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About the Radio Play

Ron and I had wanted to do a radio play based on our Traveller games since the early 80's. Our opportunity finally came in 1987 while we were both attending Vancouver Community College in the Music program. I was in 2nd year and Ron in 1st year. The college had just upgraded their computer/synthesizer lab to include multiple synthesizers, a sampling keyboard, drum machine, sound board, microphones and a 4 track tape deck.

Ron and I were both enrolled in a digital music/audio-engineering course. When the idea of the radio play resurfaced, we decided that it would make a great term project for extra credits. We started writing the script for the first adventure in the campaign. Since we were so heavily into music, we felt that the play should have a theme song and include a lot of background music. A lot of the music was developed as we experimented in the lab. I began work on the music for theme song while Ron and my brother Kim wrote most of the lyrics. It took us a term and a half to put the whole thing together.

With the script finalized, we enlisted fellow schoolmates and other role-players to play the various roles. We recorded the entire dialog over a couple of days. Then Ron and I spent a couple of weeks recording all of the music and sound effects. We were constantly dealing with the limits of four-track recording. We often had to premix several tracks down to one in order to fit things in. By the time we had complete the four-track master, we had set a date to preview the play for the school--Friday, April 15, 1988.

On Thursday, April 14th, Ron and I were finally mixing down the tape to a regular stereo cassette. Mixing down is not normally too difficult. You simply have run through a couple of times and note when to bring up the volume on a track, pan left, mute, fade-out, etc. This is usually done on a 3-minute song. What we had was a 45-minute recording! It took us about 4 hours to go through and note all of the things we had to do. We then had many false starts. In some cases we would get 15-minutes into the mix-down, then make a glaring error, and have to start all over. By three o'clock in the morning April 15th we had two version of the play mixed down. It was aired that day in the VCC auditorium-it's only live performance.

Since then it has been played for a few friends and acquaintances, but has never gotten the attention that we feel it deserves. It is with great pleasure that I have submitted it to Downport.Com for all Travellers to hear. I also want to thank Mark Miller, who gave us written permission to air it, but yet to hear it. I hope you all enjoy it.

Note: This version is taken from a 16-bit stereo sample, which was reduced to 8-bit mono to keep its size somewhat manageable. If there is enough interest, I am willing to create a full 16-bit stereo audio CD for those who might want one.


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