepared all the music and artwork for the upcoming 2014 Halloween Song of the Day Countdown. So when it turns over to October, all I have to do is click on a few buttons and I am all set to go. Everything is loaded and ready. t is hard to believe this is the third year of me doing this. Time does fly. This year I decided to be a little different, to avoid being redundant, and I am making it an all villain countdown. I really could not decide how to rank the villains, so they will just be placed in random order, but each day will feature music representing a different Disney Villain, every day throughout October. Last year's countdown is still available though, in the archives, so if you want a more traditional countdown, with more actual Halloween songs, you can visit the 2013 October Song of the Day page.
My next completed project was to edit in all the music for the 3rd and final installment of the Disney Dose podcast series on the History of Disneyland Parades. The final episode will cover 1986 to the present. This one was probably the most difficult to edit for some reason. It took me about three full days to do it, but I think you are all going to enjoy the music and learn some very interesting facts about Disneyland's past parades that you never knew before. I am curious to know how you have liked the first two episodes. I have had very little feedback. The third episode is probably going to be posted this upcoming Thursday. If you have not heard the first two episodes yet, here are the links for episodes one and two...
I am going to be interviewed this Saturday for yet another podcast, so stay tuned for more details on that one when dates are announced and everything is finalized. This one is going to more about me and my personal stories as they relate to Disney. So its a little more autobiographical than the parade podcasts were.
Now on to what you really want to hear about. I have been busy working on Chapter 21 of the Disneyland Audio Tour. This is the "Disneyland in TV Land" page. This chapter covers all the specifically Disneyland focused television programing that has aired on TV from the 1950's the mid 90's, and will now include a few Disney produced home videos that feature Disneyland as well. I already had over 60 tracks on this page. But over the past couple days I have added a few dozen more spaces for future additions. The page will now contain 115 tracks total. I have not added in any of the new audio yet. I have just visually set up the page with pictures and with the new track descriptions which have all been written. So the page is pretty much set up to the way it will look once it is completed. All I have to do is add in all the audio. I have all of the recorded materials for the "Coming Soon" postings on the page. So there is nothing posted there from my "Wish List" All of these tracks will be, and are going to be, added over the next several weeks. However, there is a lot of clean up to do, so it will be a bit slow. I am also going to improve some of the existing tracks. Here is the newly revamped page if you want to check it out. You may be quite surprised by some of the things I am planning on adding...
I will post updates and get into more specific details about the individual new tracks as the audio has been posted on the site. For now, you can check out the page and see what is "Coming Soon." I have also revised the main index page if you want a complete list of all the tracks for this chapter. Here is the link to that page, and then scroll down towards the bottom to see this chapter...
Well that is all for now. I am starting to edit the audio today. So stay tuned for more...
September 12, 2014
Time for another update.
Since my last post, I have finished all the "Coming Soon" selections on the Disneyland Records page. The one exception is the "Disney Song Parade" album. This album is going to remain in "Coming Soon" status for the time being, because I may have access to a better recording of this album, and I am waiting to obtain it before adding the full album. I did re-post the four "land" songs that I previously had edited in place of this future addition, as indicated by the songs marked in bold in the track listing above the media play bar. Keep in mind, this is just a place holder for now. I do hope to add the entire album soon.
I also added one more album to the page, not mentioned before. This is the Walt Disney World Steel Band album produced in 1976. This is also appropriate to represent Disneyland, because California had a band almost exactly the same as the one in Disney World. I also used some really cute Mary Blair art as the corresponding images for Side A and Side B.
I completed all the other tracks mentioned in my last two blog posts: Enchanted Tiki Room Side A, Pirates of the Caribbean side B, Songs of the Sea, Golden Horseshoe Review and Date Nite in Disneyland.
I also just finished Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the entire 1964 album in its entirety. This one took me two days to edit and clean. There were sooo many original 1964 editing glitches, and a really bad amount of background hiss. I was working with the CD, and not the vinyl album, and still, there was so much to correct with this. I am very happy with the final results. I have never heard it sound so clear and crisp.
All of these tracks are on the following page...
So for now, I am moving on to a new chapter. I will have more to add to chapter 22 in the future, but I am waiting for the audio needed. I am going to now focus on chapter 21, Dateline Disneyland: Disneyland in TV Land. I am not only going to add many new tracks, I am also going to enhance and improve the existing ones. With my new noise reduction software I can really improve the sound quality of these tracks. I have some amazing and unexpected surprises for this chapter too, which will throw you all for a loop. I am so excited to share these tracks.
I do need to take a bit of a break from the Audio Tour for a couple days though. I have a couple other unrelated projects I need to prepare before I can move on. First of all, I need to edit the 3rd and final episode of the History of Parades podcast that has been a series on the Disney Dose Podcast. The last episode is planned to be aired next Thursday, so I need to get it done. Then I need to prepare the artwork and songs for my special October Song of the Day.
This is my third annual October Halloween song of the day. The first year was on my old website. Last year's is still available in the archive....
To switch things up a bit, and not to overly duplicate last year's countdown, I plan to do an all villain countdown this year. One Disney Villain will be represented each day, all through October. There will be some duplicate songs, but there will also be some new ones as well.
Once these two projects are completed, I will return focus back on the Disneyland Audio Tour. So stay tuned. More is yet to come.
September 7, 2012
Just a real quick update today. I just needed to fill you all in, because I made some changes in my plan that was discussed in my last blog post.
As often happens, right before I am about to wake up for the day, and motivating myself to get started on my audio project, I start to think about the site, and begin to brain storm. Some of my most fantastic ideas seem to come to me at this time, when I am half asleep and half awake. Anyway, I thought of a handful of other things I had forgotten about, that can also be added to the Disneyland Records page.
Because I had not thought about these before, I did not have artwork prepared, so I first scoured the internet for pictures, to coincide with the additions I just thought of. Then I fixed up all the images and reformatted the page to accommodate these additions. So you can presently see a bunch more "Coming Soon" placeholders on the page, with new artwork and descriptions. The visual part is completely done, and I am now working on the audio for these last minute additions.
First new addition is the 1956 album "Songs of the Sea" in which over a third of this album is used aboard the SS Columbia as on board ride along music. So I will be posting the full album.
Then I will be adding side B of the Pirates of the Caribbean album. This is a collection of great sea inspired songs performed by Thurl Ravenscroft.
Next, I plan to add side A of the Enchanted Tiki Room. The reason I had not included this before, is because this is nothing more than the soundtrack from the show, so I thought this would just be a repeat of what I already have posted on my Adventureland page. But then, thinking about it, I realized that the version over in Adventureland has added audience noises. I added laughing, clapping and even ooing and aweing to that version. So this version will be just the music, with no added sound effects. This justifies my posting this twice, as they are two different variations.
BTW - why does spell check never recognize the word "Tiki" - is that not a real word? Just throwing that out there...
Anyway, the next addition is side B of the America Sings album. This is a collection of great songs performed by Burl Ives. This was placed on the flip side of the America Sings soundtrack to fill up space, and make it a complete long playing record. Most of these songs originally came from a 1964 Disney album called "Burl Ives sings Children's Choices" with two other songs added in from other albums... Ugly Bug Ball from the Summer Magic soundtrack album, and "The Whale" from a 1963 Disney album called "Burl Ives Animal Folk Songs"
I had all but one of these songs in digital format, as part of the original albums available for purchase on line. However, the "Animal Folk Songs" album has never been released in digital format, but on a whim, I looked up the song, "Burl Ives The Whale" and found just this one song included in a random collection of Burl Ives songs. Interestingly, it was not a Disney produced collection. But I found the one missing song!!!
So I was able to post the entire side B of the America Sings album in crisp digital sound, again though, with one exception. The recording of "The Whale' in the aforementioned non Disney collection seems to have been recorded from a vinyl source. I always find it odd when songs are available for download purchase with audio taken from a record and not the original source. Regardless, this one song did require a little extra clean up on my behalf to remove some hum and skips and pops from the vinyl recording. The album was obviously in good condition so it was not an issue to edit the imperfections out, but there were one or two nasty little bumps that I had to go in a remove manually because my software was not able to, and these required quite a bit of work to remove. So much work for one song that is less than a minute and a half long, but the job is done, and the entire side B on the America Sings album is now posted on my site, track 49 on this page...
The other tracks are in progress, as are the ones I mentioned in my last blog post. None of that has changed.
By the way, the reason why side A of America Sings is not included, is because this would be an exact copy of the version already posted in Tomorrowland of the 70's and 80's - This is the same reason why the Country Bear Jamboree Album is not included. This is posted over in Critter/Bear Country, and in that case, both sides of the album are included, in full, so there is not need to post it in Disneyland Records, as it would just be repetitive.
Well that is all for now, stay tuned for more...
September 5, 2014
Time for another update. Been quite busy since my last blog post. I have completed all the projects mentioned in my last entry. This includes the re-do of the 1980 Official Album, the Date Nite at Disneyland album, and the Golden Horseshoe Review album.
For the 1980 Official album, I have fixed the ending of the Main Street Electrical Parade. I also listened to another recording of this album to make sure the fade out of the Electrical Parade was the same as the album, so now, it is more accurate than it was initially. I also listened to the entire track to see if I missed any errors on my last run though. The only other major issues were in the Hall of Presidents segment. There were some remaining editing mistakes from the initial 1970's recording that I missed the first time, but now these have also been corrected. So the track now posted on my site should be the final, final version.
My next project was the 1957 Date Nite at Disneyland album. Unlike the other chapters where this album has been used on my website, this version is the complete, unabridged album. I removed the majority of background hiss that could still be heard on the CD, even after converted to digital. I suspect that the hiss is from the original magnetic tape source. When the CD of the album was first produced in the late 90's/early 2000's, the noise reduction tools available today had not yet been developed to the level of sophistication they now have. So the good news is, I was able to correct this issue very successfully. Another issue with the album was the transitions between each song. The applause seemed a little too quiet, and sometimes cut out too early. So I added additional applause between each song to make it sound like a smoother transition. I also removed several editing glitches, and a few distracting noises from the crowd, as this was a live recording. I left most of the crowd sounds in, to keep the feeling of this being live, but I removed a handful of strange sounds that distracted from the music.
Next project was the Golden Horseshoe Review album. This one had even more background hiss than Date Nite did, and it stood out even more because there are a lot more moments of dialogue with no musical underscore. It was also tricky to remove this hiss without leaving it sounding tin like, or hollow. I worked very hard to get it just right, and I am quite happy with it.
I also has a lot of editing glitches to correct. This album was a definite cut and paste job back in 1957. Meaning, they sliced different bits of audio tape together from different recordings. I suspect they may have recorded the live show several times, and then used the best from each to create the record. Also, the "guest acts" featured on the album, the Strawhatters and Mellodiers "(aka "Mellomen) were not recorded at the same time. These were sliced in from two earlier albums. The Mellomen song was originally from the album "Meet Me Down on Main Street" - And the Strawhatters song was from shorter album with three songs on it, featuring songs performed by them. I hope to obtain this Stawhatters album too at some point and add it to this site, but do not have it just yet.
Anyway, the most difficult part was the Wally Boag comedy routine section. It is quite easy to tell that this was originally trimmed down. It jumps around a lot, and seems to skip over things. For instance, they left all the references to balloon animals out, because it would not make sense to make balloon animals on a record, where you could not see what he was doing. If you listen carefully though, you can hear the squeaky rubber of the balloons under some of his jokes. So I had a tough time trying to correct some of the abrupt cuts and making them sound smoother and more natural. The earlier version of this that I created for my Frontierland chapter was less about trying to be authentic to the album, so I had a lot more artistic license and was able to rework and re-order the dialogue so it made more sense. But for this version, I wanted to stay as authentic to the album as possible. So it was quite tricky to fix this just right, and keep it all in the right order, without cutting anything out, but I am quite happy with the results.
Another tricky spot was the tail end of the Pecos Bill song. In the last verse, Betty Taylor sings about bringing Can Can dancers in from "Parree", and then there was a very abrupt cut and the song ended. This cut was made to remove the Can Can dance section, which was probably cut for time, as they did not have any more room on the album. Shame they had to cut out this music. I wish they had left it in. In fact, my Frontierland version of this audio has the Can Can music pasted into that spot, which is from the TV show version of the Golden Horseshoe, where they fortunately did leave it in. However, I never could get it to sound right though. You can tell the music does not match. The resonance is totally different, but I am hoping with my new audio tools I may be able to re-do the Frontierland version with better sound. So stay tuned for an update on that version as well, but that will be far down the road.
I was also able to remove a very annoying scream from a member of the audience as the piano was giving Betty her intro to "Bill Bailey." I was able to find the noise on the spectrogram and simply cut it out, leaving the surrounding audio intact. What a marvelous toy I have!!! - However, I tried this again at a point when Betty is introducing the song "Pecos Bill" and an audience member coughs under her dialogue. No matter what I tried I just could not get it out. So I had no choice but to leave it in. Oh well. It was a live show, so it just adds to the sense of realism I suppose.
So, having finished all the new things I will be adding to the Disneyland Records chapter until I obtain some more audio in the near future, I am going back and improving some of the existing tracks, using my new software. I have so far completed side A of the Disneyland Band album. Using the new noise reduction tools I have at my disposal, this new version sounds absolutely amazing. I have never heard it sound so well. I am so happy with the results. I am working on Side B next, and may have it up by the end of the evening. Side A is track 43 on this page...
I also have posted an improved version of the Disneyland Band Jungle Book Medley on my Adventure land page, track 18 on this page...
After I complete the Disneyland Band album, I have three other albums I want to improve before moving on to another chapter. I plan to do the entire Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln album. Right now I just have two segments that were exclusive to the album posted. I would like to replace these with the entire recording. This is going to be a major undertaking. Might take a couple days. Remember what I said about the Golden Horseshoe being difficult because there was not as much music underscoring the dialogue? Imagine that times ten, and you have an idea of the task ahead.
After that I am going to redo "A Christmas Adventure in Disneyland." I have a very good copy of this album, but it still has many an occasional pop or scratch. Originally I went in and manually removed each and every one of these, one at a time. The results are far from ideal. With my new de-clicking tool, I know I can do an amazing job at the touch of a button, and the album will sound amazing.
Last album on my to do list (for now) is New Year's Eve in Disneyland. The original copy of this audio that I had has been lost. I only have my edited version. I may be able to work with what I have, but I would prefer to start from scratch, rather than trying to fix an already worked on piece of audio. The place were I got this from was a blog called VintageDisneylandTickets.blogspot.com The moderator posted the audio from this album a few years ago. The blog was regularly updated from 2008 to 2013, then suddenly the updates stopped a year ago, and the links to that audio are not longer active. I did try to contact the moderator, but he did not respond. Anyway, if anyone happens to have this audio, please let me know... - On Ebay this album is going for over $200.00, so it would be better to find the Vintage Disneyland Tickets copy instead. I don't think I can invest $200.00 for just one album at this time. I also plan to use my new software to clean up this album, so if anyone can share it, I will send you back the files all cleaned up for your own audio library, and place your name in the acknowledgments area, for your contribution.
I am then thinking about working my way backwards from chapter 22 to chapter 1 in my further audio editing project. That would mean the next chapter I would be doing would be Disneyland in TV Land. I have a ton of amazing new things to add to this chapter. You are all going to have to lift your jaws off the floor when you find out some of the audio I have obtained. I also have a lot more I can add and improve upon what already exists in this chapter, using my new noise reduction tools. This chapter may end up exceeding over one hundred tracks by the time I am done with it. So once I get started on it, it will take me about a month to get it done.
That is perfect timing too, because that will put me at Chapter 20 in time for the holidays. Chapter 20 is the Holiday Time chapter. So that way I will be able to get that updated in time to be enjoyed over the holiday season.
Well, sorry my update was so long-winded today. I had a lot to share. BTW, be sure to check out episode two of the Disney Dose "History of Parades" podcast, co-hosted by me. It was posted just yesterday. Final episode is in two weeks.
So stay tuned for more updates soon.
September 1, 2014
Happy Labor Day all my fellow American friends, and best wishes to all my international pals.
I have been busy adding more to the Disneyland Records page since my last post. First, I added the 1957 album, Meet Me Down on Main Street, with the Mellomen Quartet. This is NOT just a post of the album as it is available digitally on most web sites that sell downloadable music. I have run the entire album through anti noise software, and vastly improved the sound quality. I always was bothered by all the background hiss that could be heard underscoring this album, and never had sufficient enough software to successfully eliminate the unwanted noise. But my new program did the trick beautifully. If you have heard this album, or have this album, please listen to what I have posted on my site. It is amazing in its crisp clear sound quality. A major improvement.
Next, I added Moonlight Time in Old Hawaii. I had mentioned that I placed it on temporary delay because a friend told me they had a better copy of the album than I already had access to. They recorded the album, and shared it with me. The quality was a vast improvement over what I was originally going to work with. This has resulted in an amazing sounding recording. It sounds like digital crisp clear quality. I am sure the few that have heard this album have never heard it sound so incredible before. And for those who have not heard it, you absolutely must. It is an amazing collection of legendary Disney soundtrack composer George Bruns, with three original compositions, and many more beautifully lush, fully orchestrated Hawaiian standards. This is easy listening music the way it was meant to be. Absolutely perfect music, in my humble opinion.
A major shout out has to go to Foxx, who sent me this recording. Had I not has such good material to start with, it would not have turned out nearly so well. If you have not visited Foxx's amazing website yet, please do. It is one of my very favorites...
Following that, I started work on a great jazz album, recorded live in Disneyland in 1962 by the Dukes of Dixieland. So far I have completed and posted side A. The album was available digitally so the sound quality was already quite good, but I still went in and did clean up some slight background hiss and caught a couple original 1963 editing glitches that I was able to correct. By the way... don't overlook albums that show up on my site that you have seen elsewhere, or may even own. These are improved upon versions.
So next on the docket, I will complete the Dukes at Disneyland side B, and then, you may have noticed I already have placed the spots for two more albums, Date Nite at Disneyland and Golden Horseshoe "Review" - I spelled it that way my site BTW, because that is how it appeared on the original 1957 album cover. So although I usually spell it "REVUE" - this time I made an exception, so it is the same as the authentic album title.
Both Date Nite, and Golden Horseshoe are available in digital format, but like Meet Me Down on Main Street, both albums have a lot of background hiss. So I plan to clean that. Also, because these two albums were taken from live performances, a lot of slicing together was made when editing these together back in the 50's. I am going to go through and make corrections to any possible editing glitches. Pretty much all the audio from both of these two albums can be found on other chapters of my site, but they are split up, and not in their full original album format. I have them divided up in different ways to represent different things, but the versions posted on the Disneyland Records page will be the full album versions, in their entirety. I also plan to go back, at some point, and use these improved versions to replace anything on my site that has come from these albums with the better, new audio editing and noise reduction. That is a project that will be attended to well down the road though. I need to stick to one chapter at a time or it gets too overwhelming for me.
I also want to go back and make a few corrections to the "Official Album of Disneyland/Walt Disney World." I noticed a couple issues when listening to it again. The main problem is the last little section of the Main Street Electrical Parade.
I had cut and pasted on the ending from a different source than the CD version I was using, so that I could have it fade out more slowly at the end. It is interesting to note that I actually owned 3 issues of these albums over the years. I played them so much, back in the 80's, that I had to keep replacing them when the records wore out. Every album was identical, except that the ending of Main Street Electrical Parade was different on each version. Not sure why. The audio from the CD version I have must have been taken from the second edition, because of how Electrical Parade ends more abrubtly. And as a side note, the third edition of the album actually faded out after the Elliot the Dragon section, cutting out the Small World and the Disney Medley sections at the end. So what I did by tacking on my ending from a different source, was replicate how the original 1980 album faded out at the end of the song.
The issue is that the source I used for this replicated ending seems to have some generational issues. To those unfamiliar with editing jargon, generational issues means that by copying, recopying and recopying audio again, it loses sound quality each time. So they call this loosing generations. I noticed some distortion in the sound quality of that short section of the Electrical Parade I replaced, following Small World, but I do have an much better copy of that music than what I intially used. So I plan to go back and fix that issue.
Well, that is all for now. I will post another blog again after the aforementioned projects are completed, and then let you know what is next on the agenda. So stay tuned.
August 29, 2014
Time for another update. I told you they would increase once I got back into editing audio.
Since my last blog, I finally re-posted the stereo versions of Kids of the Kingdom again. I also posted the final version of the Fred Burri Album side A, so that is another completed album. Of course, If I ever have access to a better copy of that album, I will replace it. The sound quality is far from perfect, but this is due to a very poor quality recording I had to work from. Believe me, compared to the original, this is an amazing improvement.
Speaking of the quality of the recording I have to work with, I was going to do "Moonlight Time in Old Hawaii" as my next project. I had put the word out that I was looking for a good picture of the album cover, and in so doing found someone who has a better copy of the album. They are going to record it and allow me to use that version. So I am temporarily delaying that project since I will be able to do a much better job if the original recording is not as scratchy.
They also sent me a good picture of the album cover that I can use. I am still debating on whether to use the authentic album cover, or the pseudo one that I created. I actually like mine better, but it is not authentic. I would also have to do some photo-shop editing to clean up the image a bit, since the album cover is faded in spots, and has a sticker on the front of it that would have to be painted over. I am still thinking about this. I have not made up my mind just yet.
As I await the cleaner audio for that album, I jumped ahead to another project. I have decided to include the 1980 Official Album of Disneyland/Walt Disney World on my site, as it was originally released. This is actually the very first "Official" park album ever produced by Disney, so it is historically significant. It is also an album I personally grew up listening to, as my only major audio connection to the parks, when not in the parks. This was back in the pre-internet dark ages, when any tiny little snippet of audio from Disneyland was an amazing treasure.
Although, pretty much all of this audio can be heard scattered about in other places on my site, it is nice to listen to it in the format in which it was originally produced for records back in 1980. I have included it as one complete track rather than splitting it up as side A and side B, because it really does have an amazing flow to it, that needs to be heard in one chunk, as a half hour complete musical tour. One other fun thing about it are the highlighted versions of America Sings and Country Bear Jamboree, giving an overview of the entire show in just under four minutes each. It is very fun to hear these mini versions of these classic shows.
I actually have a very rare CD of this album, which I think was available only overseas, back in the late 80's. I bought it a few years ago on ebay. So I did not have to deal with cleaning up a vinyl recording this time. Even though I did have a digital copy to start with, this CD is quite old, one of the earliest produced, and it has a lot of background noise. I think it was likely copied onto CD from the original magnetic tape masters, with no significant digital remastering done to it.
So I used my new program to get rid of all that background hiss, and was left with an amazing crisp clean copy. For some of the songs, I used a better recording of the music but mocked the editing of the album. For example, I replaced Tiki Tiki Tiki room with a better digitally remastered version, but made the same exact editing cuts to the song as heard in the 1980 album, because my more recent version was the complete song, and the 1980 version was abridged. There were also some editing errors, made by the original audio engineers of this album back in the late 70's, which I have corrected. Amazing to think I have better editing tools in my home computer today, than they had in a multimillion dollar professional studio back in the late 70's. I was able to remove some bumps and jumps that could be heard within those aforementioned Country Bear Jamboree and America Sings medleys, as well as The Main Street Electrical Parade. I also replicated most of Country Bears myself, using the complete soundtrack, so other than the into, it is a complete redo following the exact same editing cuts as in the 1980 abridged version.
I also did major clean up on the Hall of Presidents segment. There were a lot of glitches in that recording. Slight clicks and bumps. These are likely just a part of the original recording. These glitches stand out because it is mostly dialogue with very light underscore music. Early 1970's recording equipment was not as good at filtering out these type of errors, and also, playback equipment did not pick them up as easily. Also, the engineers likely did not concern themselves about every little slight click in the playback, because it was originally meant to be heard in a theater, where there is no way the average person would ever be able to hear a tiny little click here and there. But it is different when you are listening to it at home, especially if you have headphones on. So I spend several hours removing a lot of these recording mistakes and editing glitches, for a much cleaner smoother copy. Again, my tools today are better than what they had to work with back then.
The Official Album of Disneyland/Walt Disney World is the last track at the bottom of this page...
So that is all for now. I plan to work on some more albums, and will update you with the details once they have been posted on the site. So stay tuned...
August 27, 2014
Since my last blog I posted side B of the Fred Burri, Matterhorn Yodeler album. It was smooth sailing until I got to the final track on the album. It involved a major amount of manual clean-up, and took me over four hours to do. But I finally got it done. I am going to do a slight bit of distortion reduction on Side A, and post a improved version by tomorrow morning. So, Side A and B are both on line, but side A will be replaced.
I then corrected the stereo/mono issue with the much discussed silent film album called Rapes Rides and Rescues, both Side A and Side B are done, and they have both been re-posted. I still have to correct the Kids of the Kingdom album though.
The mono issue did happen to cause a happy accident though. When listening to the between track announcements of Rides Rapes and Rescues, I realized they sounded better in mono. There was some sort of distortion causing the sound to be a little wavy between channels, most noticeable with headphones on, so by changing this to mono, it totally eliminated the issue, and actually did not downgrade the sound quality at all. I am guessing they were already in mono originally. I did leave every bit of the music in full stereo; just the announcements are changed to mono. I did this for both side A and B, and they are available now.
All this can be found on my Disneyland Records page...
I will likely correct the stereo for the Kids of the Kingdom album tomorrow. I am dreading dipping back into that pool again, but once it is done I can move on for now.
You may notice I added another "Coming Soon" to the page. That is my next project. Here is some information about the album I will be adding, posted on someone else's blog from a while back...
I had to design my own album cover for the spot where the audio will be posted on my site, because this record is so rare I could not find any usable images of the cover posted anywhere on line. You will notice the picture on the other blog has a huge glare on it, with a white spot right in the middle of the image. Well this is the only picture I have found. I do have ALL the music though. The record is VERY scratchy, but I ran a couple tests in my software, and it seems like I will be able to work with it. I hope to get started on it tomorrow, as soon as Kids of the Kingdom is completed.
I still have a handful more albums to add to this page until moving to a different chapter. But when my pal starts sending me audio files for his albums, little by little, I will jump back to this chapter to post them as soon as they are ready. I think I have about 20-25 or so albums to eventually add to the page.
Well, this is a short update today, but talk to you soon.
August 26, 2014
Hi all. Much to report on since my last blog post. I knew once I got back into audio the blog posts would increase.
First of all. I have added one more new track to the Disneyland Records chapter. It is side A of an album that features songs that are used in the Matterhorn Queue area. Fred Burri is the artist who recorded this album around the late 50's or early 60's, and he was also a regular performer in the park at that time. The music is traditional folk songs from Switzerland, with some pretty amazing yodeling. I will be working on side B today, and should have it posted later. Side A is track 14 on the following page...
I also have some work I have to do on my recent postings for The Kids of the Kingdom and Rides Rapes and Rescues. As I was going through these tracks with headphones, to hear if I had missed any clicking as mentioned in my last blog post, I accidentally saved all the new files in mono, rather than stereo. I also, without thinking, tossed out the earlier files before I realized all I had left were the ones in mono. So the only version of the files in stereo I have now are a much earlier edits, and now I have to go back and redo all the work I put into those tracks following those edits. The good news is that Side A of Rides Rapes and Rescues was saved in stereo, so I only have to fix Side B, and then I need to redo all of Kids of the Kingdom. I will likely work on those three today if I can bring myself to face it. I have listened to those albums over, and over, and over again over the past week, so it does get a bit repetitive and less exciting than working on something new and different.
While this is frustrating, one does learn from their mistakes, so now I have come up with a new system to avoid this ever happening again. I am from now on keeping all my newest edits in a folder for at least two weeks after I post the final version on my site. That way, if I have to go back and redo anything, all my earlier work will be available. Sometimes I suffer from what a friend of mine just told me was called Hearing Fatigue. This is when your ears get tired, after editing audio for hours and hours, and you start to miss things when re-listening to your work. I think it is more of a mental thing. But anyway, I often go back and listen to new things I have posted and find room for improvement, so it is not unusual for me to tweak things until I get them just right. When I toss out earlier edits it makes it more difficult to refine my work. So if I keep everything for two weeks, this gives me time to fix things and perfect them. Eventually I do have to toss things out though. I do not have room enough on my hard-drive or other storage areas. Wave format files, which is the type of file I edit in before converting to MP3, are not compressed and take up a great deal of space.
You may also notice on the page I just added another "Coming Soon" for Walt Disney's Song Parade. I did have the four songs from this album, that are in effect theme songs for each land in Disneyland, posted on the site as a little medley. I was planning to expand that and now add the entire album. I do have the audio for this, but it is in pretty bad shape. I am able to clean it pretty good, but the more damage the original source has, the more audio clean up has to be done and the more it leaves behind a trace of distortion in the final re-edited version. So it is always good to have as clean as possible audio to start with for the best results. So, for now I am going to move onto other things, because I know someone who may have a better copy of this album that he can send me udio for, and it would be better to wait and try and work with his version, rather than try to fix the really bad version I currently have. So that one is going to be left as "Coming Soon" for the present being. But eventually this will be added. For now, I reposted the original songs, but split them up into two files, so the two songs from side A of the album are on one track, and side B's songs are on another track. This is just a temporary placeholder for now.
The same friend has been a huge supporter of what I do on my site. He and I have been chatting on line a bit, and I came to discover that he owns an amazing collection of vintage Disney vinyl. He has over 2000 record albums. So, I have sent his a list of about 50 albums I would like to have audio for, for my site, and he has agreed to record his albums digitally and share the audio with me. This is fantastic news!!! A lot of the recordings of old albums I have are quite poor. He likely has albums in much better condition. So over time he will send me his records in digital format, and these will be added to the site. Some of what I asked for is for use in other things that have music from those albums mixed in, such as an area loop with a song from a specific album, but in some cases, I plan to post the entire album on my site if it is relevant to the history of Disneyland. So this may take him a while, but over the next several months he will send me more audio little by little. He works long hours, so it is difficult for him to do too much fun stuff...
Some of the albums on the list I sent him he does not have, or I already have a very good copy to start with, so I will continue to work on my Disneyland Records page until I have completed all I have already, and then move on to another chapter until I receive more audio from him. I may work on Adventureland next, because I have had a lot of people request that, and I do have some pretty amazing stuff to add to that page.
Check the dates on the Disneyland Audio Tour Index page to find out when the corrected versions of Kids of the Kingdom and Rides Rapes and Rescues have been posted. I will bump up the date so you know a new version has been added. They are currently set at 8/21 or 8/22, so if the date changes to a more recent day, then they have been fixed. Here is a link to the index page. Disneyland Records is the last chapter on this list, so it is towards the bottom of the page...
Well that is all I can think of for now. Talk to you soon...
August 22, 2014
Some exciting things to report on. I have been continuing to add more tracks to the "Disneyland Records" chapter of the Disneyland Audio Tour. I still have quite a bit more to add to this chapter, but it takes a bit of time to work on these old vinyl recordings, because a lot of tweaking is involved to get the sound quality just right.
I added side B of the Kids of the Kingdom album yesterday, then added another all new album, both sides A and B, called "Rides, Rapes and Rescues." Please do not be offended by the title of this album. Keep in mind that it is from a 1961 album, and the word "rape" at that time was not a specific in its definition as it is today. This album is the original source of the four songs that make up the Main Street Cinema loop. The album also contains several other wacky songs, all harkening back to silent film style cinema music. Also a lot of fun are the "theater announcements" between each song. It is a real fun listen.
Then today I added some vintage Annette recordings from 1961-1962, that are related to Disneyland. The first is the studio version of Mr. Piano Man, which was first featured on the Disney weekly TV series in an episode showcasing Frontierland's Golden Horseshoe Revue. In addition, I added a song that was on the flip side of the original 45 release. This song is called "He's My Ideal" - The sound quality of the second song is a bit of a downgrade from the digitally remastered version of Mr. Piano Man, but as it was taken from a very scratchy and distorted original 1962 album, and not a digital re-release, it is a huge improvement from what I started with. All pops, clicks and scratches are gone, and it is very listenable.
The second Annette entry is the studio record version of the song Dance Annette, which was filmed as a performance in the 1962 episode of the Disney TV show called Disneyland After Dark, live at the Tomorrowland bandstand. This is the original version and is a bit more uptempo than the TV version. As a follow-up, I included a recording by teen idol Bobby Rydell. He also performed this song on the same TV episode. This is again, the original studio version. You can compare these two songs to the TV versions over on my TV Land chapter. It is track number 27 on the following page...
And all the album versions of the aforementioned songs are found on this page...
As I have been going back to re-listen to my recently added tracks, I have noticed an issue with some clicking that have come up through the audio clean up process. This was an issue I also had with my old audio clean up software. I think it is just one of the side effects of doing audio cleaning. These clicks are easy to correct, but a bit time consuming. I have to manually go back and remove each click one by one. The nature of these clicks makes them very easy to remove, without leaving any trace of the cuts, but it just takes time to find them all, and to listen to the entire track to hear where they are located. I did fix the Annette albums already. Tomorrow I will go back and fix Rides, Rapes and Rescues, and Kids of the Kingdom. So by the end of the day, the improved versions will have been posted.
I also have been discovering some more bells and whistles on my new audio clean up software. There is an option to help reduce distortion. I am going to run Kids of the Kingdom and Rides, Rapes and Rescues though this process to see if it can make the sound even better than it is.
After I correct these issues, I am going be sticking to this chapter for now, so expect to see some more classic vinyl recordings to be added to the site in the days ahead...
I also need to make a correction regarding my last blog post, where I mentioned a 1967 audio process called "Fanta Sound" named after the 1940 process used by Disney for the film Fantasia. After collaborating with some fellow Disney audiophiles on this subject, we have reached the conclusion that the Fanta-Sound term as it was used in 1967 is NOT an audio process. It was just a name given to a series of albums released from 1967-1968, which borrowed the name, and only the name, from the 1940 process. There was no specific special process used in these albums, it was just a swanky name to promote a higher quality full-stereo series of recordings, aimed more at the adult market rather than for children.
The original reason for my confusion, and my false assertion, was because there was an album released at this same time, of the Disney musical film soundtrack for "The Happiest Millionaire," that had a very echoed sound to it. But it actually seems as though this was the only album to have this quality. It was an odd artistic choice by whomever engineered this album back in 1967. It seems that other Fanta-Sound releases did not have this same type of echo. After re-listening to Kids of the Kingdom several times, and comparing it to Happiest Millionaire, I realize that the echo is not even close to as predominant. Also, I have come to discover that the 1968 Disneyland Band album was also released as part of the "Fanta-Sound" series. And this album also does not have an issue with too much echo. So it was just the one album, and not the entire Fanta-Sound series.
I think the reason why the mono recording of Kids of the Kingdom, originally posted on my site, was not that great, is that it must have been from a weather and time damaged copy of the album, and had nothing to do with Fanta-Sound. I had a cleaner copy, and that mixed with the fact my version is in stereo, is why there is such a major improvement in the sound quality.
Well, now that I have done all my housekeeping here, back to doing more editing. Stay tuned...
August 20, 2014
Some exciting news to report. I have finally added an all new audio track to my site. It can be found on this page and it is track 23...
I have had my own copy of the "Kids of the Kingdom" 1968 album for several years. It has been a long tough journey to finally bring you this crisp and clean full stereo version of this album. Back when stereo records were a new thing for home entertainment, they often sold two versions of the same album, one in mono, and the other in stereo. The mono copy was less expensive. Kids of the Kingdom was produced in this manner. The only readily available version that I have been able to find on the internet was the mono version. But I owned a stereo version, with no record player. The major issue with the mono version, is that the album used a short lived technical process, developed by Disney, called "Fantasound". Not to be confused with the sound system used for the 1940 film, Fantasia which this new system borrowed the name from. Fantasound in the 60's was a special process that attempted to create a more in-depth, surround sound experience using only the two channels available on modern home playback equipment of that time. The experiment proved a bit of a failure, so it did not last too long. The main issue was an excess of echo. Another major problem was that when playing it back in mono, it sounded muffled and very distorted. This is why the mono version was not the best resource to have. But that has all changed now.
I had actually sent my stereo copy of the album to someone who burned it on a CD for me. This was almost a year ago. The reason I did not post it on my site then, is because it was filled with scratches and skips. I needed to do a major clean up on the album first, but the version of software I was then using was not that greatest resource for this process, and I would have to still go through and manually remove the majority of pops and clicks one at a time. A tedious and nearly impossible endeavor.
Jump forward to today, with my new software system, it has cut the work load down 95%, removing the skips and scratches almost all automatically, without leaving behind a residual of highly distorted audio. This program is truly a modern miracle. You get what you pay for though. It cost me as much as my entire computer system did, including my monitor.
I still had to go in and remove a few remaining glitches manually, but only a small handful of issues remained. It did take me about 10 hours of work to finish it up, but it would have taken me days and days to have fixed it before, and the sound quality would have been highly compromised.
Keep in mind, the sound is still not perfect, but this is more because of the aforementioned Fantasound, making some things sound distorted. (What were they thinking?) However, if you compare side B, to side A, you will notice a major major improvement in sound. I have not yet posted side B, as I am still working on it.
I also decided to put the names of the songs on each side of the album under the title heading. This way you will know at a glance what you are going to be listening to. I will do the same for the other albums posted on this page. So far I just added the song names for the Kids of the Kingdom, but I will work on adding the others tonight. It will give me a break in audio editing, since I worked so hard today.
Lat thing I want to mention, is that episode two of the Parade Podcast will be posted on Thursday the 28th of August, and will cover 1972 - 1986. I have already edited the music in for this episode. I still need to do episode 3, which will cover 1987 - present. That will be posted two weeks later, so I have plenty of time to get it done.
So I am going to be adding Kids of the Kingdom side B hopefully by tomorrow, and then I will likely work on a few more vinyl recordings, since I have my new toy to work with. So stay tuned. Exciting things are coming soon.
August 17, 2014
I have some excellent news to report to you today. Finally, after several months of hard work, I have finished my photo editing project. It is 100% completed. All 22 chapters have images ready for all the future additions planned for the audio tour, and there are a couple thousand extra images, ready in the wings for any possible other unknown additions to the site. In short, I will likely never have to prepare another image again. All the work is behind me.
Here are the final statistics...
There are 630 images in the folder for future additions in line to be added to the site. This includes images on my "Wish List" that I do not yet have the audio for as well as the audio that I do have, and is ready to be edited.
There are 1,895 alternate images in my reserve folders, set up for any possible future additions and any other unforeseen needs that may come up down the road.
There are 759 images already posted on the website.
The grand total of images, that I have edited is... 3,284
I am as amazed as all of you. No wonder it has taken me months to do. You will also notice that every chapter on my site has been updated now, the remaining 4 chapters, Frontierland, Rivers of America, Bear/Critter Country and Fantasyland have received their updated title cards, and the additional images with Tinkerbell at the near bottom of those pages, have all been added as well. So the site is completely updated with all the new photos. You will also notice some replacements of some existing photos, which I have cleaned up or improved with better images.
So now that this massive project is finally behind me, here is what the future holds. There is exactly 11 months to go until Disneyland's 60th anniversary. I will be working hard over the next 11 months to get nearly all the audio that I do have, added to the site. I am likely going to be making a major investment in a new program that will make it much easier for me to clean up audio with background noise, remove clicks and scratches from old vinyl recordings, and enhance the overall sound of older recordings in general. I will be doing some shopping around to find the best program I can. Most of these programs offer limited time free trials, so I plan to take a week or so to do some testing and tweaking of some of my older recordings to see which software will best fit my needs. I am still in need of donations, so if anyone could send me a few dollars on my Paypal account, which can be linked to from my website, it would really help me out.
But before I start to look for my new program, I first need to finish editing the History of Disneyland Parades podcasts that I recorded with Gavin Doyle of the Disney Dose Podcast. If you have not yet heard episode one, please do so. It was posted on his site this past Thursday, and covers the period from 1955 to 1972. Here is a link to the podcast, and be sure to check out the earlier 6 episodes of his podcast as well...
So I still need to add in the music for the other two episodes covering 1972 to present. This will take me a few days of work to do. Episode Two is scheduled to be posted on Thursday, August 28th. There was an issue with my microphone, so the sound is not the best. I have to raise the volume levels so that I am as loud as Gavin, and this chore is a bit time consuming. Something I also need to invest in is a better microphone. Surprisingly, my web cam mic is better that my actual microphone, so for any future podcasts I am asked to be a guest on, I plan to use that one instead, until I am able to get a better mic.
I have been adding a few things to my "Wish List" at the bottom of my Audio Tour index page...
Be sure to check it out again, to catch the few things I have added. From this point forward, any more things I add to the list will be in red lettering for about two months after they have been added, so that you will easily be able to spot anything new to the list as I come up with more ideas. So be sure to keep checking back on the list. Also, If you have any ideas on what needs to be put on the list, please let me know. Feedback is essential.
So that is all for now. The more frequent blog entries will likely begin again, once I am working on the audio, which is only a few days from now, once the parade podcasts are done. There is a lot more information to share when I am doing audio, compared to editing pictures, so you can expect to hear from me a lot more often from now on. So stay tuned for more...
August 10, 2014
I have just a few updates to share today. First of all, I have revised and greatly expanded my "Wish List" of wanted audio for the Disneyland Audio Tour, located towards the bottom of the index directory page...
The list now includes items that I know have existing audio associated with it, as well as items that I do not know of any existing audio for certain, but I have included it anyway, because you never know what you may find. I am also interested in finding what I call "placeholders" for items that the authentic audio is not available or there is no existing audio, but will at least set the mood and capture the spirit of something in lieu of obtaining anything authentic. The list now includes 155 items, plus a list of 14 vinyl recordings that I would like to find better copies of, as the copies I currently have access to are not the best. As always, if anyone can think of anything I have missed, and would like me to add it to my list, let me know. I have had some excellent results from making this list publicly available to those who visit my site, and many of the tracks I have omitted from the wish list are a direct result of people sending me audio after seeing that I was looking for it. So by including anything on the list, you may increase your chances of finding something. You just never know what will turn up. I have been shocked and amazed by some of the things I have obtained that I thought I just never would find.
You will also be interested to know that every single item on this wish list already has a picture that I have edited for it, and placed in a reserve folder, so that if and when I do obtain the audio, I already have the image ready to post to my site when the audio is ready to share.
Speaking of images, I just completed every single image that will be needed for all the future planned additions to the website. All chapters are now 100% completed. I have 620 images in a folder, and ready to post to the site for all the tracks I will be adding. This 620 includes the 155 items that are for audio on my wish list as well. So that means, as of today, I have 465 tracks that I will be adding to the site over the next year. My goal is to be completed by July 17, 2015, in time for the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland.
However, I am not quite done with the photo editing project just yet. I still have a bit of work to go. In addition to the images slated to go with specific tracks, as mentioned before, I am also editing images to be placed in a alternate folder. This way, I have more than one option, and have all the images I could possibly need for any future purposes. This alternate image project is the last and final stage of my photo project, and it is nearing completion. I only have Frontierland, Rivers of America, Critter/Bear Country and Fantasyland left to edit. All other chapters are done. I have less than 300 images left to edit. That may sound like a lot. But keep in mind, prior to today, I have edited 3,015 images, so 300 more to go is a drop in the bucket.
I am excited to finally finish the photo project. The end is finally in sight. I cant believe how long I have been working on it. I did not realize it would take months. But it will all be worth it in the end. New audio is very close on the horizon. So stay tuned...
August 5, 2014
Time for another update.
On Sunday August 3rd I reached the 100,000 visitor to my web site. I would like to thank all of you who have visited. It makes me feel good to know that so many people have enjoyed all the work I have put into it.
I have been plugging away at redoing the title cards at the top of each chapter of the Disneyland Audio Tour. I have completed all but Chapters 8-10. I have to wait before I can do these last remaining pages. The reason is that I have not yet completed editing my little square images for these chapters, and it is best to wait until these are done, so that i can have my pick of the litter when it comes to selecting which images to place on the bottom of each box. So as I finish the pictures for these last remaining chapters, I will redo the title cards one by one.I also have been adding an additional row of images at the bottom of each page, just above the "Welcome to the Hub" table of contents box. Again, I have done all but Chapters 8-10, because I have to finish the photos editing for those chapters first. You should check out all the new pictures on both the title boxes at the top of each page, and the row at the bottom of each page. You can finally see some of the fruits of my labor in editing all these images. Some of the images at on the title box at the top of the pages are the same, but many have been replaced with better ones, and some of the existing ones have been cleaned up or enhanced.
I had planned on doing this adding a new chapter project already. I just decided to take a break from the editing photos to do something different for a change of pace. So I have not been delayed in so turning my attention to something else. I am still on track schedule wise. Now, once i complete the remaining photos for chapters 8-10, I will be 100% finished, and ready to turn my attention to the audio once again.
My next audio project will likely be redoing all of Adventureland. I have recently acquired a truck load of new materials and some very rare and amazing things that are going to amaze you all. I am excited to do this chapter next. I am going to delay the Disneyland Railroad project, but you all will not be disappointed when you find out what new things are going to be added.
You can track my progress in the photo editing by paying attention to the title boxes for chapters 8-10. As they are replaced, you will know I have completed those chapters. I will be sooo glad to be done with photos, so I can once again turn my attention to audio.
I may be investing in some new software that will vastly improve the quality of my editing work. This is a very expensive venture, so I am doing a little shopping around, and some internet pals are helping me out with this. I have never before come out and asked this before, and this is not a high pressure sales pitch, but if anyone is able to make a contribution to my Paypal account, it would be most appreciated. You can link to it from my home page. The program I likely will be purchasing is over $1000.00, and as I am on a fixed income, any help would be most appreciated. Here is the program I am looking into...
This program will remove background noise, enhance the equalization levels, and clean up old vinyl recordings. It will improve the audio on my site tremendously. This is a professional grade program comparable to what is used in recording studios.
So anyway, that is all I have to update you all on for now. Stay tuned for more...
July 29, 2014
So sorry it has been so long since my last blog post. I just didn't have anything all that significant to report on, so I figured I should wait until I have more to say, which I now do.
I have been plugging away at my picture editing project, and can finally see the light at the end of this very long tunnel. I have finished all but four chapters, Frontierland, Rivers of America, Bear/Critter Country and Fantasyland. I am currently working on Frontierland, and I am about half way through. I only have 40 more pictures needed for future planned audio additions. I have already completed the Frontierland ones. All I have left to do for Frontierland is edit the alternate additional images.
Here are my latest statistics, in case you are keeping a tally...
Total completed images for future planned additions: 553
Now onto something different... First of all, I would like to give a tremendous thank you to Disney historian Scott Wolf. While looking for images, I came across his amazing website. http://www.mouseclubhouse.com - I highly recommend that everyone go check out this site, and subscribe to his free on-line magazine. He has some fantastic interviews and great rare photos of things you will find no where else.
I emailed Scott to ask him permission to use some of his photos on my site, and he generously gave me his blessings to use them. I already have posted a couple of them in the Parade Chapter. I replaced the images I had for the Hunchback Cavalcade, and the Celebration USA parade with his pictures. Here is the link to that page if you want to go check out the new pictures (see tracks 38 and 44)...
Scott also let me know that he collects Disneyland audio as well, and used to work for the Walt Disney Company. He has quite a bit of very rare, one of a kind, exclusive audio from the late 80's through the 90's that I did not even know was out there. He has sent me some of this wonderful audio, and I will be posting it on my site in the near future. You are all going to be flabbergasted by some of the stuff he has shared with us. Again, I cannot thank him enough, and you MUST go check out his site.
Now onto one more exciting new thing to report. I have just added a brand new chapter to the Disneyland Audio Tour. I have decided to divide Central Plaza into its own separated chapter. I used to have this as part of Main Street USA, but have decided, it would be better suited as its own thing, because, A - I have a bit more to add to this section of the park, and Main Street is quite a long chapter as it is, and B - I feel that the themeing of Main Street does not necessarily match the themeing of the all the things located in the Hub.
I have relocated all the tracks from Fantasyland that are located in the Hub, such as Pixie Hollow, Ariel's Grotto and the Fantasy Fairy Village tracks, as well as all the tracks that were located in the Main Street chapter, but were actually located or themed to the Hub. They can now all be found in the new Central Plaza chapter. Here is a link to the new page.
You may notice that the Mickey mascot at the top of the page is the same one I had for Main Street. I am now using this mascot for the hub, and have replaced the Main Street mascot with a different image. So there are no duplicates, in case you were wondering. Here is the Main Street USA page link, to see the new Mickey mascot...
Back to the Central Plaza page... The title card has a new logo that I created using a vintage image from the 1958 "Walt Disney Presents" TV series. The only version I had of this was in black and white. I had to replicate the image in color. I did a lot of cut and past and coloring in, but much of the image was re-drawn by me, using the original as a guide. The original Black and White image was a bit blurry, so it was easier in some cases to just re-draw it. I am extremely happy with how it came out. I also added a nice shadow effect behind the image. I am going to do the same shadowing with all the other chapters. I have to renumber most of the chapters anyway, so while I am adding the new lettering, I might as well do the nifty little shadow effect behind each logo.
If you go to the bottom of the page you will also notice some major changes. The "Welcome to the Hub" navigation box has be slightly redesigned to include the additional chapter. I decided to incorporate the new Central Plaza logo into this, replacing the old image which was a simple yellow and blue compass with a Mickey three circle image in the center. I have replaced this compass with my new Central Plaza logo on all pages of the Audio Tour. I also replaced the map on the right with a more retro looking version, that better matches the look of the Central Plaza logo. Also, i added the same shadow effects to these images, as well as the balloons and the Mickey and Minne at the bottom of the box.
Just above the "Welcome to the Hub" box is a collection of additional photos with Tinkerbell. I am going to do this for each chapter. I have only done the Central Plaza chapter so far. It will be the same set up on each page, but the pictures will match the theme of each chapter. I may tweak the design of this a bit, so stay tuned for a possible change.
I have updated the "Welcome to the Hub" box on each page of the Audio Tour, so you can now freely navigate to the Central Plaza page from all pages of the collection. As mentioned before, i still need to redo the title cards at the top of each page, so for now, the chapter numbers may be a bit askew. This will be corrected in short order.
So, as soon as I finish making all the needed changes to accommodate the new chapter, i will once again return to my photo editing project. I am hoping to be done with it in a couple weeks. Then it is back to editing more audio and adding new selections to the tour. So stay tuned for more.
July 4, 2014
Happy Fourth of July everyone. If you have not yet noticed, I have placed some special art on my main page for the holiday, and have been adding a patriotic song of the day each day since July 1st. The patriotic theme will continue until July 10th.
Disneyland is turning 59 on July 17th, and this gives me exactly one year to get my website completely up to date in time for the 60th anniversary. Seems that as soon as I catch up, I stumble across more audio. This is like a big balloon that keeps getting bigger, but in a good way. I am seeing the finish line of my major photo editing project, so the audio is coming soon. I think one year is a reasonable goal.
Here is where I now stand on my photo editing. I had a bit of a set back when I came across a bunch of new audio to add to my site, so I took a few days to go back to chapters I had already completed, and add some more images to go with this new audio. This set me back about one week. But the good news is that all of these images are now completed, and I am back on track to where I was before I went off on the other direction to play catch up.
So as of now I have fully completed the following Chapters:
Chapter 1 - Welcome to Disneyland
The following Chapters need to be completed
Chapter 4 - I Love a Parade
As mentioned in my last post, Main Street, Frontierland and Fantasyland are major jobs. As you can see one of those three is completed. I am currently working on the Parade chapter, and should have that one done by Monday I am guessing. Here are my current statistics, for those keeping track...
Total completed images for planned audio additions: 442
So, since my last post I have added 307 new images.
I am planning on adding more images at the bottom of each chapter, since I have so many great new ones to add. You can see my little experiment in seeing how this would look at the very bottom of Chapter 1, if you scroll down below the "Welcome to the Hub" area. Here is a direct link to that page...
I am also thinking about doing some divider cards, like I already did in my Holiday Chapter to separate Halloween and the other holidays for the Christmas section. Check out that page if you want to be reminded of what I mean...
Be sure to listen the 4th of July fireworks audio towards the bottom of that page, while you are there!!!
So these dividers will be used to separate certain areas in the park that do not have enough tracks to negate their own chapter, but are a bit separated in theme from the rest of the chapter. The main one I am considering doing this for is Central Plaza. I do have a number of tracks for that area, but there do not really fit the Main Street USA theme. So I am thinking about doing a divider card at the bottom of that page, to place the Central Plaza specific tracks underneath. This would involve finding another Mickey mascot, another clip art image to represent the area, and four pictures. The pictures I already have. Other sections I am thinking of doing this for are Afternoon Avenue over in my Showtime chapter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and It's a Small World. These all have enough tracks that they should be separated out as special, and it would allow me to include more images and more Mickey's that fit those themes. I feel like a Pirate Mickey is desperately needed.
All of this is what I have been stewing in the back of my mind as I do my photo editing, and as I do more, I may come up with a better plan, or decide against doing this, because I could be opening up a major can of worms in doing so. So stay tuned and you will find out what I decide.
Hope you have a wonderful holiday, and are enjoying your summer. Talk to you all soon.
June 22, 2014
It has been a while since my last blog post, so I felt it necessary to update you all, even though not much has changed since my last report. I have still been diligently plugging away at my photo editing project every day, and I am now well over the half way hump and can see the finish line. There is still a lot of work left to do, but I have hopes that the project can be done within the next three weeks. Things have been going slower than I estimated in my last blog post. It seems as though the chapters which cover more of a vintage era in time have been much more of a major project than I realized they would be. This is because many of the pictures are older, and require a lot more clean up and photo editing. Just the 1950's Tomorrowland chapter alone took me an entire week to get done.
So as I am writing this, I have just completed another chapter. The completed chapters are Chapters 1-2, and Chapters 11-21 - So I just have 8 remaining chapters to do: Chapters 3-10. Three of these chapters are doozies. Main Street, Frontierland and Fantasyland are going to be a lot of work. This is why I am saying three weeks, even though I am down to just eight chapters.
Here are some statistics. So far, I have 343 images completed that are in my folder for future additions that are currently in the queue to be audio edited. I have 91 images that I still need to edit for these planned additions. Then, in a separate folder, I have hundreds of alternate images that I have prepared for any possible future additions. I have completed 842 of these alternate images so far. So the grand total of images that have been edited is 1,185. So with numbers like that, you can see why this is taking me so long to do.
Once this is done, I will likely never have to edit another picture for the audio tour again, so in the long run, I will be saving a lot of time. When I complete an audio file, and it is ready to post, there will be no delay, because the picture is ready to go. The only exception will be if new attractions are added to the park, which do not yet exist, since I do not have a time machine.
So, that is what has been going on. Rest assured, if there is a long period before my next blog post, it is because I am still working on my photos. Once I get back into audio editing again, the frequency of the blog posts will increase, since there is a lot more to discuss in that regard. Talk to you soon, and stay tuned for more...
June 4, 2014
Wow, it has been a long time since my last blog entry. Please do not worry though, I am still working hard on my "Disneyland Audio Tour" every single day. There has just not been that much to report on, so not really any major reason to post an update, but just to keep you all in the loop on what exactly I have been doing all this time, I will try to stretch it out an explanation of my activities as best as I can.
As you may guess I am still hard at work on my photo editing project. I have made great progress but still have a lot of work to go. So far I have finished my editing work for all the photos in chapters 1, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21. Thus far, nine out of twenty-one chapters are completed. In addition to the photos needed for the planned audio additions coming soon, I have also been doing several alternate images for possible future use if they are ever needed for anything. So this has added some extra work to the project. So far I have exactly 300 images poised to add to the site for the audio additions that I know I will be making, and an additional 415 alternate images for possible future use.
What made this project grow in scale was the fact that my new computer has allowed me to load all my old images onto my new harddrive, because of its comparatively enormous amount of space. Prior to now, these images were scattered about on numerous external flash drives and CD's and where a pain to access. But now everything is right on my computer in one convenient organized folder, so I have decided to go through all my old pictures, which I have been collecting for nearly 10 years, and edit everything I have so it is ready to go when and if needed. This sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it is going pretty fast, and I am guessing that in 2 to 3 weeks, the job will be done. And at that point all my attention will be focused only on editing audio. All other work will have been completed.
So if all goes as planned, I should be back to audio editing by late June early July. I have been completing photo editing the images for each chapter, on average, every two days. So with 11 chapters to go, that is 22 days if my pattern continues as it has been.
Well, a boring update I know, but that is pretty much all that has been going on the past few weeks. Just editing pictures one at a time. You may notice some of the pictures on my site have been cleaned up and changed. As I am going through everything, I am improving the images I already have posted as well, so be sure to check out the pictures for those chapters I mentioned above as having been completed. You will see some improvements. Anyway, that is all I have to report on today. So stay tuned...
May 19, 2014
Time for an update. Sorry it has been so long, but did not have much to report on. I have been plugging away at my photo editing project. In the process, I came up with a longer "wish list" of audio that I do not have but would like to obtain some time in the future, and have decided to get the pictures prepared for these items as well. You never know what will suddenly become available. I have been delightfully surprised in the past when discovering audio that I thought would NEVER surface. So I have decided, through experience, that it is good to remain optimistic in my search for rare audio, because you just never know what is out there. This is another good reason to make a longer wish list, because hopefully, someone will see it who has the audio, and share it with me. This too has happened before. I have not yet revised my wish list, because I am waiting until my photo project is complete. This is due to the fact that as I do the pictures, more ideas keep coming to me. I want to wait until the wish list seems more complete.
The bad news is, that all the new ideas have further delayed my return to audio editing. I have many more pictures to find now. Seems like every time I make a little headway, I end up having a whole new checklist. I was down to a list of just 55 photos left to edit. Now I am back down to 188. But this will all pay off in the end. If it takes too much longer, I may start doing one or two new songs a day, that are simple edits, and then continue to work on pictures. Stay tuned for that. If any audio is added, I will report it here first.
Last bit of news for now is a little enhancement made yesterday to my Disneyland in TV Land chapter. Here is the link to that page...
I added a new title image to each descriptive paragraph for the programs with multiple audio tracks. I think it looked too wordy before, and the additional artwork makes the page appear much more fun, and more consistent with the look of the rest of the chapters. In some cases, I created a new title image, and in others, I moved the title image from the first audio track and created a replacement image for that track. I also cleaned up a few old images. Most notable improvement is the "Disneyland Goes to the Worlds Fair" section. Just to let you all know, this chapter is something that is going to have a lot of content added to in the future. I don't want to give anything away, but some major surprises are in store.
Well, that is all I have to say for now. I will continue to keep you updated if there is anything new to report. So stay tuned...
May 7, 2014
Very good news to report. I have FINALLY finished fixing the Disneyland Audio Tour in its entirety. This included rebuilding every single page from scratch to eliminate all the extra HTML code that was hidden within the page and may have been slowing down the loading for those with older systems. I also went through and brightened and sharpened up every single image, and changed all the fonts for the liner notes to the more universally recognized Times New Roman, so that it will read visually the same for everyone.
I have also checked Google Chrome, Safari, Explorer and Firefox to make sure that everything is looking good no mater which internet browser you are using. There are a few minor issues with Chrome and Safari. The margins are a little too close to the right edge on those two browsers for my total satisfaction, and it not an equal distance from the edge as the left margin is. Just a minor thing, but a little annoying to a perfectionist like me. Also, on the main index page, the long rows of images on right of each chapter track listing are not the same length as the text on the right. On Explorer and Firefox the images line up perfectly with the track listing text. It seems that Chrome and Safari browsers have a different predetermined line spacing, which is making it appear different than it does on Firefox and Explorer.
So again, I do recommend using Firefox to view my site if at all possible, and a second choice., I would use Explorer. Those two will give you the best visual experience. Chrome and Safari look pretty good too, these are just very minor issues, so do not be concerned about using them if that is your normal preference for web browsing.
Since I have cut and paste over 700 liner notes, images, and mp3 files, there may be a few mistakes. If anyone comes across any issues, I would highly appreciate it if you could send me an email so I can correct it. For example, if the wrong liner notes are next to a specific track, or if a file will not play or it is the wrong music. These are easy to fix, so just let me know and I will make an immediate correction.
Now that my web site is up to its optimal appearance and performance, I can go back to my previous project of gathering, editing and preparing images for correspond with all the future additions I will be making to the audio tour. This project will likely take my a couple of weeks to complete. Once that is done, it is back to audio editing at full force. I know you all are eager to have more music, and I am sorry for the delay, but it will all be well worth it in the end. So stay tuned...
May 1, 2014
Today is a milestone for DisneyChris.com. It was one year ago that I officially launched my site, after moving from my original server which did not work out due to design constraints and lack of formatting options. So on May 1st 2013 I relaunched my site on a brand new server. In that time I have had over 75,000 visitors. The site has continued to grow and improve over this period and can only continue to get better in the years ahead. Thanks to everyone who has supported my site by making a contribution on PayPal. Every little bit does help me out a lot. This is truly a labor of love. I make no profits and do not post any ads on the site. I am 100% commercial free. But it does cost money to obtain new content and to subscribe to my web site service provider, so those who have appreciated the work I do by making a small monetary contribution are to be thanked again and again. I would also like to thank those who have contributed in other ways. Those who have offered invaluable technical advise, contributed musical content and historical information have my undying gratitude. You have helped me make my site better, and I am so happy to know that there are so many grand people out there, so willing to help in any way they can. A million thanks to all contributors and all my guests. You make my work well worth it.
Now for an update: Thanks to two people on the oft-mentioned website called Mousebits, screen-names Pixielated and Some1, I have been cleaning up the Disneyland Audio tour. There technical assistance in this regard has been invaluable. Apparently, in my process of learning web site design, I had a lot of excess HTML code on my pages that was not only not needed, but may have been slowing down the pages from loading. It is also taking up extra memory space on my web service, and although I am only slightly over half way over my limit, there is a limit, so it is good to not have extra unneeded code taking up my allotted memory.
So, I have been rebuilding each page of the Disneyland Audio Tour with all that code eliminated. So far I have completed Chapters 1-6 and Chapter 17. This is not as time consuming as it sounds. After creating the first page, I can use it as a template for the rest, so I just need to copy over the first page and make changes to it. It is actually a very easy and quick process. You may notice that there are two versions of some of the pages right now. This is because I have not changed the "Welcome to the Hub" link directory at the bottom of the pages that I have not yet re-done. So if I erased the old pages, the pages with the old Hub link directory would direct you to pages that no longer exist. So I will leave the old pages intact until the project is completely done, and then erase the extras at that time. That way you will still be able to navigate to all the pages, from all the pages, while the transition is in progress. This change over should only take me a few days. So everything will be up and running by early next week hopefully.
Another change I have made is that I have added a brand new chapter to the Audio Tour. I have decided to split the Disneyland Hotel tracks, that were originally located on Chapter One of the Tour, to their own individual chapter. I made this decision for two reasons. One reason is that I never really liked having these tracks on the first page of the Tour because the theme "Welcome to Disneyland" is more about the main gate to the park, and the Hotel is more of its own theme. The two different themes, although related, always seemed too different to me to feel right coexisting. The other reason for the change is that I actually have quite a few new tracks that are going to be added to the Disneyland Hotel, so it really does justify having its own chapter once these additions have been made. Here is a link to the new chapter...
You will notice this chapter does not directly follow Chapter One. I did this for a couple reasons. I really want Chapter One to work as an introduction to both the entire Audio Tour, and as a recreation of what it is like to arrive at the park. So it makes more sense to me to have Town Square follow this chapter, rather than have the Hotel there. When you visit the park, you do not general arrive at the main gate, and then go to the Hotel. After the main gate, 99.9 percent of Disneyland guests would next be going into Town Square. So, I instead have positioned the Hotel chapter right after the four Tomorrowland chapters. This is because, in the old days, before Downtown Disney was added, many day guests used the Monorail as a way to take a side visit to the hotel, as its own attraction, and then returned back to Disneyland after exploring the hotel area. In a sense, it was its own land entered by Monorail from Tomorrowland. So it makes sense to have it follow Tomorrowland for that reason. This chapter is then followed by the Disneyland After Dark chapter, because after your side trip to the Hotel, you would return to the park to enjoy the evening festivities.
I added some coming soon blocks at the bottom of the new Hotel Chapter. I have decided to split up the current Hotel Lobby Loop that I have posted, which right now is a mix of selections from the Fantasy, Adventure, and Frontier towers. I will instead split these up so that each tower has its own loop, and I plan to post each loop in its entirety. Right now, I still have my original mixed version posted under the Fantasyland tower, so it is still accessible until I add the new versions. I may also keep the original version as a mix of all three towers just because it gives a good feel for the entire hotel, and I think I will use this version to represent the Monorail water slide and pool area. Since this area has no loop, I have been told by a few Anaheim locals that the music heard here is often resonating from the adjacent towers, so a mix of all three would be an appropriate way to represent the pool. So stay tuned for those additions.
To accommodate the added chapter, I had to also slightly redesign the "Welcome to the Hub" box at the bottom each of the pages. This is the box where all the links are located. I added some really fun additional artwork of Minnie as a Guided Tour Hostess, and reused the Mickey tourist image which appears at the top of Chapter One, but added him holding a Disneyland pennant flag. I also added more Mickey balloons and improved the look of them by adding some reflection to them. They look really sharp now.
I also have done some general cleanup of my site that was needed so that people using Chrome and Safari browsers can see the site properly. There were some glitches that were not present when viewing the site via Explorer or Firefox. I loaded these additional browsers onto my hard-drive for the sole purpose of doing a spot check, and did indeed find some issues. These have been resolved, so now the site should be appearing properly on all four of those browsers. I especially had to do some fix up on the "Disneyland Story" article page. The way I have the text wrapped around the images in the article requires very specific positioning. Unfortunately, no two browsers have the exact same page width, letter spacing or line spacing, so there were a lot of formatting issues. While still not perfect, I managed to adjust the pictures in a way so that they look presentable on all four browsers. But, if you want to see the article, and the entire website for that matter, in the way it is optimally meant to be viewed, please always use Firefox if you are able to. This is the browser I have always used to design my site with, so you will get a perfect view from there.
So, after I complete recreating all the additional pages of the Audio Tour, I still have my aforementioned photo project to do. This project entails gathering all the needed images, reformatting them, cropping and cleaning them for the planned additions that are going to be added to the site. Once I have all the pictures done, then I promise to get back to editing audio. I just need to have all the pictures ready first.
Of late, I have been finding some really neat and rare audio to add to my site. Some amazing and unexpected surprises will be coming in the near future. My ultimate goal is to have the entire Disneyland Audio Tour completely updated in time for the 60th anniversary of Disneyland in July 2015. This gives me 13 months. So stay tuned for exciting updates to come, and once again, thanks to all those who have contributed in any way to my site over the past year. Here is to an exciting year to come.
April 23, 2014
Just a quick update. I have completed the visual and formatting fixes for Chapter 6 - New Orleans Square. When looking for a better picture to represent a Dixieland group called the Rhythm Brothers, I discovered that this band did not actually perform in New Orleans Square, but performed on the stage at the Golden Horseshoe, so I have moved that track from the New Orleans chapter to the Frontierland chapter. This group apparently put on a show similar to Billy Hill and the Hillbillies but instead of Bluegrass, it was a Dixieland Jazz show, with a bit of a Roaring 20's feel, and a live comedienne/singer who did a Betty Boop impersonation. I found several videos of this show on YouTube. I assume this show was performed on the two days each week when the Golden Horseshoe Revue was not showing. There was an even more elaborate variation of this show with the same actress but different musicians performed a few years earlier than this version, which was known as the "Class of '27 Revue" - I assume this tamed down version replaced the original because it was probably less expensive to produce. That is just my best guess. Don't quote me on that. I have seen some short video clips of the original and there were more actors, and more props, and was more plot and comedy driven. The Rhythm Brothers version was more or a Jazz concert with just a bit of comedy thrown in.
Interesting to point out... The Rhythm Brothers were likely on contract with Disneyland, and the entertainment division was involved in forming the groups they were presented as. The reason I assume this is because they all performed together as three different musical groups. On Main Street they were known as the Main Street Maniacs, and in Frontierland, they were known as the Big Thunder Boys. These groups were all present in Disneyland from the late 70's to early 80's - They also seem to have been the performers riding the Fire Wagon in the American Gazette Parade that was presented in the mid 80's.
The track I have representing them is taken from an appearance they made on a live TV talk show back in the 80's - It is nothing special. I am working on doing something better for them in the future, so stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, you can check out videos of all three Disneyland groups they performed as over on this Youtube channel...
April 22, 2014
Happy 50th Birthday "It's a Small World"!!!
I have a few things to update you all on. I just finished completely revising the formatting of Chapters 1-5 of the Disneyland Audio Tour. This includes changing all the fonts to Times New Roman, adding a dividing line between each track, and cleaning up all the images. I am redoing all the colored boarders around the images because when saved as JPEG files, these fine details get messy/muddy. Especially when dealing with deep colors and reds. I am re-coloring all the boarders and saving the new files as PNG, because these seem to retain the quality a lot better. In some cases, with some of the files I photo edited a long long time ago, before I was as skilled at it as I am now, I am redoing the edit from the original image, so that the final outcome is a crisper and cleaner version. So you may notice some improvements in the quality of the images. I am also lightning them up just a tad, because my old monitor, before I got my new computer, was not that great, and I was seeing things a lot brighter than they should be. This caused me to darken everything a bit too much.
So, everything that needs to be improved for the first five chapters, be they text or image, is completed. I also fixed the long scrolls of images that are on the right side of the page of the main index. You will notice that the first five rows of images are crisper than the rest...
I also decided to separate all the Disneyland Hotel tracks in chapter one into its own section. After all the non Disneyland Hotel related tracks you will see another yellow title card box, and the Disneyland Hotel tracks have been moved under that card. I think it is better to keep this as its own section. I do not have enough tracks to negate creating a new chapter, but it does have a theme that is unique the the rest of the chapter. I did my usual artistic treatment to this new box, with a Disneyland Hotel Logo and and Mickey Mouse mascot, dressed as a bellhop. You will find this on the following page, after track 24...
a short time ago, I did a similar separation for the Holiday Time chapter, to give Halloween and the other holidays there own sections, but keep them on the same page. If you want to compare, you will find this on the following page...
Well that is all for now. I am one quarter done with the project. So it is coming along, but still a lot of work ahead. Stay tuned for more...
April 20, 2014
Happy Easter everyone! Hard to believe it is Easter again. Seems like Christmas just ended. I have been plugging away at improving the visual appearance of the Day at Disneyland Audio Tour. So far I have changed all the fonts for the first four chapters. I have also lightened up some of the images from chapters 1-3. My next step is to lighten some of the pictures for chapter four. I would like to get Chapter Five done today as well, so I can say I am a quarter finished. I may not have time today though, due to holiday happenings, but if time permits, I will make the attempt.
It is a lot more time consuming to change the fonts than one would think. The issue is with the program I use to do my page editing. It has a tendency to be very sticky. It will often freeze on an earlier format/line positioning, and not allow me to change it unless I erase every bit of the formatting code altogether and start over. If I start over from the beginning, it will often not allow me to line up things in the same way as the other text blocks are formatted. The spaces between lines, and the space between the text and the media player bar will shift. (Each track, corresponding image and media player bar is in its own text box) So to fix this, I often have to cut and paste everything into another block that is set up properly. First I have to paste the text, then the title, and then the image. Then replace the media player track. It only works if I do it in four steps. I cannot just copy and paste the entire block, so it takes a lot of time, and is a very dull and repetitive task.
I know that there is probably an easier way to do all these things, but I have only been doing website design for about two years now, and I am very limited in my knowledge. I know nothing about HTML code, so I rely entirely in the program I use which translates the code into a visual picture. Without this program I would be entirely lost. I don't know if it is the program I use that has bugs in it, or if it is something I am doing wrong. I tend to think it is the former, because all these issues are very random and inconsistent, so I really think it is due to glitches in the program. If anyone knows about JCE Editor for Joomla, and can report to me issues they have had, and possible solutions, that would help me out a lot.
I have also decided to place a divider line between each track in order to make it easier to separate each entry, making it a little more easy to read and navigate. What do you all think of this. do you prefer no line? I am on the fence about it.
So this is my agenda for the next couple weeks.
1 - Change the fonts for each chapter
No audio editing will be done until these other projects are done. I just need to clear the way and have no hurdles and distractions before digging into the real work. I also am sort of waiting out my living situation which I have mentioned in past blog postings. The tenant who lives above me has been home less and less often, and he often does not spend the night here. So, I am hopeful that it is only a matter of time before he leaves. Hopefully this will be at the same time when I am ready to get back into the audio work. Fingers crossed that he is gone by the end of the month. My landlord has been vague about it, but he says to me he will not be here much longer.
So anyway, I hope everyone who celebrates Easter has a wonderful holiday with friends and family. Don't eat too many jelly beans and chocolate! Stay tuned for future updates.
April 15, 2014
Sorry for such a long break since my last blog post. As stated in my previous post, I needed to take the time to set up my new computer. Well, as of yesterday, every one of my files, be the photos, music or documents, has been uploaded onto my new hard-drive, and organized into folders so that they are easy to access and easy to find. I am also able to fit every single file I have onto my new system, whereas on my old computer, I had to store a lot of data on external flash drives, for lack of memory. My old system, purchased in 2007,. only had 150 GB or memory, but my new system has 1 TB - which is 1000 GB. After placing all my files on my hard-drive, I still have 715 GB to spare. So there is no fear of filling up my drive any time soon. I have purchased an external back-up drive for all my files, for safe keeping, in case my system should ever crash. It was a bit pricy, but well worth the investment. I lost all my files back in 2011, and NEVER want that to happen again. Also, this drive has the capacity of storing files as I add them to my hard-drive, with no prompting required from me. It all works automatically. In the past, I had to save everything two times, once to my hard-drive, and again to a flash drive for back-up. This will save me that extra step from now on.
Having completed the difficult task of loading all my files onto the computer, setting up all the programs that I use, and organizing my desktop, I have begun to fix the formatting on my website. Apparently, my old 2007 monitor and computer were displaying everything a bit differently than newer computers/monitors do. So it has come to my attention that certain things on my site needed to be slightly adjusted so they appear properly on the page. I had no way of seeing this before now, I could only go by what my old system was showing me, but now I am able to fix some of these issues. I know there is no way to make it perfect, because ever browser is different, be it Firefox, Chrome, Explorer etc, and every computer is different. But I think my system now is more universal to what most people have nowadays, so things should be improved all around. I highly recommend using Firefox when viewing my site. That is the browser I have used to set up my site, and is the way I view it. If you want to see the site, in the intended format, that is probably your best bet.
Another issue is with fonts. Because not every computer uses the same fonts, some people are viewing the site differently than intended. Some fonts are larger than others, so if you are not formatted to view the font I have designed a page around, all of the pictures and other elements such as media player bars will be out of place. I am fixing this issue by changing all the fonts, as much as possible, to Times New Roman. I have a lot of work left to do on this. All of the liner notes, all 726 of them, need to be reformatted from the current font, to Times New Roman. I have already completed the first chapter, if anyone wants to see the "new" look. I will get the remaining 19 done over the course of the next few weeks.
I have fixed the formatting for just about all the other features on the site. I checked out every page, not affiliated with the Disneyland Audio Tour Feature, such as Song of the Day, Song of the Year, etc etc, and tweaked a few things that were not properly fitting, aligning or displaying. I also fixed an issue with the Welcome to the Hub, table of contents that appears at the bottom of each page of the Disneyland Audio Tour. And just now, I fixed the "Disneyland Story" article, so that the pictures are in proper line with the text. So you can check out all the pages aside for the audio tour, because everything else has been adjusted, and is ready for optimal viewing.
Another issue that has come to my attention is the brightness of many of the photos on the site. I need to go through and lighten up a lot of the images, because apparently, they have been displaying too dark. Again, this can be blamed on my old monitor. Some images actually look better slightly darker, so only a few need to be adjusted. But i have to go through each page and fix any that look way too dark. This will be done over the course of the next few weeks as well.
So, I have two projects going on right now. One is to fix the aforementioned photos and fonts issue. The other is to complete the editing of the pictures I need to have ready for the music that will be added to the site in the future. I am going to try and get these two non audio related projects done first, before I do any more audio editing work. I want to have everything set up and ready before I dig into the real work. So your patience is appreciated as I get these other projects completed over the next couple weeks. I promise there will be a lot more new audio coming soon, including the Disneyland Railroad tracks that have been promised, so stay tuned. I will keep you all up to date on my progress.
April 3, 2014
Time for another update. In anticipation of the arrival of my new computer, which is expected to be here tomorrow, I went through every file in my Disneyland Audio Tour "to be edited" folder and got myself really organized. I updated my to do list, and added a lot of things that I had forgotten to add to that list before. As of this very moment, the total number of tracks that need to be edited is 329. Of those, 123 are enhancements to existing tracks, and 206 are all-new additions which will add to the grand total number of tracks in the collection. The current number of completed tracks already posted for Disneyland: A Magical Audio Tour is 728, so with the additions it will bring it up to 934. Of course, if history proves correct, there will be even more additions that I have not thought of yet. For example, as I did research for the now fully updated "Rivers of America" chapter, I came up with many additions during said research, that were not already on my to do list. So I estimate, by the time I get through to every chapter, I will likely be closer to 1000 total tracks. But nothing is set in stone.
While organizing my files, and making a new master "to do" list, I also went though all the images that I had prepared ahead of time, to have ready as each track is ready to be posted on the site. I honestly thought I had a lot more images already in the reserve than I actually do. After going though all the pictures I have, it turns out that I still need 78 more pictures. So my very next task is to locate the needed pictures and pre-edit them. This is a big job, so it will take me several days, and delay me a bit on adding any new audio. Sorry about that, but your patience will all be worth it in the end.
Now for a little discussion regarding a friendly debate I had yesterday over in the Mouebits.com chat forums. The moderator of the site called "Passport to Dreams" (which everyone needs to go visit, because it is an excellent blog) pointed out an issue he has had with my site, and he has a legitimate concern. His main objective for his site is historical accuracy, and he is concerned that others who visit my site will use my audio collection as a historical catalog of the actual music as heard and played in the park, and spread misinformation to others, claiming it as there own research. For the Disneyland Audio Tour my main objective is more on the side of entertainment, and creating the sense of being in the park, both past and present, and I am more concerned with how the music sounds, than having it be 100% historically accurate. I also will use music or sound effects not proven to be authentic, in order to have audio which represents something where no authenticated audio is known about or has been in circulation. This is to allow the collection to be broader in scope, and to represent things that are much more rare, in order to replicate what it might have been like. This can be considered more like "edu-tainment" than educational. While it is intended to create a sense of history in the listener, it is doing it in an entertaining way, and by creating a general sense of how something sounded, rather than by using authentic recordings. Mind you, whenever the real deal is available, it is what I have used. I only use placeholder audio until the real audio is uncovered. Any time the authentic materials are found, the existing non-authentic version will be replaced.
I also do two other enhancements to my tracks that need to be made clear. I will often add extra background music to a piece of audio that is only dialogue and sound effects, in order to make it a more enjoyable listen. The music is not always authentic, but is chosen because it has the right feeling for the subject being covered. I also will edit down my area background music audio loops, so it may not be the total complete version of the loop as heard in the parks. I will do this to improve the pacing, to remove audio where I do not have a good enough sounding recording that is up to DisneyChris.com standards, or to avoid music that is duplicated in another loop or another track somewhere else on the site. So very few of the loops on my site are to be considered accurate to the way they are heard in the park. Again, entertainment, not accuracy is my main goal.
In order to avoid anyone from thinking that my site is a historical catalog, at the behest of the "Passport to Dreams" moderator, and several others, I have added a disclaimer to the main page of DisneyChris.Com, as well as to the main index track listing page for the Disneyland Audio Tour. It reads as follows...
"Disneyland" a Magical Audio tour was created with entertainment as the primary objective. It is not intended to be used as a historical documentation of audio track produced and used by Disney, but rather, it is an enhanced aural experience meant to submerge the listener into the unique environments of Disneyland, both past and present. Authentic audio material is used whenever possible; however substitute audio is used when necessary. Some tracks have been edited and sound effects added for pace and dramatic purposes. If you have any questions concerning the origins or authenticity of individual tracks, please contact me."
What brought up this issue to begin with is a track I have posted in the Adventureland chapter, which is called "Tahitian Terrace Atmosphere Music." It is track number 13 on the following page...
The issue is as to whether this music authentically was used in that venue. The loop is actually the same as what was used for the Tropical Serenade (aka Tiki Room) outdoor waiting area at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. A very reliable source informed me a while back, that he had a discussion about this loop, and it was strongly believed to be an abridged version of a much longer loop used in Disneyland's Tahitian Terrace. So all the music from the WDW loop was also used in Disneyland. The version I have posted on my site is based on the WDW version, because it contains the only songs we know about, but it is likely NOT the complete loop heard in Disneyland. If more information about the Tahitian Terrace loop becomes known, than I will be adding more music to this track, but for now, it is indeed, the WDW loop. Again, this is a placeholder, until further enhancements can be made, but it is very likely all of these songs did play at the Terrace. I am waiting for the person who I had this original discussion with to get back to me with more details information about the original conversation he had regarding these loops, so stay tuned for even more detailed information. Meanwhile, enjoy the loop as it is posted, because it is a nice one, and again, it is all about entertainment.
Fweww - So there you have it - A lot of back and forth going on over on Mousebits. Please know that I am always willing to make changes to my site based on visitor feedback. So please never hesitate to offer constructive criticism and factual corrections as warranted. All such feedback and critiques will be seriously addressed. I will never be offended. It shows you want to help me make my site the best it can be.
So it may be a few days before my next blog post. I will be transferring my data over to my new computer, and will be looking for new pictures. Lots of projects going on. So stay tuned, and in a few days I will have a new update.
March 30, 2014
Some news to report. Some happy, some not so happy. Happy first...
I just bought a new computer. My old computer is just not cutting it anymore. I have had this system since 2007. It only has 140 GB of storage and 1 RAM. When I watch video or listen to audio my flash add-on has been crashing after opening several files in a row, and I have to close my internet window, and reopen it. I am getting sick of doing this. It also slows me down a lot when doing editing. I also have to keep buying more and more flash drives because I cannot fit all my music on my hard drive, and when I need to access those files, I have to play the memory game to remember which flash drive the file I need is on. But the real issue is that the cooling fan in my tower has been making strange sounds periodically, so I am afraid that at some point, my system is going to die. Better to upgrade now, rather than wait for the inevitable.
My new computer is a Inspiron 3000 and holds 1 TB of space on the harddrive (which is 1024 MB) and has 4 RAM - Huge difference. I ordered it from Dell, and should have it by April 10th.
I have been preparing my old computer for the move. I looked into using a program called PC Mover, which is supposed to basically copy your old system, and all its perimeters, and allow you to upload everything onto the new computer. I have decided to not do this because a lot of the programs on my current system may need to be upgraded, or may no longer run on the new system, and I don't want to toy around with the new hard-drive. I want to keep it as smooth running as possible. (Having learned from past mistakes) It also requires that you connect the two computers by a USB cable, and be able to see what is going on from both systems. I did not buy a new monitor, so that would be a little difficult to do with only one monitor. I was hoping that the way it worked was that they saved it all in a databank for you, and then you were able to upload the data from their on-line storage. Not the case.
So I plan to do the move manually. I have a lot of my media files already backed up on Flash Drives. For the files not backed up, I will do a bit of back and forth with my monitor. I will set up my new system and connect to the internet, then plug in my old system sans internet, just to access the hard-drive. Hooking up the monitor to the old computer, I will copy onto a flash drive, then, unplug the monitor, reconnect to the new system, and transfer the stored media on the flash drive to the new computer. I may have to do this about four or five rounds. Not impossible, just a bit of a pain. As far as all my software, I have all my product codes written down, so I will be able to re-download all my purchased programs without paying for them again. When my computer crashed back in 2011, I did not write down these codes, and had to pay for all these programs again. Learned that lesson the hard way.
Keeping me busy since my last blog post has been continuing to edit photos. I am starting to get sick of this project, so I am ready for a change of pace, and get back into some audio editing. I am going to wait until I get my new computer to do the big Disneyland Railroad project, because it is going to be so much easier to work on the new faster system. So instead, I am going to just be adding a few random tracks here and there, that require less hard core editing, and once the new system has arrived, and is fully set up, I will move on to more challenging projects. I also find that when I go a while without editing, I need to stretch my muscles a bit before I am ready to do a big project, because in an inexplicable way, I seem to sort of forget how I do what I do. Like any learned skill, I have to keep at it, or I start to become latent. I know it sounds bizarre, but it really is true when it comes to my editing work, at least on the level that I do it.
I have also made a major decision regarding the area loops on my site. In the past, I felt that it would be better to post mini/abridged versions of loops for easier listening, taking what I felt were the best songs from a loop. But from the feedback I have been getting, people want longer tracks because they like to listen to the music while working, or as background ambiance. When the tracks are so short, it makes it difficult, because you have to keep going back and selecting a new track. So a nice 45 minute to 1 hour track is something that would be an asset. Therefore, I plan to revisit several of the existing loops on the site, and extending them to more complete versions. I still may leave out a few songs for the following reasons: 1 - The song is repeated in another loop 2 - the sound quality of a particular song is not good 3 - I am splitting up the loop into segments because certain songs carry their own theme. (A good example of this would be the 1992 Frontierland loop, which has basically three styles of music. One is the vintage Sons of the Pioneers recordings, the other is the sweeping instrumental film scores, and the other is the more modern sounding stuff, like Ghost Riders in the Sky with electric guitar)
And now for the not so happy news...
To update you all on the issue I have been having in my building, I do not think the aforementioned tenant who lives above me is going to be leaving at the end of the month. There have been no signs of him leaving, and the month is over tomorrow. I am still hoping he may leave, but it is doubtful, at least not this month. I have had no incidents from him in weeks, but I think that is partially due to the fact that I have not been doing any audio editing at all, and adjusted my speakers when watching video so that there is very little bass. I will have to put the bass back to normal while doing editing, and will have to have the music at a louder level as well. I am going to try and do it when he is not home. Hopefully he will not come home without me knowing it, and accost me. It makes no difference to him what hour of the day it is. He has pounded on my door as early as 3:00 in the afternoon. I have never done editing past 10:00pm, as a common courtesy to the other tenants in the building, and never have had any complaints from anyone at all, until now.
Anyway, I am trying to keep my spirits high. I had a medical emergency last week and was in the hospital overnight. I was in so much pain, but thankfully, it was just a minor problem, it has been resolved, and I am no longer in any pain. I am very thankful for that. When you face an issue like that, it puts things into perspective, so the issue with the tenant is really not the worse problem I could have.
So, to end on a much happier note.
Again, I would like to thank Lynn at the Sweep Spot Podcast, for having me as a guest. His podcast was posted on the main page of the MiceAge website on Friday morning. In the main description of the posted article was my name, right there on the home page of MiceAge it said "Chris Lyndon." It was sort of surreal seeing my name there. I know it is not that big a deal, but I cannot lie that it was nice to be recognized. Traffic to my site has seemed to increase a bit, which is exactly what I was hoping for. It is so hard to get the word out to the Disney community. I am grateful that Lynn gave me a forum to advertise my site from. I hope to be a guest again soon.
So, the wrap up, I am in better health, have a better perspective, and hopefully things are bright ahead. I chose to be optimistic. Stay tuned for more updates soon. I may be posting some new audio in the week ahead.
March 23, 2014
Another update for you all. A couple great things to let you all know about. First of all, I have finally finished all the new title cards for each chapter of the the Disneyland Audio Tour. All the pictures are now included on each of the 20 cards at the top of each chapter. I may tweak a few of the photos and replace them with better ones, but for the most part it is done and you can go over now and check them all out. I also replaced the two improved versions for the cut out logos of Tomorrowland 1950's and Tomorrowland 1970's/80's on the main index page.
I plan now to do a project that you will not be able to see the results of right away, but over time you will. I have about 150 images that need to be edited and set up for future songs that will be added to the site. I am doing this now, because that way, when the tracks are being completed, I will just have to go and grab the already completed images in order to instantly add them to the site as the are ready to be posted. The good news is that I do not need to search for any images. I have all that I need. I just need to crop them, and in some cases photo shop them. Some of the images are just a matter of cropping. Other are more work because they require enhancement or clean up in order to make them acceptable for posting.
I would like to give credit to the following sites for providing a lot of the pictures I am using. There are many other sources, but these are the main resources I have used...
Daveland --- http://davelandweb.com/disneyland/
...and a recent discovery with many new pictures added daily is called Vintage Disney Parks
Like I said, there are many others, but these are the main ones I can think of off the top of my head. Kudos and much love to the moderators of these blogs and websites. They are an invaluable resource for vintage Disney photos and making these photos available is very important work indeed.
Now for the real exciting news, are you all sitting down?
I have recently become addicted to podcasts about Disney. In fact, as I do my web site design, I always have a Disney podcast playing in the background. One of the most interesting of them, and one that I am an avid listener and huge fan of is called "The Sweep Spot" - The show is presented from the perspective of former Disneyland custodial cast members. Since I myself am a former Disney custodial cast member (albeit at WDW) I truly relate to al lot of the stories that are shared. But more than that, it is a podcast about the history of Disneyland in general, and required listening for any true fan of the original Disneyland.
As I was going through the past archives of this show, I noticed that a lot of the musical mixes being used were in fact my own edited versions, and on one of the weekly shows a couple of months ago, Lynn, the host of the show, even did an abbreviated musical tour of the park, using quite a few of my mixes. He had obtained this audio from the web, back when I used to post CD collections for download, well before I started my website. I was honored to hear my mixes as part of his podcast. So I contacted him and let him know they were my work, and told him about my website.
Following that, Lynn said he would mention me on his show and provide a link to my site in his show notes, which he actually did for show 124, the show he released a couple of weeks ago. Then about a week ago, Lynn contacted me and asked me if I would like to be a guest on his show!!! I was so excited. We taped a 20 minute interview via Skype, and he included the entire interview in his latest podcast, show number 125. It is really neat to be a part of a podcast that I love so much, and I am so grateful to Lynn for allowing me to be his guest. I hope he will have me back again in the future.
If anyone would like to go listen to the podcast, it has just been published on Itunes and on his podcast feed. (episode 125) ...http://www.thesweepspot.com/
So hope you all will have a chance to go over there and give it a listen. Let me know what you all think. And talk to you soon...
March 21, 2014
Happy Spring everybody! Sorry it has been so long since my last update, but I have not had much to report. No new audio has been added. I have still been working on my title cards and various color coded font designs for each chapter of the Disneyland Audio Tour. I am nearing the finish line now. I jumped ahead and redid all the lettering for the "Welcome to the Hub" and Accolades and Acknowledgments" boxes at the bottom of each page. All of these are done for every chapter. I redid all the lettering so it is smoother, as well as the curly-que design around the castle logo and Disneyland font 'D' logo. I also added a shadow effect to these to make them more crisp and three dimensional in appearance. I added shadow to the little Mickey balloons too in the same box as the Hub menu.
I also redid each Mickey "land mascot" (as I am calling them) that appears at the top of each page. Now they all have a shadow effect. I feel this makes them appear more grounded, and less like they are just stuck on the page floating about. I cleaned up the design of a few of the Mickey's. I fixed his legs in the New Orleans Square version, enlarged his head in others, and fixed the body proportions of the 1950's Tomorrowland version. I also added these improved mascots to the main index page. However, I did not use the shadows on the index page, because they are smaller, and did not read well with the extra detail. So, all the Mickey's are done.
I also cleaned up the logo illustration for the 1950's Tomorrowland title card...
...and the 1970's/80's Tomorrowland title card...
I have added the new 1950's logo also above the row of pictures on the right side of the main index page. I still need to add the new 1970's/80's logo to the index page. That is the next thing on my agenda. I do not have a cut out version of this. I have to go back and cut it out of the blue background. Since this image is very detailed, it will take me a while to do, but ASAP I will be replacing the old blue rocket logo with my new and improved version.
The next project is to add the row of six pictures to the title cards for chapter's 10 - 16 - the others are done. I have put temporary cards on these pages, without the photos, so it has the nice new shadowed lettering in the mean time, as well as the two aforementioned Tomorrowland new improved illustrations, so that you all will be able to see these now, rather than wait for me to get the photos ready. So these title cards are going to be replaced ASAP, so they match the design of the other chapters.
The projects mentioned above will take me about 2-3 days to complete. Following this, I have a few more images to clean up and have ready for future tracks that I plan to add. So that once I am back to doing audio, all the pictures will be ready to go, and it will be all audio all the time by that point. I would say that within a week I will be back to doing audio, and will get started on those highly anticipated Disneyland Railroad tracks.
So stay tuned.
March 14, 2014
Another update regarding my chapter title card project. Yesterday I completed the Holiday Time in Disneyland chapter...
As mentioned before, I have decided to keep the entire chapter on a single page, and have consolidated everything. The other two pages have been deleted, but do not fear. Everything has been added to the first page. I have also created to smaller title cards to split up the different holiday sections. There is a Christmas section, a Halloween section and then a section to represent all other holidays. The was formerly the "Birthday" page, but have decided to use this section to represent all other holidays, and not just birthdays, although, birthdays do still seem to be the predominantly represented holiday at this point.
I moved a few songs around for this third, other holiday, section. First of all, I moved the Fourth of July fireworks track from the After Dark chapter to this chapter instead. Then I added the Kids of the Kingdom track called "I Love a Parade Medley" - The Kids of the Kingdom track was originally posted in the Parade chapter, and it still is. I plan to leave it there. The version on this page will be different. I am going to remove the first song of the medley "I Love a Parade" and just have the second song "The Glorious Forth" and it will no longer be a medley. The version that IS a medley will remain intact in the Parade chapter, so both versions will eventually be available, but for the interim, they are both identical until I go back and make a revised edit.
I also removed three songs from the birthday section. I removed the 30th Birthday parade song. It was actually identical to the one on the Parade chapter. There was nothing unique about it. Since it was just a duplicate, it was deleted. But you can still find it within the Parade chapter. So it is not gone. Also, the 30th Anniversary Family Cavalcade has been relocated to the Parade chapter. I decided that this track was more evocative of parades rather than birthdays, so it really belongs in the other chapter. So again, it is still available, just in a different place. The last song I redacted is the 25th Birthday Theme. Again, this track is merely an abridged version of the complete 25th Anniversary Parade track found in the Parade chapter. Since it was repeating another track, I decided to remove it. However, I temporarily placed it on the parade page. This is only until I have a chance to go back and make an edit. I plan to remove the introduction by Jack Wagner at the beginning of the full parade version, and isolate the intro as its own track. In the mean time, I just placed the version formerly on the birthday page in this spot, just as a temporary placeholder until I have a chance to go back and edit the audio.
As far as other Holidays, I would like to represent Saint Patrick's Day and Easter in this section, but have not really found the right music for these. Any ideas? I know Disneyland had staged St Patrick's Day Parades in past decades. I also know that Easter Parades have been held in Disneyland off and on for decades, and egg hunts as well. I just have not found the right audio for these. I hope to find something in the near future, so more holidays will be represented, and this section will be more representative of everything.
Oh - one last thing, I also moved the Countdown to the New Year from the Christmas section and into the general holiday section. It is now the final song of this chapter, which makes more sense.
In creating the title cards for this chapter, I cam across an issue with the lettering for the Halloween chapter. The problem was I was trying to place orange letters on an orange backdrop. The darker I made the letters, the more they looked like red instead of orange, and the lighter I made them, they became to hard to see against the orange backdrop. I solved this problem by putting a black outline behind the letter. I liked the look of it so much, that I tried it on the title card at the top of the page. It came out really sharp looking. So I have decided to go back and do this back outline on all the title cards. It is actually not that hard to do. So should not delay me that much. It realy does look so much crisper and professional this way...
That is all for now. Talk to you soon...
March 12, 2014
Another update. I am still exclusively working on images right now, and have added a few more updated chapter title cards with the row of pictures along the bottom. Now you can see chapters 1-5 (Welcome to Disneyland thru Adventureland) and have skipped to the end to add in chapter 20, Disneyland Records, and chapter 19, Disneyland in TV Land. As I said before, I consolidated the three pages of TV Land into a single page with all the tracks together, to make it easier to navigate.
I also added a lot more improved images, especially check out all the pictures on the Disneyland Records page...
My next task is chapter 17, Holiday Time. I have made the decision to consolidate the entire chapter into a single page, rather than splitting it up into three pages. I just felt it was too difficult to navigate that way. However, I do plan to somehow split the page into segments in order to have each holiday still remain somewhat separated. I would like to still use the artwork from the two extra pages as a way to do this split, but just keep it all on the same page.
That's all for now. Stay tuned for more.
March 10, 2014
Another brief update: I have been continuing my photo project with the title header boxes. So far I have completed chapter's 1-4. Be sure to check out the new pictures. Lots of great shots. I am glad I decided to do this, because it really looks nice and adds a lot to each chapter.
Also, just want to thank Lynn for the Sweep Spot for mentioning me on his podcast. His show is great. You all should check it out. He has often used my edited tracks as background music for his past shows, so it was great for him to give me a mention. Make sure to stick around to the end of his latest episode to hear my site being plugged. I so appreciate him speading the word about my site. Here is a link to his homepage...
I love this podcast, and it is required listening. It is a very unique perspective on Disneyland, because it is hosted by former Disneyland custodial cast members. I relate to this perspective 100%, because i am a former Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom custodial cast member myself, and have also worked at Disneyland. Please do give it a try if you have not already.
Well that is all for now. Keep watching for more pictures in the days ahead.
March 8, 2014
Finally have something new to tell you all about. Sorry it is not new audio, but at least there are some great new graphic visual additions coming to the site now. (Stay tuned for further updates on the aforementioned apartment issue.)
After going though all the chapters and cleaning up some of the older and less sharp images, I have decided to add more images to the top of each page on the Chapter Tile card located under the Mickey Mouse image. I have already completed the Main Street USA page so you can see how this will look. Each chapter is going to be done in the same way.
The reason I decided to do this, is because I have so many great pictures that I have found that do not necessarily correspond with an audio track, so this allows me to share these without placing them next to a song. I also removed the line of vintage attraction posters at the top and bottom of the page. I felt it was just an extra element that is repetitive and not really needed. I think I may keep the poster line at the top of the Main Chapter One page only, ie: Welcome to Disneyland, because that page is set up just a little different due to the fact that it is at the beginning of the tour/audio collection, and the posters do provide a preview of what is to come in the upcoming chapters. Therefore, they have more of a purpose.
Another thing I am very likely to change is that I am going to consolidate all of Chapter 19, Disneyland in TV Land onto a single page, rather than splitting it up overt three pages. I just feel it is too difficult to navigate though and would look better visually all on the same page. I am thinking about doing this for the Holiday chapter as well, but less decided on that one. If I do stick with the three page format for that chapter, I am going to re-them the third page, (Birthdays in Disneyland) to just a general "Other Holidays" page. On that page I will have Forth of July, Birthdays, St Patrick's Day, and Easter as well. I do have a few things I can add for the forth, but do not have any good Easter or St Patrick's days materials, even though I know there have been Easter and St Patrick's parades held in the park over the past decades. Still brainstorming on ideas for this.
So, although I cannot do much audio for the time being, I do have a project to keep me busy. Stay tuned for more pictures in the days ahead as I change the title cards for each chapter.
March 5, 2014
Sorry I have not blogged in such a long time, but again, I have had little changes to report. I have still been working on improving the photos for the Disneyland Audio Tour, and have been through every chapter now. I thought I was finally finished, and I then I came across a ton of new vintage images that I really want to incorporate into my site. I have just over 100 new images to edit now. I have already cropped them all into my standard square shaped format. But they all require further editing. Some are simple color corrections, while others are requiring a lot of photo-shop trickery which is a very time consuming process.
Another reason why I am putting off the audio editing is because of an issue that has recently come up in my building. I have lived in my building for almost four years, and always gotten along well with all the other tenants who live here, and have never had any complaints about the volume levels of my music or TV. I am also very considerate and never do any audio editing after 10pm. This is a personal rule I have set for myself, without ever being asked, or any complaints ever being made.
But this all changed about a month ago, when a new tenant moved into the apartment located directly above mine. I have had nothing but trouble with this individual and it has reached a point where he has been pounding on my door for 10 minute intervals and disturbing the entire building to the point where the police have been called out twice, not because of the volume of my music, but because of his violent harassment of me. I am even afraid to leave my apartment. Everyone, from my landlord to all the other tenants in my building believe that my music and TV are at reasonable levels, and think this individual is disturbed. My landlord is in the process of trying to evict this person, but meanwhile, he is still here, and still harassing me. So I am afraid to do any audio editing at all. I am afraid to even turn on my TV at this point to a volume so low I can't even hear it unless I sit right next to the speakers. I have tried to turn the bass off, and I have tried to turn the music down, but he still will not stop coming down and pounding on my door, shouting threats to me. And we are talking about between 5:00-9:00 at night. Not a time of day where people are sleeping. Apparently he feels that he is entitled to absolute silence, at the inconvenience of me and everyone else. I suffer from anxiety issues and have to take medication for it. The landlord has told this person about that, and yet, he continues to harass me.
So that is really why I have been sticking to the photos rather than the music. Hopefully he will be gone by April, and I can return to my usual routine. Sorry to share so much personal information with you all, but because it directly impacts the progress of my Disneyland audio project, I felt you should all know the real reason why it has been put on hold. Meanwhile, I hope you will all continue to visit my site often, and send me with your great emails of appreciation and support for what I am doing which I enjoy reading and makes it all worth it for me.
February 24, 2014
Sorry everyone that it has been so long since my last blog post. I really have had little news to report. I have been plugging away on my aforementioned picture editing project. It has been taking a whole lot longer than I thought it would, and I am still not done. However, I should finally be done by tomorrow because I only have two more chapters left to do: Disneyland Showtime, and Tomorrowland of the 1950's. I have posted many new and improved pictures in the other chapters, so I hope you all will enjoy checking them out.
I also need to prepare the song of the day for the month of March. That should take me one more day. So by Thursday, I hope to finally begin my Disneyland Railroad audio project. I have someone who is going to attempt to record a clean induction the current Disneyland Railroad on board narrative. It may be several weeks before he can do this, and there are no guarantee that it can be done. It is a very challenging one to do because of the nature of the attraction. If anyone has a clean induction or source recording already, please let me know. I will clean up the audio, add sound effects and make it an authentic ride through audio experience.
Not much more to report for now. But just wanted you all to know I did not disappear. Stay tuned for more updates.
February 16, 2014
Sorry I have been so quiet lately. I have not been working on any audio, so there is not much to report. Instead, I have been working on the corresponding images for the tracks and liner notes in the Disneyland Audio Tour. I have cleaned up several images, replaced several existing images with better images, and have been looking for new images to use later for additional tracks I will adding in the future. I have thus far completed this photo project for six chapters: Disneyland Records - Disneyland After Dark - Adventureland - Frontierland - Fantasyland - and Bear/Critter Country. Be sure to check out those pages to see the improved images I have posted. This project is taking a bit longer than I thought it would, but that is good, because I needed a break from doing audio editing after the major enhancements to the Rivers of America chapter burned me out. This is a nice change of pace. However, do not fear, because as soon as I am done with the picture enhancements, I will be refreshed and ready to get to work on the Disneyland Railroad additions as promised. So stay tuned.
February 11, 2014
Sorry to have been so quiet lately. I worked so hard on completing the Rivers of America chapter, that I am finding it very difficult to motivate myself to get to work on my next project, the Disneyland Railroad. Part of the problem is that I want to find more authentic sound effects if possible, by searching though live, in park videos on YouTube, to see if there is any crisp clear audio of the train whistle and the authentic sounds of steam etc. I do have sound effects for all of this already, but have been thinking about ways to make the tracks seem even more realistic. I think one of the reasons why the recent Mark Twain Steamboat additions are so successful is because I do have authentic sound effects and want to mirror that with the train tracks (pun intended). So, the prospect of going though all sorts of Youtube videos to find the right sound effects is sort of a daunting one, and a job I am sort of dreading, so I have been procrastinating more than is my usual nature.
However, I have not been entirely unproductive. I have been working on cleaning up several new images I have gathered for the many new additions I have planned for the site, which correspond with tracks in all the remaining chapters. I have hundreds of photos I have already collected in anticipation of these planned additions. Most of them I was editing as I went along. Whenever I found a picture I could use, I cropped it, sharpened the image, brightened or improved the color saturation and hue, and if needed in many cases did some photo shopping work to improve the composition. Sometimes I have to sort of "create" pics that I can not find. For example, there are no pictures anywhere on the web of the Disneyland Band performing in the Small World Mall in front of the clock tower, oddly enough, so I cut out an image of the Disneyland Band lined in a row and pasted the people in front of Small World. My graphic design background and illustration degree does come in handy sometimes. I also have this major pet peeve about all the skies in my pictures. There is no such thing as a cloudy day in Disneyland, didn't you know? So all my skies have to be blue. Therefore, a lot of the time I find myself coloring the skies, and depending on how many natural elements are in the pictures, such as trees, the more difficult a task it is to do this so that it looks realistic, and not colored in.
Well, somewhere along the line I got a bit lazy, and stopped editing my photos as I found them, so I now have quite a few that need to be done, and that has been my project the past couple days. Now that I am in photo-shop mode, I think I will get all the unedited photos completed before I move back to audio editing. This will take me a couple more days. I have completed 6 chapters so far, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Bear Country, Disneyland After Dark, and Disneyland Records. You may also notice some of the existing pictures, that are posted on the site already, being either cleaned up a bit or replaced with better pictures. I have found several better pictures to use for many of the tracks I have already posted, and have planed to go through and replace several images, but was so wrapped up in Rivers of America that I saved it for a later project. So look out for some new pictures on the site over the next few days.
I will report back to all you blog readers once my photo project is completed. So give me a few days and I will let you know my status. Also, If anyone would like to direct me to any good Youtube videos they should happen to come across, that have good clean audio of the Disneyland Railroad's box car and steam engine sounds, please let me know. I would appreciate the help. Having some leads in that regard will better motivate me to get started on the project once the photos are done. Just let me know by email or private message on Twitter or Mousebits. Thanks for your patience everyone. It will be worth it.
February 8, 2014
I added two new tracks to the Rivers of America chapter today, and have one more planned for tomorrow. I have already added the picture and track description for the third track, and will be adding the music itself early in the day tomorrow. Then I am going to crack down and get started on the Disneyland Railroad ride through tracks.
The tracks I have added today are a medley of songs to represent the Ragtime piano player when he has performed on the Mark Twain, and also the isolated bluegrass clawhammer banjo music from the classic version of the Mark Twain soundtrack, so that you can enjoy the music on its own without voiceover and sound effects. The track I have planned to add tomorrow is a live performance of the San Fernando Valley Banjo Band who appeared on a local LA area TV special in 1989, while performing on the Mark Twain. I am going to include more live performances from the Twain in the Disneyland After Dark chapter, as an extension of my already existing tracks that represent the Dixieland in Disneyland festivals of the 1960's. These were after dark events, so it is more appropriate to include them in that chapter.
So just one more addition to Rivers of America, and then the chapter will again be caught up. I thought I was done before, but then came across the Banjo Band audio, and just had to include it, and then remembered two other tracks I had not thought of before. I have been putting an update on my new Twitter account right away, each time I have just posted a new track. So if you have not followed me on Twitter yet, you may want to, to get the more up to the minute updates. @DisneyChris73 See you there!
February 7, 2014
After all the hard work I put into Rivers of America, I have been finding it difficult to buckle down and get to work on my current project, The Disneyland Railroad. I know many of you are early anticipating these additions, and I apologize for my procrastination. However, I do have some news to report. I have just joined Twitter yesterday. I have never before had a Twitter account, so I figured I had better catch up with the 21st century. My Twitter name is @DisneyChris73. DisneyChris was already taken, so I added my birth year at the end. I guess no one is as old as me, so that one was available. I only have two followers so far, so if you have a Twitter account, please follow me.
I also have come across some additional audio to add to the Rivers of America chapter. So, although I thought I was done, I guess my proclamation about my site never being completed holds true, and this is a good case in point. I will be adding three more songs to that chapter. I will not be changing any of the existing tracks. These are additions only. I will probably work on those first, before I get down to the Disneyland Railroad tracks. Having discovered even more audio than I originally thought I would have access to, the Railroad project is going to be even more work than I originally thought, and this is why I have been putting it off. Once I do dig into it though, I will go full guns, just like I did with the Mark Twain. When I finally do motivate myself to get something done, I am diligent about it until it is completed. That is my nature.
So look for some additions to Rivers of America today, and tomorrow, and then I will get my act together and start the long haul around the Magic Kingdom... aka all those variations of the Grand Circle Tour.
February 4, 2014
The past few days have been spent in preparation for my planned additions to come to the Town Square chapter involving the Disneyland Railroad. Initially, I only had three versions of the on board narrative soundtrack, but thanks to a friend on the internet, I have discovered two additional variations recorded in the 1970's, the oldest of which may even have been used as far back as 1966 when the Primeval World first was added. The reason I suspect this, is because there were no changes made to the railroad line between 1966, and the date of this recording which is 1974, therefore, it is entirely conceivable that this recording would go back years further. Also, I have a second recording from 1976 which is a different version, and since that is only two year after the 1974 recording, it makes even more sense that it goes further back in its first implementation.
My second theory is that the first time a recorded narrative was used for the train was in 1966, and prior to that the spiel was delivered live. This live spiel script can be found in a few publications chronicling the history of the Disneyland Railroad, so we know it was not always a prerecorded version. The reason I feel 1966 was when the spiel changed over from live to prerecorded is because it was then too that the original yellow enclosed box cars where retired, and new open air cars were added to the train, to allow guest to see the scenery better. Since new cars were added, it would make sense that it was then that they retrofitted the few remaining original cars and prefabricated the new cars to use a new sound system at this point in time. Therefore, the 1974 recorded spiel may in fact be the very first one ever used if both my theories are accurate.
The 1976 version was probably installed to add in some more historical American elements to the narrative. Although it does not mention the Bicentennial, it does seem to make more reference to the way in which railroads are a part of US heritage. Therefore, i think they chose this year to replace the original version in order to have a more patriotic variation for the bicentennial.
Both the 1974 and 1976 versions of this narrative is accredited to Jack Wagner by the now abandoned web site that posted them originally. However, I think this was a false assumption by the person running the site. Neither one of these sound at all like Wagner to me.
I am not sure when the 76 version was retired, but it very well may have been left in place until the next variation I have, which is from 1981 if I am not mistaken. I say 81 because it mentions the year 1981 within the spiel as it passes through Tomorrowland. It is nearly identical to the 1983 version which was available at one time in the Disneyland Forever kiosks, with the same narrator. The only major difference in these two spiels is the way Fantasyland is described. In the 1981 version it is a generic Fantasyland description; in the 83 version it is a description of the '83 remodel and premiere of the New Fantasyland. Doing some digging, I beleive the name of this narrator was Vic Perrin. He was a very well known announcer in his day, his most famous announcement being the introduction to the TV show called "The Outer Limits" in which he said "Do Not Adjust Your TV Set." You can find this and other voice over work of his all over Youtube. It also credits him on several websites as having once done the Railroad narrative for Disneyland, and it does sound a lot like him, so I am pretty sure this is the version that he recorded, and it was probably used up until around 1985, when a new version would have to have been recorded for the newly added Videopolis depot to have been added to the narrative. Whether or not Vic Perrin re-recorded this section, or if a whole new narrator and new recording were brought in at this time, I am not sure. I do not have a copy of the version used in these years.
However, I do have the 1987 State Fair version which was narrated by Luwig Von Drake. This is posted on my site. Paul Frees died in 1986, so I do not think this is him doing the Duck, but the person who replaced him. It is a very good imitation of the Paula Frees version though. This 87 version was only used for a very brief period. I am not certain exactly what followed this version. It could have been the Thurl Ravenscroft version, but the earliest evidence I could find of the Ravenscroft version being used was 1990, so there may or may not have been a different version used from 87 to 90.
The Ravenscroft version, which I have an excellent recording of that has never before been available on the internet. It may even be a source recording, it is that good. But It is probably just a really good induction. This version was used all the way until 2002, in which the current version was put in place, as narrated by Earl Hindman. He was also the voice of, the always unseen neighbor, Wilson on Home improvement.
So I have a very good cross section of recordings to well represent the railroad. These recordings are going to take me a lot of time and work to create these tracks. There is a lot of clean up and tricky editing involved. They are mostly live recordings. Considering some of these were recorded live while riding the train back in the 70's, the sound is excellent, and I think I can work with it, but it is still going to require a lot of hard work on my behalf to perfect these.
I also want to put a bee in the bonnet of any Disneyland audio inductors out there who may be reading this. I have a somewhat ok version of the current narrative, (the version that is widely available on the interwebs) but would love to get an even better sounding recording. If anyone is up to the challenge of getting an induction from the train that sounds like a source quality recording, I would love to have this. It would be wonderful to get as wonderful a recording for the current train grand circle tour as I had for the recent Mark Twain 2010 track I recently added, thanks to Mousebits member CThaddeus. Whomever can provide me with a premium recording of the current train, I plan to give it the same care and love I gave to the Mark Twain, and of course, you will be given full credit on my site for your contribution.
So please be patient with me on this project guys. It is going to take a lot of time to do this one. So new tracks may not get posted on a daily basis. As soon as anything new is available, I will write a new blog and tell you all about it. Until then, stay tuned.
February 2, 2014
Just a really quick update for today. I have moved all the Disneyland Railroad themed tracks from chapter one "Welcome to Disneyland" to chapter two "Hometown USA." After much contemplation, I feel that the railroad tracks fit better in that chapter. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, many have questioned my choice of placing these tracks in chapter one, because the train is actually boarded from Town Square, and not from the Main Entrance. Also, the former "Trains of Disney" exhibit from the Disney Gallery works as a perfect lead in to the railroad tracks, acting as a sort of nifty little musical prologue to the railroad section. But my main reason for moving these tracks is because I have some additions to make to the Disneyland Railroad category, and like the Mark Twain tracks from the Rivers of America chapter, it is going to be somewhat repetitive, as I am including several versions of the same attraction, using different spiels from different periods of time. So because this is going to now be a more of a historical look at the attraction, I felt that all of the tracks involving the train need to be together, rather than separated by geographical location as was my original mind set and reasoning for placing some of these tracks at the Main Entrance and some of them in Town Square. With the "Trains of Disney" exhibit being located in the Town Square Disney Gallery, as well as the vintage railroad calls track that follows it, I wanted to have everything in one place that involves the railroad, so it can be experienced as a whole entity in a more historical context.
So as you might have guessed, the Disneyland Railroad is the next project on my agenda. The reason I am doing this now is because a few people have been anticipating some of the additions I plan to make to this category. I am not going to focus on the entire Town Square chapter for now; I will revisit this chapter at a later date. I am just going to do the tracks involving the railroad and then move onto another project. I am doing it this way in consideration to those who have had specific requests that they are really eager to have added to the site. So I will be jumping around a bit, and doing a few random tracks that have been highly anticipated, before focusing on another chapter as a whole.
Have a great Superbowl Sunday everyone. Stay tuned for more additions in the days ahead.
January 31, 2014
Well, I am so relieved. After two months of hard work, Rivers of America is 100% done. Well, nothing on my site will ever be done, but all the materials I have presently to work with have all been edited and posted. So the chapter is 100% updated in full. I posted the final versions of 1969, 1979, and 1992, making the changes discussed earlier in the blog. I also added some music to 1979. I originally was not going to, but it needed something. There was also an additional piece of music, and alternate version of "Cripple Creak" that I stumbled upon later, that I had not really used in full yet, so I wanted to have a place for it, and this seemed to actually be the ideal location for it. You will hear it during the Friendly Native Village and playing during the backwoods segment. So it all worked out well.
I am literally exhausted. I am seeing steamboats in my dreams. I need to take a few days off to recuperate. I will get starting on something all new this Monday. Meanwhile, starting tomorrow, February 1st, I am doing a month long theme for my song of the day. In celebration of Valentine's Day, all songs in February will be Disney love songs. I also did some nice art work just for the holiday. So check out my home page tomorrow. Not as major as Christmas, but still some cute little things I photo-shopped for the occasion.
So, hope everyone is enjoying my updated Rivers of America chapter. There is much more ahead, so stay tuned for more next week.
January 30, 2014
Today was quite productive. I completed all the corrections to both the 2010 and the 1992 Mark Twain soundtracks, and have posted the revised and final versions. The only two remaining Mark Twain soundtracks to fix are the 1969 and 1979 versions. However, I have already done all of the corrections for the 1969 version and it is almost completed. All that is left to do is do a final check, by listening to the entire track carefully in my audio editor program and correct anything, as I go through it, that I may have missed. This can sometimes go off without a hitch, and other times I find little errors that take quite a bit of time and tedium to correct. I will be waiting until tomorrow to do this, because it is after 9pm in my time zone, and I don't want to get into the weeds now, and have it get too late with the music annoying the other people in the building at late hours. I have to play it at a sort of loud volume when doing a final check so I can hear every detail well.
One nice little addition I made to the 1969 version that I had not thought of before is the inclusion of some Native American dance music as you pass the former Native American Village as if it is having a live performance as you pass. This village is not to be confused with the Friendly Indian Village display further down the river. The village I am referring to is the original Native Village that was replaced by Bear Country in 1972. Because the 1969 version of the Mark Twain is the only one that references the Indian Village, it is nice to highlight it a little more.
Another nice little addition is that when you return to Fort Wilderness, after circling the back of the island, I play another variation of the bugle calls that used to play there. It is a different call than the first, in order to give things a little more variety. Also, a nice little detail about this is that when you hear it the first time, it is played on the left channel, when you hear it the second time you hear it on the right, because you are now on the other side of the island. I know technically this makes no sense, because the boat is facing the opposite direction, but I decided to use a little artistic license here, just to make the track seem a little more fun. I know most people will not notice this, but subtle details do make a difference whether you are conscience of them or not.
So - there is a very strong possibility that the Rivers of America chapter is going to be done in full tomorrow, with all the final re-edits completed. I may tweak one other small thing in the 1992 version as well, that was pointed out to me by a friend on line. In there opinion, the dialogue towards the end concerning the marmots taking over the train on Big Thunder Mountain is a bit straining to hear because the music is a touch too loud. I will go back and re-listen to it tomorrow and see if I concur, and if I do, I will correct it. That will take me literally a few minutes to fix. So if it can be improved, I will do so.
Stay tuned for the final additions to Rivers of America, planned for tomorrow if all goes well...
January 29, 2014
There has been a bit of a friendly debate going back and forth regarding the exact years in which each Mark Twain narrative was first used. We know the 1969 version is accurate, because it references the Haunted Mansion as opening "later this year." Since the Haunted Mansion opened in 1969, that pretty much spells it out. The 1979 one is obvious too. the reason is because i have an almost identical version of the 1979 narrative with only one single thing that is different. Instead of referencing Big Thunder as being something new, it says it is coming soon. Since Big Thunder opened in 1979, and the previous spiel is the exact same with only this one change, that pretty much pinpoints it at 1979 without question. The 2007 and 2010 version we know, because we can all remember personally when those were added, because it was recent. The question is the other two "Disneyland Forever" versions.
The version I now have posted as my 1987 version was originally going to be called 1989. Then after listening to it, and the statement in the recording of "Splash Mountain opening early in 1989" it made me change it to 1988, because it would have been odd to reference the year you are in by name. They would have said "opening this year" rather than "opening in 1989" But then I was directed to some further information by a new friend I have been communicating with one line, and listened to a 2005 podcast from Window to the Magic - one of the longest lasting Disney podcasts on the web. This 2005 episode referenced what i was calling the "1988" version as being from 1987. After thinking about it. It did say opening "early" in 1989 - So 1987 actually would make more since, since the mountain was already well under construction in 87. So now the official year has again been changed to 1987.
Now, the real mystery is the version with the captain and Mark Twain sharing the dialogue, the one I am now calling my "1992" version. My theory is that this version was brought in at the same time when the Friendly Native Village was renovated and the animatronic Shaman was installed. The "1987" version makes no mention of the village. Seems odd not to point out such a major feature of the river. Perhaps it was left out because at that time it was being remodeled. However, why would it take 5 years to remodel it? I think it may be even earlier than 1992, but RocketRods does beleive it was 1992, my other internet friend thinks he can remember the Twain/Captain version even earlier than that. I don't know what to think. Maybe the new village did open before 1992, but they just did not get around to updating the narrative until a few years later. I can find no exact details about this anywhere. I did have the titled as 1995, and I did at least change it to 1992 for now, but if anyone can provide any more dates, it would be appreciated. I really want to be accurate.
Now - moving on...
Today I worked on a completely re-edited version of the 2007 version. I did the entire track all over again from scratch. However, I pretty much just imitated the original version that was previously posted. The major difference is in the sound quality of the narrative. It is still not 100% clean, but it sounds much much better than before. The issue I think is that when it was initially recorded it is was playing too loud from source it was inducted from. The issue sounds like the type of distortion that occurs when the volume is peaking above the normal playback levels. Just to make it clear, this was not my doing. That is the way the file was when I got it. I did my best to make it sound better. The first try was a failed attempt, and this is why I re-did the track from scratch. I think my second try is a much better outcome. I also improved upon some of the sound effects that I had perfected later, while working on the 2010 and 1992 versions, which I originally had worked on after this one was already done. So now I incorporated some of the better sound effects effects into this version. The new improved 2007 is posted. This will be the final final version.
Also the 1987 (formerly 1988) version is completely done. That actually only means that two out of the six are 100% completed and require no further retooling. If you would like to keep track of what I need to do on the other four versions, here is a list of all the correction that need to be done. I listened to each track with a notepad and pen and wrote down everything I want to improve...
- 1969 -
- 1979 -
- 1992 -
- 2010 -
These changes should take me a couple days. I would like to have this done by Friday. It will be the start of a new month, and i really would like to start fresh on that date. I think it is very conceivable that I will have all these corrections completed by February 1st, so stay tuned.
January 27, 2014
Well, after a solid day of hard work, I finally have posted the 1995 version of the Mark Twain Steamboat, the final track for Rivers of America. So, every single track I have for this chapter is posted, and the entire page is up to date. However, it is not done yet. I need to go back and tweak several of the Mark Twain versions and make some minor improvements. The 1969, 1979, and 2010 versions are easy fixes. The 1988 version is totally done, and no corrections are needed. The 2007 version may be a bit of work because I am considering rebuilding a good portion of it from scratch. This is because the sound quality of the narration is not to my liking, and I need to work on improving the resonance of the audio. However, If I do this it will effect the music under the narrative as well. So in order to really fix the dialogue I have to do it separately and place it back over the music again. This is basically starting all over, but it is not as difficult as the first time, because I already have the framework of the track entirely predetermined due the track I already created, and also, some of the sections with no dialogue can be reused. I do not plan to change anything about the track generally, I am just improving the audio. As far as the 1995 version. I usually like to wait a few hours and go back and relisten to it with a fresh mind. In the morning i will listen to it, and decide if it is good as is, or if there are any minor changes needed. So 1995 may or may not be done, but thus far, I feel pretty good about it, so it may not need any more work. Stay tuned.
January 25, 2014
Well, I just posted the 1988 version of Mark Twain. Track 8 on the following page...
This means I am down to the very last track to edit. Mark Twain 1995. It will be easier than '88 was, because they are basically the same thing, with a few variations. But 1988 took me an entire day to do because of a couple things. The first one is that the recording I have of the narration is of original source quality, however, there are a lot of clicks and glitches that need to be edited. I find this to be standard when dealing with theme park narration that does not include any musical underscore. Studio grade microphone equipment can pick up every little noise when vocal announcements are recorded, today, these glitches are usually edited out in post production, but it was not such an easy exercise to edit audio before digital technology came along. When Disneyland operations was still dealing with analog recording equipment, these glitches were just ignored because perfection was just not necessary for its functional purpose. The announcements and voice over narratives used in-park would hardly be scrutinized for premium audio, as these recordings were not intended to be listened to with headphones or on your home entertainment system as an audio only experience. They were played through speakers, far from guests, and the ambient sounds of the park hid pretty much any audible recording faux pauxs. However, for my purposes, I have to keep in mind this is an audio experience, people are listening on headphones to every little nuance of the sound, and a higher standard is required. So, I go though narrations and one by one all the clicks and extra noises picked up in the recording. This process is very time consuming. And the 1988 Mark Twain was basically a mess. The audio is clean and clear, but it was loaded with these aforementioned glitches.
The other thing that took up my time when doing the '88 Twain was getting the music together. I only had one of the two prominent Blue Grass recordings heard on board the ride. This was actually something I did not have, but thanks to a recording of the 2007 Mark Twain, I was able to splice together bits a pieces and pretty much restore the entire song. The soundtrack of the ride faded in and out of the song between narration. I successfully pieced it back together. However, the second song I only had a 20 second clip of from that same audio source, so initially I thought it was something I would not be able to use. However, by playing around with it a bit, I discovered that it is basically a roundelay, a recurring pattern, like Row Row Row Your Boat, so with just this 20 second clip, beleive it or not, I was able to get a full 1:45 second song. I also added the introduction from the other song to give it a cohesive start. As I recall, hearing these songs in the park, they both started with the same introduction anyway, so using the intro for the other song was not too much of a stretch, and it actually sounded perfect. I just had to slow down part of it so the pacing matched. So, long story short, I was able to use BOTH pieces of authentic music for the Twain ride through. I did not substitute any music in this track that was not from the park, and authentically heard on the Mark Twain in 1988. Fortunately, the 1995 version uses the same music. So, I have all the source materials I need to complete the final version tomorrow.
After 95 is done, I am going to go back and do some minor tweaking to the other versions, to improve them as much as I can. That should take a day. So hopefully by Monday, Rivers of America with be completely updated in full. Stay tuned.
January 24, 2014
Another brief update. I added the 2010 version of the Mark Twain Riverboat last night. I also tweaked a few things and re-posted a slightly improved version just now. So if you already listened to it, you may want to go back and listen again. I added some extra sound effects and spaced things out a little bit better. I am very happy with how this turned out. Full credit for this must go to Mousebits member CThaddeus, who recorded the audio live, in-park, using high grade induction recording equipment. For those of you unaware, induction microphones can record audio from a speaker so that it sounds like source. Sometimes the outcome is amazing, and other times it does not work as well. It is sort of, luck of the draw. In the case of the Mark Twain, it came out beautifully. I took this recording and added in all the sound effects. It really sounds like you are there.
I am going to go back and tweak a few things on the other three already posted versions of the Mark Twain, 1969, 1979 and 2007, using more of the sound effects that I created for the 2010 version. I am also going to attempt to improve the sound quality of the narration on the 2007 version. It sounds a bit mumbled at certain points. I did try to fix it before, but I am still not 100% happy with it. It is an example of an induction that is not as premium as CThaddeus's 2010 version. Before I go back and fix those three versions, I am first going to move on to 1988 and 1995. I want to get those done first, so that all the versions are posted, then after that is done, I will go back and tweak the others, and at that point, Rivers of America will finally be done. Can you beleive I have been working on this chapter since before Christmas? Stay tuned for more.
January 22, 2014
I have been working hard to get all the Mark Twain versions completed. I just posted another completed track. It is the 2007 version. It was a lot of work because of the music. Instead of mimicking the way it was used in the actual soundtrack, I improved upon it by using the music as underscore to the narrative, rather than having the music cut in and out each time the narration commenced. Getting the timing right for this was quite a chore. Also it took me a little more time because many of the sound effects are different than the 1969 and 1979 versions, so I had to create some new ones. I did some Splash Mountain sounds, some various animal sounds in the backwoods, plus the native village has music and the chieftain storyteller dialogue in this version. So getting all that matched up, having the music sound right, etc. etc, it took me a lot of work to get it just right. I am pretty happy with it. It is track 10 on the Rivers of America page...
I also went back and added in some extra steam whistles to the 1969 version and the 1979 version. RocketRods from Mousebits was kind enough to point out to me that there are two additional spots where the whistles are used. So to remain authentic, I added them in as per his suggestion. These new versions are now posted as well.
So, I just have three more Mark Twain's to go. I am 50% done with them. I hope to have Rivers of America completely updated by the end of the week. Fingers crossed.
January 20, 2014
I had a very busy and productive morning. Just to let everyone know, I went back and re-listened to some of my most recent additions, and made a few minor corrections and re-posted the following tracks with those corrections earlier this morning...
1 - Mark Twain 1969 Excursion
The changes are just to remove a few audio glitches I heard upon review. Nothing about the tracks in general has been at all altered. For the 1969 excursion I lengthened the fade out time of the burning cabin sound effects, and cleaned up the fade in just a bit at the very beginning of the track. For the Plantation House, I made a slight improvement to the way the track fades in. I slowed it down a touch and removed some echo. For Mike Fink's Cabin, I shortened the space between the Mark Twain narration and the beginning of the Mike Fink dialogue by just a hair, and removed a little bump in the audio I noticed. For the Friendly Native Village, I fixed some distortions that occur when the ladies of the village are talking.
After that, I did the 1979 version of the Mark Twain Steamboat, which I have just completed, and posted to the site. It was by far easier than the 1969 version, because it is basically the exact same program with only a few slight variations. Almost all of the sound effects were already set up for the 1969 version, and it was just a matter of putting it all together and cleaning it up a bit. I also saved a lot of time because the song "Come Back Sweet Papa" was of good enough sound quality in the recording I have so that I did not need to layer over the original source version and time it up to match perfectly, as I had to with the 1969 version. That saved hours of work. The 1979 Mark Twain is track 7 on the following page...
So I have two out of the six done, and just four more tracks to do for the Rivers of America chapter to be completely updated.
January 19, 2014
As promised, I did post the 1969 version of the Mark Twain today. It was a lot more work than I thought. I just could not find the right sound for the backwoods territory bird and cricket sounds. But after looking though many sound effects, I found a sound effects loop that sounds just perfect. I also added some bugle calls to represent when Fort Wilderness is passed, and had trouble getting it to sound just right. I finally discovered that by playing the calls at a very low volume it much better emulated how you would hear it from the boat, and it sounds much better when heard in a realistic way. The fire sound effects for the burning cabin, on the other hand, sound better at a louder volume than muted in such a way you would hear it realistically from the boat. So it really depends on the specific sound effect. Matching up all the sound effects with complimentary volume levels, and the like, takes quite a bit of time to get just right. So, after much tweaking, I finally finished the track and posted it around 3:00 today. (EST) - It is track six on the following page...
I took a bit of a breather after that, because that one was quite a bit of tedious and exhausting work. However, later in the day I did go back and review all of the other five soundtracks. Here are a few observations upon reviewing the others. The 1979 version is almost identical to the 1969 version. It is a different narrator, but it is the exact same script with only three exceptions: Bear Country and the Country Bear Jamboree are mentioned instead of the Indian Village, Big Thunder is mentioned rather than Nature's Wonderland, and the Haunted Mansion is not described in such a way as to infer it is a coming attraction.
Observation about the "1989" version: I am going to rename it the "1988" version. After listening to it, I realize it describes Splash Mountain as opening in 1989, as if it is NOT 1989 as of yet. So I am going to push it back a year. I also think some of the dialogue is quite strange from this version. There is no mention made of the Friendly Native Village for some odd reason, and it goes on and on about the Keelboats. And the closing bit of dialogue says how there are cheering crowds at the dock, but then he is perplexed that the crowd is not cheering??? It seems to be self deprecating as per the popularity of the ride (or lack there of), and not sure why this was necessary. It is not even funny. It just seems strange.
The 1995 version is probably the best version as far as an overall coverage of all the attraction's classic elements, and a narrative that is well written. While the classic 1969 and 1979 versions are also like this, what sets this one a step above those are the depth marking calls, which are missing from the earlier versions. Also interesting to note. No mention is made of Big Thunder Falls in this version. I do remember hearing this version when the falls were still there. But when it was recorded, they much have already known that they were planning on removing them soon. (I miss the falls - It added such a grand finale to the ride, it really ruins it for me now that they are not there)
The 2007 and 2010 versions are much much more musically based. However, the 1988 and 1995 versions did have music as well, but as I recall, the music was a separate loop that was switched over to, back and forth, between the narrative segments. It was not specifically programed to be in time to the narrative, nor did it match certain scene elements. This gives me a little creative freedom to play with much for the 1988 and 1995 versions. They are going to contain some of the much I remember from that loop, and some similar sounding place-holders for those songs I could not find the authentic versions for. The 2007 and 2010 versions have a set musical program that does correspond with the narrative. I have all this music, and I will recreate those versions as heard in-park, with less creative license. The 1979 version is going ot by mostly sans-music, is the 1969 version, because they are very close. In fact. I plan to pretty much just do the exact same version as before, with the new narration being the only variant.
I am almost certain 1979 will be done tomorrow. I am then going to skip to 2007 and 2010, mostly as a courtesy to everyone, because the 88 and 95 versions are already quite widely available, and I know you are all dying to hear the other two. So I will make those the priority, then go back and do the other two. Only five more tracks to go! My next project is going to be a couple of random tracks from two different chapters that people have been asking for, for some time. I want to get these done because I don't want to keep people waiting. Then my next major chapter project is going to be the present day Tomorrowland chapter. Then, by popular request, the next chapter will be Adventureland. Stay tuned for more Mark Twain tracks, coming ASAP!!!
January 18, 2014
Just a really brief update. Just wanted everyone to know the status of my Mark Twain tracks. I did work on this pretty much all day, but need to stop now. I am so close to done with the 1969 ride through I can almost taste it. It sounds pretty amazing too. The only thing I need to do is add bird sounds and crickets to the backwoods territory portion. All other music sound effects and narration is totally done. One thing that really slowed me down was trying to lay a cleaner sounding version of the song "Come Back Sweet Papa" over the beginning section. The volume of this music on the source I have is too load to disguise, so I had to match it up exactly or it would sound awful. This was a major challenge because there are several edits in the Mark Twain soundtrack version of the music in order to make it the correct length for the time allotted passing though New Orleans. This shaved off a minute of the song. So I first had to match up my version of the song so that the edits were exactly the same. This was maddening. Especially because they got tricky and went back to an earlier point of the song and added in a tiny piece of music in a different spot than it originally was. It was a major jigsaw puzzle. Then not only that, but the run time was slowed down by a fraction of a second, so I had to slow down my version so that it was exactly the same running time as the soundtrack copy. This took me forever. I finally ended up just doing it in 15 second increments, because after about 15 seconds, the music would start to slightly go off kilter. It is nearly impossible to match up the timing exactly. However, thanks to my 15 second increment trick, I came darn near close to matching it exactly. So, the good news is, after much effort, I did wind up with stellar results. Layering over this cleaner version on top of the original improved the sound quality 110%. I am very pleased. I know you all will be too. I also added in steamboat bells and whistles in the appropriate places, (while subscribing to the important theory that "less is more") and added in sound for Big Thunder Falls and the Burning Cabin. Also, the sound of a steamboat engine and rippling water is heard quietly under the entire track. It is very convincing.
So, for the 1969 version, I am keeping music to a minimum, and using just the basic sound effects. This is because I feel that is the way it was back then. The only music used was during the beginning of the ride, and during unloading, the two Firehouse Five Plus Two tracks we all recognize. Other than that, I think it had no music. The additional music was added in later versions. Each of my six variations will be similar, but they will still be unique. So you will really be able to hear an evolution if you listen to them all back to back. I cannot wait to be able to do just that.
So, I should have 1969 posted by early afternoon tomorrow, then I will move on to 1979. Stay tuned for more.
January 17, 2014
Well, I finally got the Injun Joe's Cave and Friendly Native Village tracks done today. They were a lot of work. Anything involving a lot of sound effects always takes a lot of time. That is why I kept putting them off. I feel a sense of accomplishment now that they are done. Both tracks came out very nice. Injun Joe's Cave is track 22 and the Friendly Native Village is track 31 on the following page.
So, everything in the Rivers of America chapter is updated and posted, with the sole exception of the six variations of the Mark Twain ride-through. I have already began work on these. I created a sound effect loop for the sound of the steamboat engine, which will be heard quietly under the rest of the audio on all six of these tracks. I also gathered all the audio I will need, and put it in one folder, and it it on my desktop and ready to tackle first thing tomorrow. I hope to have at least one of the six done by the end of the day. Once the first one is done, the rest will be faster, because a lot of the audio is going to be used again, since after all, it is the same attraction...
So stay tuned. Rivers of America is very close to be being done...
January 16, 2014
Just a very brief update today.
I did not do much audio editing today. I did slightly clean up the new Mike Fink's Cabin track, which was added yesterday, and replaced ti with an updated version early this morning. If you heard the track before noon EST, you may want to go back and listen to the improved version. Not anything major was changed. Just tightened up some of the space between sections, and tried to make the transition from the Mike Fink to the Davy Crockett sections flow a little more smoothly. It is a bit of a dilemma for me, because I want to remain authentic to the audio that is heard in the park, but the Davy Crockett section is not the greatest bit of audio to transition too, because it is rather abrupt, do the the musical underscoring under the dialogue. I almost considered leaving out the brief two lines of dialogue, and instead start right at the music, but this would not be authentic, so I opted to keep the dialogue, and just did my best to try and make it sound as smooth as possible. It is pretty good. I can allow it to be less than 100% perfection in this one case, because it is the way it is heard in the park. I am being very nit-picky about it anyway. Many of you may only now notice it since I pointed it out.
Other than that, I did not other changes today. I decided to instead focus on preparations for the February daily "Song of the Day." I am doing another special month long theme, Like I did for Halloween and for Christmas. This time, all February will be Valentine's Day themed, and all songs will be Disneyland love songs. I prepared the special art work for the holiday layover, and loaded all the music and daily images. I am now totally done with that project, so the month of February is all set to go. Now I can fully concentrate on adding more tracks to the Disneyland Tour. I needed to get that out of the way, so figured I would just do it now. So beginning February 1st, the special Valentine's Song of the Day will begin. Be sure to check it out. Losts of fun art work, and great songs are planned.
One other thing I need to mention. There was some discussion yesterday about the flute music heard in the Disneyland USA version of the Native American village display, on the banks of the Rivers of America, was music originally used for Disneyland Paris. After reviewing the music today, a frequent guest to the Paris park, and expert on the music loops there, Eyore from Mousebits (aka Collin) let me know that this is not music used in Paris, and it must be unique to the American Disneyland. Just wanted to mention that, to not give out any misinformation.
So, tomorrow I will get back to finishing the Rivers of America chapter. Perhaps I may finish this by the weekend. No guarantees, but it may be possible. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. So stay tuned for further updates.
January 15, 2014
Today I completed two more of the ten remaining tracks to edit. So now I am down to just 8 more to go. The six Mark Twain tracks, and two others.
The first track I completed today was a re-edit of the new Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes track. I just fixed a section of the audio that had a strange garbled distortion in it. It was located at the beginning of the Indian Village scene, just before the storyteller dialogue begins to fade in. I have corrected the audio issue, and it sounds much better. It is the exact same track that it was before, just with this minor correction, but it was a lot of work to fix it. I am a perfectionist as you all know by now.
The next track I completed today is a re-do of the Mike Fink Cabin track. The original track had the Mark Twain Steamboat introduction, taken from a live recording, with less that stellar sound. I was able to now replace this intro with the new 2010 Mark Twain soundtrack shared with my by CThaddeus, and it is crisp and clean, as if it was from a source recording. He did a incredible job recording this using induction equipment. To get a preview of how the 2010 Mark Twain Riverboat Excursion track is going to sound, you can check out this track. The sound quality is fantastic. I also added the second part of the Cabin audio which was omitted before. This is the Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen portion, where they sing a verse of the Ballad of Davy Crockett. So now the track is more complete. One thing I left out is the sound of the horse. There IS a horse behind a fence next to the cabin, so originally I had a few bits of horse whinny sound effects. But now that I am using the same horse sound effects audio for my "Welcome to Indian Territory" track, so I did not want to be too repetitive.
Tomorrow I will work on my re-do of Injun Joe's Cave, and my re-do of the Friendly Native Village. Then the following day, I will begin work on the Mark Twain ride-throughs. A lot of the sound effects for these Mark Twain tracks will be the same, so once I get the first one done, the rest should be easier. There are variations of course, but a lot of the sounds will only have to be edited one time, and then can be re-used for each version. It is still a major project, but not as daunting as it may seem.
I also went ahead and completed the visual layout of the Rivers of America chapter. So, all the images and liner notes have already been posted to the page. The six Mark Twain tracks do not have their own liner notes. There is a single heading of text, then the tracks are in colored boxes below, much in the same way I set up my Disneyland Records and Disneyland in TV Land chapters. Since I have not edited the Mark Twain tracks yet, if you try to play them, you will get a message saying, "file not found." This is temporary. Once the tracks are done, I will post them one by one. The words "Coming Soon" next to the song titles, will be changed to say "New" once the completed track is available to hear. Will take me a few days to get these done, so please be patient.
Well, that is all for now. Hope you are all enjoying the new additions. To get to the Rivers of America chapter and check out these new changes, just click the link below...
January 14, 2014
I have made two minor changes to the Rivers of America chapter since my last blog post. The first change is the Plantation House. I have added some water bank sound effects under the music, which give the track some more themeing, as well as serve to mask some of the glitches present in the recording due to the fact it was derived from a vinyl recording. (Despite the fact the music was purchased as a download from Itunes, their are obvious vinyl recording glitches) I also better matched the sound quality between the middle song ("Way Down Yonder in the Corn Field" from the Meet Me Down on Main Street album by the Mellowmen) with the other two songs which came from the aforementioned vinyl recording, so that the sound quality between these recordings is more seamless, and less of a jarring transition. I basically just changed the vinyl recordings from stereo to mono, and raised the treble (high pitch sound) slightly. Now it all does seem to be part of the same recording, and it blends much better from one track to the next. It is also less echoed. I think the two channels in the vinyl recordings were not authentic stereo, but was lackadaisically engineered to give it some stereo effect. So removing this really only improved the sound quality in my opinion.
The next change that I made was to slightly tweak the Burning Settler's Cabin track. I added a bit more narrative to the first part of the three-parter, because it seemed too short next to the other two segments. I also added a bit more space between each section. I think these minor changes have made the track a lot more enjoyable, even though the change is small.
So now I am done with all but 10 tracks to be edited for this chapter. So as to not keep you in suspense any more. I will go ahead and tell you what these changes and additions are going to be.
First - I will be replacing my current Mark Twain Steamboat ride-through with narration. I will now have 6 different versions of this. One is from 1969, one is from 1979 (These two are recent discoveries) - Then I have the two versions that were once part of the Disneyland Forever kiosks. This is the 1989 version, and what I am guessing is approximately the 1995 version. Right now, my existing track is a combination of narrative taken from both of these versions, but now I am going to keep them separated. Then I have the 2007 version. And the big surprise is that I have just acquired the current version from 2010. This is an amazing live recording done by CThadueus, that was so expertly recorded, it sounds like it came from the original source. The sound quality is A-mazing...
So this is 6 variations of the Mark Twain -
Then I have four other changes being made to existing tracks.
First I will be updating Injun Joe's Cave with more authentic sounds. Right now the version posted is my own creation, using sound effects that I put together to simulate the cave experience. But I have since obtained the authentic audio, so I will be replacing this track.
Next, I am going to be updating Mike Fink's Cabin. Right now the little narrative intro is from the 2010 version of the Mark Twain. But thanks to CThaddeus, I have much better audio for this, so I will be replacing the intro. I also to plan the Davy Crockett portion of the audio, which is now not included.
Then, I need to do some minor clean up to my new Canoe track. I noticed some bad audio during the start of the Native Village portion. There is a bad raspy sound. I need to correct this issue. This is a very minor fix, but is a bit of a pain because I have to completely rebuild that section, match the music, sound effects and narrative so that you do not notice it has been switched. I plan to tackle this tomorrow.
The last change to the chapter is to re-do the Friendly Native Village. I have mentioned this before. Originally I had this track combined as part of my representative track for the canoes. Now that the canoes has its own track, the splashy water sounds make less sense to have. I want to change the sound effects, and also want to add a bit of audio recently shared with me by RocketRods. It is a conversation between the native women. I did not have this audio before, so will be fun to include. Last, I want to include the dog barking noise, which is heard along with the little boy fishing on the log.
So those are the 10 things I have left to do. No more mystery. I will be trying to get all of this done ASAP, so I can put a period (for now) on Rivers of America and move onto my next chapter. Stay tuned.
January 13, 2014
I just added three revised tracks to the Rivers of America chapter. These are all recently added tracks that I wanted to improve after going back and re-listening to them. These are track numbers 4, 5 and 35 on the following page...
The first change is the Disneyland Band Mark Twain live concert. I decided to begin the track with some steamboat whistles and additional bells. Just a minor change, but it makes for a much better intro.
Next, I revised the Mark Twain Landing Dixieland Medley. After closer examination, I realized that the version of Muskrat Ramble that I was using was not the correct version. Thanks to fellow Mousebits member Eyore's help in identifying the correct track, I was able to find the correct version and replace it. It is quite apropos that the correct version is actually a recording by the Kid Ory band. Kid Ory is the musician who actually wrote the song Muskrat Ramble, and in his later years, he performed this song live onboard the Mark Twain, which was filmed for the 1962 TV episode of the Wonderful World of Color, entitled "Disneyland After Dark" I have this version of the song available to listen to as well. You will find it in the Chapter called "Disneyland in TV Land" The track is called "Here Comes the Old Mark Twain - Louis Armstrong" and it includes "Muskrat Ramble" and other great songs. It is track 28 on the following page...
I also added one additional song to the Dixieland mix, which was shared with me by Mousebits member CThaddeus, who recorded it using audio induction equipment while on board the Mark Twain. It is a fantastic recording. It sounds like it came from the original source and was not recorded live in the park. I am not sure of the name of this song. It is the fourth song in the mix. If anyone does know the name of this song, please let me know.
The last change was one I really had to debate over. I decided to not include the music in the Wm. Turner Blacksmith Mill track in the Pirate's Lair section of the chapter. I opted to instead just use the straight sound effects by themselves with no music. Due to the fact that I now have the authentic sounds you actually hear inside the mill, I decided to keep it pure. The music is not actually used in the park, and I really want to keep it more authentic. I did like it with the music quite a bit. This was Mousebits member RocketRods creation, and he really did a nice job of capturing the feel of the mill through the audio choices he made, but when he originally incorporated the music, I did not have access to the authentic audio, so it made more sense at that point to include music.
So if you are keeping score, I am now down to just 12 more tracks to work on for the Rivers of America chapter. It is getting very close to the end. Stay tuned for more updates.
January 12, 2014
Since my last update I have changed two existing tracks. The first change is a slight update to my recently added Sailing Ship Columbia ride-through. Here is what is different. First of all, I have moved the first song from the track to the end. The first three songs that were heard in the original version was the music that was played as guests de-boarded and re-boarded the boat. I felt that this seemed to drag on too long when grouped all together, so I looped the first song around to the end, now as a de-boarding track, rather than having three boarding tracks all together in the beginning. It also makes for a more upbeat ending, because before, the last song in the mix was a little somber in tone. Now the finally song is upbeat and peppy.
Next Columbia change is that I added better and more realistic cannon sound effects. I then added music from the Friendly Native Village as underscore to the narrative that is discussing Indians. And the final change was to add additional ship bell noises throughout the track. So the Columbia is basically the same as it was before, only slightly tweaked, enhanced and improved.
The next addition is a extended version of the "Fowler's Harbor Loop." I place this in quotations because I am not 100% sure this loop was used in Fowler's Harbor. We know that the music in this loop was used somewhere in Disneyland. There are three reasons for this. First of all, it was a prominent feature of the Disneyland Forever kiosk musical menu. Second of all, I do remember hearing it in the park (of course my memory is not 100% reliable, because sometimes I blend memories together) But also, Rocket Rods has shared with me that a former cast member that he communicates with has confirmed that he too heard this in the park, and even confirmed which songs were used, and in what order they played. But, as to the purpose of this loop, and the place where it was used, I am still not entirely sure. My best guess is Fowler's Harbor, just because it makes the most sense.
Today, and for many years, there is no music played in Fowler's Harbor. But at one time, the "Disneyland Forever" loop may have been used. Another theory I have previously mentioned is that this loop is available for play from the sound system on board the Columbia, and at one time, when it was parked in the Harbor, the loop was used, generating from the speakers on the ship. But they may have stopped doing this over time, because it used up the battery power of the boat. It may have also been used on board the Columbia as another version of the on-board soundtrack. I vaguely remember this, but this may just be my foggy memory, because the while riding the Columbia, and the Disneyland Forever tracks were not.
That being said. Until proven otherwise. I am naming this loop, the "Fowler's Harbor" loop. If anyone can provide more information, please do so. The music from this loop is also used in the Pirate's Cover area of Disneyland Paris. However, the Disneyland USA version is only 7 songs from the more extensive Paris loop. I have decided to incorporate 9 additional songs into my mix, that were not used in the America park, but that contain the exact same instrumental style of the tracks that were used. This stretches out a 14 minute loop into a 33 minute loop. So this is a extended version of the loop. I have also used the song order for the Disneyland Paris version, rather than the American version, just because it has a better flow to it, when adding all the additional songs.
There are several songs from the Paris Loop that I dis not use. I omitted any Disney songs. There are songs from Peter Pan, Little Mermaid, and of course, Yo Ho Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me. These tracks are not traditional sea chanties, and I wanted to stick to the more authentic stuff for this mix. I also did not use the songs that were derived form the album "Wind in the Rigging" These have a slightly different instrumental style so did not want to include them here. However, the songs from this album are included in the track called "Sailing Ship Columbia - Wind in the Rigging," so you can still hear these songs elsewhere. The only Disney song exception that IS included in my mix is "Whale of a Tale" and this is because it was included int he authentic Disneyland USA loop, so had to include it. I did use Yo Ho Yo Ho as the music for my "Rafts to Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island" track, so you can still hear that song there. I am planning to use the Peter Pan tracks for a track I am eventually going to be re-doing in the Fantasyland chapter. I don't have a viable place to use the Little Mermaid tracks however, so those are not going to be posted on my site anywhere unfortunately. But that could always change if a legitimate excuse to use them does arise.
So I am down to 15 tracks left to edit in the Rivers of America chapter. 10 existing tracks that I am re-doing, and 5 brand new tracks to be added. It is getting close to completion. Then I can move on to another chapter. So stay tuned for further updates.
January 10, 2014
Two blog posts in you day. Wow! Anyhow. I have more to let you know about, so why what till tomorrow?
I forgot to mention earlier today one additional track that has been revised. I was able to identify one other song from the 2010 Mark Twain soundtrack, thanks to some help from my pal Eyore on Mousebits. So I have added this extra song to my existing mix. It is the second to last song. It is a fast paced bluegrass song called "Salty Dog" from the following album...
By the way. I love this album. I may buy the whole thing. I am wondering if any other music from this album may have been used in the parks. It sure sounds like it would perfect for it.
Today I also I extended another track. The single song from the Disneyland Paris Pirate's Cove loop that is used on board the Columbia seemed a little lonely, so I decided to use some artistic license and include all of the songs from that album (The Wind in the Rigging) that are heard over in the Paris loop. As a disclaimer to explain this and make it clear this is not all music from Anaheim, I included the following liner notes...
"Several songs from the album,''The Wind in the Rigging" provide the background music for the Pirate's Cove area of Disneyland Paris. One song, "Away Rio" has even made its way back to Disneyland USA, and is currently played aboard the Columbia. Included here are other songs from this album which can also be heard in the European park."
In addition, I redid another track today. I had mentioned a couple days ago that I was probably not going to revise the William Turner Blacksmith Mill track, but after some thinking, and after coming across some authentic audio recorded inside the mill, I decided to go against my own word, and just go ahead and re-do it. I did use the original work done by Rocket Rods as my framework for the new version. I used some of the same sound effects he did, and the same music. So this new version really is a tribute to his creativity. The grinding and banging noises you now hear however, are the real authentic sound heard from inside the old Harper's Mill, (known today as the William Turner Blacksmith Mill) so it is rather fun to hear the real sound.
Well that is all for today. I am getting closer to finally finishing Rivers of America. Will be a week more or maybe a little longer, and I can move onto another chapter. Pretty much all the chapters will be getting this same level of revision. So there is a lot more surprises in store in the months ahead.
January 10, 2014
Update for today. I came up with an additional two tracks to add to the Rivers of America chapter. This will bring the grand total to 45 tracks once the chapter is updated in full. I decided to include a piece of music that is used for the current soundtrack of Sailing Ship Columbia. I do not have the dialogue for this version of the attraction unfortunately, but I do have all the music for it. However, the rest of the music, aside from this one song, is already posted in the Lafitte's Tavern track, or are the Norman Luboff Choir tracks which are part of the classic version of the Sailing Ship Columbia ride through which is already posted as well. So it would be too repetitive to include the entire musical program for the current Columbia, because the songs are heard elsewhere, but this one song I decided to include as a separate track because is not heard anywhere else.
The other new addition I decided to include (to bring me to the 45 total track mark) is music from the Pirates of the Caribbean film score that was used in the live stunt show that used to be performed in front of Lafitte's Tavern (the Fantasmic stage) when Pirate's Lair first opened. Again, I unfortunately do not have the dialogue from this show, because it was live, and I am not aware of any good recordings of it. However, the music does make a good representative placeholder for this show. Kudos must be given to Rocket Rods for this one. He sliced together this music from over a half dozen different tracks on the Pirate's of the Caribbean film soundtrack album to simulate the pacing of the music from the live show as closely as possible. He did a fine job piecing this music together into a cohesive track, and it is not at all noticeable that this was a major cut and paste project. I could not improve upon what he did, so I basically just posted his version, with his permission of course. I did have to correct some distortions from the track though, because the soundtrack album has an issue with too much bass, but I think I corrected this pretty well. Just goes to show, even the professionals make mistakes.
Next change I did was to tidy up my recently added Dead Man's Grotto track. I just posted a revised edit of the track. I improved the gusts of wind which you hear when you touch the glowing treasure box. I was not happy with the sound effect before. Thanks to Rocket Rodd's suggesting I use a bit of audio from the 2001 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs DVD feature menu, and I was able to come up with a better sounding effect. I also decided to continue the drip drop sounds to the end of the track, rather than fading them out before the hologram pirate dialogue. Reason being, as I was watching a video of Dead Man's Grotto, I could hear the drip drops under the final scene with the ghost pirate dialogue (which is currently missing) But in anticipation of someday adding this portion to the end of my track, I did not want to have the drip drops end, only having to fade back into them later, because it would sound odd that way. Better to have them just continue all the way through.
I also fixed a very minor skip that I noticed in the Thurl Ravenscroft Shenandoah track. Very minor correction, but as you know, I am a perfectionist.
Again - All of these changes and additions can be found on the following page...
So - I still have five new tracks to add to the River of America chapter, and am going to revise and/or extend an additional 10 of the existing tracks. So just 15 more things to be worked on. It is getting close to being completed, and then on to another chapter. So stay tuned.
January 8, 2014
I only managed to add one new track today, but it is something really special. Thanks to Mousebits member CThaddeus, I now have audio from two of the scenes from inside Dead Man's Grotto. I used his terrific induction recordings and created a track that pretty convincingly replicates a walk through the cave. I am just missing the final scene, with the Audio-Animatronic pirate who changes into a ghost with black lighting, but I have all of the other scenes.
I used the following Youtube video as a guide to create my audio track...
Apparently, some of the "Pooped Pirate" dialogue from the original 1967 soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean is used as you first enter the cave. I used this dialogue too, and added an echo effect to make it sound more "cave-like" Then I added some royalty free sound effects from an on line source that simulate the audio from within a cave, including wind and dripping water. I also added the heart beat sound from the Haunted Mansion, and the archeological shovel digging from the Indiana Jones Adventure. I also added the sound of rising wind to simulate when the tresure box is touched, and it creates a gust of wind. This sound effect came from the storm at sea scene, from Pirates of the Caribbean. Then I added in the two bits of audio sent to my by CThaddeus. There was a bad ringing that is very audible, which could not be prevented when he recorded these tracks, as this sound came from the speakers where the audio was inducted from. However, by using some noise reduction software, and covering it with background wind and cave sound effects, I was able to almost completely eliminate the ringing background noise. I culminated the track with more heartbeats from the Mansion, which fade out to the very end. At some point, I hope to replace this section with the missing aforementioned ghost pirate dialogue, which would be very easy to tack on to the end of this track if that audio ever becomes available. In the mean time, what I already do have is quite a lot, and it is a very good representation of this attraction. You will find it at track 34 on the following page. Enjoy...
January 7, 2014
Just a really quick update for today. I added a really fun new track today. I was able to obtain a very high quality live recording of a ride on the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes. I re-edited this recording, removed a lot of clicks and audio glitches, added birds and additional water noise, as well as some music and audio from the Friendly Native Village. This is a very authentic audio simulation of a ride aboard the canoes, with completely authentic audio. Even the bird noises I added are from a sound effects loop of birds chirping that is actually played in the park. The background music I used is from the former Fort Wilderness loop. Finally, a track that really well represents the canoes. You will find it on the following page, track number 25...
Because of this addition, I am going to be revisiting my Friendly Native Village track. The version I am now using contains the sounds of canoe and lapping water. I was using the audio from this river scene to give me a place to fit in some canoe sound effects and somehow represent the canoes. However, this is now not necessary, because the canoes has its own representative track. Therefore I am going to redo the Friendly Native Village track without the canoe sounds, and I am going to also add some additional audio from the village that was shared with me by Mousebits member Rocket Rods. So stay tuned for a new version of that.
January 6, 2014
Well, I finally just completed the aforementioned Fort Wilderness loop. This was an exhausting exercise. It took my five days to re-edit this track. This one was a lot of major work, and very tedious. A lot more than I realized it was going to be. I think the results of all this effort are worth it. Finally, a very clean, and very listenable Tom Sawyer's Loop. This is the entire 28 minute version. I have removed all the background noise and hundreds and hundreds of distortions and clicks. I hope you will all enjoy this. If I hear another harmonica solo again for the next month, I may loose my mind. I am glad to have this done. It is track 18 on the following page...
So editing this track really slowed me down, but now that it is done, full steam ahead on the remaining tracks for the Rivers of America page. In the meantime, Mousebits member CThaddeus has shared with me some of his amazing induction recordings for some of the items on my wish list, so there are some great surprises in store. This has added one more track to the grand total of this chapter. There were going to be 42 tracks in total, but now it is up to 43 thanks to CThaddeus. I am also going to be able to make some nice improvements to existing tracks. Stay tuned for some exciting additions over the next few days.
January 4, 2014
Sorry there was no blog update yesterday, but I had nothing major to report, so I figured I would wait. I have just added a new version of the Tom Sawyer Island track, now renamed, "Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island" It is track 15 on the following page...
The old track had no authentic raft engine sounds, but this new one does, hence the name change. This track includes a song called "Goober Peas" which is a recording that has oft been used as part of the Mark Twain's on board music. There is another song called "Cripple Creek" in this exact same instrumental style, which is likely from the exact same source as "Goober Peas" but I have been unable to find this song in complete form. My version of "Goober Peas" in from a 2007 recording of the Mark Twain soundtrack. In this recording, it was sliced into sections, but through some tricky editing, I was able to piece the entire song together in full. However, the song "Cripple Creek" did not have as much material to work with, so there is no way I can edit this one together. I have searched in vein to find these recordings. I even went on the Smithsonian Folk Music site, and searched through about 500 banjo albums. There were lots of versions of Cripple Creek on the site, but not the right one. I just have no idea where these recordings came from. I can remember hearing them on the Mark Twain for as long as I can remember. At least I now have one of the two songs, but I would love to have "Cripple Creek" as well. So, I am throwing this out there just in case anyone reading this has any leads. If you have an idea where these recordings are from, please let me know. It is possible that these were in-house recordings by the Disney studio, that were never published, and this is why they cannot be found. I hope that is not the case, but it is looking like it just might be the reason they cannot be located.
So, as mentioned before, the search for "Cripple Creek'' took up a bit of my time yesterday, so not much audio was edited. I did continue my work on the Fort Wilderness track. I have 12 minutes out of 28 completed. (which is the entire version that is available on Youtube, the remaining music to edit is bonus material) It is a very tedious job. I am going to try to complete this today. It will probably take the entire day to do. The songs that were in my original Tom Sawyer Island track are going to be included in this new Fort Wilderness track, so they are only temporarily gone. The only difference is that these will now be the complete versions, unabridged and without sound effects underscoring them.
So look for Fort Wilderness coming soon.
January 2, 2014
I am going to start to date all my blog entries as being the proceeding day if it is posted beyond 12am. That way, when I make references to "today" or "tomorrow" it will not cause any confusion. So although it is technically the next day, this is my blog entry for Thursday, and not Friday.
Anyway... Today I did manage to post a revised and improved version of my track which represents the Mike Fink Keel Boats. I wisely saved my isolated recording of myself doing the spiel, so I did not have to re-record it. In fact, I had recorded the spiel several times, and so, this time, I sliced together the best bits from each take, rather than just used all of one take, to come up with an improved version. Also, instead of speaking over the music, as in my previous version, I am instead speaking over the sound of the boat motor (which I reused from my Rafts to Pirate's Lair track) and then the music begins once my introduction is over. I think it sounds much better this way. You can hear the Keel Boat motor revving, the sound of lapping water, and birds chirping. I also did an effect to my dialogue so that it sounds more like it is coming from an intercom. It now sounds quite authentic. I also tried to clean up some problem areas in the music portion. The issue is that one of the four songs is of a lower frequency than the rest, so I had to equalize it to make it better match the sound quality of the others. Also, the quiet portion of music at the start of song #4 (Dem Golden Slippers) has some slight crackle in the original recording, because it is from vinyl. Although it is a pristine recording for vinyl, there is just no way to mask the imperfections when it is very quiet. I had tried to clean up this section before, but was never quite happy with the way it sounded. I think I have come up with a much better version now. All in all, this is a much better version. Very close to the original, but with some major improvements and embellishments.
That is the only thing new that has been posted today. But I have been working very hard on another track and hopefully it will be done by tomorrow. It is the complete loop for Fort Wilderness on Tom Sawyer Island. There are two versions of this floating around the internet. The most common variation runs 12 and a half minutes. But there is also another version that runs just under 30. This one is often labeled as the Walt Disney World version, but the first 12 minutes of this loop are identical to the Disneyland version, so I strongly suspect that the full loop was also played in Disneyland. It is the exact same type of Harmonica music, and includes several very well known songs that I can't imagine them leaving out of the Disneyland variation. Therefore I plan to include almost all of the entire 30 minute version. There is one odd song I am debating on whether or not to omit. It is a bizarre jews harp solo. I may leave it in, even though it does not go with the others, just because it is so wacky. I have not made up my mind yet.
The reason this track is taking FOREVER is because there are multiple issues with the sound, and I am trying to clean up numerous imperfections, and glitches. There seems to be a lot of clicks when the harmonica is blown into on hard notes. I think this may be because the recording came from an induction (aka live recording from a speaker in the park) and are not original source. This could cause some distortions in the sound when the volume reaches peak levels, which is what happens on these sharp notes. I am going to be able to do a nearly perfected version of this loop. I was able to successfully remove all the background hiss. And I have completed the first 8 minutes of music, and so far, all the glitches have been successfully edited out. Once this is done, it is going to sound wonderful. Better than all those Youtube versions. It is just A LOT of work, very tedious and time consuming. So stay tuned for more...
January 1, 2014
Happy New Year everyone. I managed to add a couple things today. They seem minor, but actually did require a lot of work because they involve sound effects that I had to edit together. Remixing sound effects together can some times be more difficult than music. With ambient audio there are a whole different set of variables and rules to make it convincing. It is much more about how things flow naturally from one sound to the next, without seeming too abrupt. The less noticeable it is, the better a job I have done. So if you cannot tell how much work I did, then you can be assured I actually did a lot of work. Sort of a catch 22 if you will. Keep in mind that all of the sound effects i add are in general isolated sounds. If you ever hear birds chirping, and water flowing, and bells ringing, I personally had to layer each of those different sound patterns over each other. That goes for just about anything on my site which involves a lot of non musical sound effects. (Of course to me sound effects can be very musical, but you get the idea)
First track i added today is brand new to the site. It is a track representing the Burning Settler's Cabin. You may have noticed that I changed the picture for Mike Fink's Cabin a couple days ago. This was in anticipation of adding this new track. I needed the Mike Fink's Cabin picture to look more unique to the picture I would be adding for the burning cabin. So I now have both represented. The image for Mike Fink was photoshopped. I could not find a good picture that showed both the keel boat and the cabin, so I cut out the keel boat, and pasted it in front of the cabin. Can you tell?
The Burning Cabin track includes three versions, in order to show how the exhibit was presented differently over the years, because of political correctness, changing from an Indian attack, to a drunk moonshiner and then just a careless family who endangered a family of eagles. The first section uses the original 1956 fire sound effect. It is the authentic audio. The second and third segments use a different version of the fire sound effect which was changed at some point to a more realistic sound with more bass to it. This too is the authentic audio.
I also added the sounds of crashing things inside the cabin to the moonshiner section. This was something I had to create. The actual audio is not in my possession, but using a few other sources which seem to be the same type of sounds, I was able to replicate it pretty well. I used the Big Al crash from Country Bear Jamboree, another crash from the Ludwig Von Drake album's track called "All About Recording" and then borrowed a few extra glass shatters from the "Sounds of Toontown" loop posted in the Disneyland Forever torrent on Mousebits. Mixing those three together I was able to create those crashes pretty close to how I remember them sounding.
The last section also has the sounds of baby and mother eagle in peril. This too is an authentic in park sound effect. I think it is still used today.
The other selection I created today was a new track representing the rafts to Pirate's Lair. This is basically just an instrumental version of Yo Ho Yo Ho A Pirate's Life for me, with the sound of the raft motor rumbling under it. This is the authentic sound of the raft motor. I extracted the audio from a Youtube video. Easier said than done though. I had to remove all the sections that had people talking, and other disturbances, and then blend it all together so you would not notice all these cuts. When you have the humming sound of a motor, it is extremely difficult to remove portions without you noticing an abrupt change in the pitch of the motor. I also had to take another sound effect I purchased over on Amazon in order to have the sound of the motor idling at the start and end, before the motor revs up. Needless to say, it may not be very noticeable, but this took me literally hours to get just right. And if you cannot tell how much work i put into it, and don't even really notice anything, then I have achieved my goal. Sort of ironic, but there you go.
You will find both of these tracks now posted on the Rivers of America page.
For those of you keeping track, I have come up with two additional tracks to add to this chapter. So instead of 40, there will now be a grand total of 42 when completed. (Although nothing is ever completed, but you know what I mean) There are currently 35 tracks posted, so there will be seven all new additions. Also out of the 35 that are already posted, 27 are completed. That means in addition to the 7 all new tracks, 8 of the existing tracks are going to be re-done and improved. So 15 tracks left to work on, and then on to another chapter. I estimate it will take me about 10 more days to get Rivers of America completed. So stay tuned.